Impossible to recommend to fans of Project CARS 2, Project CARS 3 is a total 180 for the series. It’s easy to pick up and play and the racing here is robust enough for some casual thrills and spills, but ultimately it cribs from so many other racing games that racing gamers probably already own that it’s simply inessential.
Project CARS 3 suffers from a case of mistaken identity. Once you adjust to the new direction, you can get into a fun flow of ticking off objectives, drifting around hairpins and purchasing upgrades. However, while the series' existing platform means you get a great variety of circuits, cars and weather conditions, it also shackles this game from being a great arcade racing experience.
More-user friendly, more fun, but still boasting all of the bark and bite you'd expect from a top tier racing sim.
While some might balk at the fact that Project Cars 3 is designed to be accessible, under the hood is the same bone-grindingly difficult racing sim that the series has always been. There’s just more variety of modes and an easier on ramp for people to get into them.
With its bold new direction, superbly overhauled handling and some of the best, wheel-to-wheel racing out there, Project CARS 3 is a gamble that has resulted in one of the year’s best racers.
Project Cars' breadth has long been its strength, and at long last it's something that's a pleasure to engage with. The series' sim status sometimes sat a bit awkwardly, and its cars were certainly awkward to handle, but I never considered it might work better like this.
Hands on: Project Cars 3 is gearing up to be a stellar sequel from Slightly Mad Studios by building upon the finest parts of its predecessors while simultaneously crafting an experience which stands a chance at attracting an entirely new audience. While it doesn't really try anything new or groundbreaking beyond its upgrade system, this is a solid racing effort I'm excited to see more from.
Hands on: Whether it’s going to keep up with next-gen Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport is certainly a question mark, but judged on its own merits, this is a vast and detailed racer that’s more playable than ever before, and looking like being an easy recommendation if you want to join in the sim racing craze.
Hands on: I went into Project CARS 3 with an open mind and it looks to be a love letter to the Need For Speed SHIFT games that propelled Slightly Mad Studios into the limelight, while maintaining the same level of handling realism as its newer series. It feels like an amalgamation of the two, seemingly bringing together the best of both worlds, and I am totally okay with that. It has the potential to be one of the surprises of the year, for me.
Hands on: It’s things like this that have had my thoughts on Project Cars 3 swinging back and forth following its announcement and while previewing the game. I really like that it’s now got palatable gamepad controls – which is handy because I don’t have a racing wheel set up these days – I also like the shift away from having a racing line, but it’s just a bit odd that a game series built with sim racers in mind, a game that rode the early wave of esports has put some of the key elements that are really needed for that to one side.