I’ve been playing this over the past week. First impressions were very negative. This is the first game I’ve played on PS4 (standard) where it is clearly optimised for something more powerful. The graphics are rough at times. It has this resolution scaling that turns the image quality to mud. 90% of the time it’s fine, then it turns to shit and it’s awful. It affects some stages more than others. Frame rate is fine thankfully.
Outside of that, the game has issues. The force feedback is missing a lot of the surface effects that were in the first game. This will no doubt be added in a patch. The AI balance seems rough too. It’s definitely not right. They probably released it 6 months too early.
But, and it’s a big but, this game is fantastic. They’ve somehow improved the physics and handling and it drives like a dream. It feels a little bit easier to drive than the first game, definitely less frustrating, but not dumbed down. The cars feel nice and weighty and the sense of acceleration and deceleration is great. The sliding feels so, so good.
The courses are more forgiving than the first game, which also helps to control the frustration level. Don’t worry, the challenge is still there. Style-wise, they feel a bit samey. Over an 8 mile run I’d like to see a lot more variety in the scenery. The art style is hit and miss. Some of the lighting effects are good, but sometimes it’s garish, bloomy and cheap looking. Overall I prefer the more restrained style of the first game. Happily, the DLC will add the original stages back in and on the basis of Monte Carlo and Sweden they have done a nice job.