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Evolution Studios

Driveclub photo
Driveclub

Enough talk: Here's Driveclub's fancy weather system in motion


Yep, it's impressive
Jul 08
// Jordan Devore
Those screenshots of Driveclub back at E3 -- where Evolution Studios demonstrated its dynamic weather system for the PlayStation 4 racer -- looked slick. But they were mere images. A month later, we now have footage of this s...

Driveclub has the best dynamic weather engine I've ever seen

Jun 11 // Dale North
Loch Duich's track is in a rocky valley. At the set early morning time, clouds covered the sky, and haze set into the mountains. Rays were beginning to peek through the clouds, filling the sky with a warm light, despite the heavy clouding. But that changed quickly when Evolution gradually introduced rain in the simulation. Seeing how the rain naturally progressed from a slight drizzling to a heavy downpour really showed the power of their weather system; it looked as real as any rainstorm starting that I've ever seen. As the moisture picked up, the lighting began to change through the clouds. Realistic drops started to spatter on the car's hood and run up toward the windshield as the car continued down the track. As the rain became heavier, tire marks cut into the fresh road wetness. Rain drops flew directly toward the windshield in a believable way.  A paused flyaround made the race scene look like a frozen scene from a movie. Surfaces and grass on the mountains were wet, puddles showed ripples, and water sat around rocks naturally. I couldn't believe how real the mountains in the distance looked, cutting through the haze and backlit by the sun. Rain water from the pack ahead sprayed backwards. Evolution switched the scene to nighttime and we got to see how the rain picked up the headlights and taillights. Drops flying at the windshield heightened the sense of speed. Each drop took light and reflected it a bit. Even roadsigns reflected light convincingly.  We also saw snow in both daylight and at night in Norway. Ominous dark skies changed to a soft blue-purple as snow began to fall. Piles built up on the sides of the road, and the melting snow made the street shine with a reflective gloss. Evolution says that the variety that the weather system of Driveclub lets players revisit tracks over and over again, seeing it in new ways every time.  This weather system won't be on the disc at launch, but it'll come soon after as a free update.  Unfortunately, all I have are are pictures. They do a great job of showing how realistic the weather system makes the scenes look, but seeing it in action is a real treat. Let's hope they release a video soon. 
Driveclub weather system photo
Super realistic
At E3 yesterday, Evolution Studios showed off a brand new build of Driveclub that highlights their impressive weather simulation system. This build was so new that it needed to be streamed over from the art director's co...

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Driveclub made quite the impression on me with these 4 new videos


Hoping this is an appetizer for E3
Jun 01
// Abel Girmay
After missing it's expected launch release date, Driveclub retreated into the dark before resurfacing recently. Driveclub continues its coming out party this week, releasing four new videos. The first three are the expected ...

