Mike Channell at the TopGear website has spent some time in the driver’s seat with the new DriveclubVR on the Playstation 4.
Virtual reality can place you into the snug cockpit of the most desirable cars on the planet, allowing you to inspect the carbon fibre weave of a Pagani Huayra’s dashboard or peer over the steering wheel and watch the active aero flapping away under braking. Everything’s rendered entirely in 3D and precise head-tracking means that you instantly forget that you essentially have a mobile phone screen strapped to your melon.
When you slide into a BAC Mono, you’re aware of the cockpit curling up over your shoulders. Floor the throttle and you quickly discover how many of the problems with racing games VR can solve. Placing your car in 3D space suddenly becomes a breeze, instantly improving your lines through corners, and even little touches like having shift lights in your peripheral vision rather than at the bottom of a TV screen make a huge difference.
It helps that Sony already had slick, capable arcade racer DriveClub ripe for a VR repurposing. DriveClub VR turns out to be the most complete game in PlayStation VR’s launch line-up. It’s got 80 cars, a hundred or so tracks and handling that positively begs you to hustle cars through corners. It’s perfectly playable with the standard Dual Shock controller, of course, but if you have a steering wheel and pedal set the final piece of the immersion jigsaw falls into place and suddenly you’re a racing driver. Or at the very least an enthusiastic amateur hooligan.