Driveclub VR

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Driveclub VR Game Poster Image
VR racer remake delivers enhanced immersion, fuzzy graphics.

Parents say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Shows high-speed driving as fun, exciting. All races take place on closed circuits, so civilians, public traffic never at risk.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kids can choose male, female avatar, customize skin color, but he/she is silent, without any personality. 

Ease of Play

Intuitive, realistic controls, but few driving assist options, only one difficulty level. Player’s skill, experience are important factors.

Violence

Players will see vehicles traveling at high speeds get into serious-looking accidents -- hitting other cars, objects on side of track -- but no one ever gets hurt.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Real-world cars, complete with branding, appear throughout game. Players able to tour, inspect these cars, examining their bodies, interiors.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Driveclub VR is a racing game designed for virtual reality. In the role of either a male or female driver, players get behind the steering wheels of meticulously detailed re-creations of real-world cars. Thanks to the ability to look around in any direction while wearing a VR headset, players will often feel as though they really are inside these vehicles. Races take place at extremely fast speeds, and accidents frequently occur, but the action is set on closed circuits with neither pedestrians nor public traffic, so nobody gets hurt -- not even the drivers. Parents should also be aware that virtual reality equipment makers don't recommend VR experiences for kids under 12 due to the potential impact the technology may have on younger players' physiological development.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

DRIVECLUB VR is basically the original Driveclub racing game for PlayStation 4 redesigned for virtual reality. It delivers roughly the same scope of content -- more than 100 tracks and 80 cars -- along with the same arcade-meets-simulation vehicle handling. It also has the same focus on community-based activities. Players will encounter a seemingly never-ending series of trials that challenge them to beat other players' times and performances. They'll also engage in deep competitive online play. The differences in this edition have mostly to do with the game's virtual reality presentation. Drivers now have the ability to look around using their heads, creating an enhanced sense of immersion. A couple of new modes let players make the most of this wider perspective, including Cruise Control, which allows players to more easily look around while driving, and a passenger replay mode that puts players in the side seat during replays to let them inspect their surroundings both inside and outside the car. A PlayStation VR headset is required to play this game.

Is it any good?

While this racer manages to present lots of fast paced excitement, the visuals are just too rough for the VR experience. Virtual reality fans are just going to have to get used to the fact that, at least for the time being, VR games are kind of ugly compared to those displayed on the latest, greatest 4K HDR TVs and computer monitors. That's definitely true of Driveclub VR. While the original Driveclub for PlayStation 4 was and remains a beautiful game, the VR version feels like something released for a previous generation. Everything just feels sort of fuzzy and blurry. Sometimes it's almost impossible to make out the numbers on your car's instrument panel. Surface textures inside and outside of vehicles are less detailed, and weather effects have been completely stripped from the experience. Inferior visuals are noticeable in most VR games, but in Driveclub VR it's so extreme it almost ruins the experience.

What saves it (or at least what comes close to saving it) in the end is that when you're sitting in the cockpit of whichever high-end race car you've chosen, you'll really feel like you're in the driver's seat. You can casually look at your mirrors or lean your head out the window -- or even stick it through a sunroof -- to see if any cars are behind or around you. The shockingly authentic sense that you are present and inside these cars is enough to help you overlook the clearly inferior visuals -- especially if you're in a position where you don't have to pay full price (those who own the original Driveclub and have a season pass qualify for a steep discount on the VR version). Driveclub VR is a great example of VR's potential when it comes to driving games, but it also illustrates some of the hurdles the technology will need to overcome to reach a mainstream audience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time. With most races in Driveclub VR lasting less than 10 minutes, it can be easy to keep saying to yourself "just one more race," but what’s a good strategy to ensure you stop playing after an appropriate length of time?

  • Talk about driving safety. What are some of the risks involved in high-speed driving on public streets? Are there any local traffic regulations in your neighborhood designed to ensure drivers are even more careful on streets with kids?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love racing

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