Monday 18 September 2006
The original GTR stood out as an incredibly faithful simulation, entrancing despite a totally unforgiving approach to grip. This sequel softens the challenge with a far more accepting - yet, make no mistake, far more realistic - attitude to excessive behaviour. Yet it's still more intense.
Drivers of GTR2's Lamborghinis, Maseratis and Porsches (to name a few) can breathe a sigh of relief that some grip now lingers once the rear tyres start spinning, whereas before all hope would be lost. This means braking wildly late, hitting those fanatically-modelled 3D curbs and generally flicking the car too hard are now options, should you need them. They may not be the way to the ultimate lap time, but they're often the way past an opponent in a race.
This game conveys an unrivalled sense of mass versus the machine's attempts to change its course and, allied to the already highly impressive handling, this new freedom to overstep the mark (and, if you're either good or lucky, come back from it) adds a welcome human edge.
After all, racing, like music or any other endeavour, is about people as much as machines - something F1 has forgotten with tragic effect. If the original game demanded the ultra-controlled, metronomic beat of German techno, GTR2 is the loose intensity of Nirvana.