It looks like Iíll be playing Driveclub this fall

May 22 // Dale North
Driveclub (PS4)Developer: Evolution StudiosPublisher: Sony Computer EntertaimentRelease Date: October 7, 2014 I played a challenge race sent directly from the game’s director. He had just finished a race and used the post-event prompt to instantly create a challenge for his friends and opponents. Though you can create challenges like this at any time, it’s pretty neat to be able to do so off the back of a race. Imagine feeling especially good about your times and being able to use your performance a challenge to all others. You can also search through your race history and start a challenge from any past performances. I took on his time in an Audi V8 R10, racing around a nice looking mountain/forest course against other AI opponents. I found that the racing feel sat heavily on the arcade racing side, being less fussy with turns and braking than a sim racer. It feels something like a forgiving sim racer with all assists switched on, so you won’t have to worry about spinning out much. But I appreciated that its roots are still grounded in realism somewhere, at least enough so that it won’t disappoint fans of, say, Gran Turismo or Forza. I also enjoyed that Driveclub has nothing in the way of racing lines available as an assist, though those used to following them might not be as pleased with the omission. It wasn’t long before I raced past the AI pack in my first time around the track. Evolution says that they’ve spent a lot of the development time on the game’s AI, working to make it dynamic and aggressive. I was only able to play a few races, but I found it almost too easy to take positions, blowing past all but the top three or so racers. Granted, I was driving an incredibly fast car. I’m glad to say that I had no issues with locked trains of cars, and that there was no evidence of rubber banding in the top positions. I’m really not that worried about the AI anyway as I’m hoping to take on other real racers.  A bit down the road, the track threw a curve at me — literally. A short length of the course called a challenge zone had me trying to drift through it for score. I didn’t know it was coming up, but was more than ready for it the second race.  Driveclub constantly scores racers, with point notices going up with just about any action. Overtaking a car for position gets you 500 points, for example. But going off-track will dock your score the same amount. Vehicle impacts seemed to range from 100 points up to 600 or more. And in that second time around, my drafting attempts were adding to my score with smaller numbers. So you’re racing for time, as always, but you’re also racing for score.  It sounds like the bulk of the work put into Driveclub is on its social and connectivity sides. Evolution is aiming for immediacy and seamlessness with online play. They want it so that it’s as easy as possible to connect online, join friends, create clubs, and race the day away.   We got a full walkthrough of the Driveclub dash and online features, and it looks like the options to connect and play are pretty robust, but we’ll have to get it in our office to really get a feel for how buddying up will work. We do know that all players are instantly put into a party, and that you’ll sat in one at all times. Through the game’s always active social hub you’ll be able to jump into an activity that interests you. With that running party already active, those in yours will automatically be prompted to join the activity you’ve chosen. If you’re not out to create your own races or challenges, events will be suggested for you, putting you up against racers of a similar level, or against others in your club. A mobile app called My Driveclub will let you live stream the gameplay of your friends or club mates, All of your stats and placements will also be available in the app, giving you plenty of updates to keep you in the game even when you’re out. You’ll be able to create and schedule events as you please, with the backend taking care of invitations to your party and friends. Through the event creation options you’ll be able to set locations, difficulty, opponent types, and much more. Even the time of day can be set, and through time lapse options you can even set the speed of how day turns to night.  I saw a custom day/night cycle in my test laps, complete with some pretty incredible lighting and reflections. The reflection of the track on my car’s hood was easily the best I’ve seen on a console — I could easily make out trackside features like trees and road markers. Driveclub runs at 1080p, with no scaling tricks. But it runs at 30 frames per second, a choice which Evolution Studios says lets them push visual distances as well as beef up physics and audio.  A couple of challenge races around a single track was enough to have me feeling better about that first showing at E3 last year. This version of Driveclub looks and plays much better, and has plenty of social connectivity hooks that I’m sure I’ll be getting into. I had a good time going up against other previewers last week — I quickly tuned into the driving feel and was able to place second by my second lap, and was happy to jump back in again to try to top it. If I got that much from just one challenge, I could see getting much more out of the full experience. 
Driveclub hands-on photo
Hands-on with the latest build
It’s been about a year since I’ve played upcoming PS4 racer Driveclub. It debuted at E3 last year; I found myself rushing to my PlayStation appointment to get my hands on it. I can’t tell you how disappointe...

Driveclub photo
Driveclub

Driveclub PS Plus Edition's full-game upgrade is no longer terrible


Original upgrade model 'was not appropriate'
May 09
// Jordan Devore
Evolution Studios detailed the PS Plus version of Driveclub and the offer sounded good. Mostly. With a membership, you can play every game mode, 11 tracks, 10 cars, and one location at no extra cost. Then, if you like the gam...
Driveclub photo
Driveclub

Driveclub PlayStation Plus Edition detailed


$49.99 to upgrade to all game content, but there's a catch
May 07
// Jordan Devore
Ahead of Driveclub's October 7 launch on PlayStation 4, here's a video breaking down the game's normal, full-price version on PSN and Blu-ray compared to the free-with-a-membership PS Plus Edition. The latter offering comes ...
Driveclub photo
Driveclub

