If you are addicted to cars, or just want to pick up and play a fantastic driving game, there is no going wrong with GT4
waseemnzbf wrote this review on .
Gran Turismo 4 starts out with a movie that would make any racing fan's blood pump. Modified racing cars blitzing circuits in perfect harmony is something I am sure many folks out there regularly dream of. After the movie, you are presented with a clean menu that has two options worth noting (only because the rest are not that important towards the game itself). The two options are Arcade Mode, and Gran Turismo mode. It is in the appropriately named Gran Turismo mode where the lion's share of single player content for the player's enjoyment is located. Once you enter into the Gran Turismo "world" you are presented with several new icons. Cars and their countries of origin, race events and where they are held, the licence centre, as well as other race challenges and icons exist.
Of course, the logical step is to start with earning licences, which remain notoriously hard for beginners (I would think). Achieving gold in any category is quite literally impossible, though bronze is...achievable. After repeated tries at achieving bronze medals in each of the four or five licensing categories, you will be ready to start your racing career. Events exist ranging from beginner race events to Extreme and endurance races, all ranging in difficulty and requiring a certain amount of skill and car control to win. Endurance events make somewhat new additions to the venues and the times that you can race for. Some of the new additions include the ridiculously long and unreasonably tiring events that last for 24 hours. You read that right; they last exactly 24 hours, no more and no less. This means that you would have to continually sit for 24 hours to win, or at least finish at Lemans. I do not know about you but as much of a car lover, and a racing games fan that I am, frankly I am not that insane and refuse to sit and play for that long. The developers must have seen this, because one of the other new additions to the game play is the new but wise add-on that presents itself in the form of "B-spec" mode. This allows the gamer to effectively make the AI drive and win races. In addition, races can be sped up to 3 times their original run time, which would mean that the 24 hours of Lemans would in actuality only be the 8 hours of Lemans. Oh joy. The AI of course is still controllable and there will still be some sort of input required on the part of the gamer to continue a smooth race. On a side note, this B-spec option is available for all races except special, and rally events. The special events I can understand, but the rally ones I cannot. Speaking of which, rally makes a return in this iteration of the game however, it has a muted return at best and will inevitably be overlooked as a "nice" addition to the game.
One thing that this game boasts is an enormous amount of cars. There are over 700 cars in this game to play with (though some are just revised versions of the same car) and they can be modified in a number of ways. The paint, tires, engine, suspension, weight, transmission etc. can be fiddled around with to suit the driver's needs to the point where obsessiveness about certain elements of a car will not be a surprising side effect as a result of playing this game. Power in the bigger, more powerful cars can be raised to obscenely high amounts, and after earning a certain amount of money, one can tune cars that just, or easily pass the 1000 horsepower mark. To date I have found that the highest amount of power comes from a 1992 Nissan R92 which has close to 1300 HP. As I said; obscene. Sprawling with content in terms of cars this game might be, however the marks that define the supercar industry have been left out, once again. This comes as a huge disappointment, that Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini, which are...well known... to say the least, have been overlooked as additions to the game. This game has many venues to race at though. The total count is over 50 venues to choose from, both real world as well as original venues. GT4 is not lacking in the graphics department and I can with confidence say that this is possibly one of the best games ever made on the Playstation 2. But of course this is a longstanding tradition with the graphics of Gran Turismo series always pushing consoles to the limits.
Let us now talk about the shortfalls. Not many exist, though the lack of damage on cars make them seem like toys, and the AI or artificial intelligence system of the game that makes the computer race against you, lacks the intelligence part, and always, and I mean always, stick to their racing line and speed, no matter if there is an obstacle in front of them (such as other cars, or you) in front of them. They will knock you straight off the track if it is necessary so that they can stick to their racing lines. For lack of a better word, the AI in the game is...lacking, and at times is suicidal and unreasonable in its driving to the point of hilarity.
As far as shortfalls are concerned that is one that is of some concern, though I think I am knit picking. The sheer amount of content, the quality of the game, the enjoyment that a car lover, and even casual gamers will get out of this game more than makes up for the small faults of the game that make the game all the more entertaining to play through. For those who dream of racing but probably never will, Gran Turismo will easily stroke your fires. As for those looking for a quality, or I should say, the best driving game available to date, Gran Turismo 4 is worth the wait, the money, and if necessary, worth buying the PS2 for as well.
(I apologize for any errors in my review, or any repetitiveness etc. in it. I must have overlooked something in my review that is present in the game so again if that has happened I apologize.)