Project CARS 4 "Will Be The Most Realistic Simulation Ever Made"

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I'm going to be blunt here, you have absolutely zero idea at all what you are going on about.

WMD covered the range of people and was not 'a very different group'.

It's quite simple, talking to your audience works, not talking to them doesn't.

You clearly know very little about the development history behind the PCars series (and less about the history of the company prior to that), yet for some reason only known to yourself you keep digging. May I suggest that you put down the shovel and try listening to others, that you are telling a WMD members that they are wrong is to be blunt full blown Dunning-Kruger!
Yeah, I know nothing but that's the reason why I am here. What I remember from SMS is Shift 1 on PS3 with input lag on my G25 - unplayable. Bit later I tried it again with Shift 2 for PC, still crazy input lag on the same wheel. This year I tried it on a gamepad and it was terrible. Worst gamepad experience for a long time.

But PC1 was crazy good for a game in that time. Still, it's awesome in many aspects. It looked like somebody really thought about it. PC2 is very similar to me, something is better, something worse, but nothing different.

And there is PC3, completely off game from the same developers? I don't think so. It's just not possible.

That's what I see.
 

Scaff

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Yeah, I know nothing but that's the reason why I am here. What I remember from SMS is Shift 1 on PS3 with input lag on my G25 - unplayable. Bit later I tried it again with Shift 2 for PC, still crazy input lag on the same wheel. This year I tried it on a gamepad and it was terrible. Worst gamepad experience for a long time.

But PC1 was crazy good for a game in that time. Still, it's awesome in many aspects. It looked like somebody really thought about it. PC2 is very similar to me, something is better, something worse, but nothing different.

And there is PC3, completely off game from the same developers? I don't think so. It's just not possible.

That's what I see.
So you see the titles that the developer (and its the same team across all these titles) directly communicated and engaged with its audience as good and the titles for which the same developer didn't directly communicate and engage with its audience as 'off'.

Yet you still insist that what SMS should do is not listen to its audience going forward?

I can only conclude that you want PC4 to join the ranks of Shift 1 & 2 and PCars 3 and be 'off'!
 
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SMS wanted to make a more casual approach to sim racing, and they could have achieved that had the actually engaged with the audience in the right way, and been far more up front and honest about what they were doing. Hell they could have potentially managed to hit both the hardcore sim audience and the more casual audience if they hadn't thrown away what a good share of the former look for in a title, and instead made them switchable options. Instead they developed the title in isolation, promised the world to everyone and ended up with a product that was unappealing to a good share of the audience they already had, and was fair to mixed in its messaging to appeal to a new audience.

And this is what boggles my mind more then anything. A good chunk of this could have been prevented if SMS (and really, the Bells as a whole) simply called this game by the spin off title it should have been, and subsequently, made crystal clear that this game isn't meant to be a direct next game in the numbered PCARS series, and had confidence in that. Ironically, this is what DiRT 5 did, to pretty decent effect. They were confident in the new direction they were taking, and more then anything, told people what to expect. Whether it worked out with the finished game is debatable. SMS did the opposite, and now they are paying for it dearly, and probably will always pay for it.

It's funny to go back to that long Q&A that Ian did in the lead up to PCARS 2's release with what we know about Ian now within this community, and specifically with the hindsight of the disaster that PCARS 3 was. Seems like EA probably knew what they were getting into with Ian being a cantankerous asshole, and cut bait with him, where he decided to play the '**** EA, all my homies hate EA' card to gain sympathy. Now, he's back in the fold with them, and I guarantee that EA will (rightfully) let him play in his little sandbox and have no more input in the NFS series as a whole, even in the smallest capacity. And probably won't be given much of a benefit of doubt to any projects he might want to create outside of PCARS, and have to go to EA's heads to get the money to make it a reality.
 
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Wolfe

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I guess what I want to add here is a tangent from the current discussion, but engaging with and listening to the "audience" can be a double-edged sword. What I mean is that the Sim Racing Community™ is known for some peculiar points of view, like that a sim should not be expected to be playable with a controller, for one example. Based on things I've read, I think part of the blame for poor analog stick steering in PCARS1 and PCARS2 can be attributed to an assumption/consensus that such a thing is to be expected (Ian mentioned at least once that they didn't want to offer too much "help").

