Project Cars 3 landed on August 28, 2020, and here is a list of everything that we know about the racing sim. We’ll be updating this article as news breaks, so be sure to keep coming back to check for updates.
With its official release date of August 28 a few months in the past, has the latest version of the hardcore sim-racing series Project Cars 3 lived up to its expectations?
Although it could be frustrating at times, Project Cars 2 was widely hailed as one of the best sim racing games out there, s0 has PC3 matched up to its predecessor’s success?
When does Project Cars 3 come out?
Project Cars 3 released on August 28, 2020, with purchasers of the deluxe pack also benefiting from 3-day early access, meaning they were able to play from August 25.
Is it available on next-gen consoles?
Project cars 3 is now available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC at its initial release, though there is no word as of yet whether it will be updated to feature on Sony and Microsoft’s next-generation consoles.
In an interview with GamesRadar, Joe Barron said “I think for us in the racing space, the optimization as far as everything that’s been talked about with hard drive speeds and loading speeds and things, is going to have a big impact on that sort of performance level, across all of racing” in regards to how next-generation tech will influence the racing space in video games.
What game modes does Project Cars 3 have?
With Project Cars 2 having been centered around the linear career mode that sees you advance from weekend racer to Le Mans hero, Project Cars 3 has taken these foundations and expanded on them significantly, delivering a rich and immersive game in both single- and multiplayer modes.
The Career mode in Project Cars 3 received a complete overhaul, with drivers now earning XP as they progress through the ranks, while progression no longer being solely focused around race results.
PC3 has more of a more arcade-style approach to its career mode, mentioning “mini objectives” that can be completed to earn bonus XP and speed up career progress, likely unlocking new races and championships.
You can also now use vehicles from your single-player garage in career mode, meaning all the hard work you put into upgrading and tweaking your cars won’t go to waste as soon as you want to work your way through the game.
The single-player (non-career) mode has also been switched up in the third installment in the Project Cars series. With 192 events across the course of the game, there are over 40 hours of career-based gameplay to enjoy.
You can now own, build, personalize, and modify your own car collection using in-game credits (the developers have been very quick to point out there are no micro/in-game transactions using real money) along with the ability to loan any car you want for custom events and multiplayer races.
The online multiplayer for Project Cars 2 could be somewhat clunky at times, the online platform has been completely redesigned for Project Cars 3.
Skill-based matchmaking ensures that you’re always racing against other opponents at a similar level to you, based on your pace and safety rating rather than just your in-game level.
Keeping with the more arcade styling of Project Cars 3, in addition to the serious racing modes online, there are also multiplayer ‘games’ such as ‘breakout’ along with pace-setter challenges which take your best time over 3 laps, and scheduled ‘official’ events which have set car/track combinations.
There are also now divisional leaderboards to fight for, along with challenges and community events in all-new ‘rivals’ mode.
Project Cars 3 official trailer
What tracks and cars are in Project Cars 3?
While Project Cars 2 had an impressive roster of cars and hyper-realistic tracks (along with some fictional tracks thrown in for good measure) PC3 blows it out of the water.
Featuring over 200 cars from manufacturers such as Chevrolet and Ford up to Ferrari and Rimac, vehicle customization opens up even more options for vehicles meaning you’ll nearly never get bored of driving the same vehicle over and over again.
Experience the new Lotus Evija, only in #ProjectCARS3.
The ultimate representation of visceral, cutting-edge performance that pushes the boundaries of known innovation. 1,970hp, and 0-300kmh in less than 9 seconds. pic.twitter.com/hsKSZUOzQm
— Project CARS 3 (@projectcarsgame) August 26, 2020
The incredible Lotus Evija electric hypercar also features in Project Cars 3, as announced on their Twitter account.
Tracks are a major part of the Project Cars experience, and PC3 certainly delivers. Containing over 120 layouts from a mixture of 49 real and fictional locations, from the streets of Havana to Dubai Aerodrome and a myriad of places in between.
Not only is this an impressive track list, but any recurring tracks from Project Cars 2 have been updated to reflect any real-world changes that have been made since they were seen in PC2.
There are some unusual absentees though, with fan favorites such as Spa Francorchamps and Le Mans being missing from the track list, despite oddballs such as Azure Coast making their way into the game.
Does Project Cars 3 have vehicle customization?
One of the standout new features of Project Cars 3 is the inclusion of vehicle customization, something that up until now had been sorely lacking from the series.
Instead of simply being given a vehicle (which you could fine-tune in the pre-race menu) you can now take your chosen vehicle(s) on a so-called ‘journey’ as you progress through the ranks.
This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for players, as they are able to modify the power outputs, appearance, and handling characteristics of their cars. It also opens up the vehicle roster significantly, as instead of cars being confined to their starting classes, they can be upgraded to progress through the ranks along with the player.
