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SRG Sites > NewTechReview > Reviews > Gran Turismo 4 Game

Gran Turismo 4 Game

Manufacturer: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided NewTechReview with a NFR unit of this product for review.
Reviewed by Scott R. Garrigus
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ďIn Gran Turismo 4 , automobiles available for the player represent historically significant vehicles to popular cars of today and tomorrow. All vehicles are fully customizable from racing tires to gear ratio. New driver assist functions: In addition to anti-lock brakes, traction control systems and active stability control, Gran Turismo 4 includes active steering as well, further enhancing the safety features. In reflecting the latest car tuning trends, Gran Turismo 4 has the availability of superchargers and NOS. More than 50 courses are available in Gran Turismo 4 that encompass dirt/snow courses, world circuits, original circuits (tracks from previous Gran Turismo titles) and city courses covering both real-life and fantasy-based locales. Some courses can be played in reverse mode. Some courses include Nurburgring Nordschleife, New York City, the Grand Canyon, Tsukuba Circuit, and more. Gran Turismo 4 is the real driving simulator.Ē This is the premise behind Sony Computer Entertainment Americaís new simulation, racing game for the PlayStation 2.

Gran Turismo 4 in general:
If youíre thinking this is the ultimate simulation racing game on the market today, youíd be right. Even though the game may seem similar to previous versions, a closer look reveals a multitude of new features that are sure to please fans of this genre. With over 700 cars (spanning generations of different model eras) from over 80 manufacturers, youíll be hard pressed to find a car that you canít drive in this game. There are also over 50 tracks to choose from in various locations with various driving conditions. You wonít have a problem testing your skills here. And under the hood, Gran Turismo 4 includes ďa physics engine that incorporates real-life characteristics of the cars so that they are realistically designed and calculated to simulate the "real life" physics of that particular vehicle, taking into account weight, speed, friction, wind, and more. In addition, an all-new AI (Artificial Intelligence) engine is introduced allowing for behavior from opponents that present human-like reactions and emotions.Ē

Want to get right to the race?
The Arcade mode allows you to race other players or the computerís AI with select cars on select courses. There are a number of gameplay methods available including Single Race, Time Trial, and multi-player for up to two players (with a single console) or six players via LAN-based gameplay. In addition, you can choose between A-spec and B-spec mode. In A-spec mode, youíre the driver and you are the one racing. In B-spec mode, you become the manager who gives commands to your computerized driver. In B-spec mode, you can adjust various car settings for proper race setup, choose the difficulty level, which is also known as the Pace Command, followed with direction on when to overtake competition and take pit stops where a variety of car settings can be adjusted to further progress in the race from tires to the volume of fuel for refueling.

Want to become a real racer?
Gran Turismo mode is where youíll find the real action. You can experience what itís like to become a real racer, which requires you to qualify for various racing licenses before you can even race. You start with just you and your car and race to earn money, unlock new cars and courses, buy and sell cars, and upgrade parts while competing in more than 200 various championship races. Youíll find the following features in Gran Turismo mode: My Home (your home and garage); Dealership Town (divided by continent, you can visit dealerships representing over 80 manufacturers from around the world); Tunerís Village (you can visit famous tuning shops to upgrade your cars); Race Event Pavilions (you can visit and join various races); License Center (take driving tests to earn licenses for access to various race formats); Circuit Racing (you can visit the suburbs and enter races at various circuit tracks); and thereís a new High Score system in which the player who wins a race is not necessarily the one who captures the checkered flag, but graded on how well they drive and challenge themselves among the competition based on their car type, horsepower and modifications related to the race field.

Want to take some pictures?
A very cool feature that adds some abstract fun to the game is the Photo mode. There are two formats: Photo Drive players have the opportunity to photograph their car during the race where they can take advantage of zoom, depth of field and motion blur. Photo Travel players can take their favorite car and travel around the globe to conduct photo sessions in exotic locations through a variety of angles. Once the photo is taken in the game, the player can save it to their memory card or a USB key and have the option to share with friends or print out a color copy via a USB printer.

The sights and sounds:
As expected the graphics and sound in the game are great. You really get into the game with the car engine noises, which were authentically recorded for each of the car models represented in the game and with the squeal of the tires, youíll be right there on the track. In addition, the soundtrack features seven custom tracks, made exclusively for the game, that fans canít hear anywhere else. Some of the hottest artists in the industry have contributed new and custom music to the collection, including Van Halen, The Crystal Method, Will.I.Am of The Black Eyed Peas, The Roots, The Donnas, Papa Roach, Jimmy Eat World, X-ecutioners, and Jet.

The checkered flag:
The only downside to Gran Turismo 4 are the very long load times. But with great content like this, you canít really expect the PS2 to be a speed demon when loading so much data. Donít worry, the wait is worth it. Once you get behind the wheel and start exploring the game, youíll find time slipping away as you race to your heartís content. If you love racing games, then youíll love Gran Turismo 4. Itís just that simple.
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