DriveClub may not be commanding quite as much attention as you’d expect from a big PlayStation 4 exclusive right now, but we have a strong suspicion that that’s going to change when people get their hands on it. Expectations for the racer are low following its delay prior to the next-gen platform’s launch late last year, but developer Evolution Studios has been quietly toiling away on its visual tour-de-force – and cramming in some excruciating details as part of the process.

Did you know, for example, that the studio used NASA data to accurately map authentic constellations from the real night sky? How about the fact that every in-game cloud employs three-dimensional models in order to accurately diffuse light from the sun? And if that’s not mental enough, the developer has linked the game’s wind speed to any lakes or pools, meaning that reflections will be clear on a still day with less rippling and movement on the surface.

These are just some of the alarmingly obsessive details included in the game, but there are many more outlined on the PlayStation Blog. Indeed, when driving around Chungara Lake, did you know that you’ll pass 19,000 flamingos, each programmed to act independently? Don’t expect spectators to be static either, as they’ll reach for umbrellas when it rains, or wrap up warm as the day turns to night. And despite all of this, each track will take just 15 seconds to load.

It’s all pretty extraordinary stuff, but you’ll have to wait a little while longer to capture it properly, as there’ll be no Photo Mode at launch. The developer’s promised to add this in shortly after release, along with a dynamic weather system, which is detailed in full in this Eurogamer.net preview. The handling will need to live up to the visual flourishes, of course, but judging by what we’ve read, it’s already there. If you’ve been sleeping at the wheel on this game, it might be time to wake up.

[via blog.eu.playstation.com, eurogamer.net]