|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SimBin Development Team||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SimBin Studios AB||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 2, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-28||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Nathan Meunier
Realism certainly has its place in video games; its an ideal many developers push towards and a feature players typically come to expect as technology advances. However, there are times when striving to make the experience a little too realistic can actually hamper a games appeal.
In some ways, and for some players, GTR Evolution is a prime example of this. The racing titles box touts its unrivaled realism as a major selling point, which definitely is reason enough for folks to pick it up. The downside is racing a car at high speed along a windy track is incredibly difficult to pull off both in real life and in GTR Evolution.
Casual racers and those coming into the genre for the first time expecting to quickly jump in and get motoring along are in for a serious shock. Novices may initially find the game to be so realistic that its virtually unplayable. The learning curve is not insurmountable, and the high-octane racing is extremely addictive with time and practice, but the ultra real physics have the potential to make the game a frustrating experience for anyone other than serious racing game enthusiasts. Conversely, players seeking the thrill of an increased challenge will get a lot of mileage out of GTR Evolution.
Without a story or career mode to speak of, the straightforward simplicity of thundering engines and ferociously competitive racing is front and center. To this aim, there are plenty of features here to awaken your inner gear heads. The game packs in 49 highly detailed cars in 12 different classes (including sports, formula, GT cars, and even extreme WTCC vehicles among others), 19 tracks from numerous countries (including the intimidating and infamous Green Hell of the Nürburgring Nordschleife), and a strong mixture of play modes to suit different levels of interest. What does all this mean to the racing layman? Theres a lot of rubber to be burned. Whether you want to sit down for a quick session in an R-Cade Extreme session, run a time trial, fire through a full race, enter into a lengthy championship, or go online and challenge human opponents, the racing options are plentiful.
Once you get behind the wheel in the first-person view, the game takes on a life of its own. The cockpit of each racing machine is full of detail and many appreciated subtle nuances stand out. Every turn of the steering wheel provides a realistic visual response inside and outside the car. The meters and gauges pulse with power, and the scenery rockets past in your rear view mirror. Dashboard and mirror vibrations provide a greater sense of the power under the hood thats punctuated by the blasting roar of the engine every time you slam on the gas and shift into high gear. Simply put, the sights and sounds are topnotch. Running GTR Evolution at a steady framerate at max resolution and graphical settings requires a high end graphics card, but the game performs well and still looks fabulous on medium settings.
While sitting in the drivers seat offers a pleasantly realistic view of the action, your car and the track environments also look slick from the third-person view. Its far easier to maneuver around the race courses and edge your way in and around other opponents from this perspective. Other drivers dont typically whip around haphazardly either; they respond to pileups, brake when approaching sharp turns, and offer a reasonable challenge. Like many of the games minor yet important settings, you can adjust their skill level to suit your fancy.