Evolution Studios explains why it delayed Driveclub


'We won't compromise on quality to rush it to you'
Apr 30
// Jordan Devore
Evolution Studios' long-delayed Driveclub came back with week with a new trailer and what will hopefully be the final release date: October 7, 2014. Writing on the PlayStation Blog, director Paul Rustchynsky spoke about why t...
DriveClub photo
DriveClub

Sony talks going 'back to the drawing board' with DriveClub


To think, this was going to be a launch title at one point
Mar 11
// Jordan Devore
I hope you aren't expecting Evolution Studios' DriveClub anytime soon. Based on a recent chat about the racing game's status between PlayStation software product development head Scott Rhode and IGN, we could be in for a long...
DriveClub photo
DriveClub

DriveClub delayed past Japanese PS4 launch


I-I-I-I-I swear this doesn't usually happen
Jan 16
// Abel Girmay
In an industry so known for punctuality, breaking news comes out of Japan that the PS4 exclusive social racer DriveClub has been delayed, again. The game now sits at a nebulous "TBA" release date. Originally slated as a free ...
DriveClub delay photo
DriveClub delay

DriveClub has been officially delayed to 'Early 2014'


Well, that's disappointing
Oct 18
// Chris Carter
It's no longer just a rumor -- DriveClub is officially delayed until "early 2014," as confirmed by Sony today.  Sony's Shuhei Yoshida gave a perfectly reasonable explanation for the delay, noting, "We understand that the...
DriveClub photo
DriveClub

Rumor: DriveClub won't be ready for PS4 launch


Let's hope that's not the case
Oct 16
// Jordan Devore
A rumor has surfaced that Evolution Studios' PlayStation 4 launch game DriveClub has been delayed to next spring. The Same Coin is citing an anonymous source, and Kotaku has since come out to receive confirmation of the repor...
Driveclub photo
Driveclub

Watch day turn to night in this Driveclub video


What a thrilling headline
Sep 14
// Brett Makedonski
For the most part, racing games are astoundingly pretty. Driveclub seems as if it will uphold this standard, as this gameplay video looks great. Take a trip in an Audi R8 V10 Plus (thanks, video description!) and watch as the sun calmly sets behind the mountains. Just kidding, keep your eyes on the road, fool. That's, like, the first rule of driving.
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DriveClub: Under the hood of the first PS4 racer


PS4 hands-on
Jun 12
// Dale North
Get in, totally disregard your seatbelt and saftey, and get ready to take a spin with me in upcoming PS4 game DriveClub. Relax. Don't let the high-end visuals fool you -- this isn't some uptight sim. It's all about driving an...
DualShock 4 photo
DualShock 4

Developers told Sony to change DualShock 4 controller


By game developers, for game developers
Apr 08
// Allistair Pinsof
Sony put the future of the DualShock 4 in the hands of developers, who dictated changes to the longstanding controller's form and feel. Guerrilla Games (Killzone) and Evolution Studios (DriveClub), in an interview with Edge, ...
DriveClub photo
DriveClub

Here's a screenshot of DriveClub from ... Mercedes-Benz?


Hey, we'll take what we can get
Feb 22
// Jordan Devore
There's nothing quite like a racing game to show off the graphical prowess of your shiny new console. In the case of PlayStation 4, we'll have Evolution Studios' DriveClub. Outside of the trailer, which was admittedly impress...
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DualShock 4 as a steering wheel in PS4 game DriveClub


Tilt-to-steer, anyone?
Feb 20
// Dale North
In a roundtable discussion tonight after the PS4 announcement, Evolution Studios' director Matt Southern said that tilt-to-steer control with the newly announced DualShock 4 will be one of the control options for their PS4 la...
Sony Event photo
Sony Event

Evolution Studios announces DriveClub for the PS4


PlayStation Event, New York, 02/20/13
Feb 20
// Chris Carter
Evolution Studios enthusiastically introduced DriveClub for the PlayStation 4, a new "team based driving" game. It's the game "we've always wanted to make," says Matt Southern, director at Evolution, as you feel his exc...
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MotorStorm: RC now has a Domino's car because why not?


