After the monster hit that was Gran Turismo, the sequel Gran Turismo 2, has a more than mammoth task ahead of it, but surpass it does and by some distance. The two gaming discs contain an Arcade version to get you racing straight away, or the Simulation mode where you have to race for cash to buy and upgrade your cars. Realism is the core of GT2 so you really do have to get your racing gloves on.
The range of cars is offensively large–everything from the Toyota Yaris to the Dodge Viper is covered. The attention to detail is fantastic, the cars sound and perform like the real thing and the upgrades available cover everything from alloy wheels to a racing weight flywheel for your engine. There are a number of different driving licences to pass and you have to have a particular class of licence to race in the different leagues, which get progressively harder, but reap richer rewards. To really succeed in Gran Turismo 2 you have think like a racer–slip-streaming and power sliding around corners to get the edge on your opponents are just some examples.
The two versions of the game provide a great balance between a serious sim and quick multi-player arcade action, making it a worthwhile investment. While the gameplay sits on the realistic side, so it takes a little time to get totally proficient behind the wheel. Having said that, once you master control of your machine, you really do have the power. If driving is your thing Gran Turismo 2 is a must. —Chris Hall