GT Legends - game review

Author: Stranger
Date: 2005-12-08 10:30:00
The review was based on the PC version.

I don't think I need to remind the fans of complex simulations last year's GTR game. Suffice it to say that it was not only very realistic, but also incredibly playable. What's more, despite the fact that this race was created mainly for virtual steering masters, it could also be enjoyed by those who were interested in typical dexterity games on a daily basis. Reports about a possible successor to this production appeared relatively quickly. I am intentionally not talking about a sequel, because GT Legends , which I will try to introduce to you in a few moments, does not duplicate all the most important elements of GTR . I am thinking primarily of the FIA GT license, thanks to which we were able to sit behind the wheel of many modern sports machines.

This sequel, as its title suggests, intends to focus our attention on automotive legends. Pretty good idea ... you have to admit it. I have the impression that many fans of classic machines did not necessarily like the mighty GTR cars. Choosing such and not other vehicles is also associated with many changes related to the proper course of the game. You do not need to be an automotive expert to know that the control of an ultra-modern vehicle is completely different from a typical American muscle car or any other classic.

The idea of releasing a race with "older" vehicles in the lead role should be no stranger to computer owners. In the past, we had to deal with at least two productions presenting a similar approach to play. I mean, of course, the NFS: Porsche 2000 and the Rally Trophy. These chases were undoubtedly extremely playable, but we could find some flaws or limitations in them. In the case of the item published by Electronic Arts, it was a limitation forcing us to use vehicles of only one brand, in the case of Rally Trophy, many people complained about not very successful special stages, which were overcome without much emotion. After several dozen hours of marathon with GT Legends, I can confidently say that this position does not have any serious drawbacks that could discourage high speed enthusiasts from it. A few elements could be implemented in a slightly different way, but they are usually small things that most people will not pay attention to. For details, see the rest of the article.

The resignation from the above-mentioned championship did not mean that we were forced to race on fictitious terms. The authors of the discussed race took care of three other licenses (FIA GTC '65, FIA TC '65, FIA GTC-TC '76), thanks to which we can not only enjoy the presence of real car models, but also many famous tracks on which they are played racing. Some people may be disturbed by the fact that we are again forced to race on known objects (I will talk about them a bit later). I am rather pleased with this solution. I can assure you that the driving experience for older sports cars can be quite different.

GT Legends gives the impression of a title made in a much more accessible way. There are many different factors for this. I will try to introduce you to a few of the most important and at the same time the most obvious. The producers of the reviewed racer, of course, took care of an extensive range of game modes. This time, however, we no longer take part in a full-fledged championship, directly based on the types of competitions played today. Instead, something similar to the career mode known from many racing games has been prepared. Specifically, these are the Cup Challenges which are divided into five different groups. In order to advance further, you must complete all races in the currently unlocked level. Each group includes five minor championships. Depending on the rank of the event, they may consist of two or three races as well as a whole series of starts. In both cases, however, the rules of the game are similar. Drivers must collect points that count towards the final classification. To be able to pass a given championship, you have to be in the forefront.

However, the fun does not end when winning subsequent events, as the economic theme is quite symbolic. When starting the game, we only have two vehicles in the virtual garage (Lotus Cortina GT and Austin Mini Cooper S), thanks to which we can participate in the first few championships. The competitions prepared by manufacturers have a limitation that determines which types of machines can take part in them. In the initial phase of the game, there are usually no problems, but as the game progresses, they start to appear. Basically, the idea is to buy new vehicles so that you can take part in new types of championships. In some cases, all machines discovered so far are allowed, but there are also races in which only specific car models take part.

New cars can be acquired in two different ways. As a reward for winning the next competition, we receive virtual credits for which we can purchase vehicles of our choice. Usually there are no problems with the cheapest models. It is enough to win a single victory to be able to afford it. However, faster machines are already very expensive and you have to collect them for a relatively long time. The second method assumes winning a certain championship, thanks to which we are automatically rewarded with selected vehicles. This solution has only advantages. We don't have to pay anything, in addition, the unlocked cars are usually extremely useful later in the game.

In addition to the career described above, we can start a single race or choose a training mode. It is especially useful in situations where we want to learn about a new route or the possibilities of a car model discovered or purchased a few moments earlier. As a curiosity, it is also worth adding that unpurchased machines can be freely tested, so you do not buy the proverbial pig in a poke. This is a good idea, as some vehicles are operated in an extremely unpleasant way. Moreover, they can almost always be replaced with something better.

