We now have full details of Gran Turismo 4's new director mode and while it makes for an interesting proposition, does it really make up for ? What can't be argued about is how utterly polished and stunning the game looks, which is easily proven if you care to view the new GT4 movie below.
B-Spec = Director Mode, as it's officially labelled, gives the gamer the opportunity to direct races, in effect acting as a race team manager. As the director you'll have three play screens - broadcast view (what you usually see during a replay and B-Spec's default camera), on-board camera and race monitor - to best evaluate how well your driver and the opposition are doing.
While the broadcast view and on-board camera are the basic watching and eye-candy views of the package, the race monitor will actually provide vital information on each car's progress, including lap, sector and differential times, plus pit stop data. We've no idea how subtle and responsive your driver's AI is to your direction but if it really has some depth to it, you can imagine being the next Ross Brawn.
After setting your car up your only input to your driver consists of the self-explanatory commands of Pace (on a grade of one to 5), Overtake, and Pit In. The skill will be in your strategy. Will you conserve your tyres and take less stops or aim to pound the opposition with a rubber-shredding start? The good news is that every race in GT4 is available in Director Mode, which hugely increases GT4's scope and longevity for those who find it a blast.
That said, the game does look absolutely stunning and Gran Turismo is definitely the king of replays, having put the mode on the map when the series debuted on PSone. We're confident that everyone will enjoy at least the odd stint in director mode but the game's lasting appeal will, as ever, depend on the depth of actual hands-on racing.
Gran Turismo 4 is scheduled to be in the shops in November