We've frequently poked a bit of fun at Driveclub here on Dealspwn. First it was for the complete lack of details to differentiate it from Any Other Driving Game Ever. Then it was for the incessant, hilarious delays of what was supposed to be a flagship launch title for the PS4. Then we split our sides chuckling suspiciously over Evolution's completely contradictory comments regarding microtransactions. And let us not forget the farcical PlayStation Plus version that looks like a glorified demo.
We even went hands-on with it, in a preview build that showcased absolutely nothing worthy of particular note.
Then we got bored and wandered off. We've tried our absolute best to muster some form of excitement about Driveclub, but have completely failed to do so.
Earlier this week, Evolution unveiled some videos showing off the game's dynamic weather systems. As has previously been detailed, these effects will be totally customizable, and can and will shift over the course of a single race. It's perfectly possible to start a race in the pouring rain, and end up crossing the line to the sight of a blazing sun. Not only that, but the conditions will affect vehicle balancing. Drivers may find themselves hydroplaning in the wet, only to once again find their grip towards the end of a race.
"Just like we do with time of day, skies and time lapse speed, we’re going to add lots of options for you to be able to adjust how the weather plays out in your challenges," Driveclub art director Alex Perkins said on the PlayStation Blog. "We don’t want to just offer fixed settings for “rain” or “snow,” we want it to be dynamic and exciting.
"We’ve designed it to be just like real weather systems. Spots of rain can become torrential downpours or transition into blizzards, quickly or slowly, and when the clouds clear up the tracks will dry out too. So if you’re in Norway, for example, you’ll face heavier snow when you’re racing atop the mountains and much lighter snow or sleet when you descend to a lower altitude."
That's not necessarily groundbreaking stuff, though it is exciting for racers craving immersion, particularly cockpit cam aficionados. But then we watched the videos, and our eyes melted out of sheer joy. Great graphics don't matter in many games, but in the racing genre they can be key. For petrolheads and racing fans, the spectacle forms much of the excitement and, well, just look at it!
Are we about to get a next-gen game that actually looks next-gen this Christmas? Quite possibly, by the looks of things.