Driveclub is not even close to be a sim, but it isn’t a pure arcad. It is a (good) mix between the two things so don’t be afraid if you are a pure sim/arcade fan. The handling model serves perfectly to Driveclub’s gameplay purposes. That is, speed, reflexes, learning to take total control over your car, and skill to shave milliseconds on each turn.
The most important thing is to get people in a certain mind-set to enjoy Driveclub. Even though it has a lot of racing-sim aspects like high-cockpit detail and the basics the g-cornering/slip-angle physics, you must never expect it to be a complete sim-racer.
The braking is very unrealistic, for example, but if you try to play along for a while you will find the fun in the game’s very own driving-physics rule-set.
Graphics can be bad at times but when you experience all the sunsets, sunrises, weather effects, and multicolor clouds, you will see what Driveclub really is capable to offer. Some enviroments looks better than others: India, which is included in the PlayStation Plus free edition, is among the worst but with rain or snow it gets way better.
The slowest cars can seem boring at first, but the thing changes radically as you start with the fastest ones. So go for them, but beware: you will have to play more carefully, as those are a bit challenging at first. The game is about immersion: try to play with the copckit view (especially in point to point races), disabling the HUD (right on d-pad). And even playing with bad weather condition can help.
AI accomodates to your skill to a certain point. If you suck, the AI will try to suck. If you do right, nothing stops you from winning the race. About multiplayer, it’s annoying sometimes when playing with rammers: it is full of them but, once you learn how to face them, it gets better: be careful at the first turns.
If you are first, expect everyone to hit you. Slow down until having one or two cars to hit and lean on in the turn. Or else you will have almost 100% probability of losing positions. In head-to-head duels on straigh segments, avoid at all costs being rammed to the sides. Slow down in the turns, too, so your opponent won’t be able to use you as a wall.
- Take the turn flat out; in hatchbacks or any car that has more than 50% of handling attribute, you can full throttle it through unless you are going really fast, like 250kph fast.
- Sharp turn. Brake before taking the turn; in good handling cars you can just gently brake and blast through, in tougher cars you want to add more to the brake or down a gear if you are driving manual.
- Sharpest turn, sometimes hairpins. Brake a lot before taking the turn; full brake in every car, big shift down gear if you are driving super/hypers.