GTR 2: Realism Redefined (PC)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Saturday, April 5, 2008

Graphics: 9.50
Sound: 9.50
Gameplay: 10.00
Replays: 10.00
Gamelength: 10.00

SimBin’s popular racing sim gets a sequel with “GTR 2” and it’s easily one of the best racing sims ever made.

As far as racing sims go, this is just about the only real series out there for PC these days. With the growing console racing sim market taking over ever since the debut of the origina “Gran Turismo”, it’s hard to deny that racing sims just don’t cut it on anything outside of a video game console these days for the most part. GTR 2 brings the promise of top notch racing simulation to the personal computer, but does it live up to the hype? Hop into the passenger seat and enjoy the ride as I race my way to the top in SimBin’s “GTR 2”.

If there’s one thing anyone will notice, it’s the user interface. The menus aren’t too pretty, but everything is laid out nicely and is extremely easy to navigate. Upon entering a race, though, the graphics show their true form and let me tell you, it’s a sight to behold. This game is beautiful. Even the car damage models are awesome, which doesn’t seem to be a very common thing these days. Not a single aspect of the graphics falls short of greatness and there were several times that I had found myself surprised at how well this game holds up to more recent titles.

“GTR 2” sounds amazing in every way imaginable. From the sounds of the menus to the revving of an engine at the start of a race, it’s easy to take notice of the work that the developers put into every aspect of this game. It’s easy to slack off and throw some generic sound effects and music into a game and that procedure is far too common, but these guys know better and definitely gave this project everything they had.

Now we come to the best part of the “GTR 2” experience: the absolute racing simulation game play. The majority of the game will be spent in the obvious career mode, but beginners may want to start off in the driving school. In the driving school, players will learn everything from the basics of acceleration to tackling the most difficult courses in the game. There are also a few other modes to hone your skills, which include the basic time trial and practice modes. Whether you’re an experience veteran or a rookie who’s never been inside of a car before, this game will cater to your needs and set you up with whatever skills you may need. The career mode consists of a few different types of races, which are separated into 3 categories. First, there’s the “Race Weekend” events, which are the more generic, but also very realistic and “complete” single races. Next, “Championship” events are full tournaments , including the official FIA GT seasons from the years 2003 and 2004. Finally, this game introduces “24 Hour” events to the “GTR” series, which are the most taxing and professional races in the entire game. “24 Hour” races are not to be taken lightly and are, in a word, hardcore. You can unlock more career challenges by finishing more driving school challenges, which gives even the most experiences players some incentive to go hone their skills in thee driving school. In short, this game has a ton of content that will likely last months on end for even the most immersed and addicted players. The actual racing component of the game is equally wonderful, playing like anything from an easy arcadey experience to a serious professional racing simulation. The craziest part about this is how different the play styles vary between the various settings. “GTR 2” is about as arcadey as you can get on the “Novice” setting with everything toned down to the easiest settings, but is also one of the most realistic driving simulations ever made if everything is jacked up and set to the “Simulation” setting. Because of these things, “GTR 2” is suitable for anyone with even a minor interest in cars. For those with a serious interest in the modification of vehicles, the slew of tuning options is astounding and seem to take things a step farther into the realm of realism by comparison to other racing sims. From the smallest courses in the driving school to the longest 24 hour events, this is a perfect example of what a racing simulation should be. Any aspiring developer could learn a thing or 2 from these guys! And hey, if that’s not enough, you can hop into an online race for some instant action that’s sure to gratify even the most picky of gamers. There’s not much to say about the online mode in all honesty because it’s exactly what you would expect: A perfect racing experience with up to 27 other players. It’s simple to navigate and even easier to get stinked in. This game is oh-so-perfect.

Overall, “GTR 2” is a phenomenal racing simulation experience that has virtually no room for improvement. It’s just that good.

Pros:
-Amazing graphics.
-Great music and sound effects.
-Car damage models are some of the best out there.
-Absolutely perfect learning curve.
-Difficulty settings can suit every style of player.
-Awesome online play.
-Perfect control scheme, even without a steering wheel.
-Low price to sweeten the deal even more.
-Almost too much to handle. This is a LONG game!

Cons:
-This game will not cook or clean for you, unfortunately.

Bottom Line:
If you like racing games, there’s no reason you should even be considering it. Go buy this game right now. If you can’t get into the idea of racing, that’s probably the only reason to avoid this game.

Overall Rating: 9.75

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