Originally announced at the PS4 reveal event in Feb. 2013, Driveclub was due for release as a PS4 launch title. Development misfortunes led to an 11 month delay and the game was finally released in the first week of Oct. 2014. The game faced major challenges at launch as the online multiplayer was broken and for a game that’s focused on social interactivity, it quickly became a big letdown for gamers.
Three months have passed since its release and the game has received major updates that haven't just fixed the online social component, but it has also given the game a brand new visual appeal. So does Driveclub deliver a fun socially challenging racing experience as it was promised?
Intense First-Person Racing - Driveclub might not be the first game to feature cockpit view, but it’s definitely my first time where I’ve had so much fun whilst racing in first-person mode. The sheer sense of speed while racing in first person is just incredible in Driveclub. The game does feature other camera angles during racing, but the one that felt the most effective in selling the fun-factor is its true first person gameplay. Cars turn and drift are not similar to Need for Speed or in Gran Turismo, but I am happy to express that the handling is fun and rewarding as long as you remember to break before taking corners. If it’s one thing that got me on my nerves, then it is the over-steering of certain cars which makes me to immediately restart the race.
Racing Never Looked So Good - My first race in Driveclub was at a location in India and it had me floored from the very get go. The cars, exotic locations and environmental effects have never looked and felt this good before. Starting a race during the day when it’s calm and ending it in the middle of a stormy night, this very ability to manually adjust the ambiance and time of day settings makes up for a refreshing experience with each race. There have been racing games in the past where the photo mode aka image enhancement feature has allowed to make the game look better than it actually is during gameplay. But Driveclub isn't one, since it doesn’t need a fancy photo mode to beef up the graphics as it’s already a stellar looking game (Photo Mode does tweak the slight aliasing you might notice while racing).
Go On a Racing Tour - The game features plethora of intense point-to-point races, time trials, and drift challenges across all five locations. Within each race there are face-off’s to be beaten and challenges to be set. Apart from the single-player modes, there are multiplayer races to be played either solo or with your club mates. As the name states in Driveclub, you play together and win together. Unfortunately though I haven’t been able to get around being part of a club and earning fame for my team.
FIRST RULE OF DRIVECLUBE IS YOU CAN'T PLAY DRIVECLUB
Online Multiplayer Broken at Starting Line - The game launched in October and the social aspects of the game such as playing together with friends, well it was broken. Virtually no one who bought the game at launch were able to connect to the servers and play the game online. It took nearly a month and over to get things up and running and even to this day the game faces server stability hindrances.
Where is the Promised PS+ Edition - Sony back at E3 2013 made a bold announcement by mentioning Driveclub to come as a free title at the launch of the PS4. To this day, there hasn’t been any confirmation from Evolution or SCEA when would the PS+ edition come to fruition. The developers promised that once the core game’s network infrastructure has been stabilized, the PS+ edition would soon release. This has pretty much disappointed a lot many gamers (including myself) who remain undecided to make the purchase of the full version.
I enjoy racing fast cars in Driveclub; the sense of speed across beautiful locations keeps me coming back for more. With constant updates to the game like dynamic weather, soon to be released replay mode, free maps and future DLC in the horizon, Driveclub looks to get better and better. However, when the game came broken at launch and with no news on the launch plans for PS+ edition, one can’t turn a blind eye to the mistakes committed. Driveclub is fun, and it deserves attention and thus comes the importance of the release of the promised free version of the game.
*This review was based on the retail version of the game for the PS4