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A Typical Motorsport Sim, but Atypical Performance

Project CARS GO – a game that boasted a healthy amount of hype right off the bat. With its flashy visuals and brand loyalty, it was bound to be a sure-fire success. Or at least that’s where our expectations lied. Gamers had initially hoped for a mobile rendition of Forza Horizon. A game of this stature is bound to have high expectations. Suffice it to say, it delivers in some areas but ultimately burns its tires.

The racing simulator market is rather consumer-driven, (pun intended). The game may seem lacking in some aspects, as some online verdicts say. The final say should be theirs, after all. The gist- where the game delivers in graphics and customization, it falters heavily in mechanics. Project Cars GO was announced in May of 2018, giving gamers plenty of time to maul over their anticipation. In February of 2021, it was confirmed for Android and iOS devices. Though it ended up launching in late March 2021. Here’s our take on the game.

Project Cars GO

Project Cars Go, Gameplay Analysis – Tapping Out

Launching almost three years after its announcement, it delivers spectacularly to the eyes. The developers no doubt had the time to put the finishing touches top to bottom. The glitz of the paint jobs, skid marks on the asphalt, all pop magnificently on screen. Its unadulterated environments and the different colored skies in different weathers. The grass and trees with what looks like 50 shades of green, they’re all there. It’s glossy and it’s big. But it takes most of the actual racing out of your hands, and to your thumbs.

It deviates almost completely from its simulated physics roots. The game’s core gameplay mechanics are no match for the visuals, unfortunately. Made by Gamevil, Project Cars GO is classified by its one-touch control system. There’s no steering mechanic present – only shifting gears and a break. There’s a timing mechanic present, but that’s as far as the complexity reaches. It’s simple – the more accurate the tap, the quicker you move. Racing enthusiasts can feel quite let down, hoping for a smartphone experience akin to consoles. It is rather hilarious that most races take place in famous circuits though.

Game Modes To Pull You Through

Brands Hatch and Monza are just two of many if we were to name-drop. But it’s rather pointless when most of the game places you in the passenger’s seat. Being passive in what’s branded as an action-packed title is a letdown for many fans. Tap to shift gears and hold to break in specific zones, release to accelerate. That’s the gist. There aren’t any drift mechanics like CSR or Asphalt games, none of the fun.

The game features 2 separate modes – traditional track races and drag. The track races are the more fun variant of the two. The modes can last a few minutes, but the longer races can feel like a drag. Since for most of the action, you’re essentially watching it unfold on its own.

All is not lost though. The game’s launch is in its early stages. There are gifts on offer once you pass the tutorial. This is mainly to add incentives for players to continue. Though the core gameplay experience may remain unchanged, there’s a lot to look forward to. The project is rather ambitious. But it still has the potential to live up to the expectations it presented itself. With the developers promising future updates, players have plenty of incentive to keep playing.

The Presentation – Where It Sparkles, With Dimes Out of Your Pocket

In terms of the presentation, Project Cars Go is mighty impressive. Competing with its console counterparts, it’s rather a task to tell them apart. In terms of visuals and sounds, it is undeniably incredible. Watching over someone’s shoulder you’d commend the fast-paced action that it seems to boast. It can be quite cinematic in its flair. Especially up close and personal together, the game looks incredible. Hands down all praise the developers receive is well deserved.

But praise doesn’t seem like the only thing the game devs want. Though the game is free, it is rather heavy on microtransactions. Project Cars GO is designed to emphasize monetizing through customization options.

Game Progress To Keep You Hooked

Gamers progress rather slowly, completing one race at a time, improving car inventory. Which in itself is sluggish, to be frank. The progress of the game is carried out through multiple facets. There’s an individual racing series tier, replacing individual racing car categories like most games offer. There are over 50 cars in the game. All vehicles are fully licensed and made using photogrammetry. They look crisper than they ever have thanks to the new mobile engine by Gamevil.

In-game money can be earned, but it’s obvious that it is not enough. Your wallet will offer you far more possibilities than your skill will. Vehicle management and skins, upgrading individual parts, special modes, rather by the numbers. But buying any one option may lead you down a rabbit hole. A vicious cycle that ends in you buying every last mod, to up your vehicle. The options aren’t anything to write home about. So it may not be worth the trouble or the money.

Project Cars GO

Final Verdict

Project Cars Go is an odd title. It fails to grasp the thrill of motorsport it tries so hard to provide. Project Cars has a reputation for its outstanding racing simulation experience. But this mobile rendition can seem to be an awkward deviation from that shtick. The concept, since its inception, has had plenty of time to revamp what it planned to do. It had been in the works for years but lacks the sharpened experience it promised to deliver. But with the updates to look forward to, things may change shortly.

It runs smooth as butter and is a treat to the eyes, though. The glamour it delivers doesn’t override the lack of substance, however. But for a game that has GO in the title, it may… live up to it. It’s great for breaks in between your chores or class. A two-minute classic race will have you going back for another. Though all you do is thumb the screen for a while.