Sony recently sent us a demo of Gran Turismo 3, and I decided that it would be best to update the preview and tell you folks how this baby actually plays. It's safe to say that GT3 will easily be the greatest racing game ever created, and that's no brainer. With car models sporting five-figure polygon counts, it's quite apparent that this may also be the best looking videogame of the year as well. From the moment the game began, I nearly broke out into tears, I almost did! When I was taken to the selection screen to choose one of the three available cars, I was in awe. It just felt too good to be true, playing a game that has been shown to us for the past 2 years, and changing constantly by the month. Originally titled GT2000, GT3 was planned to use the same car models (except with much higher polygon counts) as the second one, but that was all scrapped and so Polyphony Digital (god bless them) decided it would be best to re-do everything. Utilizing a heavily modified GT2 engine, Polyphony has been able to achieve remarkable car models that I've countlessly mistaken for real-life photos. I believe remodeling was the main reason for delaying GT3, but after playing this demo, I don't care at all that GT3 was delayed.
Even though I was only exposed to three selectable cars, and one track, I was still able to see races from the Rally Mode, other tracks, view other cars up-close, all through the game's demo video mode. By leaving the game still for about 20 seconds, the PS2 will take over and show you a random race of either normal or rally cars. The car detail is... in a word "ten steps ahead of perfect". Well okay that's five words, but who's counting, eh? Looking at the early screenshots of "GT2000", the differences between that era and this demo are incredibly vast. Car models have now been fully anti-aliased, and reportedly sport upwards of 20,000 polygons per vehicle! Second of all, this game's environments look far better than the somewhat gloomy ones found in the "GT2000" screenshots, everything stands out far more than it ever did. The trees, road signs, sun flares, and side rails all look too realistic, I'm still baffled. My exact quote when first taking a spin with the 2000 Ford Mustang was "holy sh*t, can this game get any more freaking realistic?" The cursing and swearing just went on countlessly, I was in complete awe, to say the least. Gran Turismo 3 is easily the most beautiful game I have ever laid my eyes on.
Sure it looks great, but how does it play? Well how do you think it plays? It plays like GT for crying out loud. My first pick was the 2000 Ford Mustang, a beast in the rear wheel world, and a very prissy car when it comes down to aggressive sharp turns. The car would oversteer at times because I would be turning out of a turn while holding brake and acceleration. With a car like the Mustang you have to break first, then accelerate out of the turn, the same way it's done in GT 1 and 2. So it's obvious that the car physics have remained perfectly intact, and in fact the control feels even more smoother than it did before. The second car I chose was the RayBrig Acura NSX, a monster mid-engine vehicle that eats up the competition for breakfast. Mid-engine vehicles are typically the hardest to maneuver, but should be taking turns a lot like the rear wheel drives do. The NSX performed extremely well, this car having horsepower of up to 400+, really made me feel as if I was behind the wheel of a Japanese wonder. The sense of speed is present, and it's excellent. The third car was perhaps the slowest, but still provided a fun ride, the Honda S2000, a very low to the ground and yet speedy street car, that uses a rear wheel drive base, and features 200+ horses. Trial Mountain was the only track that was available and this whole demo only lasts for 150 seconds, which is good enough for a lap and a half.
Tomorrow (Saturday) make sure you stay tuned for a side by side comparison of GT2 and GT3. And then Driving Emotion Type-S and Gran Turismo 3. As a closing statement let me mention this, a few others have got a hold of the GT3 demo, and I've seen auctions on EBay for them. I saw a "demo" of GT3 close at nearly $150, and this only a "DEMO"! Imagine the sales that the final product will have come this June 2001. Just imagine. Meanwhile enjoy these 24 new screenshots showing the Japanese Lamborghini Diablo GT, Sony once again snaked their way around paying big bucks for a license, (**Porsche**) just by going to a subsidiary of Lamborghini's in Japan. Those devils. Remember, stay tuned for tomorrow's GT3 update with more in game screenshots and the side by side comparison as well.