The PC racing genre catalogue has looked a little bit bare in recent months when compared to its console brothers. With Test Drive Unlimited, Project Gotham Racing, Forza and countless other racing franchises strutting their stuff on the consoles you'd forgive PC gamers for feeling a little left out. However, the PC is set to play host to a couple of racing beauties in the next few weeks; Need for Speed Carbon fulfilling the arcade gamers requirements and GTR 2 arriving to satisfy those of you with a 'realism fetish'.
So what do I present to you today? The first two GTR games (GTR and GT Legends) offered an unforgiving, ultra-realistic opportunity to get into flashy cars and race round and round famous tracks. GTR 2 brings to the table more of the same, with the developers spending a bit of extra time under the bonnet, tinkering with the engine and attempting to refine the game into a masterpiece for all to enjoy. Can they possibly succeed?
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Learning to Drive
It's not a new trick for a driving game to require you to pass tests to obtain a license to compete in the main races. Gran Turismo did it many years ago, when it debuted for the original Playstation. That same trick has since been a stalwart of realistic racers, with many games since incorporating similar tasks, forcing you to drive round cones or perform rudimentary three-point turns. These tests generally felt a bit drawn out, a bit forced and usually are considered an annoying necessity rather than a fun addition. That's not the case with GTR 2.
Instead of making the learning process a tedious drag, GTR 2 turns this into an exciting, worthwhile feature. The driving lessons offers you tips on the fundamentals of how to drive a racing car. This begins with basic challenges such as beating a ghost driving instructor all the way through to advanced cornering and chicane negotiation. Rather than force you to do these tests in a set order you get to pick which one you would like to do; don't want to do the easy challenges then skip them and move straight onto the hard stuff. This move works well, giving you a freedom of choice rarely seen in gaming tutorials that makes you want to come back and complete them.
The lessons aren't limited to actual driving skills. There are also tips for how best to race round each of the tracks, providing you with pointers on cornering, braking and racing line. This may sound a bit boring but is an absolute necessity if you're a new racer wanting to get up to speed in double quick time. You'll want to complete this tutorial session not only because it offers a really enjoyable challenge but also by completing the tasks you open up custom tracks and competitions that expands the main single player game.