About The Label: "SimBin/Sector3"All SimBin (now Sector3 Studios) games are featured under this label. These include games like the GTR series, the RACE games, and more.
GTR 2: Realism Redefined
^ from: www.amazon.com - Is GTR2 better than its predecesor? Find out in this review.
The first GTR was a breakthrough in what simulation racing games should be. It focused entirely on racing with the FIA GT Championship along with the featuring of the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Its brutally unforgiving realism made GTR an incredible simulation racing game, offering an experience unlike any other. What usually is a challenge is to try to improve upon the original and hope the sequel is better than the original. This was the challenge SimBin (now Sector 3) and 10Tacle Studios faced in creating GTR2. Though this game came after rFactor and using rFactor's engine, SimBin still tried to make the original better.
Part of trying to make the original game better is by offering more cars and tracks. In fact, you can race all or most of the cars and tracks from the first GTR along with new cars and tracks in GTR2. You can race the 2004 FIA GT Championship cars as well as try out new courses like the Dubai Autodrome. Unlike the first GTR, you can now race almost any time of day on the courses and even have some dynamic cycles in time. New cars include machines like the Nissan 350Z and the Maserati MC12. Quite the contrast, eh? You can compete in a handful of championships including both the official events and 40 custom championships. You can even compete in 24 hour races in the game. These are more than just the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, mind you. If your driving skill can use some work, try the Driving School. You can take your racing offline or online also. There is so much to do that your head will spin!
Even for a game from 2006, there is still a healthy and active community that mods GTR2. This game has so much to offer that it is still modded to this day. Could people just move on and leave this game behind? Sure. That isn't the case all the time, however. Some games just are great bases for modding no matter how old they are.
AI Racing.Some people use GTR2 to set up AI races or offline races. These are people who have a bunch of cars on track and have everything hosted by having AI drivers do all the work. Events usually are done as is or have replays saved to record the race from different variables. Some people even set up live streams on Twitch (or elsewhere) for people to watch these races take place. Among my friends at GTPlanet, these AI races are sometimes called "B-Spec" races in the spirit of Gran Turismo's AI-based B-Spec racing.
Here is an example of a fantasy series highlight package to demonstrate AI racing in GTR2:
^ [GTR2] RACE GT - Round 2 - Barcelona - European Debut
So how do you set up these events? Here is how to set up an AI race in case you want to make your own series? Here is the workflow:
Setting Up AI Races
1.) Click on "Options" from the main menu.
2.) Click on "Advanced."
3.) Go to "Starting Driver" from the Advanced menu. Change the "Driver 1" to "Driver 2." Change the "2nd Driver Control" from "Player" to "AI."
4.) Return to the Main Menu by clicking on "Main Menu." After that, set up Open Practice, a Race Weekend, or whatever race you want to participate in.
WARNING! If you want to return to racing by yourself, you must change the "Starting Driver" back from Driver 2 to Driver 1. Forgetting to do this will have an AI driver do the racing with no control for you to switch from AI driving to player driving. If currently in a race, you will need to exit out of that event and make the changes before going back to racing.
Why would you want to have AI races? Some people like setting up AI races for fantasy championships and races, so this is great fun to set up in case you are going to capture videos or anything like the AI racing I shown you earlier in this post.
Championships.You can race any of the game's championships whether Official or Custom. To unlock more Custom Championships, you'll need to progress your way through the Driving School (explained later). These Championships will let you race on a certain number of tracks under a certain number of conditions. Third-party championships will require that you have certain mods and/or tracks in order to compete in these events. So if you're looking at running a championship with certain mods, be sure to read what tracks you will need to run championships with.
The custom championships are fairly brief championships restricted to certain kinds of vehicles and races of certain lengths. While you don't need to win every race, you do want to finish each championship with a certain amount of points good towards unlocking more championships. There are a total of 40 custom Championships in GTR2.
If you are skilled enough, you can make your own championships and go compete. Make sure you pick the right cars and tracks and how you want the series to pace itself.
Driving School.Try the Driving School feature to learn or enhance your driving skill. Almost like Gran Turismo's license tests, the Driving School features a bunch of different challenges for you to learn how to race in GTR2. You will have a set of challenges to try to complete. If you think this Driving School feature is pointless towards completion of GTR2, think again. Driving School will allow you to access extra content in the game- including extra tracks and championships. Completion of the individual lessons will grant you some credit towards unlocking more content. If you manage to completely achieve gold, you will win a Gold Gear for that test. The amount of cleared tests and Gold Gears will grant you the ability to unlock more championships and tracks.
Cars.All of the machines in GTR2 are rear-wheel drive GT racing machines. A handful of real-world race cars from America, Europe, and even Japan are featured here in GTR2 for your racing pleasure. Actual teams and drivers also are part of this package. You get to hear the cars in anger from a chase view and from the different interior views.
