See those Driveclub videos on Monday? That’s what you get for delaying. We spoke to Evolution on why the game’s better for having waited a year.
“We’ve done a full pass of everything. You know what we’re like. You give us more time and we’ll keep going until we snap our fingers.”
Driveclub is looking good. Journalists raised eyebrows at some obvious roughness at E3 last year, but Evolution has added several layers of shine since Sony decided to push the racer back. Now, visually at least, Driveclub is bloody amazing.
The social speeder was scheduled to appear at PS4’s launch last Christmas, but was eventually slotted in October this year. And no one’s happier about that than director Paul Rustchynsky.
“As a game creator, you’d always love to spend more time to polish things up,” he said. “I think it’s been fantastic that Sony gave us the time we needed to make a game that met our ambitious vision. We understood that we could have pushed out last November, but I think it would have done a disservice to ourselves, to the players and to Sony’s high mark of quality.
“We think it was the best thing for the game. It’s allowed us to add more tracks, add more cars, polish the handling, polish the visuals and start work on new features which we hope we can introduce very quickly after launch.”
Art director Alex Perkins detailed some of the graphical improvements afforded by the slip.
“We’ve added two new reflection systems that work in tandem and a whole new particle system,” he said.
“We’ve improved the lighting and the materials on everything, from the interiors and exteriors of cars to the tops of mountains and how the snow falls. We’ve done a full pass of everything. You know what we’re like. You give us more time and we’ll keep going until we snap our fingers.”
One of the first feature additions Rustchynsky mentioned is the weather update showcased for the first time at gamescom last month. Adding “wind, rain, snow and everything in between,” the boost makes everything wet, reflects it all from every surface and layers on particles enough to make CERN blush. At times during the demo, Rustchynsky paused the action and rotated the camera with every raindrop hanging in the air, presumably just because he could. Show off.
The weather update isn’t going to be released at launch. You’re going to be racing in the dry for a few months, but waiting is a theme in Driveclub. See it as a positive.
“It’s not such a bad thing,” said Perkins. “It’s worth being able to learn the tracks in the dry. Then you can start playing at night, and then when it’s raining during the day. If you really want to challenge yourself, then a snowstorm at night is quite a different experience. It’s probably worth having that two-month lead-in just practicing the tracks before you get the really difficult settings thrown in.”
“Right now we haven’t committed to a date,” said Rustchynsky. “What we have said is that it definitely will be out before the ends of the year.
“Our target is to try to get it [out] as soon as possible, because we want to make sure there are constant, fresh, new things to keep people playing. As soon as possible. I think we’ll be able to provide the date around launch, I guess.”
Can’t wait. Although, like Sony, maybe we should learn how.
Driveclub releases for PS4 on October 7 in the US, October 8 on mainland Europe and October 10 in the UK.