It seems clear that an intention with PCARS3 was to pull away a bit from the "no fun allowed" camp of the PCARS fanbase (Ian almost literally said so when he talked about "more fun"), but part of the grave miscalculation is that so many of the rest of us still appreciate things that make "no fun allowed" simracers happy. It doesn't have to be an either/or!

I don't know how they came to the conclusion that less is better -- presuming it was a conscious decision, not a deception to cover for other influences or efforts (which seems more likely, IMO).
 
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I don’t know how I got here, but wow, this thread has been lively since Friday. :D

The title got my attention, so I had to see. Yup, Ian Bell at it again. The first post in response to the article says it all... :lol: (yeah, I’m late to the party)
 

ScottPye20

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Project Cars had an audience, a rather passionate and dedicated one, one that was quite clear in what they were looking fro in the next title in the series. SMS did exactly what you recommended, they went away and developed PCars 3 in isolation from that audience, making key design choices (and locking them in) without questioning how the audience it already had would react to those changes or communicating those changes with them. They then deliberately mislead that audience when they announced PCars 3, ignoring any and all concerns around the change in approach (and outright censoring a lot of that from the official channels).

The end results? The lowest selling and worst received release in the PCars series!

SMS wanted to make a more casual approach to sim racing, and they could have achieved that had the actually engaged with the audience in the right way, and been far more up front and honest about what they were doing. Hell they could have potentially managed to hit both the hardcore sim audience and the more casual audience if they hadn't thrown away what a good share of the former look for in a title, and instead made them switchable options. Instead they developed the title in isolation, promised the world to everyone and ended up with a product that was unappealing to a good share of the audience they already had, and was fair to mixed in its messaging to appeal to a new audience.

  • The existing audience felt mislead and ignored and voted to a large degree with there wallets.
  • The potential new audience they wanted to capture saw a product that appeared to simply be a continuation of the PCars series and saw no reason to leave the like of GT or FM for it.

Hell I like PCars 3 enough to have bought it twice (PS4 and then PC), but it's a mess of a title, poorly optimized, confused in approach and somehow technically worse than either of it predecessors.
It's for these reasons that I bought Assetto Corsa on the PC and Competizione on the PS4. I loved Project Cars 1 and 2 so it was a real shame to learn that Project Cars 3 would abandon the simulation aspect entirely... The league I raced in broke up off the back of this, which sucked because I had a lot of fun there. Thankfully I've got myself into an ACC league on PS4 so Project Cars is firmly buried in the ground.
 

NLxAROSA

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A good chunk of this could have been prevented if SMS (and really, the Bells as a whole) simply called this game by the spin off title it should have been
Pretty much this. Should have named it CARS: Horizon, or whatever. PC3 is a decent title by itself, but it's just not a Project CARS game. I guess this is also what's frustrating to so many people: the whole controversy was totally avoidable if certain folks would have taken their heads out of their arses.

There's saying that says: Trust comes on foot and leaves by horse. It's very hard to gain the trust of a community, but really easy to lose it. SMS threw 10 years of built-up trust right out the door, and it was totally unnecessary.
 
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571
Czech Republic
Czech Republic
So you see the titles that the developer (and its the same team across all these titles) directly communicated and engaged with its audience as good and the titles for which the same developer didn't directly communicate and engage with its audience as 'off'.

Yet you still insist that what SMS should do is not listen to its audience going forward?

I can only conclude that you want PC4 to join the ranks of Shift 1 & 2 and PCars 3 and be 'off'!
I can't see it that clear. It's very simple what every good sim should have. Just copy any good sim and you are OK. It rather looks like SMS did good game only with "external" people. But like you said, I don't know much about SMS.

I still rather think you don't need any audience for racing sim. It's good if it's really good but it's not necessary at all.

No, I am rather thinking if SMS can do games at all. It's interesting perspective. ME is great engine so they had great guys for sure, at least for the tech.

