Review by lighty691

"A big improvement on an already impressive original"

Gran Turismo 2 - Review
by Andrew Light

A big improvement on an already impressive original.

For those who are new to the series, Gran Turismo 2 is the sequel to the popular debut for the series, Gran Turismo. It is given the title of a "driving simulator", which in my opinion was created for this game. Rather than trying to make the game an unrealistic game that was entertaining rather than a representation of real life racing the original Gran Turismo advertised itself as a game that was as close to real life driving as a game could be.

Gameplay

The game offers two different game modes, GT mode and Arcade mode which on the surface doesn't sound a lot particularly, however that is actually quite far from the truth. Both game modes are massive and will offer many, many hours of game play.

Arcade mode is almost a whole game in itself. If the game had been released with just this disk it would still be in itself a decent game. It involves picking a car of your choice and race against similar rated cars in either single races or as time trials and due to the fact that in this game mode you will always be racing against cars of a similar style and power. There are plenty of cars and races to choose that will keep you racing well into the night.

However I feel the majority of the players who play this game will head straight into GT mode. This is where you take on a role that could be compared to a career of sorts. You are given a small amount of start up cash to buy your first car and begin by entering in low stakes races to build up a bit more cash. Once you have done this you can then tune your car to be able to compete in bigger tournaments or even pick up a brand new car. It is then up to the players as to what tournaments or races they enter which gives the players plenty of freedom to play the game as they like. One thing that also provides more of a challenge than regular racing games is the needs to pass license tests in order to enter in the bigger championships. They become progressively harder with the top license required to enter the biggest tournaments.

In addition to the standard GT tournaments and endurance races that the original game offered, Gran turismo 2 now also offers a rally style element to the game with the dirt track races. This offers a totally different style of racing to the "street races" that players will have raced before. It requires different tactics and skills in order to come out on top and will be a welcome addition to the series.

If all those tournaments and races are not enough then there is also another very welcome addition to the game which is the manufacturer's competitions. This is one of my favourite additions to the game and really makes the game stand out from the competition. Pretty much all of the different manufacturers will offer some special competitions to enter. For example popular models of cars with have their own challenge where you race against other drivers in the same model of car. These races again provide cash prizes for the winners and in some, limited edition cars as a bonus.

With GT2 scoring highly in the game modes and races department it was essential that the game offered plenty of cars. Again the game really does not disappoint here. Including all special models and used cars the game boasts a number of cars in the region of 600. Bearing in mind that these cars are all fully playable and boast a whole host of alterations and colours available this is an impressive figure.

Overall the gameplay in this game is second to none when compared to other racing games on the Playstation. It is incredibly fun to play and has various levels off difficulty to keep all gamers interested. The game has plenty of variation in car type, power and style to ensure that players don't breeze through every race without any challenge.

Score 10/10

Sound/Graphics

In my opinion the attention to detail in this game is excellent, particularly with the vehicles. At the time there were very few games that had cars so superbly represented. The artists have done a brilliant job in creating the cars on the game and making sure they look exactly like their real life counterparts.

You can look at famous models such as the Nissan Skyline, Dodge Viper and Subaru Impreza are instantly recognisable and are presented in excellent detail. In a game that advertises itself as a racing simulation the level of detail on the cars needed to be spot on. Personally I think Gran Turismo 2 achieves that.

One area of the game that I think GT2 slightly disappoints is the level of detail on the tracks and backgrounds on the courses. When compared to the level of detail on the cars the courses and backgrounds themselves don't really reach the same standards. The long distance backgrounds and scenery doesn't really have much attention to detail which is a shame as most of the other bits in the game look good. However I don't really think that this spoils or ruins any of the actual enjoyment of the game. There are also a few areas of the game that have glitches but again these are few and far between and cause very few problems.

GT2 seems to present a running theme throughout the game. In almost every aspect of the game nothing has been left out and there are certainly no half measures. GT2 boasts plenty of soundtracks that compliment the style and pace of the game. There is sufficient depth in the playlist to make sure that the songs don't become repetitive in the game which can often be the case with some games.

All cars also boast realistic engine sounds and road noises. You can really tell the difference between the engine of a Mini Cooper and the engine of a heavily modified car like the American muscle cars. With a lot of games there is very little difference between the cars noises so this is a welcome addition from GT2.

Again GT2 scores very highly in this section. The game only misses out on a perfect score here as I think some of the detail on the tracks could be improved.

Score 9/10

Lifespan

GT2 is a game that you will be playing for years to come. There are so many competitions to compete in but the main strength the game has is in the sheer amount of variety in the cars. There are approx 600 cars all of which can be fully tuned and tinkered with. In order to buy/win every car and buy all additional parts for a car would give you hundreds of hours of gameplay.

There will always be sufficient challenge as no matter how many credits you obtain and whichever cars you buy, most of the competitions have set limitations on the cars and HP levels that will ensure it will be competitive.

Score 10/10

Final Recommendation

Personally I think this is a game that everyone should own. It is a wonderful game packed with plenty of courses and cars to keep even the hardcore gamer happy. Graphically it is excellent bearing in mind the game was produced for the original Playstation and it is for those reasons that the game gets the top score for me. For anyone who manages to get a copy of this game I would advise them to keep hold of it as it is certainly a game that you will come back to time and time again.

Final Score 10/10


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/12/09

Game Release: Gran Turismo 2: The Real Driving Simulator (EU, 10/27/00)


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