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Featured GTR2: Why are Modern Sims Still Not as Good?

Discussion in 'GTR 2' started by Paul Jeffrey, Mar 3, 2017.

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  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    GTR2 - 2.jpg
    GTR2 is 11 years old, features a series that no longer exists and was developed for technology less advanced than a modern smart phone. Unbelievably it's still one of the best sims available today.

    What I want to know is why? Why in the last 10 + years have some of the many awesome features found in this now long forgotten game not made their way into something more modern? Ok granted many different games feature some of the bits in GTR2, but no single title has taken what was already an incredible base and expanded upon it with the aid of much advanced technology we now have at our disposal.

    Driving School? Check
    Fully animated pit workers? Check
    Animated flag marshals? Check
    Day - night transition? Check
    Weather cycle? Check
    Full official series licence, over two separate seasons? Check
    ...and the list goes on and on...

    Simply put GTR2 was massively overdeveloped, period. SimBin Studios quite literally took every single aspect of the then premier GT racing series in the world and recreated it all into a compelling racing experience that still stands out as a top simulation even by the standards of today, 11 years after the game hit our shelves.


    I just find it all incredibility bizarre. In very few industries outside of sim racing will you see a decline in product quality and content as the years progress like we have to put up with today. When GTR2 first shipped in September 2006 the game was a complete package, not splattered with ridiculous bugs that prevented anyone having a good time, not bombarded by wave after wave of disparate DLC content with little or no relevance to the main experience and not hanging on by the merest thread for dear life as another iteration of something that's been released by someone else already. It really was a golden time for sim racing fans, and those who witnessed it all first hand really did think this would be the beginning of something big in sim racing.

    Fast forward to 2017 and sadly the progress expected post GTR2 has quite simply not materialised. The game, the official simulation of the FIA GT World Championship, was probably the very last fully feature complete racing simulation we have seen in our niche genre. We've had loads of new games since then, some of which have even been released by the same people responsible for GTR and GTR2, but none have even come close to matching the level of features and polish afforded fans back in 2006. It's down right strange.

    GTR2.jpg

    Take RaceRoom Racing Experience for example, developed as the next GT game from the people behind GTR and GTR2, when the title first hit public beta stage back in February 2013 what did we have? Basically a hotlapping simulation with limited content, no official series licence, no AI to race against and precisely zero multiplayer features. Added to the still missing animated flag marshals and a range of other GTR2 items that haven't made the move over with time, it's all rather a depressing scene in which to take in.

    Ok I appreciate Sector3 have worked exceptionally hard at improving RaceRoom to get to a level where it is barely recognisable now to what it looked like on launch day, but still to even consider releasing a game that was basically stripped of everything that made GTR2 great is simply mind boggling.

    And it's not just RaceRoom that are guilty of missing out some key features considered par for the course 11 years ago, everyone is doing it! You only have to look at one of the most popular sims on the market Assetto Corsa as a perfect example, they consider themselves to be perfectionists on a mission to produce the most true to life experience possible, and they even miss out the core basics like weather and day to night transition, never mind such "nice to have" features like a driving school, proper flag implementation and multiclass racing options. It's simply amazing to realise that these features quite simply only exist in a game that was designed and released over a decade ago. Unbelievable.

    GTR2 still looks pretty good on top graphics settings, still feels very nice indeed with my trusty CSW V2 and still sounds like it belongs in the very top tier of audio experience. All that whilst replicating a seriously mega international championship in a exceptionally detailed simulation that really does pick out all the little features that makes driving on a virtual track feel like the real thing. With that said and the pretty compelling physics considering the age of the title added up with stuff that no other sim has all together in one package, this is why I still believe GTR2 is, without reservation, the very best simulation racing experience one can purchase during 2017.

    I love the game, it's just a bit sad that no one has thought to try and make something similar in the following 132 months since it was released.

    GTR was released by SimBin Studios exclusively for PC. The game is still available to purchase on Steam for £4.99.

    GTR 2 - 3.jpg GTR2 - 4.jpg GTR2 - 5.jpg

    Like GTR2? Well lucky you, we are seriously considering a brand new informal league! Check out the GTR2 sub forum for general GTR2 discussion or our new GTR2 RDGT Championship forum for more details of the new league season. To prepare for the league all we ask is you have Premium membership, a fresh GTR2 install and these two additional patches HERE and HERE. Get ready for a return of the legend....

    Do you still enjoy GTR2? What did the sim do right in your opinion? Why do features present in GTR2 still not appear in moderns sims? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
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  2. ouvert

    ouvert

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    definitely best bang for money :)
     
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  3. Blimey

    Blimey
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    "Unbelievably it's still one of the best sims available today."
    Its not unbelievable that it's one of the best, it simply is the best still to this date.
    Driving School? Check
    Fully animated pit workers? Check
    Animated flag marshals? Check
    Day - night transition? Check
    Weather cycle? Check

    You forgot to add the...omg I forgot the words for it, running start?
    How many modern games are missing these basic features? All of them miss all these features, some of the games have a few of these features and allow themselves to be called a racing simulator.
    I would play it, but for me the graphics and online is outdated.
    Top 2 favourite racing games for me, right next to NFSU2.
     
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  4. Gui Cramer

    Gui Cramer

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    Complete package with a full interesting series, with cars and tracks - check. Actually interesting GT classes when there were awesome GT1 cars - check. Weather system much better than rf1 - check. Not only visible but actually animated pitcrew - check. Better visuals and closer to real life tracks than rf1 - check. Ingame scenarios to unlock one-make championships - check. Hands on steering wheels - check.

    And more. Back when game design and user experience mattered, and weren't played off as unnecessary features by fervent small crowds. I remember being shocked it cost 40% less than rf1 too.


