Car and Driver Presents Grand Tour Racing 98Grand Tour Racing delivers a slightly flawed performance
With so many racers available for the PlayStation, each game has to have some kind of gimmick to make it stand out from the rest. Some, like Ridge Racer, have opted for arcade-style control, full of power slides and pumping rave music. Others, like Rally Cross or Formula 1, have gone the specialist route, choosing to focus on one very distinct form of racing. Activision s Car and Driver Presents Grand Tour Racing 98, besides having a very long name, has taken the scattershot approach, throwing in multiple racing types in one game. And, as is often the case when you generalize, something ends up falling by the wayside.
Grand Tour Racing s strengths lay in the variety of cars and tracks available. Players can race through Scotland, Switzerland, Egypt, or a number of other varied locales, each based on photographs taken by the developer. There s something for everybody here, whether you re a fan of rally or dunebuggies. The graphics are solid enough for each environment, although they aren t anything too special.
Unfortunately, the cars don t all handle the way they should. Most of the types (rally, sport, Indy, buggy) are too stiff, and although there is a tight turn button on each shoulder, these tend to oversteer. The buggies on Easter Island are especially difficult - add to this some treacherous water hazards and you ve got one frustrating track.
Not all of the tracks are as difficult as Easter Island, however. In fact, most of the street car tracks seem quite simple in design, full of long straight aways and relatively few turns. However, the rally tracks are quite challengine, giving the game an uneven feel.
Grand Tour Racing 98 is in no way a bad game, it just could ve done with a little tightening up. Perhaps the sequel will be able to focus on one of the styles more closely.