By Chad Sapieha,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Circuit racer has cool social features, big privacy issues.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
All races take place on closed-circuit courses open only to race participants, which means civilians and public traffic aren't endangered. But the game does glamorize high-speed driving.
Positive Role Models
The drivers are mute and without personality. No other characters or voices. But kids may take behavioral cues from their human opponents and teammates.
Ease of Play
Standard driving controls should prove easy for most players, but the game lacks some helpful features found in other racers, such as an on-track guidance line, the ability to rewind a few seconds to avoid collisions, and driving assistance modifiers that affect difficulty. Much of the racing is against other players, which means the very best quickly rise to the top of leaderboards and challenges, making it harder for beginning players to succeed.
Violence & Scariness
Cars traveling at speeds in excess of 200 mph get into violent-looking wrecks that can send vehicles spinning through the air or smashing into fences and trees, though no drivers ever appear hurt. Overturned cars simply disappear and then reappear on the road after a second or two, ready to keep racing.
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Products & Purchases
Tons of authentic cars from real-world manufacturers, each authentically detailed. The camera provides views of each car from all sides and recreates what it's like to open the door and climb inside, making these sequences feel a bit like interactive car ads.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Driveclub is a social racing game that encourages players to form their own clubs and race as part of a team. It supports open online communication with strangers, which raises privacy and safety concerns. It's a closed-course racing game, which means no street racing amid pedestrians and civilian traffic. But, like most racing games, it does glamorize high-speed driving. There are some violent-looking crashes as well crashes into trees or other vehicles, although the cars reappear on the road a few seconds later without any visible damage to machine or driver. Keep in mind, too, that parts of the game feel a bit like interactive ads, showcasing a wide variety of real-world vehicles, ranging from affordable hatchbacks to expensive supercars.
Where to Play
Videos and Photos
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What’s It About?
DRIVECLUB is a social racing game that encourages players to form clubs with friends or strangers and race as part of a team. Races take place on a variety of fictional tracks located around the world, with real-world cars ranging from simple hatchbacks (including VW bugs and Mini Coopers) to exotic sports cars from manufacturers like Ferrari and Pagani. Players can race in both single-player Tour races and multiplayer events to earn points that raise both their individual racing level and that of their club. They can create their own events with a few button taps and then share them with hundreds of other players. The more people who race in a user-created event, the bigger the point payout. Additional cars and custom paint jobs become unlocked as players and clubs advance in level. Once players have finished the solo events, they can keep playing the social side of the game for as long as they like, entering challenges and continuing to level up their clubs.
Is It Any Good?
Driveclub's Tour mode is surprisingly short compared to those of most racers, and it doesn't have arcade-style gimmicks such as the ability to rewind races or simulation-style options to tune and upgrade each car. Instead, its focus is on taking the concept of social racing to a new level. Players are meant to band together and work as a team to win races, grow their clubs, and just generally enjoy racing as part of a group rather than as isolated individuals.
Though Driveclub succeeds in its mission to be a social-first game -- and delivers impressive car handling and some wonderfully scenic tracks -- it never quite manages to go from good to great. There's little innovation in its traditional point-to-point, drifting, and speed lap races. The online features are intuitive and seamless, making it easy for even shy players to become a bit more social, but they fail to create a grander sense of purpose. You're still driving through the same types of races you'd find in other games, only now you're doing it to earn points for your club. What's here is fine and fun, but players might have expected something more from a game striving to define the next generation of console racing.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about online safety in games like Driveclub. Chatting with other players online is fun, but it can be dangerous. What steps would you take if you found yourself chatting with someone who started harassing you, asking for your personal information, or suggesting meeting in real life?
Discuss driving safety. What are some common distractions to be avoided while driving? What's the difference between aggressive and defensive driving?
- Platform: PlayStation 4
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Release date: October 7, 2014
- Genre: Racing
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Sports and Martial Arts
- ESRB rating: E for No Descriptors
- Last updated: September 19, 2021
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