A year later than planned, Driveclub is here and it appears they’ve taken the extra time to work on...well, nothing. Driveclub is about as simple a racing game as you could find, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The game modes feel catered specifically for the online racer, with the emphasis on forming clubs of drivers and taking on rival clubs in championship battles. Utilising a range of cars from hot hatch racers to thoroughbred supercars and the latest batch of hypercars, clubs can select their personal badges and paint designs to give themselves a unique look.
The reasoning behind the introduction of club racing is that everything you do behind the wheel will help the rest of your club, and vice versa, everything they do will help you.
While online play unlocks a new world of series’ and challenges for you to tackle, what about the career mode? Well it feels just a little bit too simple to really enjoy, at least from the start it is. You’ll find yourself easily navigated to the main menu which is made up solely of different races. Complete races and the challenges put forward and you earn stars – earn enough stars to unlock the next championship, and in-turn better cars.
While each championship is made up of between one and three individual races, there are in-race challenges to conquer. While you’re battling at well over 100mph for first place, you’ll need to be wary to make sure you set a fast enough lap time, win a drift battle or hit a high speed target before the end of the race in order to achieve the full number of stars available. Sound unnecessary? Think again, as the perfectionist inside you will want to restart the race in order complete the challenges, even if you won the race.
30 games released before Christmas
30 games released before Christmas
The $500 million ‘shared-world shooter’ from Bungie has arrived. Release date: 9th September 2014
2/30 Hyrule Warriors
The first of a few big upcoming releases for the Wii U, Hyrule Warriors will see Link hack-and-slashing in Hyrule. Expect a closer likening to Dynasty Warriors rather than a typical Zelda game. Release date: 19th September 2014
3/30 The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
The open world adventure which follows a detective with paranormal powers used to solve crimes promises suspense, mystery - and gorgeous graphics. Release date: 25th September 2014
4/30 FIFA 15
The best-selling sports video game franchise in the world is set to return with Lionel Messi as the cover star, all 20 Premier League stadiums and scarily lifelike players. Release date: 26th September 2014
5/30 Forza Horizon 2
Exclusive to Xbox One and 360, racing fans will get to see the roads of southern Europe – with three times more driveable areas than the 2012 original. Release date: 3rd October 2014
6/30 Super Smash Bros
Coming first to the 3DS, players will be able to smash the shell out of Nintendo characters such as Yoshi, Link, Fox, Mario, Mega Man, Pac-Man, Pikachu, Fox, Peach and Donkey Kong. Release date: 3rd October 2014
7/30 Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments
The UK’s favourite detective takes a Dostoyevsky turn, as he must make moral choices when he finds the culprits. Release date: 3rd October 2014
8/30 Alien: Isolation
There’s no doubt about it, this looks really scary. Set in 2137, 15 years after the events of Alien and 42 years prior to Aliens, the game follows Amanda, who is investigating the disappearance of her mother Ellen Ripley. Release date: 7th October 2014
9/30 Project Spark
For creative minds, Xbox's Project Spark offers players a blank canvas to draw on content to make events, games and music. Release date: 7th October 2014
10/30 NBA 2K15
2K Sports aim to make their new basketball release more authentic than ever. With Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder as the cover star, Crew mode will be coming back, and MY League introduced. Release date: 7th October 2014
11/30 NBA Live 15
Up against NBA 2K15 on the same day is this basketball title from EA Sports, who scanned 70% of NBA players for added realism. Release date: 7th October 2014
Exclusive to PS4, this racing release will see top speeds and atmospheric conditions - plus PlayStation Plus subscribers will get a free version. Release date: 10th October 2014
13/30 Skylanders Trap Team
The third release from the ridiculously popular-with-kids franchise will include traps where players can catch the bad guys and play as them. Release date: 10th October 2014
14/30 The Evil Within
In our preview, it’s been described as ‘a survival horror fan’s best worst nightmare’. Release date: 17th October 2014
15/30 Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!
