Project CARS 2 Japanese Cars Pack (PC) Review

By Tomas Barry 12.01.2018

Review for Project CARS 2 Japanese Cars Pack on PC

Project CARS 2, available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, has been out on the open-road for almost four months now. Coinciding with the release of the Fun Pack, which is the first of four DLC expansions, Slightly Mad Studios has seen it fit to make the Japanese Cars Pack available for purchase, which was previously only available to those who pre-ordered the title. Whilst amongst the pre-existing 180 vehicles there were already quite a few Japanese motors, this bonus pack, available for £4, nonetheless makes four quite noteworthy additions. From Nissan, the 1991 Nissan Skyline GT-R BNR32 - designed to dominate Group A racing - plus the famous and downright terrifying 1981 Datsun 280ZX Turbo IMSA GTX, which joins the Group 5 category. Elsewhere, there are two vehicles from Honda, the 2017 Honda Civic Type R, an extremely refined hot hatch, and the futuristic Honda 2&4 Concept Car from 2015.

Starting with the oldest, which, as already mentioned, expands the Group 5 category of the game, there is the Nissan (Datsun) 280ZX IMSA GTX, from 1981, which was purpose-built for Paul Newman to race in the IMSA GTX championship. It was meant to give the Porsche 935s, which dominated the competition at the time, a serious run for their money. Although the later iterations would achieve great success, this model was notoriously plagued by reliability issues. With a twin-turbo 4.5L V8 engine and 940hp, the 280ZX hits a top speed of 208 mph. It's excellent in a straight line, but extremely difficult to corner with due to its sheer power and a significant amount of turbo lag. However, with practice it gets easier to anticipate and make allowances for this and, of course, pursuing the goal of keeping it on track is half the fun! In other words, it's perhaps not for the armchair drivers.

The 1991 Nissan Skyline GT-R R32, of Group A, is a hugely iconic vehicle that had massive success in the Touring Cars world. The GT-R R32 won the Group A Japanese Touring Car Championship for four successive years, from 1990 to 1993, and dominated the Australian Touring Car Championship over the same period, too. "Godzilla," as its otherwise known, is an extremely well-rounded vehicle. It's all-wheel drive, with Nissan implementing a specialised motorsport version, known as ATTESA, which provides excellent traction and stability. This makes it very responsive on cornering, and its twin-turbo engine really helps it get away on straights. This is by far the more accessible of the two Nissan vehicles and it's extremely enjoyable to drive. The force-feedback in this model is excellent, and it's very suitable for drivers of all skill levels.

Screenshot for Project CARS 2 Japanese Cars Pack on PC

Elsewhere, the 2016 Honda Civic Type-R is a seriously impressive high performance hatchback, which joins Group F. This was the first Type-R to come with turbo fitted by default, and it basically set an entirely new standard for FWD production cars by shaving five seconds off the Nordschleife lap record. Understandably, Project CARS 2 fans will be itching to get behind the wheel of this one, and it doesn't disappoint. It features very responsive braking, but also drags the driver out of turns with plenty of speed and stability, so long as one is mindful of the ample downforce at play. As such, it's easy to be smooth and consistent with the Type-R, making it one of the more manageable vehicles in the pack. It's also a real looker, with lovely attention to detail inside and out.

The most interesting addition, however, must be the Honda 2&4 Concept Car from 2015. This very unusual and minimal motor is the product of an internal design competition held by Honda. It's an open-wheel vehicle, which is extremely light, with a short wheel base. It's, therefore, incredibly responsive and nimble, performing particularly well on tracks with a lot of twists and turns. This is one of the less punishing cars in the game, since it has a lot of grip and almost seems to correct itself when getting into a slide. It also feels quite futuristic - featuring a transparent display, complete with a rear-view camera. It is, without a doubt, one of the most novel inclusions in Project CARS 2. More of this in the future, please!

Screenshot for Project CARS 2 Japanese Cars Pack on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

On balance, for £4 it's difficult to find fault with the Japanese Cars Bonus Pack. While serious sim-racers tend to have quite specific interests, and will probably make the purchase with one itch in mind to scratch, there's a good amount of joy to be found here across the board for Project CARS 2 fans. The Datsun 280ZX is likely to be the most frustrating of the bunch, although sim-purists will enjoy learning and getting the better of its kinks. The Honda 2&4 is a very cool inclusion, being the easy-going car nobody knew they needed in their life. It's definitely about time the Group A Nissan Skyline GT-R was introduced, whilst the Honda Type-R is a very welcome modern addition. There's plenty of mileage to clock up here. With that said, since this content was originally dangled as an incentive to pre-order, understandably, season pass holders might be slightly dismayed at being charged at all.

Developer

Slightly Mad Studios

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

Driving

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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