GTR 3 Announced for the Third Time

gtr-3-by-simbin-02No, this is not a drill – we hope, anyway. The fine folks over at RaceDepartment have teamed up with the newest incarnation of SimBim Studios UK to help reveal their current project to the world of sim racing in front of the audience who would love to hear something like this the most. Set for a multi-platform release across the Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4 sometime in 2018, the long-awaited third entry in the hardcore sports car simulator franchise, GTR 3, is confirmed to be in development.

Again.

gtr6Initially announced as an Xbox 360 racing game during the spring of 2006 before quietly being cancelled, and then again as a purpose-built PC simulator in late 2011 prior to the underlying software drastically being re-branded into a free-to-play racer known as RaceRoom Racing Experience, Chris Speed of SimBin Studios UK claims the goal with GTR 3 is to push out a top level sports car experience that caters to both casual fans and hardcore sim racers, citing Codemasters’ excellent F1 2016 as inspiration for the project, but leaving sim racers largely in the dark regarding what they should expect on launch day. While we know the title will be powered by the Unreal 4 engine and feature an impressive boost in visual fidelity compared to Sector 3’s current work, key elements such as official series licenses, a potential roster of cars and tracks, or what progression elements the game may contain to keep people engaged have not been made public. All we know is that it will be a quasi-mass market simulator akin to what DiRT Rally or Assetto Corsa have been sold as.

To calm the fears of those who outright refuse to tolerate the intrusive micro-transactions seen in RaceRoom Racing Experience, Speed has confirmed GTR 3 will at the very least ship as a standalone product in the traditional sense, which does not require the use of funny money nor the acquisition of an extensive downloadable content platter to indulge in what GTR 3 will offer to sim racers; a throwback to the days of when video games were sold as complete products.

751818-931477_20060908_003Am I excited? Certainly so.

GTR 2, released in 2006 by a very different team operating under the name of SimBin Studios – currently flying as Slightly Mad Studios of Project CARS fame – was really the last complete racing simulator we were sold prior to certain trends within the industry locking even the most obscure developers in a stranglehold. Coming in just a year prior to the ridiculous downloadable content frenzy spearheaded by juggernaut console franchises, and long before simulators simply threw a random assortment of cars at the customer and said “entertain yourself”, GTR 2 marked the very end of sim racing’s golden age, where competent developers took aim at one specific series in particular, and busted their collective asses to build a highly accurate rendition of whatever they’d acquired the license to – no matter how unfamiliar it was to the general public. While not without its faults, GTR2 absolutely nailed every last element of the FIA GT Championship because SimBin as a developer were focused on creating the very best FIA GT experience possible – the quality of the title engrossing sim racers in a series most of them had never heard of prior to their purchase.

In an era where developers rush to acquire any licenses they possibly can, and spit out games that are merely physics sandboxes with semi-functional racing elements tacked on almost as an afterthought, it’s absolutely fantastic to see a sim racing developer return to a very focused and concrete theme behind their product. Part of Sector 3’s biggest struggle when working on RaceRoom Racing Experience for the PC is that different pieces of content pull them in different directions; sometimes they’re working on the modern DTM cars, other builds focus around the GT3 machinery, and sometimes Steam downloads an update and greets you with a surprise that a car you loved driving now resides in an entirely different class. A product such as GTR3 allows a company to sit down and say “let’s focus on building the best possible sports car game we can make with the technology we have available”, as opposed to being pulled in eight different directions by eight different pieces of content.

And not only have Sector 3 struggled with this problem; iRacing, Automobilista, Project CARS, and Assetto Corsa all suffer from being a “jack of all trades” simulator, yet a master of none. Assetto Corsa features many modern Prototypes, but no Circuit de la Sarthe nor the ability to race at night. Project CARS features two different eras of stock car racing, but no ovals in sight. It’s really quite silly, and the impression I’ve gotten from the initial announcement is that GTR3 slaps this ideology straight in the face. As a result, I expect the overall quality and theme of the game will greatly benefit from a very centralized focus.

866967-945729_20080424_002However, some sim racers are already claiming the sky to be falling, as Chris Speed’s description of a sports car simulator that appeals to both the hardcore crowd as well as a mass market audience have some sim racers believing this game will be neutered beyond recognition in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. I find this to be an exceptionally strange fear. GTR2’s way of appealing to casual racers was by creating a separate tutorial mode that taught the basics of driving a race car – something which everyone could use a bit of brushing up on every now and then – and lumping sets of driving aids into three distinct categories that could be toggled in a dedicated Realism  menu to produce the driving experience of your choice. Most people of the hardcore obviously set this shit to Simulation and never touched it again, but lesser settings were definitely there and in no way sacrificed the integrity of the simulation in favor of the casual audience.

