Gran Turismo 4 Prologue
I remember reading a short article on the train saying something on the development of GT4 but that must have been more than a year and half ago. I thought: “Wow, I would be so happy if could get this game”. Of course that was far from possible then. Was it God that saw all my hard work and decided to enlighten me with this game? Fat chance. No, fate has never been kind to me so once again it was simply Speed that decided I was going to review this game.
Were my expectations too high? Not at all. Actually, this game is even better than I expected. The gameplay is incredibly realistic and not just for what concerns the car-handling. Although over- and under-steer are very important to get right in racing-games, GT4 takes everything a bit further. You won’t be able to overtake a car by simply catching up. No, you will need to wait for the right moment to deviate from the ideal racing line and pass him in a turn. Another option is using the slipstream to get that extra boost you need to pass the car on a straight. The racing experience is so real you can not believe it.
In this prologue version you get a school mode in which you learn how to drive and race step by step. I must say that I expected more from this mode, especially from the first part because I finished that one in a couple of hours. Luckily that unlocks a nice surprise that lets you play and learn some more. In fact that is where the real learning starts and you will have to try several times in order to pass a test. It never gets frustrating or boring though.
Besides school there is also an arcade mode that lets you race to your heart’s content against A.I. opponents or time. You already get enough tracks to keep you busy and there are quite a lot of cars to choose from: oldies, racing cars, family hatchbacks, tuned Nissans, BMW’s and many, many more.
At all times, I kept in mind that this was a prologue but that could not made me feel any less disappointed when I saw there was no multiplayer yet. Of course that would have almost made it a complete version and I guess they probably had a good reason not to include one yet. Nevertheless it is a relatively great counter argument.
Sound is really awesome. A tuned racing car already at a speed of 220 kilometres pushing its needle up against the red zone of 7000 r.p.m. The sound of the clutch, going to sixth gear to accelerate again. The engine screams, the tyres squeak when I hit the brakes to go in to the hairpin and then the sound of the car I am overtaking. Something extraordinary does not need to be praised, everybody immediately realises how spectacular it is! That sure is true for the voice-over that explains the lesson too because it is the best I have ever heard. A gentle, enthusiast voice that articulates well, knows which parts of a sentence needs to be stresses and above all remains absolutely understandable. Hats off!
The tracks look really great and so do the cars but that is not the best thing. The sense of speed they managed to create is simply unbelievable. The intro is full of atmosphere and teleports you right into your third world. A particular fascinating moment was when they showed the Impreza on a dust course riding on the very edge while the fans took pictures or jumped of the road just before the car passed there. The end-movie mixes real and in-game images by witch you sometimes have to look real good to see major differences.
An argument I have heard a lot is: “I am not spending €40 on just the prologue”. For what I am concerned it is well worth it but that is of course quite easy to say when you do not have to actually pay it. It will make the actual GT4 experience better because you can then immediately be quite good and get that glorious racing feeling. On the other hand you now have to pay €40 and then later on another €60 to get the full version. Well, pleasure comes with a price but if you buy it there is nothing that lets you down and it never feels like only a prologue except for the lack of a 2-player split-screen mode. If you are a big fan of the series or you want to learn something about racing this is definitely what you should get. An astonishing introduction to the world of fast cars and furious racing