Behind the Wheel of Driveclub on PS4

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Behind the Wheel of Driveclub on PS4

Driveclub is a game PlayStation fans are likely already pretty familiar with. Originally slated as a PS4 launch title, the socially connected racer has shifted to an October 7th, 2014 release date. But aspiring drivers needn’t fear: the developers at Evolution Studios are making good use of this extra time.

We interview Paul Rustchynsky, Game Director of Driveclub at Judge’s Day 2014

The team at Evolution have been busy ensuring the connected aspects of Driveclub and its interface — dubbed the “dynamic menu” by game director Paul Rustchynsky — are seamlessly integrated into the game. These, in tandem with a companion app launching alongside the game in October, are what will allow Driveclub to realize Evolution’s vision of a truly social racing title.

Driveclub on PS4Driveclub on PS4

Having played an earlier incarnation of Driveclub as well as its newest build, I’m in a unique position to be able to see what other differences a few months can make firsthand.

The most immediately apparent upgrade I noticed is in the graphical department. Driveclub has been a stunner since the day it was unveiled, but it’s hard to convey just how much love Evolution have poured into each of Driveclub’s 50 car models and its environments. Vehicles are immaculately crafted in full, native 1080p — right down to the screw heads on the chassis — and that level of detail permeates the rest of the game, too. At the start of each race, your driver enters his chariot (from either the left or right side, depending on the model) and the game drops you into an impressively accurate realization of the car’s cockpit. Gauges light up and the engine roars, whines, or purrs appropriately before the race begins.

Driveclub on PS4

Quick audio aside: when recording sound for Driveclub, Evolution used multiple microphones to capture various aural aspects of the interior and exterior of each ride. Headphones highly recommended.

While driving, vistas seem to stretch on into infinity — especially impressive on mountain courses, where distant peaks draw ever nearer as you zoom along the track. Leaves fall off trees during the race, then get kicked up by passing cars. The technical prowess of PS4 combined with the artistic details added by Evolution breathe life into this racer; more than once I had to resist the urge to stop driving and just admire the scenery.

Driveclub on PS4

Driveclub on PS4Driveclub on PS4

Click here to see the full gallery


The time of day system in Driveclub is a game-changer: Before a race begins, you’re able to choose not only the time of day, but the rate at which time passes. Speeding the passage of time to 15x, 30x, or even 60x means that you can start the race in the dark, watch the sun rise on lap two, and finish in broad daylight. One standout moment: whipping around a hairpin on a mountain track at dawn, watching the reflection of the rising sun in puddles left by melting snow. Gorgeous.

As a bit of a short attention span gamer, I’m pleased to report that Driveclub finds various ways to foster a continuous sense of progression: not only will you be rewarded for winning races, but throughout the course of each event you’ll be faced with challenges: executing an extra-long drift, maintaining a high average speed, or reaching a specified velocity are a few examples. Each completed goal brings you one step closer to unlocking new cars, events, decals, and more.

Driveclub on PS4

Driveclub on PS4Driveclub on PS4

Driveclub’s controls are straightforward enough: R2 is your gas pedal and L2 hits the brakes, while the left stick steers and the right stick looks around. One thing I didn’t expect, though, was a motion control scheme that I ended up preferring over the more traditional approach. A quick trip to the options menu lets you enable motion controls, driven by DualShock 4’s built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, and — again, I say this as a classically trained, button-based gamer — it ends up correlating perfectly with the game’s in-car cockpit view. Tilting DualShock 4 left or right and watching your hands on the steering wheel move instantaneously feels perfectly natural, and makes long, soft turns much more graceful (rather than trying to find just the right angle to hold the analog stick at). Of course, traditional controls still feel great, but I think I might end up defaulting to motion controls for this one!

Driveclub is a love letter to automobiles and the art of racing them, and it’s a letter the masterminds at Evolution are clearly pouring their hearts into. Players worldwide can read it for themselves this October when Driveclub launches on PS4.

Comments are closed.


9 Author Replies

  • This game is looking so good. I can’t wait to play it.

  • theres also the traditional racing game “behind the car” view too and not just cockpit view right?

    • Justin Massongill

      Of course! There were a few different viewpoints to choose from. One observation I didn’t mention in the post: if you’re driving next to someone and they hit their brakes, you’ll see the reflection of their brake lights on your car. It looks ridiculous!

    • Justin Massongill

      Not quite what I was talking about, but check this out:

  • antonio_banderas.gif

  • I know before it sounded like there was ACTUAL wheel support (G27 anyone?), has that changed at all with this delay?

  • CrusaderForever

    Very impressive racer! I am looking forward to trying it out. Thanks for the information.

    • Justin Massongill

      Of course! It’s a blast; I think it’ll have a permanent spot on my PS4 once it comes out.

  • @spoonTRex same question i have,playing gt6 on ps3 with a g27 not even 2 years old and still going strong is there support for it ??? I know the t500rs from thrustmaster is supported !!!

