The idea of review Gran Turismo 2 actually seems like quite a daunting challenge to me. Why? Because if you read my other reviews, storyline and gameplay are the major aspects of a game that I focus on. However, whilst Gran Turismo 2 obviously has gameplay (it is a game after all), racing games don’t really have a storyline. So, I’ve been wondering how to tackle this review, but it is time, don’t you think?

So, let’s get to it! Here is my Gran Turismo 2 review.

Storyline

Okay, so as I already stated, Gran Turismo 2 doesn’t really have a storyline. After all, as a racing game, it is the racing that is most important rather than a deep plot with twists and meaningful social commentary. However, it does feature a career mode (known as Simulation mode), which acts as the game’s story (in a sense). So that’s what I’ll be looking at.

Basically, you start off as a new driver who has to work his way up into the racing world by earning licenses and then winning to progress into new car classes. That is basically the plot in both a nutshell and completely. Gran Turismo 2 doesn’t feature a storyline, and it doesn’t need to.

So I won’t be adding a score for this aspect of the game, as that would be entirely unfair. And with that, let’s move on!

Gameplay

Now, this is where we can really start delving into Gran Turismo 2 for this review. As I’ve already stated, it features a Simulation mode where you have to gain licenses and win races in order to unlock more cars and races. That forms the crux of the progression in Gran Turismo 2, providing you with the driving force (and I’m not sorry for that pun) within the game.

In terms of the actual racing, Gran Turismo 2 continues with the realistic racing simulator setup that the first game introduced us to. Each car handles differently, meaning that you’ll need to either find the one you are most comfortable with or learn how to control each of them. On top of that, the race tracks feel like very accurate representations of their real-life counterparts. This means that you get a definite challenge as you play, but also that you can improve and dominate with time and practice.

Because of this, I can confidently say that you’ll enjoy the gameplay of Gran Turismo 2, as long as you actually enjoy racing games. For the original PlayStation, it really is one of the better racers available when it comes to gameplay. Of course, it is important to mention that it isn’t for everyone.

If you’re a fan of more arcade-style racers like Ridge Racer, then Gran Turismo 2 might be too much of a step into realism for you. After all, it is a racing simulator, rather than an arcade racing game. So you won’t be drifting around corners at really high speeds, trying to get to the next checkpoint. It also doesn’t feature any type of damage system, so whilst the cars handle realistically, don’t expect to be part of any major crashes or anything. It isn’t Burnout, after all.

So yeah, if you are a fan of arcade racers, then the gameplay for Gran Turismo 2 probably isn’t going to do much for you. However, if you prefer a touch of realism, then it could be the perfect racing game for you on the original PlayStation.

Graphics

Considering the fact that Gran Turismo 2 puts such a huge emphasis on being a racing simulator, it should come as no surprise that the graphics are also grounded in realism (for the PS1). All of the cars are modelled very faithfully on their real-life versions, giving a sense of realism to each of them beyond the gameplay mechanics.

On top of this, the race tracks themselves look amazing for the time, with distinct environments and near-perfect skylines. All of this combines to create a very strong level of immersion in the races themselves. That, in turn, helps to fuel the gameplay, with both aspects of the game working in tandem to build a brilliant racing experience that is still thoroughly enjoyable today.

Gran Turismo, as a series, has long been known for its gorgeous graphics, and Gran Turismo 2 is no exception to that rule! Considering the fact that it came out in 1999, a whole 19 years ago, it looks fantastic still. That is a real success on behalf of the developers and graphical artists.

And That’s All Folks

In the end, Gran Turismo 2 is a great racing simulator that will please any fan of realism in their racing games. If you prefer the arcade-style racers, then it probably isn’t going to be right for you, but if you do enjoy racing simulators, then you really need to give Gran Turismo 2 a try. The first game pretty much created the racing simulator genre, and Gran Turismo 2 improves on it considerably!

Have you played Gran Turismo 2? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!

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