Slightly Mad Studios

4K Screenshot Showcase: Project CARS

Ben Griffin at

Every week, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.

Not to downplay my heroics or anything, but Project CARS isn't hard to make look nice. It's the Kate Moss of videogames. If it's not native 4K support or a bevvy of visual options making my job easier, then it's the incredibly useful hotkeys: ctrl + F triggers free cam, ctrl + P cycles through filters, and P stops time entirely. You can even put the AI in charge of your car with ctrl + I to free up your camera-clicking fingers.

4K Screenshot Showcase: Shift 2: Unleashed

Ben Griffin at

Every week, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.

Shift 2: Unleashed rarely crops up in discussions of great-looking racing games, but it's what on the inside that counts. Specifically, the cockpit cam. Each of the 140 cars' interiors are immaculately rendered, and behind-the-wheel camera effects such as speed blur and selective focus draws the eye to approaching corners. Anti-aliasing in particular may have advanced since the game's March 2011 release, bettered by other games in the series such as Need for Speed: Rivals, but don't underestimate how good this game can look at 4K.

New Project CARS trailer claims it's the best looking racing game on the planet

Emanuel Maiberg at

Slightly Mad Studio describes Project CARS on its YouTube page as “the most authentic, beautiful, intense, and technically advanced racing game on the planet.” Well. They’ll feel rather silly when that Martian-developed racing game launches and absolutely crushes them, but until then, the latest trailer for the game looks like a strong claim to the title.


Project CARS trailer reminds you that it's still gorgeous

Emanuel Maiberg at

Just in case you forgot, the latest trailer for racing simulator Project CARS is a good reminder that it still looks absolutely incredible. The "Community Assisted Racing Simulator," which was funded with Developer Slightly Mad Studio's WMD (World of Mass Development) crowdfunding platform is still in development and available only to backers, so for now all we can do is gawk.


Project CARS trailer shows more photorealistic racing; update brings Steam access to backers

Phil Savage at

Thanks to this dazzlingly pretty trailer, I've just this moment realised that Project CARS is an acronym. Previously, I'd assume that developer Slightly Mad Studios loved cars so much that they couldn't write their game's name without implying an enthusiastic shout of excitement. Instead, it turns out that it stands for Community Assisted Racing Simulator. And yet, it is about cars. How serendipitous.


Project CARS screenshots reveal stunning looking Pagani Huayra

Tom Hatfield at

We already knew Project CARS was a stunning looking game, that's a given. But did we ever suspect it looked this good? These screenshots are of the recently added Pagani Huayra, and they're utterly astonishing. Credit to them goes to the users Darkdeus and fresquito on NeoGaf. Yes, you heard that right. These are not touched up promotional shots, but ones taken by actual gamers, and they still look that good.


Project CARS trailer shows new cars and night racing

Tom Senior at

We quite enjoyed the Project CARS trailer featured a couple of months back, but there was something missing. Those meticulously modelled steering wheels were steering all by themselves. Had Slightly Mad Studios misunderstood the concept of a racing ghost? No. They just hadn't added drivers and their arms into the game yet. It looks like it's happened now, though. The latest video, spotted on Evil Avatar, has finally put some butts in those racing buckets.

Remarkably, there's still a year of development left before Project CARS is released. You can get access to builds in advance by donating to development through the World of Mass Development site. Project CARS will have some competition in the coming year, mind. Image Space are currently busy building their hardcore racing sim sequel, rFactor 2.


Project CARS screenshots corner beautifully

Tom Senior at

If you saw the Project CARS trailer we posted back in January, you'll already know how good it's looking. Evil Avatar indicate that new screenshots have been released, giving us a closer look at those carefully modelled vehicles.

CARS has an unusual development model. It makes use of the World of Mass Development portal that lets community members donate money to the project in return for regular work-in-progress builds. Community members can take part in polls on future features, chat to the developers and eventually gain money back on their investment when the game's released. It's all explained over on the Project CARS site. In addition to the official releases, Slightly Mad have been posting some of the best shots from contributing community members. Take a look, and remember to click to see each pic full size.


Project CARS trailer shows gorgeous racing

Tom Senior at

It's going to be a bumper year for racing sims. The ongoing progress of rFactor 2 reminded me of Project CARS, a fascinating racer from Shift 2 creators, Slightly Mad Studios, who are living up to their name perfectly with their unique development strategy. With no publisher to fund development, Slightly Mad have invited community members to invest in, advise on and write code for CARS in return for a share of its revenue on release. They released a new trailer yesterday showcasing their lovely engine. It's looking veeery pretty.

In the blog post accompanying the new trailer, the team mention that they're currently working on implementing night lighting, dynamic weather, tyre deformation, multiplayer and pit-to-car radio features. Find out more about the project, including the ways that you can contribute to its development, on the Project CARS site.


