One of the PlayStation 4’s first show-off games that fully caught our attention from its limited appearance at Sony’s conference back in February, the electronics and media giant has acknowledged the bubbling end-of-week rumours that Evolution Studios’ arcade-oriented, socially inclined racer will indeed be held off for a later launch window.
Originally a centrepiece of Sony’s 2013 build-up for its new console and intended to coincide with the new hardware’s arrival in stores, Driveclub is now pencilled-in for “early 2014”.
Not the sole game delay announcement for either ‘next gen’ console during the last week, it will of course be a disappointment for a fair portion of early PS4 buyers seeking console-exclusive confections that warrant a purchase by illustrating a gap between old and new generations. However, thinking rationally for a moment, we’d take a mature production over one that’s rushed out to meet a deadline. ‘Pretty’ is good, but there needs to be a solid game built in too – especially during the early months of a new console. Historically, the primary year for new hardware is a period when choice is sparse and many games transition from being polished versions of older software to a true new level where production tools have advanced and the developers start to find their feet with new capabilities and burgeoning ideas.
A returning look at forums would suggest that Driveclub had – and indeed, has – a good chance of mass appeal. In discussions on the sites that we frequent, Driveclub topics quickly drew players of different persuasions together from the night of the first impassioned presentation by Evolution’s Matt Southern (WRC 4, MotorStorm: Apocalypse). Even today, interest comes from those who, feeling left out with the sterile environs and play style of, say, Forza and Gran Turismo, simply yearn for a modern accessible racer to, at the other extreme, players that are sim fans in the main but all things considered, are also petrolheads unable to stay away from anything featuring such exotic machinery as the guys from Evo have been so rightly and proudly keen to showcase all year.
President of Sony Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida’s statement on Sony’s PlayStation blog reasoned that more time is needed for Driveclub’s team to “deliver on their vision”, adding that “it will be worth the wait”.
Driveclub was initially placed as one of the big hitters on the PlayStation Plus service in a slimmed-down Instant Game Collection free-to-play form. It is worth noting that with the launch line-up now revised, good news still unfolded in that Driveclub PlayStation Plus Edition will still reach the gaming service when it completes production. Turning our gaze nearer to the present time and the new console’s November launch, PS+ will now start its PS4 life by offering the system-exclusive Resogun, a dynamic shoot ’em up created by Housemarque (Elfmania, Super Stardust HD) and Contrast, a multi-format (PC, Xbox Live, PSN) “surreal vaudevillian, film noir-inspired reality full of performance, intrigue, shadow-play and drama” (read: an attractive 1920s-set puzzle-platformer that alternates between a three-dimensional world of light and 2D shadow!).
Driveclub’s still coming then. For it, we can wait. Oh yes, we can wait…
Image(s) courtesy of PlayStation Europe/Sony Computer Entertainment Europe