  • The more I see the more excited I get

  • Looking awesome. Great piece except for you trying to sell us on motion controls…c’mon….talk to me about WHEELS, Will you?

    • Justin Massongill

      Trying to find some info on wheel support, but don’t discount the motion controls! I’m a sticks ‘n buttons guy myself, but I was super-impressed by the motion controls here. I think the key is doing cockpit view along with the motion controls so you have the frame of reference of seeing your hands on the wheel.

  • I want this game, but still waiting any word about supporting my G27 …

  • I’m a patient man but my patience is wearing thin for this game I can’t wait to play it. All these updates are hurting my feelings it’s like holding a carrot in front of a mule “TEASING US”. Great article Justin

  • Huh, motion controls is a welcome surprise. I’m interested in trying them out myself.

  • We need to know about WHEEL SUPPORT.

    Logitech G25 and G27?

  • Over the past few weeks your game has really started to Shine. I salute your willingness to take the time to develop the game in to what it should be instead of pushing it out the door. I’m looking forward to taking the Plus Version for a spin and am hoping it pulls me in enough to upgrade to the Full Version.

  • This game looks simply amazing. It just goes to show what can be achieved when you delay a game and take the time to give it that last coat of paint. I’m actually thinking of skipping the PS Plus edition and going head first into the Blu-Ray.

  • any news about the game being supported by logitech g27?

    also…. how’s the price? free for psn+ (supposed to be release day special) …or are we looking for a pricey copy of $69.99 (CAD)


  • While I’m generally not a fan of motion controls, I must admit I’ll be curious to try out this games version of it.

    But I’m also very glad motion control is just an option and not a requirement.

  • Justin, the moment you try out a wheel, with actual force feedback, will be the moment you’ll never play a racing game again that doesn’t support it. It’s amazing, and it’s not just about “realism” in playing, but more so in control, and you’re ability to react instinctively to turns and sliding with so much more control. And you’ll know what so many people want info on using one. :)

  • That gif Justin Massongill posted man.

  • CommandingTiger

    This game looks awesome!

  • Looks sleek .
    the best evolution studios game in more than 8 years maybe ( i used to like their rally games )
    looking forward to it along with a solid plaformer and an imaginative game hopefully Sony’s E3 this year will bring the bombshells

  • Can you confirm that this game will have actual races? I have had it pre-ordered forever, and I love the idea of challenges and everything else I’ve seen, but this IS a racing game and we have never heard anything about actual races from start to finish. Will that be possible? Will it be a substantial part of the game?

  • Wow the level of detail put into the cars is amazing !!

  • Will this game have a strong single player, or is it just multiplayer, a-la Destiny? If it is, that will be a big dampener for me, as I don’t like playing online nearly as much. But then, I’m one of only a handful of gamers I know who lament the industry’s move away from strong single player games to online-based games….=\

  • At first I wasn’t sure about this game but know after just looking at the video I am very impressed and excited for this game now!!!!!!!!!!

  • Much appreciated Justin Massongill I’m sold.

  • Looks impressive so far. Any info about supporting Logitech Driving Force GT wheel ? Cmon guys, it works on ma PC and PS3 ofc. Make it happen to work on PS4 with DC and I’m sold for good. Thx ;)

  • Please tell me you are going to deny the rumours that The Order 1886 has been delayed to 2015

  • Do you ask him why he was saying last Fall the PS Plus edition of the game was going to be “minus a few cars and tracks”, and then turns out to only be ten cars?

  • Wow, that is so awesome of you to answer the first twenty Sony employees. Hey, thanks!

  • You can choose a female driver in the Driveclub simulator. The game director Paul Rastchinski said about this on his twitter. The mode of playing as a woman was added at the request of the gamers. I do not know how exactly this effects the gameplay. Any ideas?

  • Instead of focusing on passing trends like social connections, why wouldn’t you focus on making a good racing game?

    It’s the unconnected crap that racing game fans don’t want and it’s those same things that are holding the game up.

    Ditch the social media crap and make a fun racing game.

  • I would like to know about the wheel support also! This is very important to me….

  • I can’t wait to try this.

  • I spend to much on gaming and play a variety of games since I was 3. I am 27 now and racing has never been an interest of mine gaming wise. Having fun racing on GTA 5 for ps3, I decided to try Need for Speed on PS 4. Need less to say I am now a fan of the genre. Will be trying the PS plus edition and from there i’ll see where I am at in terms of liking this game. PS plus version drops same day? Anyways I’m sure the company knowing most people will try before they buy is taking a huge risk. Here’s hoping they know what there doing and can put out a killer racing game.

  • I’m a details whor* but this is too much…I mean come on dawg.

  • CommandingTiger

    It’s not just the cars, it’s the people, the scenery, every thing is beautiful.

  • finally a real racing game for PS4 coming soon…cant wait

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