What I mean is that the Sim Racing Community™ is known for some peculiar points of view, like that a sim should not be expected to be playable with a controller, for one example. Based on things I've read, I think part of the blame for poor analog stick steering in PCARS1 and PCARS2 can be attributed to an assumption/consensus that such a thing is to be expected (Ian mentioned at least once that they didn't want to offer too much "help").

It seems clear that an intention with PCARS3 was to pull away a bit from the "no fun allowed" camp of the PCARS fanbase (Ian almost literally said so when he talked about "more fun"), but part of the grave miscalculation is that so many of the rest of us still appreciate things that make "no fun allowed" simracers happy. It doesn't have to be an either/or!
This is very important. Many people can't use gamepad and say non-sense about gamepads. PC1 has the best gamepad support from the series and what SMS got? Many people said how bad it is. You shouldn't ask everybody :D Sim doesn't need any help because you need "sim feeling".

PC3 gamepad support is among the worst I have ever seen. But some people like it. That reminds me YT videos with gamepad settings. Most of the videos are total garbage but what we can see in the comments? How people love it and how it helped them :D
 

Scaff

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It's very simple what every good sim should have. J
You will have no problem at all detailing that then.


This is very important. Many people can't use gamepad and say non-sense about gamepads. PC1 has the best gamepad support from the series and what SMS got? Many people said how bad it is. You shouldn't ask everybody :D Sim doesn't need any help because you need "sim feeling".

PC3 gamepad support is among the worst I have ever seen. But some people like it. That reminds me YT videos with gamepad settings. Most of the videos are total garbage but what we can see in the comments? How people love it and how it helped them :D
Except you are pretty much the outlier here.

Oh, maybe its not simple
 
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571
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You will have no problem at all detailing that then.



Except you are pretty much the outlier here.

Oh, maybe its not simple
Sure.

Yeah, but my guess is most people can't use gamepad. Many people still don't know GT has helpers like Forza Horizon. How it is possible? They think car drives almost on its own? Hard to say. PC1 needs thumb precision because of 1:1 linearity. ISIMotor games has good "lower" linearity and are better/easier. But that's the only problem. Many people mix assisted games with unassisted. Like Forza has better gamepad support than PC1. It's not true, it's different support and PC1 has much better sim support.

Some other people love ACC gamepad support. Sure, it has GT support. It's not sim helper but casual one. But you can disable it.

It's complex problem but most people can't use gamepad and wanted non-sense, like I wrote many times. If everybody invest into gamepad skill, it would be much better. Or just play games with very assisted steering like GT, ACC or Horizon. There is no shame in playing with assists but there is problem to use lack of skill to talk bad stuff about PC1. PC1 and PC2 are not perfect but it's not bad at all. AMS2 has PC2 support and it's very playable.
 

Scaff

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Sure.

Yeah, but my guess is most people can't use gamepad. Many people still don't know GT has helpers like Forza Horizon. How it is possible? They think car drives almost on its own? Hard to say. PC1 needs thumb precision because of 1:1 linearity. ISIMotor games has good "lower" linearity and are better/easier. But that's the only problem. Many people mix assisted games with unassisted. Like Forza has better gamepad support than PC1. It's not true, it's different support and PC1 has much better sim support.

Some other people love ACC gamepad support. Sure, it has GT support. It's not sim helper but casual one. But you can disable it.

It's complex problem but most people can't use gamepad and wanted non-sense, like I wrote many times. If everybody invest into gamepad skill, it would be much better. Or just play games with very assisted steering like GT, ACC or Horizon. There is no shame in playing with assists but there is problem to use lack of skill to talk bad stuff about PC1. PC1 and PC2 are not perfect but it's not bad at all. AMS2 has PC2 support and it's very playable.
You seem to have missed the main question I asked?
 
571
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Czech Republic
You seem to have missed the main question I asked?
About design? Just copy PC2, fix bugs and add missing features. So easy to do. If you need more suggestions, copy other sims. You can't be wrong in racing sims.

You don't need any community, just many betatesters.
 
