Published on February 26th, 2015 | by Jess Polak1
Preview: Project CARS and Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
After a somewhat dismal year of gaming in 2014 which included a series of over-hyped titles and way too many patches for new releases, I’m sure everyone is hoping that 2015 will bring about games that at least don’t need fixing on day one. Thanks to our friends at Bandai-Namco, I had the opportunity to try out some upcoming titles that are getting some final touch-ups and may just be worth investing in this year.
Racing games always bring out the competitive side of me – whether it’s the underground scene of the Need for Speed games, the family-friendly/trust-breaking Mario Kart series or just a battle on the arcade machines, I’m in it to win it. So when I was given the chance to test out Project CARS, I put my pedal to the metal and ended up coming off a bit worse for wear.
To those who haven’t been following the development of this game, CARS is actually an acronym for Community Assisted Racing Simulation which perfectly sums up the entire project. The developers themselves, with the help of the gaming community, managed to raise enough money for Project Cars and produce a game that rivals popular franchises like Forza and Gran Turismo.
Project CARS offers what seems like an endless list of options with the choice to change everything from car to track to the way the weather changes throughout the race. The tracks themselves are based off real courses and there are even two point-to-point roads you can drive down. I was amazed that there could be up to 35 cars on the track during the race which is something unheard of and for good reason – it was complete pandemonium! I have to say though, for someone who loves car crashing destruction in her games, I actually did enjoy the difficulty of dodging shrapnel and trying not to get pummelled by the 35 oncoming cars.
It was nice to see that the cars came in varying levels of ‘how the hell do I drive this thing’ from the Formula A at the most difficult to the ‘easier’ cars like the much more manageable Mitsubishi Evo. I even had the opportunity to play the game using Oculus Rift headset and the realism was astounding, I actually flinched when I saw a piece of gravel fly towards me – I definitely recommend trying it if you ever get the chance.
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
As a newcomer to the Dark Souls series, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I died – a lot –not only due to the ominously difficult enemies that I had to face but for stupid mistakes like falling down a cliff when I didn’t manage to jump the metre-long distance or overshooting a drop down to the ramparts only to plummet to my unfortunate death.
Scholar of the First Sin is actually a special edition of Dark Souls II and it includes the three DLC packs that have already been released. This still shouldn’t turn away veteran players of the game seeing as Bandai Namco have altered the placement of the enemies and honestly, the upgraded graphics are impossible to ignore.
In the end, I really did enjoy the difficulty of Dark Souls and it would definitely be a game worth buying quite simply for the pride of completing it. The best advice I could give to any newcomers planning to play this game is to watch your back – seriously, the amount of times I got shot or hit from behind is ridiculous.