Driveclub fans have been patiently waiting for their beloved game's VR update for a long time, and it is finally here. While the stock PS4 was nearly maxed out by running the original game at 30fps, Evolution Studios managed to squeeze the game out at 60fps in 3D VR by making some visual compromises and dropping the resolution a bit. The result is one of the best arcade racers ever released in beautiful 360 degree VR, but it has its flaws. Since we are reviewing games for a new format, I have decided to structure the review differently. I will rate each element of the game individually, but let you decide what you think the total score should be. I also have included a new category, nausea factor, for VR games.
Driveclub is still to this day arguably the best looking racer ever released. The transition to 3D VR has resulted in the visuals getting muddied a good bit by lower rendering resolution, lower screen resolution, lower fidelity effects, and more aliasing, but the end result is still a beautiful an immersive world. The lighting effects and detailed car models especially shine in the PSVR version. The only reason you will complain is by being spoiled by how good the original looks. It's a real shame that no PS4 Pro update is planned, as this is one game that would benefit a lot from it. That said, the 60fps rendering reprojected to 120fps works very well, the added depth perception does indeed make you a better driver, though, a far better driver, in fact. Add a steering wheel or motion control, and the level of immersion is amazing.
One of Driveclub's strong points on the original game was its audio. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Evolution put the same amount of effort into this game's audio. While the sound is essentially the same as the original, it is very unpolished. Some sound effects, when using headphones for the full 3D audio experience, come through harsh on the high end and too loud, while others do not. The 3D positioning is not that good, and doesn't always smoothly pan as you turn your head. Sometimes volume levels will sound a bit off, or the audio for some sound effects sounds like it is popping/clipping. While it may be passable to the average user, any audiophile listening to this will cringe.
Evolution Studios earns major cool points by letting us have plenty of control options for Driveclub. I can steer with the analog stick, which did seem a little too sensitive at its stock setting for my tastes, or you can use motion control, which felt just right to me, or you can use a number of different steering wheels. Control in the game is the same arcade style racing the original game had, though in VR with the added depth perception it is far easier to control. Drifting is especially fun in VR.
Driveclub VR is pretty much the same game as the original when it comes to online, which was great. Online races are intense and the matchmaking is solid. Being able to form a club with your friends and have all of your progress contribute to the club is another cool perk. The main thing that drags down PSVR's version of the game is the fact that Evolution Studios does not exist anymore, so the game is not being supported with any new content updates. It also will not be getting a PS4 Pro update, which is a major disappointment.
Nausea Factor: 7
A new category for our VR reviews. In this category, a higher score is worse. This game has some fast action in it, and for new VR users or people who get motion sickness easily, it is going to cause nausea pretty easily. I personally felt none even after playing for an hour, however I am not prone to motion sickness. There are a lot of reports of other people who are more sensitive to it having issues, so that is an important thing for you to consider if you are new to VR or get motion sick easily. Thankfully, this game includes a demo you can try for free on the PSVR demo disc or on the PlayStation Store so you can test it to see if you are one of those people before you buy the game.
With a ton of content to play and a amazing level of immersion, it's a very wise investment of $40. If you enjoyed the original game, or love arcade racers, this is a game for you.