Friday, May 13, 2011

GTR FIA GT Racing Game

John Marine | 5/13/2011 06:48:00 PM | |
GTR's establishment as one of the premier racing game franchises began with "GTR FIA GT Racing Game" (or just GTR). Swedish developer SimBin and 10tacle helped make this game possible. This is a sim racer that holds nothing back to deliver intense racing. I say this with full respect: GTR is NO Gran Turismo. GTR delivers an incredibly realistic racing experience the likes of which no one racing game franchise has ever replicated or provided. With racing that takes you across Europe, you are in for one of the most intense racing experiences you will ever endure. This blog post is a look at the franchise that started it all in GTR's onward and upward climb to being one of the top racing game franchises (at least) of this century.

--- GTR at a Glance ---
This is the game I'll be discussing:
GTR FIA GT Racing Game
^ from: - GTR will challenge you like no other sim racing game before it.

Some racing games just offer the thrill of speed and don't really add serious challenge or intrigue. GTR, however, is not like that. In the quest of providing the best possible racing experience, GTR spared almost no expense delivering the intensity of FIA GT Racing. When I said earlier that "GTR is NO Gran Turismo," I mean GTR is much more intense in racing and driving dynamics than GT.

GTR was a PC game released back in either 2005. It offers an amazing racing experience from top to bottom. Everything is vastly detailed ranging from the tracks, the cars, and various conditions. GTR delivers racing in an unforgiving, unrelenting, unapologetic manner. Your car will not magically bounce off the wall if you side-swipe the walls. GTR does not have ANY qualities that make it any leisurely enjoyable racing game. This is a racing game for sim racers who want some of the most intense action available for PC. It uses the same game engine used in rFactor. Because of this, there has been a great deal of controversy in converting SimBin items over to rFactor.

You can play GTR in three modes: Arcade, Semi-Pro, and Simulation. Arcade allows you to enjoy racing against a few drivers with driver aids enabled. Semi-Pro features a few more cars on track and a bit more leeway in customizing the action to your liking. If you prefer the toughest and most unforgiving racing, Simulation is for you. More cars are on track, and the rules are more strict. You'll be admonished more for reckless driving than you are in Arcade or Semi-Pro modes. Also in variation to each mode, the damage becomes more intense depending on which level you are racing on.

You may also choose to race under certain conditions. Weather can range from dry to monsoon. Go for a dry race to enjoy racing without Mother Nature playing tricks on you. You can go for some wet races ranging from light rain to monsoon rain. And trust me- monsoon rain is NOT fun! You will struggle so much trying to keep the car pointed in a straight line while also trying to properly race around the track with heavy rain falling. You may even elect to have dynamic weather conditions to allow for the most intense and unpredictable racing in any racing game.

Of this game's 10 tracks, one is raced under 24 hour conditions- Spa-Franchorchamps. The race is broken up into segments. You can even choose to race this course under any of the four times of day: Day, Dusk, Night, and Dawn. You may race this track under any of these times of day to practice racing under darker conditions.

The in-game soundtrack is a nice trance soundtrack done by Dr Stephen Baysted. I've always found sportscar racing and trance music to go together beautifully anyways. You can always disable music if you choose.

You can have some wild multiplayer action online with this game. Because I have no online racing experience, I will not discuss this element. Why discuss an element you are not experienced at? You know?

--- Nuances of GTR ---
This part of this blog post relates to the individual elements of GTR, namely the cars and tracks. This is what you will be up against. I am going on memory in describing these elements to you all in my initial blog post rather than play the game and take notes on my experiences.


The cars you race in GTR exemplify excellence in GT racing. There are three classes of car in this game:

* GT - the premier class of FIA GT racing with many high-powered racing machines.
VEHICLES USED: Ferrari 550, Ferrari 575, Lamborghini Murciélago GT-R, Lister Storm, Porsche 993 GT2, Saleen S7R, and Chrysler Viper GTS-R

* NGT - the lower class of FIA GT racing featuring many low-powered, yet still capable machines.
VEHICLES USED: Ferrari 360 Modena, Morgan Aero 8, and Porsche 996 GT3

* 24H - various cars that run in the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
VEHICLES USED: BMW Z3, Chevrolet Corvette C5, Lotus Elise, Mosler Raptor, Porsche 996 Cup, Porsche 996 Turbo, Seat Toledo, and Gillet Vertigo

Actual racing teams and actual drivers are featured for each car. Many of the featured cars have multiple teams racing the same car, like the many Ferrari 360 Modena and Chrysler Viper GTS-R teams, for example. You can take a closer look at the specifications of each car to learn more about them.