These upgrades have been designed to fit with the realistic simulation ethos of Project Cars 3, so don’t expect any Forza Horizon-style ‘arcade’ upgrades.
Should you wish to add a turbocharger to your car, for example, the software mimics how this would affect your power and torque outputs, and affect your car’s on-track handling and performance characteristics accordingly.
Dave Kirk, principal physics programmer explains: “The upgrades work using the underlying physics […] If you’re building a car with just engine power, but were already lacking grip, you’ll struggle even more. If you just put better tires on a car, you won’t increase your top speed on straights, beyond getting a faster exit from the previous corner.”
The inclusion of the ‘race conversion’ feature, shown here on a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, means that players now have the ability to ‘race-convert’ cars, turning them from humble street machines into fire-spitting track legends.
Take your favourite car and upgrade it all the way from track-day hopeful to a full-bore racetrack-ready machine with a race conversion kit.
Then get out on the track and humble cars that should leave you for dead. pic.twitter.com/IE2t6uv6EE
— Project CARS 3 (@projectcarsgame) August 13, 2020
Is Project Cars 3 still a racing simulator?
One of the biggest selling points of Project Cars 2 is the hardcore simulation-focused physics model, geared towards being as realistic as possible. While newcomers to the game often struggled with the steep learning curve, once mastered it proved to be an immersive and richly rewarding racing simulation.
Project Cars 3 deviated from this hardcore physics-over-everything approach, with its squeaky-clean, brightly-colored graphics hinting at a shift to being more user-friendly. This has been confirmed by the developers, with PC3 aiming to be the most ‘approachable’ game in the series.
Developers have listened to fans with regards to this steep learning curve, and aimed to “lower the bar for newcomers whilst keeping the authenticity and realism in place for the more experienced fanbase” suggesting a more linear difficulty adjustment mode, rather than systems simply being on/off or having minimal adjustment.
To be “better aligned with how those systems work in the real world”, the driving aids have been tweaked to depend on the player’s level of skill.
#ProjectCARS3 doesn’t have the standard racing line guide to help you get faster.
It uses corner markers on the HUD instead, virtual cones as you’d find in real life, to help you learn braking points, apexes, and turn-in angles. That’s because we want you to get better, faster. pic.twitter.com/u7H0jchssX
— Project CARS 3 (@projectcarsgame) August 24, 2020
Driving Aids in Project Cars 3
Speaking of driver aids; Project Cars 3 also says goodbye to the traditional ‘racing line’ driver assist that highlights the quickest possible path around the track.
While this was ideal for novices and those that were yet to learn track layouts, PC3 has abandoned this staple of racing games for a new and ‘improved’ system of their own design. Instead of the guide, there will be markers on the HUD, helping players to learn braking points and how to clip apexes.
According to the development team, it will actually aid faster learning as opposed to players becoming reliant on the ‘racing line’ system. Removing and replacing such a staple aid seems at odds with the aim of making the game more ‘accessible’ but it will be interesting to see if competitors follow suit.
The narrow track limits were often a source of frustration with Project Cars 2, with these limits having the ability to ruin a flying lap during qualifying for the slightest misdemeanor.
Thankfully it seems Codemasters have listened to the feedback surrounding this, and have “revised ever track limit for every track” to allow for “better and more competitive racing for everyone.”
Will Project Cars 3 feature DLC packs?
Having featured heavily in Project Cars 2, DLC for Project Cars 3 has been confirmed by the availability of a season pass and its inclusion in the deluxe version of the game which is available to pre-order.
Speaking in the official PC3 Discord server, Fernando confirmed that “DLC will include both tracks and cars (which one, I can’t tell you right now) Unless something dramatically changes, tracks will be given for free.”
The inclusion of free DLC is an interesting choice and raises questions about which tracks will be included in the free package. We still haven’t had maps like Le Mans added to the game with DLC.
Does Project Cars 3 have photo mode?
Capture breathtaking shots of your favourite cars and scenery with the reworked Photo Mode in #ProjectCARS3.
An array of options, filters, and freedom to position your camera anywhere on the track available via a simple press of a button. pic.twitter.com/N4u4qvcpsR
— Project CARS 3 (@projectcarsgame) August 23, 2020
Codemasters has revealed that Project Cars 3 also hosts a fully-overhauled photo mode, more akin to the likes of Gran Turismo or Forza Horizon than you’d expect to find in Project Cars.
Players are able to choose from and customize an “array of options [and] filters” to perfect their shots. Camera angles are also completely customizable, with the ability to ‘fly’ your camera to any position on the track according to the official @Projectcarsgame Twitter feed.