Reviewed on PS2


Reviewed By: Scott MacDowall

Computer Platform: PlayStation 2
Produced by: Polyphony Digital
Price Range: $50
Learning curve time: 30 min.
Age level: 8+
ESRB Rating: Everyone

Genre: Racing Sim
Christian Rating: 4 of 5
   (slightly offensive)
Gameplay: 4 of 5
Violence: 5 of 5
Adult Content: 5 of 5

Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
In the days before the PlayStation 2 had proved itself to the wary games buying public, responsibility fell upon Polyphony Digital and Gran Turismo 3 to show the world why it would fall in love with Sony all over again. It was certainly a gamble but one which, with hindsight, worked perfectly. Thousands of PlayStation 2's have been sold wholly on the basis of this one game. For what appears to be no more than a graphically superior sequel that's quite an achievement.

Anyone familiar with the multi-million selling “Gran Turismo” series will notice that number 3 has kept extremely loyal to the tried and tested formula. Start with a small amount of money, find a cheap car to buy, and race it through a series of championships across the world. Success leads to financial gain, which in turn leads to bigger and better vehicles. You'll need dedication to earn enough for the fastest cars for without them your chances of completing the harder championships are almost nonexistent. As before, anyone looking for a quick race can enter the Arcade Mode for some short-lived fun.

Screenshot from 'Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec' No review of “Gran Turismo 3” can be complete with mentioning the graphics. After all, they are the biggest selling feature of the game. Naturally they're beautiful, possibly the greatest ever seen. Squint your eyes and you'd swear you could be watching a real TV show. The cars look exquisite and their highly polished bodies reflect light just as you'd imagine they would. The only minor disappointment is the inability to damage your cars. Smashing into a brick wall at 150 M.P.H. still results in no more than coming to a complete halt.

Screenshot from 'Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec' “Gran Turismo” has always been an engrossing game and that hasn't changed for this update. Hours can be spent choosing and tuning your favorite car, and that's even before you begin the first race! Racing, as always, is a joy. The cars handle wonderfully, and if you can keep your eyes off the scenery there's a firm challenge to be had during the early races. It takes longer than ever to start making decent money in "Gran Turismo 3", but there's a good reason for this because once you can afford the super cars the races turn into boring time trials. The computer-controlled cars simply can't keep up - leaving you miles up in front, waiting for the laps to end. Admittedly you could race around in a slower car, but that defeats the point of earning so much money in the first place.

Ultimately these are only minor niggles. There still is no greater driving game on the PlayStation 2, and the urge to beat all the races whilst collecting all the secret, reward cars will hook even those normally uninterested in racing games. Considering its genre, Christians will have nothing to fear from "Gran Turismo 3". Only the soundtrack of secular rock music may concern, but the excellent sound effects compensate should you wish to turn it off. Believe the hype—"Grand Turismo" is back.

Year of Release—2001

Positive—Slightly offensive? Show me where! My husband is addicted to this game. Very clean racing game with no innuendos, violence, language, nudity, zilch, zero, nada. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Amy, age 30

Positive—GT3 Sound track …offensive? Are you sure we are playing the same game? The sound track although coupled with a few questionable choices of tracks (I don't like Radiohead and think the lead singer can't sing) was chosen to inspire the a sense of the race also you can barely hear it what with the noise of the realistic engine sounds an all. A bit harsh on that point. Every car was recorded from its real life version, the body work for each car took 2 weeks to model and what's more there no blood (and amazing for a best seller these days). Also I am a moderator at a well known Playstation 2 site, I am hurt that you only gave it 4 out of 5 for gameplay. It's clearly a 5! Please correct this and maybe you could say the music could offend but you can switch it off and just have the sound effects on and give this game full marks. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Vincent Cocozza, age 26

Negative—I am surprised at how few people pay attention to the lyrics of the background songs in this game. If they did, they would be more offended. Sony used this game as a platform to promote some of its musical artists and there is one song specifically (I do not know the name) which lyrics states that the singer wants to be “as far from God as an angel can fly.” And this is the refrain of the song. We were so troubled by the song that we returned the game and the PlayStation. People should not only pay attention to what children see but also what they hear. My Ratings: [1/3]
   —HAP, age 31

Comments from Young People…

Positive—HAP has a small point to the lyrics on the ONE song. Why not on that song skip it? All games have flaws and I have seen games that are worse. As for the game no problems and one song doesn't make a big difference. The gameplay was pretty good but had some flaws but overall a great game. I still prefer Project Gotham on the Xbox (and my own music) My Ratings: [5/4]
   —Cyberg4, age 14

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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