First up, the career mode. This has been rebuilt from the ground up, in an effort to give players a better sense of progress. Throughout your career, you will progress through ten car classes and earn XP in go, unlock upgrade coins, and new events. But if you don’t like a particular type of event, you can spend some in-game money to skip it. This is so players don’t feel tied down, forced to drive cars they don’t like. You’ll notice that I mentioned the car upgrades. This is something that Project Cars was sorely lacking, and it’s great to see it finally make an appearance.
It also means that you can take your favorite car with you throughout your career, from the lowest level to the high-level events, increasing your performance index with new parts. Developer Slightly Mad Studios wants players to feel like they are constantly progressing, and playing in any mode, including multiplayer, will earn you in-game money and experience points. You don’t even have to go first, just participate. Multiplayer has always been an important part of Project Cars, and there are three different ways to play in the new game. Quick Play will take you on a race, using skill-based matchmaking, another first in the series. But if you prefer something more organized, the scheduled event mode will feature races crafted by the developer. And finally, Custom Lobby is the classic Project Cars sandbox experience, allowing you to tweak the rules, weather, cars, and tracks to create any type of race you like.
Slightly Mad also promises improved stability and latency when playing online. I also love how any visual customization you make on your car, be it a simple paint job or an elaborate decal design, will be visible to other players as you race online. And if you don’t have a suitable car in your personal garage for an online event, you can borrow one to participate. Accessibility is another thing the developer wants to improve on PC3, removing as many barriers as possible for the fun of it. There is also a new asynchronous multiplayer called Rivals, which has its own unique ranking and rewards structure. Slightly Mad will handle a series of events, with new daily, weekly, and monthly challenges. Get it right and you will climb the leaderboard, beating other players and earning XP. You can also drop the board, which is an incentive to dive back in and try to get your seatback. These leaderboards will be divided into divisions based on skill, so if you are a beginner you won’t have to face seasoned veterans.
There are many new things, but there is more. Two new tracks were unveiled, including the streets of Shanghai and the legendary Interlagos motorsports circuit in Sao Paulo. The gamepad controls have also been changed to make driving more satisfying. New post-processing, camera shake, and motion blur effects have been added to make running more visually exciting. And solo AI is being drastically improved. If this is all as good as it sounds, Project Cars 3 could be really special.