Have you bought it yet?
Whats it like?
I'm 25% into the career mode.
I disagree with almost all the games site reviewers -this version is massively improved.
The graphics are stunning, different render engine, much higher detail and realism than GT5. You can actually see the track get dirty over time and the racing line is slippery on the marbles, you can even hear the marbles hitting the fenders when you run over them.
I swear they spent >30 hours modelling the asses of the pit girls. Unlike GT5 with it's surreal lighting and abandoned apocalyptic tracks, you get the impression of a real race.
Tracks are bumpy, with elevation changes and actual track widths. There is dynamic lighting at dusk and night racing is visually accurate. The sun will blind you at times, but that's real.
The AI is the best I've ever seen in a game. They will out-brake you, in elite handling mode, the game is very hard to beat with 16 cars on track, but very satisfying to even finish 6th.
The AI will make mistakes.
Gone is the a-hole AI. If you get bumped, it's because you braked way too soon. Bumping and pushing physics are spot on, you can't bump a car in front without repercussions.
They greatly improved the interface and cleaned it all up.
Things I really like:
Elite mode physics: you NEED a wheel and pedals for this, but even with the controller, the brakes are modulatable to impending lockup, and you can feather the throttle effectively. Weight transfer physics on braking and elevation changes are spot-on.
EA customer loyalty -unlocks cars and cash.
Crash physics, damage and track damage.
You can race up to 99 laps.
All cars can be modified to full race mode, fully detailed cockpits on all cars, cockpits are also modifiable.
The sound has at least 4-6 levels of complexity in 5.1 Dolby. You can hear engine, tranny, braking, bumps, tires, surrounding sounds and other cars with directionality (i.e. you know which side a car is on behind you). In pushes or hits, no canned bongo drum sound.
For $15 through the PS Store, you can skip all the unlocking and just unlock all tracks and cars. FINALLY this is an option in a console racer. No tedious bullsh*t hours of driving a VW van around an airfield. ( although career progress is really fast, I doubt I'll do this).
Mirrors are useful -full rendering in mirrors.
In quick race mode, when you pick identical cars, they actually have the identical upgrades to match your car. So, you can't purchase a win.
If you upgrade and don't like it, you can recover the money. the game is about the racing, not the stupid unlocking.
You can upload replays to YouTube (some people like this).
No NASCAR -if you want that crap, there is a whole other game for that.No like:
speed blur gimmick and helmet cam -you should be able to turn these off.
If the rear end drifts and you compensate with the wheel, you heads shakes to follow the wheel. No.
No real race formats. No dynamic weather. I'm not sure about the tyre wear yet.
Cut scene movies are just sensationalist crap for kids.
Radio: guy yelling "green light, that means go". Really?
Drift mode -for crissakes, just someone make a drifting game. Drifting is figure skating in a car.
I wish they would model Watkin's Glen, Mont Tremblant, Sebring and Mosport -these are still active sports car tracks.
So far, I haven't found a single bug (hello CODEMASTERS). The on-line and Autolog feature is seamless and the game is very well finished and polished. It's very easy to navigate the menus.
I can and will avoid the drifting
I can see the sim community scheduling on-line races in elite mode. It's obvious that EA actually listened to the complaints about Shift and fixed them.
I will likely buy the expansion pack. I'd love to try the Alfa GTA 1600. It's the closest thing to simulation physics and actual racing on console. But, it's not Simbin's GTR.
Edited by Villes Gilleneuve, 08 April 2011 - 16:23.