Mar 02
// Brett Zeidler
Good news for European PlayStation Vita/PS3 owners who have MotorStorm: RC: there's now free DLC available for it in the form of a car that has the Domino's logo on the side. Because who doesn't instantly think of delivery pi...

Hands-on: MotorStorm: Apocalypse

Feb 22 // Max Scoville
MotorStorm: Apocalypse (PlayStation 3)Developer: Evolution StudiosPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentTo be released: March 16, 2011 (EU) / April 12, 2011 (NA) The basic premise of MotorStorm: Apocalypse -- for those unfamiliar with the series -- is no-holds-barred racing that almost completely disregards the laws of physics, reality, and motor vehicles in general. You can choose from monster trucks, street racers, dirt bikes, and more. Of course, all of these vehicles have a turbo-boost. Or nitrous, or super-speed. I’m not sure what the official name is, but I really don’t care. It’s the shit that makes you go ridiculously fast, and it’s really fun. One of the things that initially made me fall in love with MotorStorm: Pacific Rift (the most recent entry in the series) was the fact that if you used your boost too much, your car would blow up. This is a game where you literally go so fast, you explode. On certain tracks, you can drive through water to cool down your engine, and use your boost longer. Conversely, on other tracks, there is molten lava and patches of ground that are arbitrarily on fire. Driving through them will make your car blow up faster, just like in real life. MotorStorm: Apocalypse keeps a lot of the fun stuff from Pacific Rift, but there are a number of new additions. You know, aside from being the first title in the series that doesn’t sound like a flavor of Mountain Dew. Arctic Burst, Thin Ice Freeze, Baja Blast, Arctic Edge: Which of these is actually a MotorStorm title? Apocalypse is also the first MotorStorm game that can run in 3D. I got to try that out, and it was okay. As far as 3D gaming goes, I’ve only played around with the 3DS. Last week was the first time I’ve seen a 3DTV in action, so I don’t really have a basis of comparison. It didn’t look terrible, but I didn’t have my mind blown or anything. Honestly, I just don’t care about 3D. It doesn’t do anything to improve the gameplay. And unless you’ve got plenty of extra glasses, any friends you have over will probably get a headache waiting for their turn to play. That being said, I’d prefer to play MotorStorm: Apocalypse in 2D, because as cool as they are, the 3D effects don’t make up for how ridiculous I feel when wearing the required glasses. If it wasn’t readily apparent, MotorStorm: Apocalypse takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The tracks are collapsed buildings, wrecked highways, and demolished suburbs. In addition to the standard hazards like cliffs and obstacles, there are also crazy people on the sides of the road shooting at you with rocket launchers and hurling molotovs. It’s straight out of The Road Warrior.  I’m a huge fan of Mad Max and Fallout, so I was excited about this premise. After playing, though, I was a little disappointed. It’s an ambitious game, really. Driving a rocket-powered monster truck over the rooftop of a half-exploded skyscraper while lunatics are hurling firebombs at you; that’s not something you do every day. The level designs are absolutely beautiful, but they weren't as fun to play as I'd expected. At one point, while playing one of the city tracks, I said, “It sorta feels like a Spider-Man game where Spider-Man’s lost most of his Spider-Powers, and also, he got transformed into a motorcycle.” Again, what sounds awesome in theory isn’t always as fun in practice. Another problem I had was the constant presence of crap all over the tracks. Broken-down cars, oil drums, rubble, crazy people. I get it: it’s the end of the world, and trash collection isn’t happening this week. It all looks really cool, but I felt that this many obstacles just impeded gameplay. Well, you know, with the exception of running people over, which is just hilarious. MotorStorm: Apocalypse features five new vehicle classes: supercar, superbike, muscle car, chopper and the hot hatch. New things are usually fun, but in the case of MotorStorm, the addition of new vehicles makes things really interesting. If you weren’t aware, all thirteen classes of vehicles race at once. Guess what happens when you run over a guy on an ATV with a monster truck: the ATV guy dies. It’s awesome. The monster truck is a lot slower, though, so it’s a toss-up. You like running