The third game in the Borderlands series, and a prequel to the 2012 game Borderlands 2, and will see new weapons such as anti-gravity, freeze, and oxygen tanks. Release date: 17th October 2014
16/30 F1 2014
Based on the 2014 Formula One season, this racing game from Codemasters will feature the new Sochi Autodrom. Release date: 17th October 2014
17/30 Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes
The other popular toys to life series will see superheroes join the team, including Spider-Man, Captain America and Iron Man. Release date: 18th October 2014
18/30 Fantasia: Music Evolved
Based on the music from Walt Disney's 1940 animated film, your body will control the rhythm and sounds. Release date: 21st October 2014
19/30 Bayonetta 2
The sequel to Nintendo's 2009 game sees Bayonetta battling the bad guys with smart combat and sharp graphics. Release date: 24th October 2014
20/30 Sunset Overdrive
The colourful comic style offering exclusive to Xbox One combines the feel of Sum 41/Tony Hawk with a random mix of mutants and energy drinks. Release date: 31st October, 2014
21/30 WWE 2K15
Sting, Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin will appear in the next wrestling saga, which will next have story mode My Career. Release date: 31st October, 2014
22/30 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
The 11 year-old military first person shooter series is about to become more futuristic, with characters that look more realistic than ever - plus, Kevin Spacey stars as the bad guy. The downloadable content for will be released first on Xbox Live. Release date: 4th November 2014
23/30 World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
The fifth expansion to MMORPG World of Warcraft will will raise the existing level cap from 90 to 100 and will introduce player-built, upgradeable garrisons - plus a tribute character to Robin Williams. Release date: 13th November 2014
24/30 Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Consisting of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4, this is obviously one for Halo super fans. Players will also get access to Halo 5: Guardians beta. Release date: 14th November 2014
25/30 Assassin's Creed: Unity
Set in Paris during the French Revolution, for the first time, four players can take on missions in multiplayer co-op, and there's also a new stealth option, which contrasts well with the fluid movement of the deadly Assassin. Release date: 15th November 2014
26/30 Far Cry 4
Set in a region of the Himalayas, you get to ride on an elephant with weapons, and invite friends to join you to play via PlayStation Plus, even if they don't own the game. Release date: 18th November 2014
27/30 Little Big Planet 3
Sackboy's got some new friends this time round in PlayStation's puzzle platformer, each with different skills opening up a range of different, and cute, challenges. Release date: 19th November 2014
28/30 Dragon Age: Inquisition
Bioware's RPG sequel to Dragon Age 2 will let players explore more than ever before - and there are several different major endings depending on your decisions in the game. Release date: 21st November 2014
29/30 Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
The latest outing for everyone's favourite hedgehog sees the first released on the Wii U, and the second for the 3DS. The two games form the final part in Sega's partnership with Nintendo, following Sonic Lost World and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Release date: 21st November 2014
30/30 Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
The 3DS remakes of the 2002 Game Boy Advance titles Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire will be a must-have for Pokefans. Release date: 28th November 2014
The championships, however, could do with a bit more variation, as it all gets very repetitive after a while. Driveclub is more of the mould of Need for Speed and the old Burnout games rather than Gran Turismo and Forza, but it lacks the variation that its rivals offer. The different challenges are – barring the drift races – all within a circuit or sprint race, and you can’t help but get the feeling of déjà vu after a short time.
The actual gameplay is a half-breed of arcade and simulation. You’re able to jam the brakes on with the car sideways and get straight back on the throttle mid-corner in a rather unrealistic fashion, but every so often this technique will suddenly bite you, and you’ll end up in the wall, trees or as we found out, airborne. However, if you try and master the real-life approach of slow-in, fast-out, you’re simply going to get left behind. Everything feels like it is at 100mph – much like Burnout – and because of that you find yourself throwing caution to the wind.
The competition is rather easy too. Hit your marks right and drive an error-free race and chances are you’re going to win. The absence of upgrades and performance changes is quite pleasing, given that too many games have left themselves culpable to a tuners paradise that is both frustrating and unrealistic, and Driveclub does offer a sensible and accurate difference in vehicle ability. Go for a spin in the Bentley Continental GT V8 and it’ll feel quite heavy and sluggish to get turned through a corner, whereas the Lotus Evora Sports Racer will glide through the corners with ease but suffer on the long straights.
So where will you take these four-wheeled beasts? Well chances are you won’t have a clue. Rather than take the usual approach of including world-renowned tracks across the globe, Evolution Studios have decided to pack the game full of imaginary tracks, ranging from the mountains of Norway to the hills of Chile and even rural Scotland makes the cut. While the use of courses ranges wide and the scenery is impressive, it kind of passes you by in that you won’t recognise it, and that’s a very difficult thing to master when trying to impose creative race tracks on gamers that tend to also be motorsport fans.
That said, the aforementioned scenery really is spectacular, and you’ll find yourself careering up mountain faces and hanging over beautiful lakes. The watching spectators do cut a very fake persona as they show very little movement, but you won’t find yourself looking at them too often given the breath-taking sights that can be had. Just don’t spend too long looking at it otherwise you’ll be wrecking before you know it.
With Driveclub released on 10 October, three big racing games, including Forza Horizon 2 and Project Cars, are released within six weeks of each other. The former is more suited to those looking for fun, basic, A-to-B racing that can also be enjoyed with friends online rather than motorsport fans looking for an in-depth and realistic racing game.Reuse content