Slightly Mad Studios, developer of Project CARS has announced “World of Speed” an arcade racing MMO which will be free to play, landing sometime in 2014.
Marketed as a AAA game that’s “free-to-compete”, World of Speed is promised to be a unique take on the racing genre. In addition to traditional races, players are challenged to complete other objectives while racing, which even if you don’t finish first, will count for progression and ranking within the race. Most objectives are mandatory, so even if you finish the race in first, you may still be ranked lower. This is implemented to apparently deter players from quitting an online match because they aren’t in first.
I think this is a really silly idea. In arcade games, that is what catch-up or ‘boost’ mechanics are for, to give people who are behind a chance if they have crashed. It seems to ruin the point of a racing game if coming first doesn’t actually mean you’re first.
Judging from the trailer, the physics are predominantly arcade, similar to a NFS SHIFT or Test Drive Unlimited. The customisation we’ve seen seems to be limited to liveries and paints in a similar fashion to NFS Rivals. I would imagine that new cars and liveries are how they are going to make their money. Hopefully it doesn’t encounter the same problems as NFS World is currently plagued with. There will be about 50 cars to choose from, but there’s been no word on official lists.
There will also be a social hub called “Airfield Park” which will be free roam and have ramps and stunts and the like. There will also be clubhouses for those who have joined a team where players can interact with each other in 3D space; Sort of like PlayStation Home with a racing game tacked on. Players will battle with other teams for territory and will have their team logo shown on their cars and the places they’ve taken over.
It seems interesting given Slightly Mad Studios’ other successful work. It’ll be interesting to see if they can compete with Drive Club and The Crew. Hopefully I’ll get into the beta and I’ll be able to give you further impressions. If you’re into this type of thing like I am, this might be worth keeping your eye on. You can sign up for the beta here.
Last Updated: February 11, 2014