Monday, 25 May 2015

GTR2 review and Corvette C5.r fifteen lap race at Donington Park

There's much to like about GTR2. Of course a title released in 2006 cannot compete with modern titles when it comes to graphics, but what it does do, and does well, is do old school simulation.

What struck me when reading the flimsy manual was how much there is in this title, compared to how little there is in that little booklet. Back when games were released with manuals that would now be sold seperately, if sold at all, GTR2 would have justified a couple of volumes, with a detailed tome on setup alone.

And GTR2 is definitely old school as soon as you max realism out to "simulation", which should be the very first thing that you do, because that's when the magic really comes to the fore with this title. In short, you need to think, and you need to be alive to what's going on around you.

No virtual mirror, no chatty spotter to keep you updated, no relative position box to keep you informed on gap, and whether the driver ahead is a lap down or if you're competing for position. You're going to have to look in the car's mirrors, and you're going to have to take note of the pit board that's put out at the end of every lap, which will tell you your position and the gap to the car ahead of you, and the car behind.

You're not even given lap time information. There is no tab for that listing every lap from the session, and your spotter will not call them out. You need to look at your car's LCD to discover your last time.

Time and weather features round out the experience. I have yet to experience lower light conditions, but there must be a very good reason headlights are modelled, and time can be set to advance in real time or faster. Driving in the rain is a real challenge, and even with wet tyres still something I have to properly explore. Even pit stops are modelled.

For the moment I'm preparing for a full eleven weekend championship series in the Corvette C5.r, with hour long races and pit stops, along with variable weather. The graphics might be dated, but it is going to be a fascinating and, I hope, enthralling experience.

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