When we played DriveClub approximately six months ago, the PlayStation 4 exclusive didn’t look anywhere near finished. Visually, it didn’t provide the leap that we were expecting – and it was clear that developer Evolution Studios still had plenty of work left to do. Fast-forward to GamesCom a little later and the racer had come on leaps and bounds, only to get delayed weeks before Sony’s latest system’s release anyway.
So what went wrong? Well, reading into PlayStation UK gaffer Fergal Gara’s comments to Eurogamer.net, it sounds like the game’s ambitious social features are what eventually put the brakes on its launch. “The only reason that product was delayed and we haven't accurately communicated a revised release date is that we want it to be right,” he said. “There's a fair promise in that title in what it wants to do with social features and really innovating in the driving genre.”
The always candid suit continued that there’s “no point” in the racer coming out and doing “half” a job. “It was quite ambitious and didn't quite get there in the timeline hoped,” he added. “That's not great, but it's far better to bring it out at the [desired] standard.” It’s an admirable point, but won’t that affect sales? “It's great to be first, but it's also good to hit a period where maybe a little less is going on,” the executive grinned.
For those pondering exactly what the title is doing that’s so ambitious in the social space, it wants to make sure that you’re competing with other people even when you’re in last place. As such, each race is not just about crossing the finish line, but also the dynamic challenges that will appear as you play. It does sound like a taxing trait from a networking perspective, but the game’s ridiculously impressive lighting system – which adapts depending on the time of day – sounds like more of a headache to us.
Nevertheless, we’re not developers, so all that we really care about is when we’ll get our hands on the high-speed affair. The platform holder still doesn’t seem particularly keen on hammering down a deploy date, but the latest speculation that we’ve heard pegs it at somewhere between inFAMOUS: Second Son and The Order: 1886 – basically in the summer, then. Is your internal engine still revving for this release? Steer your thoughts into the comments section below.