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Welcome to SC's Up and Coming GP3 site. Here is the GP3 Review.
A quick note before reading our review: This was partialy written a long time ago, and may have been overly harsh at times. Still, we feel GP3 is a good game, the rain is nice, but it isn't really a commercial improvement over GP2.
Grand Prix 3 has brought Racing Simulations into the same league as "Legitimate Sports Gaming" in America (Legitimate to the crude masses meaning Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, and American Football(AKA soccer). That's right, for the next several years we can look forward to Season Update Packs and Full-Price Games one after another. It is with much sorrow I approach this review of Grand Prix 3, for once the DTR:Sprint Cars Demo came out I haven't been back to Europe. The new paint of Grand Prix 3 washes off faster than a politician takes bribes.
The Good-> It is the improvements we wanted in 1998. Tracks have been updated nicely from World Circuit & Grand Prix 2, with more gravel, better runoff areas, and more curved walls. Kerbs are also more evident. The two empty team slots are removed so we don't have to keep an extra Forti or DAMS or Toyota fictional team at the back of the grid. The rain is great, and really the only good point to this game. It can rain for a race, or part of a race. Qualifications can take place under cloudy skies that suddenly burst to life like at the USGP (Indy not included in GP3). If it stops raining, you can expect puddles on the track and a dry line will eventually develop.
The Bad-> Everyone will be a Schumacher in the rain. While the AI crawls through the water, you can race with nary a change in cornering speeds. Your car isn't as hampered by rain as much as the rest of the field is. First, there's not much new here. A few tweaks here & there to the C code is most of what has been done. There is ONE carshape for all of the field (At least GP2 gave us 2 generic shapes to imagine with). The AI is good, but not realistic. Drivers actually attempt passes and take risks all the time. The awful replay system of GP2 that had NO controls other than pause, and show again is still here. While it is fun at first, there's no "new game feel" to it. The manual, never a strong point in the series, REALLY should explain how to read the weather forecast. I've been to a lot of places in America and Canada, but have never seen any weather forecasts like that.
In the end, GP3 is the 1998 game we hoped for. Games from 1998, however, are found in under $20USD bargain bins, and not on the shelf retailing for $45- (A lucky few of us got it at CompUSA in mid-September for $30US) It's still the best F1 game around, but like Nascar 3, it's a slow, evolutionary step, more towards market share than game improvement.
Who should buy it? The 10 people who do not own copies of GP2, and anyone wanting a new CART sim (Hey, that's where all the champions end up so save yourself $40 and a career step.). Anyone who wants to spend a lot of money for rain.
People who don't need it? Anyone who owns GP2 and
is willing to spend a day at gp2.com downloading add-ons.