5 things you need to know about Project Cars 3 before you buy
© Bandai Namco Entertainment
Slightly Mad Studios' upcoming racing game is perfect for both casual and hardcore racing fans – if you know how to make the game work for you and set everything up just right
Project Cars 3 is shaping up to be a great racing game with highly detailed cars and tracks, as well as a robust weather simulation and plenty of upgrades and tuning options available. So far, it's clear Project Cars 3 is a sequel that lives up the series' legacy.
In Career Mode, you need to purchase and tailor your cars to each challenge you attempt, while Custom Events let you choose any car, set weather conditions, and change AI difficulty and aggression. Whatever your style of race, there is something for you in Project Cars 3. To ensure that you are as prepared as possible once the wheels are on the tarmac on August 23, here are five things you need to know about Project Cars 3, based on some extended hands-on time with the game.
Project Cars 3 is both beginner-friendly and sim-ready
Project cars 3 has a whole suite of settings designed to allow you to calibrate the difficulty based on your own knowledge of racing games. If the idea of having to contend with traction control sounds intimidating, then you can easily turn that whole part of the experience off. If this is your introduction to racing, then you can enable all the assists and have every aspect of the game simplified to allow you to learn in your own time.
Conversely, if you are a racing sim aficionado, you can disable all assists and have every twitch of the car be under your direct control. From detailed tuning, three monitor setup support and wheel input support, you can take Project Cars 3 as close to driving the real thing as you want.
The game wants to make you a better driver
Project Cars 3 has a myriad of settings and assists that can be tweaked to give you the experience and challenge that you want. For example; within the assists section there is a track guide option. This adds clear and unobtrusive markers on the track to teach you where to break, aim, and accelerate. With these assists, you will quickly gain a good understanding of how to handle corners efficiently.
Each Career race comes with three objectives for you to complete. These will be pretty simple to anyone with experience in the genre and will slowly encourage you to do a better job of navigating the track. Being asked to reach a certain top speed will encourage you to really push the car on the straights, while the clean overtake objective asks you to make your way to the front of the pack with as little contact as possible.
These objectives are easily achieved once you get the feeling for how to play the game, but having these goals in the back of your mind will give you small pointers on where to improve your driving. You'll quickly understand, for example, that the most important thing you need to learn how is to drive clean: avoid contact as much as possible and stay on the track at all costs. There are plenty of ways to invalidate your lap time and fail the event, regardless of where you place, so if you don't want to waste your time and effort, you'll drive as cleanly as possible – all the time.
Weather is very important to your experience
Because of the high-detail scanning used to create the tracks, and the realistic weather systems Slightly Mad Studios has invested in, the simulation of how weather affects driving conditions is critical to how you approach the track – specifically corners. If a bend is on low ground, then water will begin to pool there during rainstorms. This can cause your driving line to change to avoid bleeding speed or losing control from water resistance.
This also comes into effect when even a small amount of water is present, as aquaplaning is a real concern and can instantly compromise your traction. If you are not prepared, weather effects in all their forms can lead very sudden and difficult to avoid spin outs on otherwise simple straights.
If you can tune your car to better handle the wet, then you will have less to worry about, for sure – but you always need be wary of the weather conditions. If you are interested in experimenting with different conditions, you can select any weather effects you like in the Custom Race section. If you really want, you can start a race in glorious Tuscan sunshine and finish in a glorious Tuscan blizzard – it all depends on your creativity and how hard you want to make life for yourself.
You can rush Career Mode if you really want to
Career mode gives you a captivating way to work from E Class racing up to hypercar and GT class events. Each class has its own series of races to go through, earning you money to buy and upgrade cars, as well as unlocking higher tier classes. If you want to, you can quickly jump up the ladder by completing the bare minimum number of objectives, or if you save up the cash you can simply buy your way ahead.
The only gate to progress lies in how you complete objectives. Each race has three goals to aim for, and they range from setting lap times to reaching tops speeds or mastering corners. If you have your eye on the Class A races (and a nice Lamborghini Huracán) then clearing the objectives is the fastest way to get there. There is no need to rush, though: each class has plenty of races and objectives to chew through, and achieving each one if going to make you a better driver overall.
There is also a good sense of possession in Project Cars 3. You can buy an E Class car and slowly upgrade it as you progress to turn your simple Honda Civic into a hypercar class beast.
You need to Upgrade and Tune to stay ahead of the game
Upgrading your vehicles is simple: in general, the more expensive part is going to be better. Buying some of the most expensive upgrades will also give you the option to tune them before each race so that you can get the most out of your vehicle (assuming you know how much tyre pressure is better for which road surface).
Buying various upgrades will add points to your car and eventually move it up a Class bracket. Be aware that upgrading a car too much will make it unusable in lower class events, though – it's a constant balance. Any purchased upgrades can be swapped between for a small fee, so do not worry too much about accidentally pushing a car into a high bracket. The only exception is the pricey Race Conversion, which cannot be undone, so make sure you have a backup car to use in lower brackets if you want this upgrade.
Knowing all of this in advance should give you an edge when it comes to race day, and help ensure that you know what to do to improve your final standings in any given event. With some practice, you will be driving laps around the opposition in no time.