1,485
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This is very important. Many people can't use gamepad and say non-sense about gamepads. PC1 has the best gamepad support from the series and what SMS got? Many people said how bad it is. You shouldn't ask everybody :D Sim doesn't need any help because you need "sim feeling".

PC3 gamepad support is among the worst I have ever seen. But some people like it. That reminds me YT videos with gamepad settings. Most of the videos are total garbage but what we can see in the comments? How people love it and how it helped them :D
As I read this exchange between you and Scaff, I only understand 1 thing... you have a very unique point of view.

SMS is a for-profit company. Companies usually try to "solve for the 80%" (i.e. majority). As Scaff said, maybe you're the outlier.
 

Scaff

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About design? Just copy PC2, fix bugs and add missing features. So easy to do. If you need more suggestions, copy other sims. You can't be wrong in racing sims.

You don't need any community, just many betatesters.
And you still haven't answered the question.

You claimed that "It's very simple what every good sim should have. J"

As it's so simple you will have no problem detailing that then.
 
571
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Czech Republic
As I read this exchange between you and Scaff, I only understand 1 thing... you have a very unique point of view.

SMS is a for-profit company. Companies usually try to "solve for the 80%" (i.e. majority). As Scaff said, maybe you're the outlier.
If you take this perspective, it's about gamepad users for sim racing. How big it is? I don't know at all but remember leaderboards with first places on a gamepad. Still it could under 5 %, no idea.

But what is important? Every wheel sim supports pads technically. Wheel has some axes, gamepad too. You don't need more. PC1 and PC2 has very standard support which could be better for sure but it's not bad. ISIMotor games has same support for many years and it's good enough even for KBs. But wait, KB doesn't have axes! No problem then, you need some delays on input. It's there for many years, nothing special. And then PC1 has bad support? Why? It's good enough for playing and very similar to other sims. AC with own engine is the same.

And you still haven't answered the question.

You claimed that "It's very simple what every good sim should have. J"

As it's so simple you will have no problem detailing that then.
No need to, just check any current sim. They are all awesome but every has some problems. If you can fix it, you can beat competition. It's pretty easy if you have good people and some money.

Reiza doesn't do anything too innovative, just took PC2 tech and tries to do good sim. Easy. SMS could do it to but they haven't.
 

Scaff

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No need to, just check any current sim. They are all awesome but every has some problems. If you can fix it, you can beat competition. It's pretty easy if you have good people and some money.

Reiza doesn't do anything too innovative, just took PC2 tech and tries to do good sim. Easy. SMS could do it to but they haven't.
So clearly you are unable to do what you claimed was simple.

Guess it's not simple.
 

Wolfe

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Many people still don't know GT has helpers like Forza Horizon. How it is possible? They think car drives almost on its own? Hard to say.
If you take a car up to 60mph in an airport parking lot, introduce oversteer, and then lift your hands, the steering wheel will spin around instead of just snapping to straight ahead. Is the car driving almost on its own? No. It's self-aligning torque.

The countersteer function in Project CARS 3 is inarguably more realistic than raw steering snapping to a zero value every time the analog stick is released. The exact details of its implementation could be different, better, or worse, but the basic phenomenon is not "casual". It's real.

On the other hand, we're also talking about videogames, here. 1:1 control is not typically how you control anything with a gamepad in videogames. Videogame controls are most often interpretive -- you press a button, and the game interprets it as an intention to jump; you pull a trigger button, and the game interprets it as both an intention to pull the trigger of your gun and to operate its bolt-action handle to ready the next round; you tilt the analog stick, and the game interprets it as an intention to climb a ladder.

Videogames are not all QWOP or Manual Samuel, and for good reason.

In sims, the comparison to R/C cars I've made before is valid enough, but maybe people aren't looking for an experience like driving a really massive RC car -- maybe they want an experience like when they're driving a regular car, or using a FFB wheel.

If I tap the analog stick to the right for an instant, I most likely do not intend to snap the steering rack all the way to the right for an instant, even if that's what an R/C car would try to do, because I'm not driving a virtual R/C car; I'm driving a virtual full-size car. Tapping the stick is a gesture to be interpreted, much like double-tapping to initiate a sprint or dodge roll in an action game. What I most often mean by tapping the stick is this: "I need to make a small course correction, and I do not have a lot of time to finesse it."