people over, or going fast? I had a lot of fun with the “hot hatch,” which I kept referring to as “this ridiculous smartcar,” much to the annoyance of the game’s art director. It's one of the new classes, and it’s a souped-up hatchback. You're racing against monster trucks, muscle cars, and guys on choppers... with a tricked-out Geo Metro lookalike. I spoke with Apocalypse’s art director, Simon O’Brien, and asked him about the inspiration for the game’s tracks. A lot of them looked really familiar. This makes sense, because they were loosely based on the West Coast, with specific attention to the Bay Area. As far as specific landmarks go, nobody was trying to recreate any actual locations.  There’s a particular track set on a boardwalk that looked really familiar, but I couldn’t place it. Turns out, the inspiration was a mix of the Santa Monica Pier, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Having lived near all these places, I can vouch for its amalgamated authenticity. The online multiplayer for Apocalypse features a neat system for earning experience. Instead of giving players a bunch of boring stats to tweak, like speed or steering, there’s a slew of different perks that can be unlocked. For example, having your vehicle give you a longer “please stop using the turbo-boost!” warning before it explodes, or what about this: when your car does explode, it lets off a sonic boom that’ll knock other racers off-course. In addition to crazy explosion-related perks, you can also unlock new decals and stuff to stick on your car. I didn’t get to see it, but I was assured that all the vehicles could be customized extensively, so everyone on the Internet can know if you have a horrible sense of color coordination. Aside from online multiplayer (which supports up to sixteen players), I was happy to hear that four-player split-screen play is available. As much as I hate actually playing split-screen, it makes video games a social activity, so I'm happy to see it included. One element that I doubt anyone will hype much is the in-game camera. It’s a simple concept: If you do some super-badass shit, and wanna show it off, hit pause. Take some pictures. Seems corny, but with the amount of detail in MotorStorm’s vehicles and tracks, and the speed at which the game gets played, there’s a lot you might miss. The camera offers a great way to take a closer look. While there’s no option to take 3D pictures yet, Simon said it was a feature he’d like to see, possibly as DLC. And he’s the art director, so that’s a good sign. Overall, I think MotorStorm: Apocalypse is a fun game, and that the MotorStorm series is the spiritual successor to games like Road Rash and San Francisco Rush. If I had a copy of Apocalypse, I would probably play the crap out of it, but it didn’t immediately grab me the same way its predecessor did. While I want to applaud the imaginative post-apocalyptic look this new installment is taking, the new tracks looked better than they played, and the amount of rubble on the track hindered the game's fun. Given, it's still fun as hell; it's just not as fun as ultra-mega-turbo-hell.
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When I first saw MotorStorm: Pacific Rift a couple years ago, I rolled my eyes. At a glance, it looked like one of those super-fast racing-inspired games for loud children. While I wasn’t terribly wrong with that assess...

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Pre-E3: MotorStorm Apocalypse announced


Jun 10
// Nick Chester
To no surprise, Sony has announced MotorStorm Apocalypse for the PlayStation 3. But don't call it "post-apocalyptic"; the game will take place during the apocalypse, with pieces of the city -- inspired by the West Coast, and ...
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First teaser trailer for MotorStorm 2 shows people and things getting owned


Mar 12
// Samit Sarkar
Just over a year ago, MotorStorm was released in North America amid much fanfare and hype. It was a PS3 exclusive early in the system’s lifespan, and as such, everybody was expecting big things. While the general cons...
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Sony acquires Evolution Studios, Bigbig Studios: future effects unknown


Sep 20
// Earnest Cavalli
According to this GamesIndustry.biz report, Sony has acquired Evolution Studios (of MotorStorm fame) and subsidiary Bigbig Studios (of Pursuit Force fame). Both companies had been so intrinsically linked (in theory, at least ...

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