‘Project Cars 2’ Highlights 4K Graphics, Wide Range Of Cars, Tracks

It’s beginning to look like 2017 will be a big year in the world of sim racing, with another major franchise announcing its new game.

Two years after launching “Project Cars,” developer Slightly Mad Studios released the trailer for the series’ next installment, “Project Cars 2.” Like its predecessor, “Project Cars 2” is expected to be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, though a specific launch date hasn’t been set.

In the short video, we get a good look at the game’s 4K graphics, which, to our eyes, are on par with the visuals in the upcoming “Gran Turismo Sport.” One exception was a shot that shows a Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe sliding on ice, but given this is development footage, we expect that to be ironed out before the game goes on sale.

“Project Cars 2” reportedly will include over 170 cars and 60 tracks, more than twice as many as in the original. One notable location we spotted in the trailer was Lapland, which is a winter driving facility on a frozen lake in Finland. Lapland is famous for its officially licensed full-size replicas of Formula 1 circuits: Circuit Paul Ricard, the Nurburgring Grand Prix track and Silverstone Circuit.

To help develop the physics in “Project Cars 2,” Slightly Mad brought on Nicolas Hamilton as a handling consultant. Hamilton is the younger brother of three-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, and currently competes in the British Touring Car Championship.

Whether Hamilton’s input helped Slightly Mad create lifelike handling characteristics has yet to be seen, but regardless, “Project Cars 2’s” trailer alone has put pressure on the folks at Turn 10 Studios.

As much as we like the realism of Turn 10’s “Forza” games, its becoming increasingly evident the next “Forza Motorsport” title will need 4K graphics to stand a chance. All sims have fairly comparable physics engines, so if Turn 10 puts out another game with 1080p resolution, it could lose some of its following.

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