Racing and driving at speed are primarily a matter of picking a line, monitoring your trajectory and rotation, monitoring where your wheels are, managing weight transfer, engine RPM and gear, turbo pressure, etc. You don't really spend a lot of thought on exactly how much you want to turn the wheel. It does not take much thought to know that you most often don't want to slam the steering all the way to the end of the rack. There are more important things to be focusing on.

The art of race driving is on a higher level, and I believe a sim should do what it can to keep you in that mental space -- not thinking about fiddly steering.

Therefore, it is appropriate for a racing sim -- at any level of realism -- to be able to interpret a player's input and use common sense to determine that the player probably only desires a certain amount of steering, even if the analog stick is tilted all the way. In short, it's simply not as challenging to avoid excessive inputs with a FFB wheel or in a real car as it is with 1:1 analog stick control. A sim should not demand players to rise to that unrealistic challenge. It's artificial.

Once again, it does not hurt for a sim to offer 1:1 steering as a choice. Programming-wise, I can tell you it is utterly trivial. Input -> Output. But expecting the game to interpret steering, like videogames interpret so many other things, is not "casual", and it is not an "assist" per se. If it is inadequate at the task, it is open to criticism.
 
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@Wolfe I agree with accessibility even it's not that important. I wonder what people played GTR or rF1 on gamepads said about it. Or on keyboards. Today almost everybody want some helpers in sims. It's not necessary but I get your point and it's valid.

My GT point was the car has stabilization always on. You don't want stabilization if you can drive. And if you don't know about it you probably can't drive too much. Stabilization and countersteer helper like Horizon has. Drifting in both games is almost the same. Not because of drifting is easy. That's crazy.
 
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Wolfe

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@Wolfe I agree with accessibility even it's not that important. I wonder what people played GTR or rF1 on gamepads said about it. Or on keyboards. Today almost everybody want some helpers in sims. It's not necessary but I get your point and it's valid.
👍

Beside keyboard control, Live for Speed is a sim I know that does a decent job accommodating mouse-based steering. It works better than you might expect; most would probably find it better than keyboard keys.

My GT point was the car has stabilization always on. You don't want stabilization if you can drive. And if you don't know about it you probably can't drive too much. Stabilization and countersteer helper like Horizon has. Drifting in both games is almost the same. Not because of drifting is easy. That's crazy.
Don't forget the role the handling physics model itself plays in this. :) Both Gran Turismo and Forza are more stable than a PCARS game as a result of their handling physics and the "help" they provide purely on the physics level, not only differences in steering control.

I relate oversteer control in Forza titles to a sense that RWD cars almost behave like they have AWD -- the game helps "pull" the car out of of a drift or (more intentionally) a spin. And that's only after you've gotten the car sideways, which is easy to do with the throttle, but not very realistic with other methods.

I disagree that drifting isn't easy. It's not so easy that everyone can do it, but pulling some skids is not something only professionals can do, either.
 
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571
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Czech Republic
👍

Beside keyboard control, Live for Speed is a sim I know that does a decent job accommodating mouse-based steering. It works better than you might expect; most would probably find it better than keyboard keys.


Don't forget the role the handling physics model itself plays in this. :) Both Gran Turismo and Forza are more stable than a PCARS game as a result of their handling physics and the "help" they provide purely on the physics level, not only differences in steering control.

I relate oversteer control in Forza titles to a sense that RWD cars almost behave like they have AWD -- the game helps "pull" the car out of of a drift or (more intentionally) a spin. And that's only after you've gotten the car sideways, which is easy to do with the throttle, but not very realistic with other methods.

I disagree that drifting isn't easy. It's not so easy that everyone can do it, but pulling some skids is not something only professionals can do, either.

So why years later somebody has problem with good PC1 controls? It's unfair to developers and supports my approach don't ask everybody.

It's not related too much. They used helpers over physics, not inside. GT has stabilization, Forza doesn't. You don't need stabilization. But then many people said GT has better controls than PC1. Yes, you have STABILIZATION added.

