Review by MClayden

"Fantastic but not perfect, but what is?"

Being a lover of the original GT and the sequel, i was aware of the quality that Polyphony lavished upon their games, but nothing could have prepared me for the sight that graced my eyes after putting the GT3 disc in my PS2.
For the first time the word ''Photo-Realistic'' actually rang true, the game is clearly the best looking PS2 game ever made, damn, its the best looking game PERIOD. The sunlight reflects off the cars, the trees cast shadows onto the track and the sunlight from the game can actually get in your eyes during races, thats how realistic the sun effects are in this, the most noticeable effect of this happens on the Apricot Hill raceway, where you come up a big hill and the sun is directly in your eyes... Unbelievable realism!
However graphics and flash effects do not a good game make, so therefore its lucky that Polyphony have added their usuall sheen of fantastic gameplay to the package, with more races than you can shake a stick at.
From Rally races, to normal car races with Audi TT's, RUF's, and even Truneo Sport's, then as you get further into the game you pick up the Skyline and soon its souped up to 990bhp and thats when the game REALLY comes into its own.
The sense of speed during the real racing car races is unreal, nothing can beat the rush of hammering along a straight at 330kph before braking hard and swinging into a tight corner, laying on the accelerator and edging ahead of a competitors equally fast racer, and with these kind of graphics, breathtaking would be an understatement.
However GT3 is not without its flaws, for a start you can STILL rail ride, and lean on other cars to help you get round corners... Now on EASY setting this would be fine and dandy, but when you are on Professional level with a car capable of about 400kph+ you really dont want to spoil the racing experience by unrealistically using another car as a platform to take a corner, this is considered cheating and its easy to use this stupid method to win races (Not to say i haven't ever used it myself! The Audi TT championship is a bitch!).
Another minor gripe is that there is STILL no car damage, but after seeing the graphics on the latest incarnation of GT, i accept that remodelling all the cars to include damage would be torturous and would have SERIOUSLY delayed the release of GT3, but then again its a small price to pay for being able to rip the wing mirrors off a RUF, heh heh heh...
However these minor problems shouldn't and don't detract from what is a fantastic game, all fans of GT should get this and i suppose that they already have, but for the unbelievers who think its all graphics and no content should take heed that there are over 300 races to win not to mention the 100+ different cars that you can win by completing races, and the championships and licences that you have to get all gold in to become a TRUE GT3 master...
So all in all a great game, you should all buy immediately, the only problem is that it may be a little TOO realistic for some, and involves a lot of slowing right down to take corners perfect, so if your the kind of person that likes to whip around tracks at 350kph+ like you can in Ridge Racer 5, and prefer the fluidity of the arcade racer then you most probably wont like this game, however if you are mildly interested in the simulation side of things, get the game and you will probably grow to love the game, i thought the original GT sucked until i played it for a while and got a few licences, then it grew on me and now it has replaced Q3A as my favourite PS2 game, well, until FFX and MGS2 anyway...

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/23/01, Updated 07/23/01

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