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Saturday, 21 July, 2001, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Gran Turismo fuels PlayStation 2
The visuals of Grand Turismo 3 are excellent
Grand Turismo 3 is all it is cracked up to be
By the BBC's David Gibbon

When the PlayStation 2 was launched last year, video games players the world over had high expectations.

With its 128-bit emotion engine, the possibility for exceptional games was there but in reality this theory has proved somewhat misplaced.

Few, if any, PlayStation 2 games have really taken the capabilities of Sony's console to anywhere near what could be achieved.

Now, however, Sony has released a game that really does make full use of the PlayStation 2's power.

It is almost certain to become a best-selling money-spinner for the firm.

Gran Turismo 3
Gran Turismo - the definitive racing game
Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec is the latest game in the world-renowned GT series.

It features graphics that will truly surprise PlayStation 2 owners thanks to the depth, quality and range of visual effects.

Gran Turismo is renowned as the definitive racing game series and has clocked up over 17 million sales worldwide.

Indeed, such is Sony's belief in the game that they are also releasing a special Gran Turismo 3 PlayStation 2 pack which includes both console and game for 289.99 on 1 August.

The one area of GT3 that is going to leave jaws wide open is the superior graphics.

The reflections are highly detailed and even the windscreen wipers are made up of polygons - a definite first.

The tracks have had a major facelift, with new weather effects such as glare from the sun and reflections from water.

The music in the game is excellent too and even rap artist Snoop Doggy Dog provided a track for the game called Dogg's Turismo 3.

Actually playing GT3 reveals that it handles much the same as previous outings.

This is not actually a bad thing, but there are still certain areas that could have been improved.

Gran Turismo
Gran Turismo 3 offers just 150 cars
Car collisions are as poorly thought out as ever. When you smash into an opponent the effect is often not what you would expect.

A rear collision, for example, causes very little to happen - even though I expected the car to go spinning.

Gran Turismo 3 also offers just 150 cars, compared with 600 in GT2. There are also fewer tracks, with just 18 now available.

But despite one or two flaws, the actual driving is superb.

Accelerating, cornering and braking are nigh on perfect and allow you to pull off intricate moves that lesser games won't allow.

If you don't already own a PlayStation 2, I can honestly say that now is the time to buy one.

Gran Turismo 3 is quite simply the best racing game ever created - and with supreme playability it's going to be a long time before it is overtaken.

Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec is available for the PlayStation 2, 34.99 (Sony)

See also:

20 Jul 01 | Reviews
Gran Turismo 3: Your views
20 Jul 01 | New Media
Gamers race for Gran Turismo 3
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