Does it live up to the hype and expectations?
Our answer is an enthusiastic yes to that question.
Upon loading the game up, choosing a car from the 2 that are made available and then picking one of the two tracks we moved onto the forest course. That is the one most commonly seen on all the videos on the net. The reason for this was to see how the actual game compared to those videos that have been floating round. Videos that could well have been tampered with by the developers to make the game look better then it actually was.
Does it look as good as the videos and screenshots? Well, maybe we should clarify something a bit, if you remember in the first GT’s, when watching a reply of your race you could see there was a slight graphical enhancement, and this is the same now, but with not so much of a noticeable difference between the two. The detail on the cars and most of the track is there during the race, but there’s just a bit more ‘gloss’ on the replay, but now it’s from ingame ‘wow’ to replay ‘breathtaking’
When playing all we can say was that it is very impressive, we were playing a 60hz JAP version, so here’s hoping the PAL version is done as well as possible. The track graphics but more importantly the amount of detail on the each individual car (eg the reflection on every panel) has to be seen to be believed. The courses are better than they look in the videos because they are now on big screen. The lighting effects are as we hoped, amazing. About two hours of game time was recorded and will be streamed on a TV at Gamezone if you want to check it out.
Controls…well there were no options for setting up your controls, so we had to use either analogue/digital for steering and analogue buttons for accel/brake. At first the new analogue button was weird to use, but once it became familiar, it started to feel really good actually, which was a bit of a surprise. It will be interesting to see what will become the standard when the game is released, having the analogue buttons makes the other stick not feel so accessible with the consistent flicking up and down for accelerate and brake.
One thing to note, after about an hour of playing we realised that the S-Video cables were available so we ripped one open and hooked it up. At first it didn’t look like too much had changed, but once we got back into the menu section the improvement was very noticeable, especially with any text. The game and replay visuals got a good step up as well, and I think anyone that has an S-Video capable TV would be silly for not purchasing one.
The music sounds good as expected, albeit the one song that was repeated. In game the sounds of the cars where as authentic as expected, having never driven a Honda super car it’s difficult to judge how it should sound. It was mentioned that during a race the cars sound so real that you can here each different car as it comes near you, so if you know what a turbo charged Skyline sounds like and it drives past you it should sound like the real thing.
As the game we played is only around 80% of the finished product it is a good indication of how it ‘should’ be, however there is still enough time for quite a few gameplay changes to be made. As it stands now, it will be exactly what every wants, a truly exciting, excellent ‘real driving simulator’.
This game can’t be out soon enough.