This BoSM issue is going to be about one of the most amazing and beautiful mod there is in the simracing community: Power & Glory 3. This standalone mod has entered the myth due to many reasons; let's delve into them!
Jack of all Trades
First, the platform used, which is GTR2. This classic from SimBin is still nowadays very much appreciated due to its versatility and richness of features. It has a 24h cycle, which, coupled with dynamic weather, makes it one of the few sims featuring both things together, making it a suitable and optimal candidate for endurance racing. In addition, GTR2 features also dynamic rubbering of the track surface, which is too a very important component for long races. It was in fact implementing the very first iteration of the LiveTrack technology that has now come into its third iteration in Project Cars 2. This means that the racing line gets progressively more rubbered as time goes on, while outside of the ideal line, marbles will accumulate and will be present, both graphically and physically, for the player to deal with. Rain, however, while making the track more slippery, will also wash down the surface, playing still another factor to take into account while planning your race. GTR2 features in-game savings, designed so that you can save your progress during any session you want, and custom championships. It also has animated pit crews, track marshals and crowd (limited to a few models in the pits or next to the track limits), movable driver arms (with somewhat of a 270 degrees total rotation), controlling both the steering wheel and the shifter, and legs, working with the pedals. In addition, a very notorious driving school will take you through the basics of racing and teach you some advanced techniques to get the best out of your vehicle. Overall, a very complete package, without a doubt still valid today, considering also the price drop of the game, which is available on Steam for purchase for a short amount of money.
At this point, given a list of all the major features of this sim, it is easily understandable why it was chosen as platform from the GT Legends Workshop team for their mod. Meaning to reproduce most of the cars from GT Legends in a more advanced environment, much more suitable for endurance racing, which was the kind of racing those classics cars were most involved into, it was almost an obvious choice. GTR2 is also moddable, and always had a very rich modding community backing it, which meant that potentially a plethora of tracks and skins would have been available to expand the possibilities of the P&G end user. Having to work with SimBin models, choosing a SimBin platform was finally yet another reason to pick up GTR2 for the team.
The devil is in the detail
Power&Glory does in fact list almost all of the GT Legends cars, all gone through model, textures and sound revisions, plus some high quality additions from the community like the Ferrari 250 SWB or the Boss 302 Mustang. Differently from the SimBin game, however, P&G aimed to portray these classic cars for how they were back in the day. Extensive historical researches to update the models were at the project’s foundation. Skins were also faithfully recreated for the cars to show, delivering a realistic grid for the player, which had now the chance to prove itself against racing legends like Graham Hill, Jackie Ickx and other champions of the past. A specific mod launcher and a mesmerizing in game theme layout were also made to complement the mod.
No laws of physics were harmed in the making of this mod
Physics is one of the strongest point of this mod for me. Developed by Aristotelis Vasilakos (yes, exactly the one who is, since 2011, working for Kunos and was behind Assetto Corsa’s physics), in collaboration with Niels Heusinkveld (who works on physics for Reiza, and owns the Heusinkveld Engineering company), they are one of the best available up today. Of course, GTR2 is now pretty old, and wasn’t really meant for these kind of classic racers. All that, surfaces from time to time in the evidence of little quirks here and there (mostly for the AI, which cannot take more than 110% strength setting or they’ll start rolling upside down on fast corners); but still, it is one of the best experiences possible in simracing. The cars react and move in a believable way, and cornering, braking, sliding, all feels breathe taking. Specific literature was read, and used to implement the correct data for cars. As a side note, GTR2 features brakes temperature, brakes wear, fluid temperature and pression (water, oil and fuel), damage model for cosmetics and structural parts integrity, gearbox modelling and a quite good tyre model. I am surely forgetting more, but these should already give you an indication of the genuinity of the platform, physics wise. Since Aris left to join Kunos, David Wright, whose competence is without a doubt second to none, has led physics development for the team.
Can cause permanent hearing climax
Sounds are also incredibly good. Developed by Lúcio "DucFreak" Marques, they are just perfect. There is nothing more to say. They are unbelievable. The exhausts notes, the pops and bangs, the mechanical parts movements. It is one of those situations where words cannot express the beauty. Considering that he managed to get this insane level of quality for all of the cars in the P&G collection, it is simply astonishing. The only cars that sound not so good are the Porsche 911, 2 litres, and the Porsche 914, which share the same engine, and therefore sounds. They feel good, but not right, with some more polishing certainly needed. However, that is nit picking, when just two cars sound a little bit off in a car list counting dozens in total. Hats off to you DucFreak!
Textures and skins are also excellent, and it shows how much passion these people put into this project. It can be felt into the mod itself. When you fire it up, when you race with it, you can feel the work and the intensity of it. You understand, deeply, how enamoured this team was, and still is, for these classics. No detail is over looked. Having the possibility to race these machines, in their original conditions, with their original skins, against their original, and legendary, drivers, gives you an amazing sense of immersion. Even though the only tracks included are the one shipped with GTR2, which means modern circuits only, it still cannot take away that feeling of “being there” from you, which is amazing. The tracks themselves also went too under some “cosmetic lifting” by the GTL Workshop team! As I said, no detail was overlooked.
The mod has, however, some shortcomings, but that is inevitable considering the dimensions of it and the nature of the team (enthusiasts working in their free time and committing themselves outside office work). As already noted, AI are not really meant for these cars, which leads them to rolling sometimes on high strength settings. You can bypass this by modifying the PLR to include the “Crash Recovery” option, which will flip upright rolled cars, but still. Physics wise, fluids temperature has not always been properly implemented, but that is only in a few cars, which leads them to have very low water and oil temperatures. Some models also have some visible issues, but this tends to happen mostly with 3rd party models and usually not with the official GT Legends cars. There is no, texture wise, brake glow on any of the cars, including those that should have it.
All of this, however, blends into the background when you are sitting on the grid, with George Follmer’s upfront and his exhaust smoke (yes, GTR2 has this cool feature!) piping down towards you, and the entire crowd’s cheering is covered in furious carburettors sound.
Thanks GT Legends Workshop team, and everyone involved, for this timeless gem, is what I am thinking while I’m steaming down the straight through the pouring rain, with my bias ply tyres dancing on the edge of adhesion.
Get the mod for GTR 2 here: Download Power & Glory (full version)
Best of Simracing Mods is going to be a new column for RaceDepartment, featuring the best mods available, reviewed or overviewed for you to discuss about! Get ready for more in the future, and we hope you enjoyed this first issue!
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 “Niels Heusinkveld - for the endless and prolific exchange of ideas, regarding this big unknown beast of the ISI physics engine.” As quoted from the P&G website credits’ page.