developer: Polyphony Digital
publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: split screen, players: 1-2
game language: English
game release date for PS2:
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec for PS2 is a racing game developed by Polyphony Digital - a Japanese company led by the same designer who created both previous installments for PlayStation - Kazunori Yamauchi. The game caters to both fans of the racing genre and those just interested in automotive industry for whom the competition comes second to other aspects. Originally, the game was called Gran Turismo 2000, and it was presented under this name during Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2001. Later on, it was renamed in order to maintain this iteration in a clear-cut relationship with its predecessors.
The game offers over 150 car models designed with precision and accurracy, making a great use of the PlayStation 2 capabilities. Although the player can choose from over 600 cars in the second installment of the series, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec was the game which at the beginning of the millennium, set the standards which other developers would follow. The game features over thirty tracks, some of which appeared already in the previous installments. Apart from popular ones, the game introduces completely new tracks located both in urban areas and beyond city limits. Furthermore, the player can put their skills to the test on the very popular, American track called Mazda Laguna Seca (California). Interestingly, this installment introduces rubble sections created specifically for rally cars.
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec for PS2 offers several game modes. The Gran Turismo Mode focuses on the driver's carrier. Once he has obtained adequate licenses through which the player to learn both the basic and advanced driving techniques, the driver participates in more and more prestigious events. Winning high positions earns the player adequate amounts of virtual money that can be spent on better cars, allowing the driver to increase their potential. As a result, the player is capable of participating in subsequent racing events. In the Arcade mode, races were divided into segments containing from five to six of all the tracks included in the game. In order to advance, the player is required to complete all the tracks the given segment is made of, choosing from three difficulty levels available. The player can also take part in time trials and compete against another player in the split screen mode.
Although the game was touted as a racing simulator, the driving physics are relatively basic in this early installment of the series. Car damage has no visual representation in the game and different collisions look artifical rather than realistic. For instance, bouncing-off road barriers skillfully can be helpful in breaking records here. Despite that, different aspects of driving physics were taken into account in production of the game, though in-game representations of those were greatly simplified.
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec for PS2 can be enjoyed using a regular gamepad, but it also supports different driving wheels available commercially. The game is considered a milestone in development of the racing genre - it has influenced the way many other racing games have been designed since.
Game score 8.7 / 10 calculated out of 737 players' votes.
Sony PlayStation 2
Uses: memory card 8 MB, steering wheel, link-cable + additionally (PS2): link-cable