Racing sims have always been popular, but they're perhaps even more so with the world in lockdown - what better way to escape the same four walls than skidding around a track in a car that you can't afford?
However, is Project Cars 3 abandoning the simulator market to cater to a Forza audience?
Project Cars 3, the upcoming entry in the incredibly popular franchise from Slightly Mad Studios and Bandai Namco, has been announced - here's everything we know.
Project Cars 3 will be releasing on all platforms on August 28th 2020.
If you're expecting a po-faced racer, you might be surprised. Slightly Mad Studios have built on Project Cars 2 with impressive new features.
A fan-favourite, Career Mode has been rebuilt from the ground up to make it a more accessible and dynamic experience. Each car can be upgraded and carried through your career, or you can opt to buy fresh vehicles as you play.
While Project Cars 2 offered pre-made liveries, the sequel is aiming to offer much more diverse car customisation.
Expect sponsor logos, official paint colours, and the ability to tweak your number plate. Let's hope "N00B SLYR" isn't taken already.
The ability to tune and add parts your car will be a new feature in Project Cars 3.
This gives players the ability to stay with the same car they like for longer.
The ability to upgrade your vehicle adds another level of customisation and choice for the player.
The upgrade system will not be linear and players will have to be careful when adding different parts to their cars.
Project Cars 3 lead vehicle handling designer Nick Pope spoke about the relationship between the cars and the players.
"That connection between car and driver matters in real-life racing, and we want it to matter in our game as well. If you find a car that you really like, you can now take it on a journey through large parts of the career with you — you don’t have to abandon it once you progress and the competition steps up a level, you can treat it to a few new parts and keep enjoying it, let the car be the hero too!”.
Trading paint is much more fun when it's against friends or rivals, and with that in mind Project Cars 3 will introduce a new multiplayer suite for online play.
We don't know yet if there will be cross-play, but we do know to expect skill-based matchmaking, quick races and custom lobbies. We're looking forward to seeing the community's best race types.
Is Project Cars 3 Still A Simulator?
All these options surrounding customisation has raised some questions surrounding the simulator genre and if Project Cars 3 fits into it.
Of course, it's not abnormal to have options surrounding customisation and tuning in a car simulator.
However, it is not usually the focus in simulation games compared to standard car video games such as Forza.
This begs the question, is Project Cars 3 departing the simulation genre to target a Forza audience?
We'll have to wait and see, but from how the customisation has been described it doesn't look like it.
It looks like Project Cars 3 is approaching customisation differently compared to titles like Forza.
The tuning is not linear, each decision will affect your car both negatively and positively.
Decisions will matter and players will have to think carefully about how they build their cars.
Let's hope Project Cars 3 executes on creating a non-linear and interesting customisation system.
You can check out the game's announcement trailer below. Warning: the cars are very shiny.