Forza has problem with strange front grip but nothing else because there is no other helper what I saw (I could be wrong for sure). What you describe feels like normal steering, it has active countersteering help and something else.

Yeah, compare drifting in GT/Horizon with any sim or Motorsport. It's not easy like in GT/Horizon. Everybody can drift there because of stabilization and countersteer helper. It's like PC3.
 
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Bumpier tracks would be nice. Lots of racing games recreate the layouts of tracks but when they are just flat they are very boring to drive.

Dont need to be laser scanned but something that makes it feel like driving on a road.

All those little nuances will make the differnce and keep it interesting to drive.
 
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I have fired up PC2 again after a year or so playing Assetto Competizione (sick of boring synthetic souless GT3), and I had almost forgotten how good the street tyre model in this game is. Best street tyre model by far in any sim. It's just so fun, engaging and mostly realistic, with so many tracks and the great weather system it has that I see myself going back to this game until pc4 finally arrives.

Actually, can't wait for pc4 (didn't buy that pc3 thing), and hope all the focus go to street cars with a very much evolved street tyre model.
 
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I have fired up PC2 again after a year or so playing Assetto Competizione (sick of boring synthetic souless GT3), and I had almost forgotten how good the street tyre model in this game is. Best street tyre model by far in any sim. It's just so fun, engaging and mostly realistic, with so many tracks and the great weather system it has that I see myself going back to this game until pc4 finally arrives.

Actually, can't wait for pc4 (didn't buy that pc3 thing), and hope all the focus go to street cars with a very much evolved street tyre model.
If road cars is what you want, then you should probably just get PC3
 

Wolfe

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PCARS3 did not do a whole lot for roadcars, anyway. Sure, we got several added to the roster, but it still doesn't even cover as many fan favorites as some smaller indie games, and several homologation racecars were still not reworked to offer non-racecar forms (like they did for the R34 Skyline GT-R).

Too many lame modern cars that manufacturers prefer to have included for marketing value. Licensing has become an awful constriction on developers' choices for cars.
 
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Too many lame modern cars that manufacturers prefer to have included for marketing value. Licensing has become an awful constriction on developers' choices for cars.
You got proof of that? Sure doesn't seem like a constriction for some, that it mostly boils down to SMS trying to make lemonade out of the proverbial lemons that was PCARS 2's road car list into an arcade game.
 
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I think PC3 responded with more up to date GT/Touring race cars. Especially with real world GT3/GT4/TCR being big deals in Europe.

The same way the next AC is, supposedly, reverting back to AC1 and even GT7 going back to its core early GT games, PC4 could include more road cars.
 

Wolfe

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You got proof of that? Sure doesn't seem like a constriction for some, that it mostly boils down to SMS trying to make lemonade out of the proverbial lemons that was PCARS 2's road car list into an arcade game.
I'm not pleased how SMS tried to stretch a lot of the same content across three games. To compare the studio to the likes of Microsoft, though, SMS lacks bargaining chips, and PCARS1 reflected that. To me it smacked of "we lack influence with licensing", like other games with licensed cars made by smaller/lesser studios.

The fact that SMS dug so deep into historic racecars, given their looser licensing requirements, indicates to me that licensing shaped the road car list. And as a Subaru fan, I look around and see that PCARS is hardly the only game where Subaru is absent.

Anyway, don't get me wrong -- I don't expect unlicensed cars in a sim like PCARS.
 
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I have fired up PC2 again after a year or so playing Assetto Competizione (sick of boring synthetic souless GT3), and I had almost forgotten how good the street tyre model in this game is. Best street tyre model by far in any sim. It's just so fun, engaging and mostly realistic, with so many tracks and the great weather system it has that I see myself going back to this game until pc4 finally arrives.

Actually, can't wait for pc4 (didn't buy that pc3 thing), and hope all the focus go to street cars with a very much evolved street tyre model.
Hi, I have been one of pcars biggest critics. I'm not afraid to acknowledge that yes, pcars2 was quite fun to play. Its fun-factor outlasted Forza7 and gtsport imo.