I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- Gran Turismo 3 is the mother of all racing games. After much personal debate, I have also come to realize that Gran Turismo 3 is my favorite Playstation 2 title and my 2nd favorite game of all time. I've never spent over 300 hours on any game...ever. Even to this day, Gran Turismo 3 manages to awe me with its gorgeous car detail and superb scenery, not to mention the incredible physics. Needless to say, when Gran Turismo 4 showed itself at E3, in full playable glory, I couldn't pick my jaw off the floor. Gran Turismo 4 isn't just a glorified Gran Turismo 3. No, Gran Turismo 4 is a title that leaps over every boundary imaginable.
For starters, Gran Turismo 4 is expected to have over 500 unique car models featured, as opposed to Gran Turismo 3's 150-some vehicles. It has been reported that Polyphony Digital was able to secure the Ferrari and perhaps even the Lamborghini license for GT4, but the reports have yet to be confirmed. At this point, we can safely assure everyone that all of your favorite GT3 vehicles will return. Also, we believe that Polyphony will add a vast majority of the vehicles from the Gran Turismo Concept games (only released overseas) into Gran Turismo 4. In addition to all of that, Polyphony has added tons of muscle cars and cars from the hay-day, such as the the Plymouth Barracuda, Lotus Europa Special, Chevrolet Chevelle SS, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Pontiac GTO, and among others. Now, take all of that and add vehicles that you've probably never seen in your life; Polyphony Digital has traveled around the world in order to model some of the most unique and extravagant vehicles you'll ever lay your eyes on. In case you are interested, at E3, Gran Turismo 4 featured the following vehicles:
As you can see, a good majority of those cars never appeared in GT3, so there's a whole lot of new vehicles to toy with in GT4. Also, based on the screenshots, we can also confirm the following cars to appear in GT4:
The bottom line is, expect to be blown away by GT4's car line-up.
With 500+ cars to choose from, you're going to need some asphalt (or dirt) to race on. Well, Polyphony is giving Gran Turismo 4 nearly 100 tracks, as opposed to just about 20 found in Gran Turismo 3. It is believed that many of the older tracks will return to GT4, so you're desired tracks will still make an appearance. Meanwhile, newer circuits include the Grand Canyon (rally circuit), Times Square, and dozens of other circuits that Polyphony both created from scratch and modeled based on real life tracks. Now that we know all about the 500 vehicles and the100 tracks, Polyphony Digital has stated that Gran Turismo 4 will be online compatible for up to 6 players, so make sure you have your network adapters ready. As if that wasn't enough, Polyphony Digital has completely reworked the physics engine of Gran Turismo 4 and it shows; characteristics such as weight, speed, friction, wind, among other aspects, will affect the way your car handles around the track.
Lastly, Gran Turismo 4 showcases some of the finest visuals to be seen on the Playstation 2, or perhaps across any platform. The vehicular detail has been noticeably bumped up. The textures on the vehicles are smoother and sharper than they previously were -- which is saying quite a lot, seeing as how GT3 looks insanely good to this day. The environmental detail of GT4 is incredibly gorgeous, the Grand Canyon and Times Square track are evidence of this. Polyphony has gone out of their way to make the environments look as vivacious as possible, while at the same time making sure that every environmental reflection on the vehicles is as precise as can be. Despite being months away from completion, it looks like Polyphony Digital is achieving every goal they've set out for GT4. At this moment, Gran Turismo 4 is scheduled for a late 2003 release in Japan, and a Q1 2004 release in the states -- so expect it sometime between January and March.
6/3/2003 Arnold Katayev