GT Concept 2002 Tokyo-Geneva impressions

The European version of Gran Turismo Concept is about to hit store shelves. We took the final version for a spin.

GT Concept 2002 Tokyo-Geneva is an updated version of the first GT Concept game, which was released in Japan several months ago. The game has been updated to include cars from European manufacturers, such as Audi, Opel, Mercedes, Renault, and Volkswagen. Ford and Chevrolet are also represented.

Like in the Japanese release, the game's cars are split into five categories: new cars Pacific, new cars Europe, concept cars, dream cars, and race cars. The game includes several vehicles that are new to the Gran Turismo games, including the Ford Ka, Honda Jazz, Nissan Primera, Mitsubishi Airtek Turbo, Lexus SC 430, Honda S2000, Mazda RX-7 Spirit A Type A, and Ford Focus RS. European cars include the VW Golf Gti, Mini Cooper S, Renault Clio Sport, Mercedes SL 500, Lotus Elise and Elise Type 72, Opel Speedster, Jaguar S-Type R, Jaguar XKR, Audi RS 4 and RS 6, Mercedes AMG SL55, Aston Martin Vanquish, Ruf RGT, and TVR Tuscan Speed Six. The game's concept cars include the Daihatsu Copen, Toyota Pod, Nissan MM, Chrysler Crossfire, Hyundai HCD6, Mitsubishi CZ-3 Tarmac, Toyota RSC, Nissan 350Z, Honda V6 IMA MID Dual Note, Honda NSX-R, Suzuki GSXR/4, Dodge Viper GTSR Concept, Pagani Zonda S 7.3, and Ford GT40. The dream car section is populated with vehicles designed by Polyphony Digital.

The basic gameplay is identical to that of GT Concept Tokyo and seems to be targeted at casual players who aren't familiar with the series. While the cars aren't really easier to control, the time limits aren't as strict and the other cars aren't nearly as tough as they are in Gran Turismo 3. To be able to race on one of the six tracks (12, if the mirrored versions are counted), players have to complete a license test. To pass the test, players must complete a single lap in a certain amount of time. If players have problems with the track, they can activate a pace car that shows them where to brake and accelerate to stick to the optimal racing line. As previously mentioned, Gran Turismo pros will have absolutely no problem with GT Concept Tokyo-Geneva and will breeze through the game in a single effort. While Sony is saying it takes around 30 hours to complete GT Concept, it's possible to unlock everything in less than 10 hours. Each track features a race in a normal difficulty setting and a professional difficulty setting (plus a championship difficulty setting once players complete the game). Completing a driving test will unlock two cars, and winning the races will unlock another car. Once players complete the game, they'll unlock the intro movie from GT Concept 2001 Tokyo, an end-credits movie, 10 million credits to use with Gran Turismo 3, and a mode that pits Toyota Pods against each other.

As far as game modes are concerned, the main modes are the track license mode and the single race mode. Additionally, player can take a test run with their favorite car and compete in a two-player split-screen mode. Players can even hook up multiple PlayStation 2 consoles and play against up to five other players.

Visually and acoustically, nothing has changed since Gran Turismo 3 and GT Concept Tokyo, apart from the new intro. With a low price point and a quick-and-dirty approach, GT Concept 2002 Tokyo-Geneva should appeal to players who are not interested in the die-hard tuning options the Gran Turismo mode of GT3 offers.

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