Of course, the reviewed racer also has a multiplayer. It is a pity that a maximum of sixteen players can meet on one track. Some of you may think that it is relatively much. So I would like to add that in "normal" races, over 30 machines can participate in the competition. There is nothing to complain about, however, because playing with live people is usually a great pleasure. Those of you who do not have the appropriate capabilities should not be disappointed, because computer AI is usually of a very high level, so you can have great fun alone.

As I mentioned before, GTR was created mainly for the genre's stagers. With GT Legends, the situation is no longer so obvious. Of course, the game can still be a realistic simulation. This is one of the few titles that with good support (a huge monitor, a Force-Feedback steering wheel, decent speakers) are able (to a limited extent) to match a real sports car ride. Perhaps some of you will find that I am throwing words to the wind. In my opinion, this is one of the most complex computer races, which should certainly satisfy fans of extremely realistic driving.

GT Legends , however, can also transform into an uncomplicated position. The authors of the reviewed game have prepared five difficulty levels. At the two lowest, the fun is actually limited to smoothly taking turns. What's more, you can play on the good PC keyboard without any worries! If that was not enough, a whole lot of additional boosters were taken care of, thanks to which you can, among other things, turn on the traction control, and even "ask" the computer to help you brake the speeding machine properly. Thanks to these solutions, the game can also help you improve your skills in a very successful way. If someone wants to pick them up successively, he couldn't have hit better. Needless to say, at the highest difficulty level, the game requires not only perfect mastery of the machine, but also delving into its individual settings. GTR owners shouldn't be surprised by the number of possible modifications. In this respect, GT Legends presents a very similar level of performance.

When presenting the next elements of the described race, one cannot ignore the issue of the presence of licensed cars. GT Legends authors took care of several dozen models, mainly from the 60's and 70's of the twentieth century. Manufacturers boast that there are over 90 vehicles in the final product. Unfortunately, this is a typical marketing procedure. It turns out that some vehicles differ only in minor details. Only in a few cases can we talk about slightly more serious changes (Chevrolet Corvette). Ultimately, it turns out that we are actually choosing between less than 30. The list of vehicles includes such legends as AC Cobra, De Tomaso Pantera, Ford GT 40, Jaguar E-Type, Lotus Elan, Mercedes 300 SL Roadster, Renault Alpine A 110, and Shelby GT 350.

As could be expected, the differences in the behavior of individual machines are usually colossal. These changes are mainly influenced by elements such as the driveline, engine positioning and vehicle weight. What's more, these differences will be noticeable not only for absolute simulation freaks, but also for people who prefer not too complicated arcade games on a daily basis. As a result, there are situations in which the choice of a car depends mainly on its capabilities, and not one or another appearance.

The competition can be watched from four different cameras, but personally I cannot imagine driving with a view from the outside. GT Legends is certainly one of those positions in which moving with a set view of the car's cabin is the greatest pleasure. What's more, this type of setup does not complicate the smooth cornering in any way. The only difficulty is avoiding the cars behind. Fortunately, you can use many different viewing options to defend yourself against them more effectively. There were also some impressive repetitions in the game. While playing, we can race on a dozen or so real routes, most often well-known from the production mentioned in the introduction. Interestingly, some objects come in several different versions (usually one longer and several much shorter).

The visual setting of GT Legends , like the above-mentioned elements of this game, can present a very different degree of complexity. In this case, however, the contractual limitation is the hardware capabilities of the computer. In particular, I mean the issues related to the machines controlled during the game. Including all additional elements related to the appearance of the cockpit requires an extremely powerful graphics card. However, there is nothing to be afraid of, because even on less equipped machines, the reviewed race may look very solid. The only exception in this case is the quite static environment, which is far from the level presented by other titles. Fortunately, while driving, incomparably more attention is paid to performing the correct activities. There isn't much time to look around.

It is also worth praising the people responsible for the sound of the game. Paradoxically, I do not mean pieces of music that you want to turn off completely after a dozen or so seconds. I mean, however, the sounds of the engines of individual machines. Once again, I must point out that I have not come across a title that would be rendered in such a realistic way before. Lovers of classic American muscle cars should be especially happy. The roar of the Mustang's engine made me not want to give up driving, even after passing all the mandatory events. :-)

GT Legends is an exceptionally successful simulator that should equally satisfy both total hardcore fans and people who do not use this type of production on a daily basis. It's good that the authors have prepared many new elements that made the game more accessible than its predecessor. It is a must-have item for any enthusiast of four wheels.

Jacek "Stranger" Noise