E3 2003: Gran Turismo 4 Hands-on Impressions
Gran Turismo 4. The day has finally come. The follow up to my favorite PS2 game, and my second favorite game of all time, debuted at E3 -- and my, oh my, is it ever sweet. Gran Turismo 4 not only looks noticeably better than GT3, but, miraculously, it plays better too. Polyphony Digital is keen on making GT4 leagues better than GT3 and it looks like their ambitions are getting them just there. Of the 20 or so cars selectable in the E3 demo, I mainly stuck to the Lancer EVO VII, the Subaru Impreza WRX, the racing edition Acura NSX, and the racing edition Nissan Z. The physics have been tightened up and the controls are even smoother than before.
Of the three tracks selectable, I can safely say New York and The Grand Canyon are the most breathtaking courses Iíve ever seen. The backgrounds are absolutely stunning -- the Grand Canyon, especially. Not only did the courses look gorgeous, but they were incredibly designed and incredibly fun to race on. In terms of fun, the rallying in GT4 is probably better than any other rally specific title out there, right up there with WRC2. The car detail is photorealistic, as the texturing and the lighting effects (reflections and etc.) are the most accurate of any racer. The New York course was very well replicated, as well. TimeSquare was modeled down to the T and the reflections that the cars gave off on that course were jaw-dropping. Gran Turismo 4 is scheduled for a holiday release, and by the looks of it, it has potential to be the best PS2 game of the year. Itís already at the top of my game of the show list.
5/14/2003 Arnold Katayev