Evolution Studios announced today via their Facebook account that Driveclub’s November DLC will be available for free for those who purchased the full title. The DLC packs will add 5 cars, 22 Tour events, 10 trophies, and 10 liveries to the racing game on November 25 in North America, November 26 in Europe, and November 27 in Japan. This was to be premium content, included in the game’s Season Pass, but Evolution Studios has decided to give it free to everyone who’s purchased the full game as atonement for the server issues, among others, that have plagued the title since launch. The Season Pass will accordingly be extended an extra month to provide purchasers with their money’s worth.
Update (11-23-14): Evolution Studios posted a trailer for the upcoming DLC on their Facebook page.
Evolution also announced that an update this coming Tuesday, unrelated to the above DLC, will add a Photo mode to the game. Fitting, because looking great is what the game does best. Three new tracks will also be released as part of the free update, and some player-requested features like “improved” multiplayer collision physics will be included as well.
I reviewed the game earlier, and long story short, I found the game underwhelming, regardless of the server issues (although those are disappointing). I’m inclined to take a look at what the DLC adds, and see if the changed collision physics address some of my annoyances with how the game controls, but I feel like this is bare minimum crisis control. The game still isn’t working as well as it should have at launch, and here we are more than a month after it was released. Best-case, you encourage people to keep playing a little longer, long enough for the free PS+ Edition to come out and get more players racing and convert that to more sales. But since the underlying racer itself isn’t top-notch and competitors such as The Crew are releasing soon, it can’t be long before most people give up on the game. Time is running out.
(The above was an update to a previous news article. That article, titled “Driveclub Still Experiencing Server Issues One Week After Launch” and published on Oct. 15, 2014, is below.)
More than a week has gone by and many of Driveclub’s multiplayer features are still either limited or inaccessible altogether. Evolution Studios have been posted daily to Driveclub’s official Facebook page, with the most recent (as of the writing of this post) explaining that over the next day, a game update will accompany server upgrades to address the remaining issues. I hope they are successful, as I’m itching to finally test out the club feature, but it’s still quite frustrating, given that having enough server capacity is an issue that should have been avoided in the first place. Evolution Studios has also been silent about when the PlayStation Plus Edition will launch, but that shouldn’t be expected until the full game is working properly.
As of this writing, while I can connect to their servers, I usually get disconnected a short time later. I was able to join a club, but I can’t complete club challenges (the section is grayed out in the menu), so it’s pointless at this point. Joining a club is a prerequisite for unlocking certain cars, and while I was able to use one when connected, when disconnected I cannot, even though the game shows that I am still in a club. Joining a club is not needed for multiplayer races, but even when connected, the game sits in the menu searching for events it never finds. I won’t go on listing more things that don’t work, but the list is long and judging by the comments on Driveclub’s Facebook page, I’m not alone. To be fair, features have been slowly added since launch. But, the situation is obviously less than ideal and certainly is not what Sony had in mind for the PS4’s flagship racer.
(The above was an update to a previous news article. That article, titled “Driveclub, Other PS4 Titles Experiencing Connectivity Issues” and published on Oct. 8 2014, is below.)
Many PS4 owners trying to play the recently-released Driveclub, myself included, have been having issues connecting to the game’s servers. This is a big problem, considering how social the game is supposed to be. The whole “club” part of the title refers to the way you connect, collaborate, and compete with other players, not just in races, but with player-created challenges as well. For now, however, only the base solo driving of the game is still playable. To his credit, game director Paul Rustchynsky apologized for the problem via Facebook, and Evolution Studios has delayed the launch of the free PS Plus Edition of the title to help ease the load on the servers.
Still, this is a big disappointment for myself and countless others, who have been waiting for Driveclub for about a year since its original launch date. I also wonder if this will hurt sales, as those who planned to test the PS Plus Edition, and to potentially upgrade, must now either wait for a resolution or simply move on. Hopefully, this will be a quick fix, but other sites are reporting that more PS4 titles such as NBA 2K15 are experiencing server issues as well, so it might be a more systematic issue. If that is the case, we could be waiting awhile. Either way, our review of Driveclub will be coming soon, but only after the social features can be properly tested.
We will keep you informed of any updates on the matter.