Return To Home Page
Click Here To Purchase Item from Games Warehouse
November 25, 2004
Gran Turismo 4 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
10/3/2005SonyPolyphony Digital1$99.95

Click To Enlarge Image
Driving around the city.
You know you can kind of tell when a game is going to suck. Over hyped press releases, lofty expectations of what the game will include, or just crap screenshots. Fortunately Gran Turismo 4 only has one of those - lofty expectations - but if one person can pull it off it will be Kazunori Yamauchi, the creative genius behind the Gran Turismo series of games. His need for perfection in his games is only matched by his passion for cars. With the Gran Turismo series he has been able to put his love of cars into millions of households worldwide. This latest game, Gran Turismo 4, is shaping up as one of the biggest releases of 2004 and indeed as one of the Playstation 2's greatest moments, and the improvements in this game over Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec are impressive - although the confirmed loss of online gameplay in late 2004 is a massive blow to the title.

Click To  Enlarge Image
Gorgeous night time...
The developers have been making several new courses to race on. One of these new courses is Citi Di Aria which translates from Italian to City in the Air. The course is set high in the Italian Alps and was re-created from over 50,000 photographs of the region. Of course all the courses have been faithfully reproduced using GPS (Global Positioning Satellite), topography maps and typically between 20-30,000 photographs. Other new courses in the game include Grand Canyon (which looks stunning - see picture below), New York (which also looks impressive), the Japanese Tsukuba Circuit. In all Kazunori Yamauchi has confirmed the game will include around 50 circuits (although numbers up to 100 have been mentioned) to race on, however it is unknown if this includes reversed tracks as well.

Click To Enlarge Image
No, this is not a photo!
Polyphony Digital have promised more then 500 cars in Gran Turismo 4 which will not only allow for today’s cars, but also cars from yesteryear. Indeed, the game will feature on the history of driving. Unfortunately the much rumoured motorbikes will not be in the game. Each car includes 300 parameters such as weight, speed, friction and wind which affect performance in Polyphony's bespoke physics engine. 150-200 reference photos were used to ensure the cars in the game look as authentic as possible. Speaking of looking authentic each car will be made up of between 2,000 and 3,000 polygons.

Click To Enlarge Image
Classic game, classic cars.
Some of the cars included in Gran Turismo 4 are: Pontiac GTO, Chevelle SS, Daihatsu Copen Activetop, Camaro Z28 302, Chevy SSR, Honda NSX-R LM Edition, Prowler, Lotus Elise Sports 190, Lotus Europa Special, Supra TwinTurbo-R, Alpine Renault 1600S, Nissan Fairlady 240ZG, Subaru Impreza Rally Car, Subaru WRX STi, Lancer Evolution VIII, Alpine Renault 1600S, Isuzu 117 Coupe, Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA and the BMW McLaren F1 GTR FINA. As you can see it's an impressive list with quite a range, but I've only listed 19 cars there - there's more then 480 to go!

Other new additions which should add some more realism to the game include animated crowds rather then the flat static images in past games. Much like V-Rally 3 people will now jump onto the track during rally stages to take a photo of your oncoming car and run back into the crowds. Convertables will now include animated drivers in the cars to add realism to the game, although there still won't be drivers in the regular cars apparently!?

Click To  Enlarge Image
More Grand Canyon scenery.
The one disappointment, and to me this is a major letdown, is that there is still no car damage in the game. Kazunori Yamauchi has stated that the Playstation 2 isn't powerful enough to include realistic damage to the cars - especially with so many parameters involved in making the realistic physics engine. It is now believed that the game will include a system whereby drivers are penalised for colliding with other cars, or possibly the walls. It will be interesting to see how well this is implemented in the final game, particularly in the online mode. Finally, the game will also be significantly harder with more emphasis on controlling the cars then crashing around the circuits.

It's a certainty that Gran Turismo 4 will be a great title. The recently released Gran Turismo 4: Prologue (which was released in Europe this past May) has been selling by the truckload in Japan, even though it's only a demo and despite an issue with the steering wheel (Sony is offering a replacement) the game/demo has been highly commended. According to Sony Europe Gran Turismo 4 should be released in Europe (and Australia) in early 2005 - hopefully.