Driveclub's Dynamic Weather Update Completely Changes The Game

Driveclub's Dynamic Weather Update Completely Changes The Game

Two days ago I was bored with Driveclub. Today each race is exhilarating, often terrifyingly so, and all that has changed is the weather.

Now that most of the connection kinks have been worked out, Evolution Studios dropped its promised post-release dynamic weather update on the PlayStation 4's once-troubled online racer, and it's pretty much the best thing that's ever happened to a racing game. Rather than setting the weather conditions prior to the beginning of a race event, turning on dynamic weather essentially creates a simulated weather system on the track.

Mind the driving. I'm using a game pad instead of my usual racing wheel. Instead focus on the water on the windshield as I plow into obstacles. See how it flows with sharp turns and impacts. It's beautiful.

One moment it's sunny. Then it's overcast. It begins to pour. The rain slowly comes to a stop. The sun comes out, and the roads begin to dry.

I created a custom race in Brazil with the cloud cover set to overcast, weather set to dynamic and the time dilation set of 60 -- one minute equals one hour. Then I recorded 24 minutes of footage and sped it up. Don't worry, I turned down the music -- dynamic weather has done nothing to help Driveclub's soundtrack.

This is much more than random weather effects. How fast they dry depends on a variety of factors -- time of day, relative elevation of the track. On a Norway track during the day at lower elevations you might get rain or a wintry mix, as the weather forecasters like to call it. At night you're getting snow. Sometimes too much snow.

Here's one of Norway's tracks during the day. The roads are slick, snow and rain are falling. At one point the sun comes out briefly, casting a bright glare on the glistening wet road.

Now let's look at Norway at night. It's insane.

These are unsafe driving conditions. If snow started falling this hard in the middle of a real race -- and it certainly can -- I'd pull over to the side and wait it out. No use risking my life and my ride on some silly prize money.

With the addition of the dynamic weather system, Driveclub races now have the potential to be more thrilling and unpredictable than ever before. Plus it's so damn pretty that I've found myself setting up custom races just to drive to scenic locations and watch the rain fall.

This was worth waiting for. It doesn't quite make up for weeks of horrific connection issues, but it's an excellent start.


Comments

    Wow...they did it right. The last game I can remember having really good rain effects was the original V8 Supercars.

    I don't know if this is weird to say, but I am highly attracted to games that do rain well.

      I believe it's called rainingamesophilia. If lightning storms in games give you a boner, you've got it! :P

        I played the part of Raining Games Ophelia in my high school production of "Precipitation Hamlet"...

        Last edited 10/12/14 10:10 am

        I know I got one over the FFXIII games, if that counts :-)

      Hah I'm exactly the same! I found one thing watchdogs did extremely well was the rain. Also gta v is pretty sweet

      Me too and it upsets me when AAA games still aren’t doing it well. Most of them still seem to be screen filters. I really expected Skyrim to at least get it right by now but nope, still terrible.

    Sounds like Drive Club is finally worth getting, I hate the lack of weather in Forza, makes racing get stale pretty quickly.
    Might pick up DC and a PS4 after Xmas.

    Man, the in-car view is beautiful, makes me wish it was rift compatible.

    I gave this a run last night and the in car with rain on is really hard to master. Mix it with night and it's even harder. The beading of water is pretty impressive too.

    I haven't picked up this game in about a month and I swear they have tightened up the physics on every car. Anyone else experience that feeling?

      Try mixing it up in an ice country where it can from clear sun, water, sleet then snow! :D

    Oh man... I'm gonna be "That guy!"... But...

    Isn't this "Next Gen"? Where is the spray effect as the car goes through the puddles? Where's the sound change as the car hits the water? It's nit-picking, but they are trying for total realism aren't they?

    Looks amazing still, but I think they still aren't there. It doesn't blow me away like GT 1 and 2 did when they did the jump from previous racing titles.

    Last edited 10/12/14 10:07 am

    I had a quick play last night. Using the in-car view. There was a moment when I thought to myself that the rain was the best effect I've ever seen in a game. If only it didn't take almost 2 months after release for them to actually finish the game.

    You can't deny that those effects are bloody spectacular! Last time I saw rain on the windscreen, the wipers just made the drops disappear like magic. I love how they've created the random smears and the build up of water against the wiper blades, not to mention the realistic drops themselves. Well, looks like this may eventually get a place in my PS4 library...as long as the PS+ version eventually comes out and impresses me as much as the game play footage I've seen.

    If you have both consoles - get this along with Forza Horizon 2. All your arcade racing needs will be taken care of.

    The moment in the Norway video where he crashed, and all the raindrops on the windshield reacted to the impact sold it to me. Unbelievable. The transition from rain to sleet in the wiper trails is also scarily realistic.

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