Thursday 30 March 2006
A big 'welcome back' to the lunatic developer SimBin. Not because it's been away for long - the moon has barely waned since its last racing title appeared, classic touring car racer GT Legends - but because it's a lunatic.

Where most are happy to fake those sexy, glowing brake discs with a bit of judicious orange, SimBin has linked disc colour directly to accurately modelled temperature maps based on friction, mass and grip.

The result is a strokabley real-looking swelling of colour behind those big alloys as you ogle your genius overtaking move. This result is also, of course, complete lunacy. It doesn't make the slightest bit of difference to anyone actually driving GTR 2.

This sequel is more than just a detail upgrade, however. SimBin freely admits that it made an error with the original's knife-edge handling, an error stemming from runaway tyre temperatures that left wildly spinning wheels with almost zero grip. The tyres, in effect, actually melted.

Not any more. Rewritten physics code has transformed the low-speed control - the trickiest aspect of GTR. The cars can now be thrown into first, second or third gear corners and turned aggressively on the throttle or even braked hard across tall curbs with relative abandon.

GTR 2 brings with it a Driving School. Abandoning the original game's 'sandbox' nature, much content now awaits unlocking via this mode. GT Legends featured an unlocking structure, of course, but SimBin subsequently felt that too much was unavailable, so expect somewhere between that (where you had to buy nearly everything) and GTR (where you earned nothing).