After several delays, gamers had high expectations for Driveclub when the former PS4 launch title finally released in October. The IP was expected to establish itself as a worthy racer if only because it was one of few racing games releasing on PS4 in 2014.
However, Driveclub quickly became a talked about title for many different reasons when the game suffered a series of issues at launch. The problems appeared to be with the game's servers; forcing people out of Driveclub's multiplayer and preventing them from playing as the developer, Evolution Studios, initially intended.
These weren't the only features restricted by the issues either, as the PlayStation Plus version of Driveclub, the game's photo mode, and its dynamic weather systems were all put on hold. In the latest update, Evolution Studios is finally bringing those weather effects to the game.
Called update 1.08, the latest Driveclub patch totals 1.4GB in size. In it, players will get both dynamic rain and snow effects, which should add new visuals to each track. The update also adds two new tracks (Atlanterhavsvegen in Norway and Sinclair Pass in Canada) to the mix.
Furthermore, a variety of improvements have been added to the game based on player feedback:
- Adds the option to configure Throttle/Brake controls onto Up/Down on Right Stick.
- Adds the ability to access Club Cars when offline.
- Adds the ability to access Club Paint Jobs when offline.
- Adds track maps and stats to each track card in Single Event.
- Adds player statistics to various panels within Single Event and Challenges.
- Includes more minor bug fixes, performance improvements and usability tweaks.
Evolution also says that these aren't the only additions we'll be seeing to Driveclub this month. The Redline Expansion Pack and the Element Tour Pack will be offered as premium downloads that add new cars, tracks and trophies, whilst the Mazzanti Evantra will be free, joining the recent load of free Driveclub DLC Evolution offered as an apology for the game's broken launch.
The fact that Driveclub is getting itself back on track, will also be good news for Sony who has already formally apologized for the game's launch problems. But now, in an interview with MCV, PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan says that he doesn't think that the game's launch performance has hindered the PS4's momentum or their reputation.
"We have to acknowledge that there have been problems and we’re really sorry to anyone who has suffered from those issues. They shouldn’t happen. But in a world that’s becoming more and more technically complicated, it’s getting harder to deliver stuff. That’s not an excuse, because you shouldn’t really launch a game before it’s ready. And clearly we’ve made mistakes and we apologise for that.
Has it dampened our momentum? No. Has it damaged our reputation? I don’t think so. People understand that mistakes do get made so as long as you apologise and make them right. That’s the main thing. When you spend £50/£60 on a game you’re entitled to expect that it works. If we or anyone else in the industry makes mistakes you should fess up to it and then put it right as soon as possible.“
Ryan added that companies like Sony "need to be big enough to be able to deal with [vocal, angry gamers]" and that those who can't should "go find something else to do" as "you have to take the rough with the smooth". Driveclub's launch was definitely a 'rough' patch for the PS4 then, but hopefully with Sony having noted the harsh reaction, we'll see less of that from their first party games in future.