There are separate classes to further subdivide the array of cars. For example, there are categories specifically for nationalities of car as well as dividing up cars by manufacturer. So you'll never run out of ways to find the car you're looking for to go racing in.

Maybe the most interesting car of all of them is the SEAT Toledo GT. This car is a serious evolution of the base SEAT Toledo from then. It is a mid-engined car with rear-wheel drive and powered by an Audi engine. Very interesting car. It's one of the 24 Hours cars in GTR.


There are ten rounds of competition including one 24-hour endurance. Here is a brief description of each course in round-by-round format:

* Rd. 1: Barcelona - Spain's challenging motor racing facility other than Valencia. Plays host to major racing rancing from Formula 1 to MotoGP.

* Rd. 2: Mangy-Cours - a rhythm-based race track in central France.

* Rd. 3: Enna-Pergusa - a very fast course in southern Italy. In my view, this is the easiest and simplest course.

* Rd. 4: Brno - a demanding circuit in the Czech Republic with many 2nd and 3rd gear corners.

* Rd. 5: Donnington Park - a long-standing classic British circuit. The make-or-break sections of each lap depend on how you handle the super-slow chicane and the ensuing super-slow hairpin.

* Rd. 6: Spa-Francorchamps - the legendary Belgian Grand Prix motor racing circuit that is just as tough to race for one lap as it can be for 24 hours. The game's longest track.

* Rd. 7: Anderstorp - a Swedish course with a very wide front stretch.

* Rd. 8: Oschersleben - a German road course that is challenging for drivers of many levels.

* Rd. 9: Estoril - a challenging Grand Prix track which once hosted F1's Portuguese Grand Prix.

* Rd. 10: Monza - a long-standing, high-speed Italian road course near Milan.

Each track is presented in great detail. You can learn more about each track and receive advice on how to take on all of the courses. Some audio commentary helps describe each corner and how the track is. Use this to help you to understand how to race each course. You can change a number of options to make your experience interesting for each track. Try changing up weather conditions to push your skills to the limit. Or if you dare, try racing in monsoon conditions while trying to keep your car on the track!

Racing and Tuning.

The tuning is immense. You can customize everything from essential handling elemtnts to even adjusting the seats. You can play the game using anything from your keyboard to some sort of external gaming device. Or for any true sim racer, there's only one way to play GTR- with a steering wheel.

As for the actual racing goes, the AI is pretty tough. In actual races, the rules are enforced quite well. You can't just plow into opponents and intentionally run off course thinking you're going to easily win. If you drive recklessly, you will pay for it. So you'd better learn proper racing technique to limit violations against you. I touched earlier on racing the 24-hour endurance. As I mentioned, the maps change going from one time of the day to the next. So when (for example) day goes to dusk,

Your obvious goal is to win the championship. You'll have to do so on ten challenging race courses across Europe. Do your best!

Graphics and Graphical Touches.

Among the many elements of this game, this game features many wonderfully-rendered effects. You actually note rain falling and hitting the track. You can set the trees to actually sway back and forth with the wind. The night conditions are very nicely done along with the usage of lights. It is a true treat to look at as it is to play. All of the cars are done beautifully from the outside and within. If you fancy viewing the cars in better detail, you can use the Mouse Look feature to freely look around each car.


I had already mentioned the music earlier. The sounds of the cars and the various sound effects are done masterfully. You can really sense close attention was paid towards getting the car sounds done right. You will NOT be disappointed hearing these cars roar at speed. Trust me.

And that is your look at GTR from a few small perspectives. You now have an idea as to what GTR is like.

--- Final Thoughts and Video Preview ---
Needless to say, this game started it all for SimBin and its progression with the franchise. Today's GTR Evolution or RACE series wouldn't be possible without this stellar hit from 2005. It is a game that has truly defined what modern sim racing titles should be about. My only negative about this game is that it may be too unforgiving and too realistic for the casual racing gamer. Considering what all this game entails, you are looking at a polished classic. It is truly worth it to give this game (let alone any other from SimBin) a chance.

Video Preview.

So with my look at GTR, are you impressed? Here is your video preview of GTR below:

If you like what you see, feel free to buy GTR online by getting it on Amazon:

GTR2, GT Legends, and GTR Evolution wouldn't all be possible without GTR. So definitely learn to appreciate what GTR brought to the racing game table in its grand debut. Same could be said for the RACE series (which I still want to get RACE 07).

To learn more about the GTR series, please visit GTR's official website at Learn more about SimBin by visiting SimBin's official website. Thank you for reading!

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John B. Marine said...

u really write about so many different things here! :)
not that i know all topics...
but keep posting! 

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