Grand Tour 98 Racing
Grand Tour Racing '98 boasts so many options and racing variables that it's hard to believe they crammed it all on one CD-ROM.
Forty different vehicles divided into three styles of Racing-Rally, Sports and Buggy Off-road-will seemingly give you enough varied racing action to keep you busy for a long time. All the vehicles, the Dakars, the Dune Buggies or the Formula One-styled. are 3-D rendered and feature independent physics and stylings. Great care was taken to ensure the vehicles would handle as their true-life counterparts would in the same driving situations. One developer even went as far as taking the Earth's varied gravitational pull into consideration when programming the vehicle physics. Luckily somebody stopped the over-achiever before he actually tabulated the numbers.
Another noteworthy portion of the sim is the extensive range of driving environments. Developers traveled to the actual countries in which the races take place (in the game) for the sole purpose of taking in every nuance of the landscape and local environment-all in the name of authenticity. Race in Scotland, Switzerland, Egypt and several other countries complete with local residents and their farm animals as well. All this is done with absolutely no pop-up! That's what the producers say at least, and upon playing the game here at the EGM offices, it's evident that the claim is true. Several of the tracks will challenge drivers with obstacles such as fallen temples, broken bridges and flooded roads. Spontaneous rock slides will occasionally make the driving intense as well. Along with the fun road obstacles, variable driving conditions can put you in the heart of a snow, ice, sand, shale or rain storm just to make things interesting.
To top off the load of options, a race can take place in the morning, dusk or nighttime hours giving drivers the extra challenge of low-or no-light driving situations.
Answering the call of racing fans everywhere, the game will include several unlockable shortcuts and alternative routes on many of the tracks. The alternate routes will add a dimension to the game that has been sorely lacking in the entire racing genre for a long time.
Perhaps one of the most interesting options in the sim is still tentative, but if included, it will allow players to use a zoom-capable, 360-degree camera to view large portions of the landscape. Originally used as a programming tool, developers thought it would be interesting to leave in the camera for players to explore the detailed landscapes around the tracks while the game is paused.
For multiplayer racing. Grand Tour Racing '98 leaves no stones unturned. Race in single, split-screen, linked split-screen or just time attack.
It's quite evident that Eutechnyx Ltd. have bet their bottom dollar that racing fans will appreciate the seamless quality that has gone into the backgrounds and exotic racing locations. The only question is: Will the actual racing gameplay live up to the standards the rest of the game has set. Only time will tell.
- MANUFACTURER - Activision
- THEME - Racing
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-4
Download Grand Tour 98 Racing
By offering rally, Indy, off-road, and street racing in one tidy package, Grand Tour Racing '98 makes a good sampler for the casual racing fan. Only the lackluster sound and tricky controls keep it from reving to the top.
GTR has a lot going for it--five kinds of cars, six countries with multiple tracks in each, plus time-attack and four-player modes (via link), and advanced A.I. You've gotta stay sharp, though--the computer racers know when you're trying to pass and will cut you off!
The tracks themselves are admirably long and varied (you'll literally drive over the river and through the woods in Scotland), but an overhead radar would have been helpful. Changes in weather, time, and terrain will keep even veteran drivers on their toes.
Think of Grand Tour Racing '98 as an automotive buffet, taking a little bit from each racing style and serving it up in its own fairly-tasty platter.
- When driving in dark tunnels, focus on the dark stripe in the middle of the road to stay on track.
- Water bad! If you sink, your game's over, so carefully navigate your way back to shore if you get stuck.
You'll be impressed by the background detail, but some cars don't look like they're moving very fast. The game's also plagued by some hazy bitmaps.
Samples of crowds, birds, and snippets of local music add to the atmosphere, but the engines tend to sound like motorcycles.
You'll either love using the D-pad in conjunction with the L and R triggers, or you'll hate it. Unskilled drivers should get in some practice laps.
GTR's roads are pavedwith good intentions; it's a shame all the game elements didn't work out as planned. Still, there's enough here to get racing fans' engines revving on a weekend rental.
Those looking for variety in racing games will definitely want to check out Grand Tour Racing '98. This game contains three racing modes (Buggy Off-road, Sports, and Rally), 40 cars, races in famous worldwide locales like Moscow, Easter Island, and Egypt, and other options. Up to four can race with two linked PlayStations via a split-screen view.