And now we've seen the fruits of its labour, as Slightly Mad and publisher Bandai Namco announced today that Project CARS 2 will release in late 2017. It's coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC with a raft of improvements, enhancements, and new features, and it's sure to be one of the standout racers of this year.
Curious what's coming? Here's a quick look at why the first glimpse has us so excited.
1) It's loaded with cars
It's Project CARS, right? So it makes sense that Slightly Mad would put an even larger emphasis on the titular rides this time around. The studio says to expect 170+ licensed cars in the game, including Japanese cars for the first time, and the initial footage has shown the McLaren P1, an Aston Martin Vulcan, a Mercedes-Benz AMG GT-R, and many other sweet vehicles. The original game was lacking some big brands, but it seems the sequel has that all sorted out.
2) Check the weather
Project CARS 2 promises to expand upon the weather conditions of the first game, offering dynamic weather and seasonal atmosphere changes – meaning the 60+ tracks will look and behave differently depending on time of year and precipitation. In fact, puddles can now form dynamically and at the bottom of slopes, giving the game an unprecedented level of realism.
3) Rally up!
Rally racing was on the to-do list for the first game, but ultimately too ambitious for that partially-crowdfunded endeavor – but with more time (and fan money), Slightly Mad Studios has it coming in the sequel. IndyCar racing has also been mentioned, and given the studio's focus on intense realism, all of it ought to be impressive. On the other hand, Dirt 4 is coming in June with a more dedicated rally experience on tap, so there's stiff competition ahead.
4) It's primed for VR
Project CARS 2 will support both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive from the very start on PC, letting you pick your high-end VR headset of choice. And while Slightly Mad Studios isn't ready to make promises – having learned a lesson from its announced, then canceled Wii U game – the team says it's working on PlayStation VR support and hopes to add it in after launch. And the full game is planned for PSVR, assuming technical hurdles don't intervene.
5) Play in 12K!
Like the first game, Project CARS 2 is sure to dazzle the senses, and that'll be especially true if your PC rig can handle it in 4K. But why stop there? Slightly Mad Studios is also adding 12K triple-monitor support for anyone with endless cash to spare. And even if you're playing on a console, the game will feature enhancements for the PlayStation 4 Pro and Microsoft's upcoming Project Scorpio Xbox console. No matter where you play, the game ought to shine.