When I first heard about Driveclub I must admit I did get a little excited, the promise of creating a club with my friends and doing battle online against other clubs revved up the nostalgia for me (a large chunk of my childhood was spent with my mates and need for speed) because even though we have all moved away to different parts of the country thanks to the internet and headsets it could almost be like we’re back in my mates attack room trying to gain that tenth of a second needed to win a race. I may have listen to Massive Attacks 100th window as I play, the album of choice back in the day.
Unfortunately I first heard about this game a long, long time ago and my interest has waned as the months have motored bys. Driveclub was meant to be a PS4 launch title meaning this game has been stalled for eleven months; I don’t necessarily mind long delays to get a game right because if Battlefield 4 taught me anything its that I would rather they push a games release than put out a game that just isn’t ready but after around six months of hearing nothing about the game I began to wonder how big the problems that caused the delay are. Just as these questions popped into my head I started hearing more about the upcoming racer The Crew which apparently boasts a map that takes 2 hours to drive across and any type of car race you can think of involved. This sounded good and Driveclub got itself parked in the garage at the back of my mind because it simply took to long. In fact I had all but forgotten about it when I saw its stand at the recent EGX event in London and even when I did see, so great is the loss of enthusiasm I have seen, I didn’t even check it out until late in the day when I happened to walk past and there was nobody else playing it in the entire stand. One of the downsides of delaying a game in my opinion is that the devolopers put extra pressure on themselves to create something truly special or at the very least better than anything before it. Having had all that extra time there is absolutely no excuse for putting out something below par and we’re not talking small improvements either it has to be noticeably better because the expectation must be met and the longer it takes the higher the expectation gets. I’ll wait two and a half hours in a restaurant but the meal had better be the best thing I’ve ever eaten and I might want a free desert.
After playing a few races I left wondering what had taken so long. Sure it looked quite nice and I wasn’t able to play online because it was a few weeks away from release but it just felt like a slightly prettier racing game, no boundaries had been pushed at all and it was all very much stock parts under a new paint job. Maybe its just be but after almost a year I expected better. That brings us up to Friday 10th of October, launch day. The only reason I know this is because PS Plus users were promised a portion of the game for free as part of their October free games ( 11 tracks all in India, 10 cars and all game modes playable) which is bad at all so even though I really wasn’t interest in pay £50 for the game I wasn’t about to turn my nose up at a free section of it. Unfortunately and some what predictably I haven’t been able to play Driveclub at home yet, in fact there is more chance of me taking one of the sports cars represented in the game out on an actual and beating the course record and doing all this without a driving license because the Driveclub servers couldn’t handle the traffic from the full game so decided against putting the PS Plus version online until they can get it sorted and the poor people that have paid full whack for the game can actually get online and play the game properly which is fair enough but its still another disappointment added to what seems like an ever growing list. When it does eventually arrive on PS Plus I will download it ( its free, what else would I do) but if I’m going to buy a racer for the PS4 anytime soon my money will be going on the crew because Driveclub has taken to long, come up short and failed on launch and for me that counts as a 100mph smash into a wall for any racing game.