Do you guys remember that warm, fuzzy feeling when you found out PS+ members would get a free version of Sony’s exclusive racing game, Driveclub? Yeah? Well, it may be time to wave it goodbye. Turns out the PS+ version will be more of a watered down mirror of its full-priced counterpart than we expected. A post on the EU PlayStation Blog states that the PS+ version of Driveclub will offer 10 cars, 5 tracks, and the ability to complete only a part of the single-player campaign.
After the blog post called the free version “the perfect way for those new to the genre to get an idea of what the full DRIVECLUB experience is all about,” dissatisfied readers whispered discontent, and the term “demo” spread across message boards like poison.
“It’s hardly a demo because you get access to all of the game’s features online and offline” Rustchynsky replied. “The difference is that you only have 10 cars and you can only race in one country (which gives you access to 5 tracks with 11 distinct variants).” Many, however, are arguing that the small car/track pool, combined with the inability to complete the campaign, reads as “glorified demo” in huge, dissatisfied print.
In response to questions regarding the PS+ edition’s purpose, Paul Rustchynsky commented on the blog post, “You can get all of the cars and tracks from the start by picking up the Blu-ray, which offers the best value overall, or you can try out the PlayStation Plus Edition first and then upgrade to match the original game.” With each comment off the post, the PlayStation Plus edition begins to feel more like a sampler platter, when most people expected a meal, just missing a few ingredients.
The PS+ edition will still allow you to play online, compete in multiplayer races, join a club, create connections, issue challenges, unlock Trophies (including a platinum trophy), and play through some of the single-player story, called The Tour. You don’t have access to all of the cars and tracks needed to complete Driveclub Tour, so you can fake it till you make it. And by make it, I mean pay up.
On the other side of the debate are a reasonable number of players who are comfortable with Evolution Studios’s offering. Few could realistically expect a full-fledged title for free. In fact, the PS+ version will go as far as to bring players into the social gameplay, which is more core to Driveclub than the single player campaign or car variety.
So here we are, Sony, at the intersection of fair expectations and unsatisfied demo-bashing. Sure, I felt a little dirty nabbing a PlayStation title on the coattails of my semi-mandatory PS+ subscription, but I didn’t really want you to realize it. That dirty feeling is now replaced with the inevitable shame of dishing out dollars for the rest of the game. Having a big company tell you that your right to a free game just isn’t real is demoralizing, almost as demoralizing as giving away thousands of copies of your exclusive title to anyone who shelled out $9.99/mo for a PS+ subscription. See the dilemma here?
Well calm yourself, dilemma victims, your moral compass knows the truth. For such a large project, being included in the entire social scene of Driveclub is quite a gift. It will offer casual players a chance at the fun, and more serious drivers a taste before they dive into a full-priced copy.