GTR FIA Racing is not the kind of racing game for anyone other than the hardest of hardcore gearheads. Certainly, it has the requisite dumbed-down “Sunday driver” mode, which coddles you with driver aids, but to play it as such is to completely miss the point. Real men drive in full-on, hairy simulation mode without any intrusive nannying. Then they take things one step further by dropping obscene amounts of money on wheel-and-pedal sets in order to ensure that their spouses never speak to them again. Yes, GTR is a game for those of us who are comfortable with our nerditude.
It’s a game so overwhelmingly complex and painstakingly intricate that it features licensed MoTeC telemetry interpreter software (the kind used by real race teams), which is relentlessly fed by the data spat out in huge gobs by the game’s physics engine. And if you don’t know what that last sentence means, you are not the intended audience for this game by any stretch of the imagination.
Unlike most “sim” racers, GTR doesn’t arbitrarily task you with accumulating more money or vehicles. You can drive every car on every track right from the get-go; it’s purely about the thrill of the racing itself, and the A.I. opponents are quite shockingly believable, with the only downfall being their complete ineptitude when it comes to successfully navigating particularly messy crashes.
Multiplayer mode is clearly not the main focus of SimBin’s development efforts, as GTR’s 56-player online experience is erratic at best. You’ll rarely (if ever) play in a race with the maximum number of players, and things stutter along regardless of ping times. SimBin has released a patch to help address these issues, but multiplayer is still in need of some work.
Platforms: PC, Xbox