Sony finally delivers on its promise - partially - but are people still excited for the sim racer's ultra-demo?
Last October, Sony released Driveclub for PlayStation 4, delivering a simulation-style racer from the makers of MotorStorm, but major online issues with the main game delayed the debut of a free, trimmed-down version for PlayStation Plus subscribers.
Almost nine full months later - Driveclub PlayStation Plus Edition is now finally available to download from the PlayStation Store for active subscribers. As previously announced, the PlayStation Plus version includes the core functionality of the main game, but with fewer cars and tracks. It's a large demo, in essence, but it lets players upgrade to the full version at a discount. The breakdown trailer below is a year old at this point, but it appears to still be accurate.
However, the PlayStation Plus Edition won't be fully functional tomorrow for most players. For whatever reason, Sony and Evolution Studios have been unable to scale up server demand to accommodate Driveclub's online features, even after all these months and the continual embarrassment of the botched release.
To try and prevent that from happening again, Sony says it will only let some players access the online features of Driveclub PlayStation Plus Edition right away, and will then add more players gradually over time. It's not a bad strategy, considering how rough things were with the full-priced version of the game, but it's startling to think that a company of Sony's scale and resources can't sort out server and netcode issues.
Driveclub underwhelmed at launch, as a dry, visually inconsistent, and overly streamlined take on the sim racing genre, and it's since had its spotlight taken by the recent release of Project CARS (which already has a sequel announced).
After all this time, it seems unlikely that Driveclub will have a true second chance with players - but free is free, and you might as well grab the Plus version if you're a subscriber. Fingers crossed that this launch goes smoother than the earlier one.