NFS: Shift developers making new racing game, this time using crowd-sourced funding

Rob Zacny at

Slightly Mad Studios, the developer behind the Need for Speed: Shift series, is now working on a game of its own called C.A.R.S. (Community Assisted Racing Sim). Eurogamer reports that C.A.R.S. will be a free-to-play, career-focused racing sim that lets players rise through the ranks of motorsport, from karting to elite championships. That's an ambitious goal in the first place, but the reason it is "Community Assisted" is because SMS is also relying on a crowd-sourced funding system.

SMS calls its funding program World Mass Development, and it will act like a cross between Kickstarter and the stock market, one that offers a variety of ways for fans and investors to support the project. GamesIndustry.biz reports, "Slightly Mad is targeting individuals and fans with shares in the games priced at $5 and $10, $250 options for groups, $1000 for small businesses, and large companies and investors can get involved with contributions of $100,000."

If the game performs as well as SMS hopes, investors will be paid back with a share of the profits. But for fans who contribute to CARS, the real payoff might be a racing game that finally offers a true career mode, something that few have explored in any detail. Codemasters' games have always had a veneer of career development, but none of them have really delved into lower-tier racing, despite the huge role that karting championships and spec series like GP2 play in a driver's career. C.A.R.S. sounds like it will offer something like the "Be a Pro" mode that has been so popular with EA Sports titles.

Of course, the highest forms of motorsport tend to be licensed, and it's not clear whether SMS will really be able to include series like Formula 1. It also promises to be a huge challenge to model the variety of courses and vehicles that a multi-class racing sim would require. However, that same ambition is also what will make the project so appealing to the racing fans who will ultimately fund C.A.R.S.


Shift 2 Unleashed Legends and Speedhunters DLC to be released free on PC

Tom Senior at

The Legends and Speedhunters DLC packs for Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed will be released for free on PC this week on EA's new digital download service, Origin. Between them the packs add more than twenty new cars, five new tracks and new racing modes, including drag racing.

The two packs were released in April and May this year on the Xbox 360 as paid-for packs. As of June 30, this Thursday, they'll be free to all PC gamers. Head over to the Need for Speed site for guides on how to grab the new packs through Origin.


Shift 2 Unleashed launch trailer goes VROOM

Tom Senior at

Shift 2 Unleashed is out tomorrow in the US, and on Friday in Europe and the UK, and is hoping to beat serious sims like Forza and Gran Turismo for pole position., but what will it look like? The trailer above shows plenty of ultro-vroom. It's got it all, supercars, twisty bits, straight bits, and lots of speed. For more info, head over to the Shift 2 Unleashed site.


Shift 2 Unleashed trailer shows pro racer's lap

Tom Senior at

Pro racer Tommy Milner is in the hot seat for another lap in Shift 2 Unleashed. The latest in-game footage also shows off that slightly nauseating glued-to-the-bumper camera that's almost impossible to actually drive with, but is brilliant for making you feel as though you're going really, really fast. Stick the video on full screen and press your face against the monitor for an instant speed-rush. It's out on March 31 in the US and on April fools' day in the UK.


Shift 2 Unleashed trailer shows helmet cam and flaming exhausts

Tom Senior at

A new developer diary for Shift 2: Unleashed concentrates on the high levels of realism the team are aiming for. It features real-life footage spliced between dev chats and more of the helmet cam. That's a view designed to simulate a head, inside a helmet, inside a car, in race. It ain't easy.


Shift 2: Unleashed video races in Miami

Tom Senior at

A new video has been released, showing Shift 2: Unleashed in action. The footage shows a BMW blasting around a track, with plenty of shots of the spruced up car cockpits and helmet cam. The video shows a track in Miami, and reveals that the game will contain boss competitions in which players will face off against real racing drivers in drift and time attack challenges. Watch the video below.


New Need for Speed: Shift 2 details, screens and trailer

Matt Purslow at

A whole stash of NFS: Shift 2 details have been released concerning auto-log, helmet cams and, of course, cars. Read on for the latest news, along with a new trailer and plenty of screenshots.


Shift 2 Unleashed release date announced, new trailer

Tom Senior at

Need for Speed Shift 2 has been renamed to Shift 2 Unleashed, and is positioning itself as a contender with racing sim giants Gran Turismo and Forza. Today EA announced that the game will be out in Europe on March 24th, and in North America on March 29th. You'll find the new trailer, featuring the first in-game footage, embedded below.


Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed announced

Tom Senior at

EA have announced that a sequel to the popular racing sim, Need for Speed: Shift is on the way. It will be called Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed, and it'll be out in spring 2011. Read on for details and the teaser trailer.