The PS4 and Sony really need a racing game. And we should have one on the horizon. But earlier this week, when I asked Sony’s UK PR team for a release date or even a rough release period for DriveClub, they were only able to say, “I'm afraid we don't have any info on the release date for DriveClub at the moment.”
Originally planned as a launch title in the West, the game was delayed into 2014, with a general understanding it would be arriving on PS Plus in January or February. Instead, an announcement was made that next month’s free PS4 game would be the horror title, Outlast (which we can’t wait for by the way) and there was no mention of DriveClub at all.
DriveClub was confirmed for a February release in Japan when the PS4 launches next month in the Eastern territory, but earlier this week it was pulled from the launch line-up with only “various reasons” cited for the delay [Inside Games].
With no real explanations forthcoming from Sony, we can only assume that DriveClub is still a hell of a long way off being ready. With only Need for Speed: Rivals making a next-gen appearance on the PS4 -a mildly shiner version of the PS3 game- you have to wonder how Sony have messed up the timing so badly for the PS4. The Xbox One has suitably been strutting Forza 5 around and even the PS3 had Gran Turismo 6 appear out of nowhere just six months after its surprise announcement in May.
All of this is really making us concerned for DriveClub. Both Matt and I have played some early builds of the game and couldn’t muster up much enthusiasm for it. It wasn’t broken, it was quite the looker, but it just felt so soulless. Stuck in some sort of middle ground between sim and arcade it just wasn’t fun. After so many delays we’re expecting (well, really hoping) that the game has developed some form of personality. And Sony, stop going on about it being ‘connected’ and ‘social’, we get it, there are leaderboards and friend challenges, these aren’t new things.
On the plus side, PS Plus subscribers are still on track to get a free version of the game, so no money needs to be invested to try it out. Fingers crossed this PS Plus Edition isn’t just a glorified demo with all the decent tracks and cars only available in the full-priced version or as paid DLC.
Sony have hinted at the prospect or bringing Gran Turismo 6 to the PS4, but have also said it could evolve into Gran Turismo 7 and we all remember how long it took them to get Gran Turismo 5 onto the PS3, so I don’t think we should be expecting an appearance anytime soon.
So what can race fans look forwards to on PS4? Essentially, a very long wait for anything. Ubisoft’s The Crew is pencilled in for a summer release and further ahead we presume EA will have a new Need for Speed game towards the end of the year and Codemasters have been teasing a new Dirt title recently on Twitter. So half of the racing games we’re hoping to play soon haven’t even been announced yet. Sony and Evolution Studios really need to get the pedal to the metal or we’re going to have forgotten how to drive by the time we line up on the starting grid.