Itís always good to start a review with a bold
statement, so letís go: Gran Turismo is the
finest race game ever created. Not only that,
itís one of the greatest games of all time.
Why? Letís find out.
The game is split into two main options,
Arcade and Simulation. The former is
essentially a great introduction to the game. It
features a variety of stock Japanese street
cars and four tracks to race them on. Finish
the four tracks, and four more are opened.
Finish those, and more goodies become
available. Itís truly fun, and if it was available
as a standalone product, it would be one of
the best PSX racing games. But in Gran
Turismo, itís merely the apéritif. The real
game is Simulation Mode, and it is here that you find the greatest racer ever
What makes Gran Turismo so incredible is its phenomenal depth. It requires
the player to go to almost role-playing lengths to get the most out of it. But if
youíre a racing fan, itís absolutely worth the effort.
Before any real racing takes place, the player must first pass an eight-stage
race driving test. Sounds like a pain? Not really. Because Gran Turismo is
such an advanced driving game and its physics and handling are so realistic,
it takes time to learn how to drive it. Each of the testís eight stages are
designed to teach the player the basics of car handling, and in the process of
passing each of the stages, the player learns how to drive the car. Once all
the stages are complete, the player is given a ďBĒ license, which enables
entry into one of the five ĎBĒ license championship races. Itís at this point
the player can spend his money on a car and start racing. But just so you
know, this is just the beginning. There are another thirteen championships to
enter, seven of which require the player to pass an eight-stage ďAĒ license
test, and a further five which require the player to have passed the advanced
ďInternational AĒ eight-stage test. Again, each of these tests teach the player
increasingly advanced techniques, and again, each time a license is gained,
the player is a much better driver for it.
The game begins proper with the acquisition of the first license. Utilizing
10,000 credits given at the start of the game, the player goes and buys a car.
And itís at this point that the player really begins to understand the sheer
depth of this game. Gran Turismo features 187 licensed cars, each a faithful
recreation of its real-life counterpart, right down to its range of authentic
factory colors (each car even has its own spec sheet and model history). The
featured manufacturers are Honda, Acura, Mazda, Subaru, Toyota, Nissan,
Mitsubishi, Chevrolet, Dodge, TVR and Aston Martin, and each of these
in-game ďdealershipsĒ has wide variety of vehicles available to purchase.
These vehicles range from sublime street cars like a Honda Civic Sedan to the
exotic, such as a Dodge Viper or Aston Martin DB7. But there are also special
racing models too, such as the fabulous Acura NSX GT-2 and Toyota Castrol
Supra GT. Cars are purchased new, or used Ė indeed, there are some great
treasures lurking in the used lots of dealerships.
But thatís just the beginning. Each car can be tuned and modified to improve
its performance. Once a car is purchased, new tires, stage tuning, turbo
tuning, exhausts, tires, engine mods and even weight reduction and a racing
body can be bought to increase performance. Not only that, each category of
modification can be further tweaked to enable the player to completely tune
the car to his or her personal tastes.
Everything in the game costs money, and the only way money is gained is
winning races. But even with consistent winning, with so much choice, the
player really has to decide what cars he or she wants before committing a
purchase. Cars that are bought are permanently stored in a garage that
resides on a Memory Card, and although cars can be sold, itís at a huge loss.
So itís a case of caveat emptor before you make a purchase.
Once a car is bought, the player can then race. There are seventeen different
championships in all, each comprising races on between three and six
different tracks, played against a strong field of AI drivers. Points and prize
money are awarded for finishing each race Ė the better the final place in each
individual race, the more points and money is earned. To win a
championship, the player simply has to be the driver with the highest score.
Best of all, though, is that when a championship is won, an extra cash prize is
awarded and the player is also given a bonus car. And some of these cars are
absolutely awesome Ė including specialist racing cars and stock models not
available to purchase. Some races have two different cars to win in a variety
of different colors. In all, there are 27 hidden bonus cars Ė most games donít
even feature than many as standard! The Championships are incredibly
varied. There are races in which players may only enter four wheel drive cars.
There are also races for front wheel drive, rear wheel drive and lightweight
cars only. There are international races in which only cars of a particular
national origin may be entered, a stock car race, tuned car races and a high
speed race where only cars of more than 800 horsepower are competitive. All
this is great, because it means the player has to go out and buy all sorts of
different cars to enter these races Ė it also means that the player has to learn
to drive different types of cars. Thereís also some extra stuff too. Thereís a
time trial mode in which each track can be raced both forward and backward
and a test track where top speed and acceleration tests over two distances
can be carried out. Thereís even a car wash to keep your cars clean (as you
race, they get increasingly ďdirtyĒ Ė the specular highlighting becomes
increasingly less apparent). And great players will find a spectacular
hi-resolution racing surprise if theyíre good enough to unlock it.
Where Gran Turismo shows itself to be one of the all-time greats is in
gameplay. The physics in this game is astoundingly realistic. The cars feelÖ
like cars, basically. They have weight and amazing feel, particularly when
played with the absolutely essential, and utterly superb Dual Shock pad.
They behave very much like their real-life counterparts, and each car drives
differently, which is a testament to the physics engine. As a consequence,
the game is extremely challenging. Trying driving it like a regular driving
game and you wonít be successful. To win at this game, you have to think
like a driver. Brake in a straight line, power on after the turn-in, and donít hurl
the car around like you would in a coin-op. It takes a while to adjust, but once
you do, youíll enjoy the most realistic and rewarding racing experience yet
delivered in digital form.