    Edit : I wish there was an option for the wheel to turn more than 270 degrees.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
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  5. Celestiale

    Celestiale
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    Since i am pretty new to racing sim i never played it sadly. I am an eye-person, means graphics/looks are pretty important for me regarding pretty much everything (cars, clothes, women, computer games), so i'll probably keep sitting out on it. Tried AMS/Stock car, and the graphics just killed it for me, no matter how good the rest is..guess it would be the same with this one :(
    hoping for Pcars2 or GTR3 to deliver something comparable..
     
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  6. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo

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    Games (sims) like GTR2 is what made me expect more immersion from the new gen of sims. 10 years later and the releases were still incomplete on features (rF2) or step back from previous devs work and less complete than the stuff from 10 years ago (Assetto, R3E)
     
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  7. Joshums Anderson

    Joshums Anderson

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    Driving School? Check
    Fully animated pit workers? Check
    Animated flag marshals? Check
    Day - night transition? Check
    Weather cycle? Check
    Full official series licence, over two separate seasons? Check

    Flatspot modelling? Nope
    Chassis flex? Nope
    Turbo modelling? Nope
    RealRoad? Nope

    GTR2 is a great experience even in 2017, don't get me wrong. With all the developments in rFactor 2, RaceRoom, etc and the upcoming GTR3 though, I think it's a bit much to be calling GTR2 the best simulator ever even in 2017. It's up there, yes, but even though it was made in the mid-00s, the development we've seen from other sims stops me from saying this is the best.
     
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  8. Vapir

    Vapir
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    Same here, love this game. My most beloved feature: 24h racing. And being able to scale it to 24 minutes etc. Nothing like racing a dusk to dawn race.
     
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  9. Austin Ogonoski

    Austin Ogonoski

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    PRC sentiments are seeping into major sim outlets.

    My work is complete.
     
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  10. Vapir

    Vapir
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    I actually feel sad for you because you are missing out on so damn much there.
     
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  11. Blimey

    Blimey
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    You're picking on GTR2 because it doesn't simulate flatspots and flexing...well tell me how many games do simulate this then?
     
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  12. Emery

    Emery

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    It goes to show that the right collection of features and content make a compelling product.
     
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  13. kondor999

    kondor999

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    Make the simulator a racing experience, not just a jumbled collection of content.

    This article is absolutely spot-on correct. Modern racing games have devolved into glorified hotlap simulators with crappy tacked-on AI, no structure, and no sense of being part of anything like a real racing series.

    That's why I actually really enjoy the F1 games from Codemasters. They may not have great FFB or physics, but they do a vastly better job of replicating the overall experience of driving in a race series.

    Modern devs seem to be either too lazy or too under-funded to go beyond just churning out random cars and tracks (often as DLC). Except for GT3, we get perhaps 1 or 2 cars for each type of racing, so you end up with ridiculous races where you have 23 of the exact same car, just with different liveries. It's a total immersion-killer for me.

    So, to the devs: I'd rather have just one racing series replicated in great detail than a smattering of random cars and tracks.
     
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  14. Wedge

    Wedge

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    The most reasonable explanation to this, is the fact that in terms of simulation - as said on one post above: flat spotting, real road, etc - the sims we have today are one or two steps ahead when compared to GTR2. And the research and technology to achieve this takes lot of time and resources, and since most of the companies are small, they have to choose between upgrading the tire model and whatnot or programing a driving school, or having a good AI or having Day-Night cycles or weather, well, you got the idea.

    And the way you described RaceRoom at the release, can also be used to describe AC and rF2.

    Ironically enough, maybe the closest recent sim we have to compare to GTR2 is PCARS... and well, when compared to all the other titles it's the worst [quotation needed]. :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
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  15. Celestiale

    Celestiale
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    Mhhhhh just watched some videos especially from Power&Glory, and those pretty much represent my favourite racing series ever...love 60s/70s GT racing, would watch recordings instead of modern live racing if they would be available in HD :roflmao:

    Two questions that are pretty important for me:
    1. How is the FFB? Comparable to R3E or Assetto Corsa?
    2. How is the AI? This one is very important for me, when i plan to do offline career....just for a note, i love R3E and (final) Pcars AI (aggressive, proactive, "human" errors), while i hate AC AI (sleepy, passive robots doing duck-walk)

    If those two are good, and with the content, i think i could oversee the graphics :notworthy:
    And splash the cash :roflmao:
     
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  16. Will Mazeo

    Will Mazeo

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    The thing that bothers me more in R3E is why the hell they removed features that were already present in their code. Really I just don't get it.
    And now they have a hard time adding this stuff back. I look at Automobilista and think about how nice R3E could be if they took that route of doing more instead of removing
     
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  17. Jimmy Broadbent

    Jimmy Broadbent

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    GTR2 is definitely a more complete game than anything else we have today. You actually have things to do outside of just running laps/ai races.

    In terms of Sim though...I hate to say it, but it shows it's age. I booted it up the other day to mess around with the M3 GTR and found that there was very little feel compared to something more modern. There's definitely something to be said for the immersion that GTR2 still brings to the table, but it terms of pure physics, it's a bit of a relic.

    Cheers for the article.
     
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  18. David Dominguez

    David Dominguez
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    Because (most) modern sims try to move the genre forward focusing their efforts on their physics engines instead of purchasing them from somewhere else adding some candy as content.
     
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  19. Matt Beers

    Matt Beers

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    I bought this game not long ago. I have the disc version I installed it and screen is off center? Any ideas why? Only other game I have is NR 2003 and that works fine.
     
  20. Vapir

    Vapir
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    1. FFB is definitely up there with the two for me
    2. AI is between R3E and AC I'd say. Not as good as R3E or rF2 but better than AC. Which isn't hard to be fair.
    You can very well have some great battles with them.
     
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