GT Legends Review

GT Legends is serious.

It,s serious about physics. It,s serious about vehicle modeling. It,s serious about racetracks. It,s seriously challenging if you, like me, are used to the sugar-coated physics of the Need for Speed or Midnight Club franchises. GT Legends outperforms and outclasses other racing titles in almost every way.

The title places you in the driver,s seat of any number of classic touring cars from the 60,s and 70,s. The diversity of vehicles is really unbelievable – there are over 30 different gas-burnin, road-tearin, cars for gamers to choose from, from a Mini to a Mustang (side note: there are 90 different cars, but two thirds of them are other vehicles that have been re-skinned). In those cars, gamers will race along over 25 tracks, some based on actual courses like Mondello Park in Ireland or Italy,s Monza.

The game centers around the career "cup challenge" mode, where you race along any of the game,s tracks in competition for credits and unlockable vehicles, either as part of championship events consisting of multiple races. As you unlock vehicles and tracks, you can use them in the game,s "quick race" mode. The name quick race is deceptive, though, because if you,re into customizing your ride,s handling and performance, the setup isn,t exactly hasty.

The most immediate feature of GT Legends is the superb level of detail on the modeling – both inside the car and out. With a large screen and the graphics cranked to the max, this was one the best-looking games I have ever seen. EVER. And I,m a professional. A similar argument follows with sound. While sound in this kind of title is often hard to judge if you,re not an vehicular acoustician ("Yep, that’s the sound a ’63 Corvette makes."), the audio in GT Legends is as true-to-life as any similar title available.

GT Legends is built upon a physics engine that tears apart its predecessors. This is as close to the real thing that you can get without adding a class to your license, in most states. Those gamers who played Smuggler,s Run and thought "I could be a racer," should sit down and have a nice slice of humble pie while they get SCHOOLED by GT Legend,s authenticity. Even on the easiest setting, the game keeps less experienced racers on the edge of their seat, sometimes white-knuckled as their Mini slides around a curve and off the track.

The immensity of settings that can be customized will ensure that the more casual racing game fans will get their fix without too much nausea over the difficulty of the game. That said, on the hardest levels, you,d better have high-octane blood if you hope to compete. The phrase "hyper-realistic" is overused in today,s world of high-end graphics and innovative control schemes, but at the risk of sounding hypocritical, I,m going to call GT Legend,s handling and physics hyper-realistic to the nth degree. After you,re third (okay, eighth) time drifting into the barrier at turn 2 at Donington, there will not be a doubt in your mind that making the turn in-game is more difficult than making the turn in real life.

This title handles with the complexity that is only possible of a PC title – GT Legends is as complex as any flight simulator. Perfecting the controls put my G15 to good use, though all of the essential controls fit onto my steering wheel with room to spare. Which brings me to my next point: unless you,re really, really hardcore, don,t even think of picking up GT Legends if you don,t own a steering wheel. The physics, force feedback, and subtlety of the title is simply lost by playing with a mouse-keyboard combo.

The game does have some technical problems. While the minimum system requirements will allow you to play the game at the bare-bones level, to get the full experience of the game you,re going to have to go above even the recommended settings. Clipping is also a minor problem, it seems to happen more with the physically larger vehicles, though. Forum users (and a few reviewers) have found that the game to be unstable, but I am happy to report zero crashes, and only one instance when the game froze for a few brief moments during the transition between the loading screen and the garage screen.

In the end, the biggest flaw of GT Legends is its complexity. This is simply not a good buy for gamers that aren,t either very interested in racing or very interested in classic cars. The physics and controls are so intricately adaptable that many more casual gamers will be left in the dust. This is not a game which can be tossed into a disk drive for a quick 20 minute relaxation session. If that,s your thing, great, you,re hardcore. But if you,re looking for the light, simple racing experience, you,re going to be frustrated beyond words with this title.

There is an inherent problem with reviewing GT Legends alongside games like NFS: Underground. They are similar only in the way that my grandfather,s 1969 Mustang and my 2003 Ford Focus are similar. One is a piece of artwork, and the other gets you from A to B. Which is not to say GT Legends is perfect; it,s not – but I think there are plenty of gamers who will hold GT Legends in their mind as the finest racing game of the last 10 years.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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