There's no denying it. The game GTR2 is merely a substitute for actual racing. And that's not a bad substitute to be at all, for a game.
The problem is with my life. Right now, I can't afford to get super-hot cars, and melt their tyres round a track on a weekend. Maybe one day I'll be able to properly take on the hobby I dream about. The place that exists an exhileration I've not yet half experienced, and yet I know it's there waiting. That's racing. You either dislike it, have a passing interest, or it's trapped inside every cell in your body, forever screaming out to be let loose.
If you're still reading, I think that means you're a bit of a nutter too. Good.. glad to meet you.
So, this game called GTR2. Well, yes it improves over GTR in two areas. Physics are modelled better, so you'll get a much more realistic feedback from the car through your senses as you're fighting for grip. Some will say it's a bit dumbed down. It's not. It's just more accurate, and better programming. The other thing it's improved is the graphics. Well, let's not all jump about in amazement. It's a sequel and it's a been a bit of time since the developers pushed the original so it's a bit of a given. The changes are generally subtle but the things you'll notice are the track surface material through conditions, the rain effects, and the sunlight. All well implemented.
Anyway, I didn't actually want to talk about the improvements over GTR at all, you'll see that covered in basically every review of this game on the net. What I care about is why this game is worth buying reglardless of whether you purchased GTR or not.
Forget the various Ferraris and Lambos in the game. Forget the real circuits, and the real pit crews, the real sounds. What really matters is the feeling that you're there, racing that car. If you're not fully immersed when you're in a race in GTR2, you're doing something wrong. When I race (I did a few individual online races last week) I get a sweat on, and I mean properly. I have some much adrenaline pumping round, and I'm so frantically aware of every corner, so desperate to keep my grip, eyes flicking toward the tyre and brake temperatures on my virtual wheel, that my poor brain cannot cope without releasing sweat for the duration of the session. I can't think of another game that does this to me. You might as well be there, and it might as well be a real race. Sure the code isn't quite a patch on reality, but you're brain won't care about the differences in accuracy, it's close enough. You'll feel the car slide through corners, and you're reactions will quicken to correct oversteer and drift as they begin to form. That's worth shelling out for anyday.
The reason behind the accuracy of the simulation is pretty much the same as the predecessor, the physics. As game engines go, this is surely a model developed from extreme fascination. The developers at SimBin must drink rocket-fuel instead of coffee for breakfast, it's the only explanation. Their code which you'll load onto your pc, is virtual racing as good as we can currently get. You'll make a lot of mistakes at first, and then you'll get the hang of it, and you'll forever turn your nose up at anything slightly less realistic than this simulation.
Buying GTR2 is the start of a passion. It's about educating yourself on how a car actually gets round that track. Stick all the settings to hardcore, and get into some multiplayer qualifying sessions. You'll soon see where the skills are in this, and what challenges are ahead in understanding the smooth operation of your machine on the circuit. It's not really a game. It's not for the gamers that want to be chased by police cars, or have their ridiculous neon lighting under their chasis. This is about racing, and racing is a massive, intergalactic learning zone. It's something I dream of, and yet GTR2 shows me that I understand so little, that it can help me, and train me, in case that day comes where my dreams actually come true.
It's as close to the real thing as you'll get right now. If you want to learn about racing a fast car you've got two options. Go out and race a fast car, or buy GTR2. If possible go for the first but the second is no bad thing at all.
9 / 10