Graphically, the game is first class. With specular highlighting firmly
the cars within the gameís environments, superb vehicle modeling (right
down to perfectly-functioning suspension and front wheels), highly
convincing track graphics and smooth and fast framerate, this game looks
astonishing. Couple that with the spectacular replay option, which looks like
lo-resolution FMV, you have a game that gives the PlayStation its raison
The sound effects are also excellent. Each car sounds like its real-life
counterpart, thanks to the fact that the developer sampled every carís engine
and exhaust. The tire noise is also great, and gives you the essential audio
clues to help you split those hundredths when going for record times. The
music? Well, itís dependent on whether or not you like rock-electronica
fusion. To be honest, itís not worth a cent of the marketing dollars put into it.
Itís simply not needed. Especially when youíre doing some serious driving
and want to hear what the tires and engine are doing. Thankfully the
comprehensive options menu enables you to turn it off.
In terms of flaws, the game has few. The biggest one is that the collision
detection is sometimes unrealistic, especially when the player hits other cars
and track walls. The problem is that the car doesnít slow down enough
following a collision with an object , and because of that you can use this to
your advantage by bouncing off walls to go around corners at otherwise
impossible speeds. Itís nothing that spoils the fun, but it definitely takes
something away from the otherwise incredibly realistic feeling of the game.
The only other thing that is a disappointment is that the fact cars do not take
damage. This should have been included as an option, since it would make
racing at a very advanced level even more challenging and enjoyable. Itís
understood that manufacturers donít want their cars to get smashed up in a
game, but who are they kidding? We all know the consequences of
over-ambitious driving, and to be honest, pretending that cars donít get
destroyed when driven into a wall at 150mph is simply stupid. If any game is
worthy of ultra-realism, itís this. Hopefully Gran Turismo II will remedy this
But other than that, Gran Turismo is a delight from start to finish. Its
ludicrously obsessive detail, sheer scope and simply outstanding design is a
lesson to developers everywhere. Itís raised the racing game ante to
ludicrous levels, and anyone hoping to compete with this will certainly have
their work cut out. It is unparalleled Ė itís the ultimate racing game, and there
is simply nothing to beat it.
Bottomline: Gran Turismo is easily the finest racing game yet seen, and
arguably, one of the greatest videogames of all time.
After winning all four
races in GT League, you'll get an extra menu in
Special Events called GT Hi-Fi. Aside from better sound effects, this
mode boasts higher resolution and smoother frame rate by reducing
background details. You'll also be the only one on the circuit (time
trial). Don't forget to check out your replay in this mode!
The easiest way to gain
extra credits is to race and win each Cup or Challenge more than once,
and then sell the extra Bonus Cars you receive.
NOTE: If you sell a prize car to it's original dealership you'll get more money.
It seems there is a bug
in GT which means you can make free duplicate copies of any parts you
buy for a particular type of car. Try this:
two identical cars. Give them a different color scheme if you like.
2.Buy loads of parts for the first one - fully spec it up if you like.
3.Check out its list of fitted parts from the garage (you should see a list of what you just
4.Switch to the other car and get in it (the one which you haven't fitted any parts on yet) and
check its fitted parts list (should be empty).
5.Still in the second car, go race (Spot Race will do).
6.When you get options to qualify, go to Machine Setting, then Change Parts. You'll now find
you can select all the parts from the other car, tyres, turbos, suspension, intercooler etc, in
effect fully spec'ing up the second car.
7.Exit the race, and go back to the garage. Check out the list of fitted parts for both cars. The
parts are now installed for both of them!
NOTE: This won't work
for the Weight Reduction or Racing Mod options and a few other things
(like port polishing), as these are not available from the Change Parts menu - they're not really
"parts" as such anyway. Also, it doesn't seem to work with cars that have been won.
Of course the best thing
you can do with this is sell the extra cars. As it cost you nothing to
increase its specs, you'll make a profit when you sell it!
Hi-Fi Mode, Bonus Cars and Bonus Tracks
To get all the bonus
items in Arcade mode, which include the four other tracks (Autumn Ring,
Deep Forest, SSR5, and Grand Valley Speedway), all the other cars (Toyota, Subaru, Dodge,
and TVR), the ending movie, and Hi-res GT Mode, you have to beat every single track with each
type of car (A, B, and C) under all three modes of difficulty (Easy, Normal, Difficult.)
Hidden Video of the GT Staff
In Arcade Mode, first
get the hidden tracks, then, on every track, take 1st place with any car
A,B, and C class mode on Normal setting or higher. Then go to Bonus Items, you'll see "Staff
Video" on the menu.
Really Easy Money
To get alot of money
very easily, buy the Viper GTS. Don't make any adjustments to it. Then
to the commercial cars championship under the Special Events menu. Use the Viper. You'll easily
blow away all the other competition. And just for winning one race you get $50,000 and for
winning the championship you get $100,000. If you place first in every race, get the
pole-positions, and win the championship you'll recieve $400,000 in total. That's alot of money!!!
Replay Mode Tip
Are you having trouble
beating the license tests? Well, you won't anymore. Go to the replay
theater in the main screen, and check out the demonstration movies. They will show you how to
beat all the license tests!
Win the Concept Car
To get the Concept car,
enter the American vs. British race and place first in the championship.
The second way to get the Concept Car is by earning the gold prize on each of the 7 B-Lisence
preliminary tests and on the final test.