Should you want to add mods to your lineup, you can. Any number of mods can be added including cars of various classes and such.
Locations.While the first GTR was almost exclusively European tracks, GTR2 features many more European courses but also lets you race in the Middle East and in China. Since GTR2 has dynamic time, you can no longer race Spa-Francorchamps only at certain times of day or night like in GTR1. Many of the courses allow for a huge number of fields. Some courses even have specialized endurances lasting for up to 24 hours on end.
One of the funny things about GTR2 is that in most racing games, you get the shorter courses before eventually unlocking longer courses. In GTR2, you get most of the longest courses before unlocking shorter configurations. I find that a bit strange.
Just like with vehicles, you can add extra courses to enhance your racing experience and to have more places to race at.
Time Trials.If you want to try to go for the fastest possible times, try the Time Trials. These events pit you against the clock as you try to post the fastest times around courses. Proper setup of your car and precise driving will grant you the best results. So go for the fastest times!
NOTE: You will need to download the GTR2 Time Trial package separately.
Racing.So you're ready to race? You can pick from a number of different race types. Some options can be tweaked on from the Main Menu. One of those options is time. You can choose to have time cycle realistically; or you can choose to have time accelerated by 2x, 10x, or 60x. This will allow time to fly by any certain way you choose. So Realtime means you can have a 24-hour race in 24 hours, 2x means a 24-hour race in 12 hours, 10x meaning a 24-hour race in 240 minutes (or 2 hours and 40 minutes), and a 24-hour race in 24 minutes with time accelerated by 60x. Also adjustable is the rate of fuel consumption and tire wear. Both can be set from realistic to wear up to 7x. Mechanical Failures can also be adjusted by various degrees.
• Compete in GTR2's championships by going to Championships. You can compete in the official championships or any of the 40 custom championships. You may also compete in championships from other mods or from championships you've set up yourself. Try to win the most races and score the most points to become champion.
• Open Practice allows you to take a car around any track for either a Private Session or against as many as four other cars. Use this opportunity to practice racing a course or learn of the limits of your car. You can adjust the time of day and any rain options.
• Compete in a Race Weekend to simulate a single race. You may allow options for individual days and sessions or just straight up start a race. Options such as time, rain, number of competitors, aggression from other drivers, and starting position (if you choose not to qualify) can be adjusted. You can also elect to race either by lap distance or time distance by going to the Options menu.
• If you have time on your hands, try the 24 Hour Races. The premier endurance in GTR2 is the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. However, there are also other endurances you can take part in. Such endurances are even restricted to certain kinds of cars.
Multiplayer.You can race solo, but the action is always more competitive against other people. Races can be done through Local Networks or the Internet.
Unlocking Content.If you are unable to access certain items in GTR2, you will need to clear more challenges in Driving School, gain more Gold Gears, or get a certain amount of championship points. The game even tells you what you need to unlock some items. So make sure to complete these tasks to enjoy more of the game.
Now for some of my thoughts on GTR2. Get ready.
"GTR 2: Realism Redefined" - Final Thoughts
It is not as if GTR 1 was severely limited, but GTR2 simply took GTR1 and made it better by leaps and bounds. Features such as the blinding sun and weather effects make GTR2 better than the first GTR. Amazing graphics and unforgiving physics make this game can't miss. Even a game as old as this is still lovingly enjoyed and modded by the general public. Even yours truly is trying to come up with skins for various mods for GTR2. I even entertained the thought of making cars and/or tracks for GTR2. Anyone who enjoys simulation racing games should definitely have GTR2 added to one's collection. Don't let the fact this game is many years old deter your interest in getting it. If you want modern sims, get "Project C.A.R.S." or "Assetto Corsa" instead. But if you don't care how old a game is as long as it is good and offers great experiences, get GTR2 if you haven't already.
Now for some special commentary.
rFactor vs. GTR2.rFactor began the whole deal before SimBin used the rFactor engine for their games. Though GTR2 came a year after rFactor, SimBin basically offered the most complete and intense racing experience. GTR2 seems to offer that little bit extra that makes it better than its rFactor counterpart. However, rFactor is slightly better in the customization and modding departments. You can do so much more in rFactor which gives it the slight edge over GTR2. I've played rFactor MUCH longer than I have GTR2. Even still, GTR2 just has that better look and feel that makes it better than rFactor. While GTR2 is more focused towards real racing rather than a combination of road and street cars and different kinds of racing, GTR2 just feels better overall. I also find GTR2 to be better in setting up AI races than rFactor. Only thing I'd wish GTR2 would have is the ability to randomly add and remove drivers like in rFactor.
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I feel great finally offering my thoughts on GTR2 after having played it for some time. Remember that "John's Race Space" is all about racing games and driving games. I'll have more commentary and reviews in the future. Want to stay in the know? All you need to do is Subscribe and Follow this blog and my others. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.
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