DriveClub, one of the most surprising games of 2014, is finally done. Evolution Studios may have left the project earlier this year, but before they drove off, they were able to create 15 new urban-themed tracks for use in DriveClub VR. Those tracks, freshly cleaned up and tweaked for the base game’s more detailed visuals, have been added for free as DriveClub’s final update. TeamVVV has details of the content. The new tracks include locations in Japan, India, Chile, Canada, and Norway.
Sony shut down Evolution Studios in March, but much of the team was nabbed by Codemasters in April.
Sony announced Driveclub Bikes, an expansion to the superb PlayStation 4 Driveclub. The superbike title from Evolution Studios, features twelve two-wheelers with their own campaign, customizations, and multiplayer racing. The surprise reveal came during Sony’s Paris Games Week briefing and brings good news for trophy addicts.
There’s a lot to play for and there’s even a second Platinum Trophy to chase down, which means that Driveclub now features more Trophies to unlock than any other PlayStation game in history!
The Driveclub Bikes expansion can be purchased as a standalone for $19.99, or as DLC if you already own Driveclub for $14.99.
Hey, look who finally showed up to play!
Starting [today], all PlayStation Plus members can download Driveclub PS Plus Edition and begin playing the offline mode. Also starting [today], we will be rolling out online access to the Driveclub PS Plus Edition and will steadily bring more and more players online while continuously ensuring that all game systems are running smoothly. We want to make sure we dont overload the servers as we invite millions of PS Plus members to download the game… We have to take this precaution because Driveclub connectivity is demanding for a multiplayer game, with countless ever-growing social connections across clubs, challenges, multiplayer, and hundreds of thousands of dynamic leaderboards and activity feeds.
After its rough but promising start, Driveclub became a superlative racing game and a real jewel in the Playstation 4 catalog. With an emphasis squarely on driving instead of upgrading and grinding, with fewer cars that matter more, with evocative handling and physics, with tracks brimming with personality and style, and with absolutely gorgeous graphics and sublime sound design, this is the game Forza hasn’t been for a very long time. Developer Evolution Studios even finally added weather and replays. I can’t recommend it enough.
In the ongoing saga of Driveclub being a five-star racing game that was released two stars too early, it has finally gotten a replay feature. Now you can enjoy the truly gorgeous graphics without having to keep your eyes on the road. The replay mode lets you watch a race from a variety of camera views, with the option to enter a ridiculously detailed photo mode if you want to grab stills. It’s also a new way of looking at the tracks to learn how to drive them better.
The latest update also claims to make drift events less annoying. I’m not sure that’s possible, as I’ve yet to meet a drift mode in a videogame that wasn’t annoying. But with relaxed requirements for scoring drifts, at least it’s easier to get the stars you need to progress in the single-player tours.
So if the most disappointing category is a list of games that should have been better than they were, the most surprising category is the opposite. These are games that were better than they should have been. Just as disappointing is about falling short of expectations, these surprising games exceeded expectations and, in some cases, were among the best games of the year.
After the jump, the ten most surprising games of 2014. Continue reading →
With the latest patch for Driveclub, the Playstation 4’s beleagured driving sim has pretty much reached the state it should have been at when it was released. The connectivity issues have been fixed, the challenges finally work, races are fully stocked with face-off challenges that mix up the action, and all the DLC vehicles and tours are free for everyone (more vehicles and tours will be out later this month).
The patch also adds the dynamic weather feature that was going to be added post-launch. “Snow in Norway, rain in Scotland,” Evolution Studios claimed. But dynamic weather doesn’t just mean the sudden onslaught of snow flurries or possible showers. Races that had previously taken place under the lowering grey skies of Canada can break out in bright sunlight. It’s yet another lovely effect in an already lovely game.
The free to sample PlayStation Plus version of Sony’s troubled racing game, Driveclub, is being put on the backburner indefinitely. In a message from Shuhei Yoshida, President of Worldwide Studios, Sony explained that although additional engineers are being tasked to assist developer Evo with sorting things out, they have no estimate on the timeframe needed. Because their first priority is getting the game to work for customers that actually shelled out money for the game, the free version will not be released until the network troubles are resolved.
“We have been listening to your feedback and realize that patience understandably is running out.”
The original plan for the PS Plus edition of Driveclub was that it was supposed to be a free limited selection of cars and tracks that could be upgraded later to the full game for $50.
I’d really rather not be here, writing this review right now. I’d just as soon wait until Driveclub, a fantastic variation on the usual driving games, achieves the state it deserves to be in, a state I have every reasonable expectation it will eventually reach, a state I’ve enjoyed firsthand before the launch. But after a certain amount of time, a launch issue is no longer just a launch issue. For Driveclub, nearly two weeks after its release, that time has come.
After the jump, I come not to praise Driveclub. Continue reading →
If you haven’t been playing the PlayStation 4 exclusive DriveClub, you’ve been missing out on some quality launch issues. Evolution Studios’ slick racer is probably best known so far for its confusing pricing scheme and server troubles. The servers just aren’t up to handling the traffic of actual players. It’s been bad enough that some in-game features have been disabled, the free PlayStation Plus version of the game has been put on hold, and players are limited to a frustrating one-in-one-out policy while Evolution tries to sort out the mess behind the scenes. Paul Rustchynsky, the game director of DriveClub, has been busy on Twitter trying to explain the situation to disgruntled fans.
“We ran a beta test and none of these issues occurred, we had confidence everything was ready. These issues were unexpected.”
Rustchynsky acknowledged that the server issues have been severe enough that the studio is considering compensation for players affected by the service interruptions.
PlayStation 4 exclusive DriveClub is being delayed again to improve the social menu features and optimize visuals. DriveClub, originally revealed at E3 2013 as a PS4 launch title, was delayed just before the console’s launch date to “early 2014.” This release window has slipped and Evolution Studios has posted an explanation on Sony’s PlayStation blog. Director Paul Rustchynsky stressed the importance of the game’s manu.
The dynamic menu is key to how much fun you’re going to get out of the game because it is the glue that connects you to everyone else in the DRIVECLUB community. Whenever you fire up the game; between every race you play, and when you log in to DRIVECLUB on your phone or tablet, the dynamic menu has to be slick to ensure your experience is seamlessly connected. Essentially it’s where you discover what to play, and who to play with.
It’s also absolutely vital to our ambition of growing a vibrant network of millions of connected clubs, who all share the excitement of driving amazing cars together. Whether they play just to have fun, or to complete every challenge and beat their rivals in every race, it’s this connected community who will keep the game fresh and enjoyable well after launch, so it makes sense for the connectivity to be perfect.
No racing title has ever combined the development of a socially charged, multi-platform dynamic menu with all the other connected online elements that DRIVECLUB delivers.
DriveClub’s new launch date is October 7 in North America, October 10 in the UK, and October 8 in the rest of Europe.