Review by Greatest One

"This game is great, IF you are a fan of the other two"

The Gran Turismo series has been widely regarded as the best racing series of all time. With its beautiful graphics and, real cars and great gameplay, few would argue that statement. With GT3, this great series makes it debut on the PS2. Does it live up to the hype?
When you first play GT3, you can't help but let out a few ''WOW''s. The graphics are absolutely jaw dropping. Especially in the replay scenes. You could easily think that you are watching an actual race on TV. The surroundings are very well done, with lots of detail. You could even say rays of sunlight creeping through the branches of trees. It is quite possible, that this is the best graphical game yet for any console.
Once you get over the graphics, you get to the game itself. This is where it can get a little disappointing, depending on your perspective. The gameplay remains unchanged, which can be both good and bad. The controls of the previous Gran Turismo's were great and so there was no need to change them. They are all the same, which is absolutely fine. But, the game's core itself doesn't offer anything new. You have two modes, arcade and simulation. In arcade mode, you can use the default cars or the cars you have won in simulation mode to race against the computer, another player or the clock. This mode is good for anyone who just wants to get into a car and race. But, if you want to race in more cars, you will have to go through the simulation mode.
The simulation mode, which is the meat of the game, is more or less the same as the other two games. You start of with a set amount of credits which you can use to buy a car. You then can race in some beginner leagues and winning them will get you more credits and bonus cars. To race in more advanced leagues, you will have to obtain various licenses by going through a number of tests. Just like the other two games, the tests aren't insanely difficult, but are pretty tough. Getting new licenses lets you compete in more leagues and you get the opportunity to get more credits and win better cars. This mode is great if you are new to the series, or don't mind doing the same things you did in the other two games.
There is an improved rally race mode that lets you race off road. This mode is very well done. The cars slip and slide realistically and you can almost feel the dirt underneath you with the dual-shock controller vibrating perfectly. One tip in this mode: Do not get behind another car. Your visibility will become almost zero because of all the dirt flying into your windshield.
Overall, this game doesn't offer anything new, other than vastly improved graphics, but due to the greatness of the series, it is still worth checking out.

Graphics: 10.
Maybe the best graphics for any game yet. The amount of detail is impressive and there is no slowdown or pop-up even in high detail areas.

Sound: 8.
I am not a big fan of the soundtrack. It has a few good songs, and the rest are forgettable. But, that depends on your taste. The sound effects are marvelous. You can really hear the differences when you are driving on different surfaces, or going through tunnels and banging into other cars.

Gameplay: 7.
There is not much innovation here. If you were tired of the tedious license tests and the long simulation modes of the previous games, you will quickly get bored of them here too. Also, the cars still don't take any damage, but I guess that's how Sony gets the licenses for all these cars, by promising to make them look great at all times.

Relay Value: 9.
If you like the simulation mode, you could spend a lot of time here. Even though there aren't as many cars as before, there still is a huge number to buy. It will take a long time. And multiplayer always adds to the replay value.

Overall: 8.
If you are new to the series, it is definitely a must buy. If not, it is still worth getting due to the amazing graphics and the great, but unchanged gameplay.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/12/01, Updated 07/12/01

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