Hell, both NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, and even the almighty Grand Prix Legends, offered entire alternative physics models for people who found the ideal variant of the game far too difficult for what their preliminary set of skills could cope with, and those are two titles which most of the sim racing community agree to be the most difficult home simulators ever released to the general public. Did the arcade handling models see stuff like Grand Prix Legends tossed aside by sim racing snobs for not being hardcore enough? Nope.

Image result for GTR2 realism settings

I think a lot of people expected me to tear the GTR3 announcement apart, but in reality, this is the exact kind of game the sim racing genre needs – a throwback to a much better time. With Sector 3, Kunos Simulazioni, and even iRacing sitting around and churning out games that just sort of throw random cars and tracks at the user in a stale and uninspiring physics playground, it’ll be a nice change of pace to have a game on the market that really attempts to build an atmosphere and sense of identity around one core racing series that is reproduced to perfection. It sucks that we won’t see this game in a completed state until 2018 at the very earliest, but at least someone in the genre has finally smartened up and figured out that you can’t just keep endlessly fine-tuning your own sandbox simulator to try and compete with everyone else’s nearly-identical sandbox simulator.

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46 thoughts on “GTR 3 Announced for the Third Time

  1. Really looking forward to this. I played the shit out of gtr2 up until upgrading my pc a few years ago. In fact one reason i didnt upgrade for so long was that i was doing things like running 60 cars in the Blancpain mod around 88 layout imola. What else lets you do that with competent AI?

    Note unless my memory has completely failed me GPL didnt have alternate arcade physics. I just remember braking and throttle help that made the much easier to drive but cost a lot of lap time. A fine compromise that i think was perfected with Grand Prix 2. I mean with all assists on u could drive an f1 car with a fucking keyboard. Why doesn’t everybody do that now? One physics engine with assists? Duh.

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  2. I love the VirtualR article on the announcement. The way they worded it made it seem like the game will have similar physics to a Codemasters game. It’s CNN fake news tier bullshit. And of course all the idiots in the comments whine about it because instead of going directly to the website that interviewed SimBin they’d rather read the regurgitated ” news” spun by VirtualR and believe it as fact.

    None of it surprises me though seeing as how they’re a blatant Pcars shill website and I’m sure Ian Bell isn’t the biggest fan of modern SimBin.

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  3. I am so tired of the “random assortment of cars” thing in sim racing. I think this grew out of Forza and GT, where it sorta kinda worked because there were just so goddamn many of them.

    I hate running single-car-model races. It’s a real immersion-breaker. I enjoy F1 2016, because at least the cars are all (barely – it’s just a Codemasters game) different and it’s fun to try them all out within a cohesive racing series. Put another way: It sucks when you’ve got a 917K but no 512S to run it against.

    One thing Raceroom does better than anyone is to simulate *complete racing series*. They don’t just give you 1 or 2 Group 5 cars and call it a day. No, you get a bunch. And they all drive in very unique ways. That DTM 1992 collection is magnificent. Each car has good and bad points. They’re all competitive in the right hands. It’s fascinating and you feel like you’re in a real racing season.

    So, it would be real nice if that same team could produce a real, honest to God “normal” game like GTR2.

    This whole “software as a service” is bullshit. What if you buy all the content and later they totally fuck up the tire model? There goes your fake “investment”. No thanks.

    The Day One DLC scams. The micro-transactions. God, I hate all that shit. I predict by 2019 they’ll have found a way to monetize the “Pause” button:

    “Only 1.99 to add a handy Pause feature for you off-line racers!”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Condor, go check out DLC Quest. It takes aim at the DLC trend.

      Also, the pause button? No, no, you’re missing the point. By 2019 they’ll have you paying $5 and a season pass on top of it to hit start and begin playing. Haven’t you been keeping up with gaming trends recently?

      /sarcasm

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    2. Holy fuck all you do is moan and bitch about literally everything, you’re one of those old people that thinks everything new is shit. Why don’t you just fuck off back to GTR 2 and be happy?

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      1. Let’s see, I’ve recently said how I love Raceroom and I’m having a great time with Pcars (now that I got the FFB figured out). I’ve praised AC’s great modding scene and decent physics. I’ll mention that AMS has some amazing FFB and decent AI (depends on the car/track). And you’ve got the rF2 praising I’ve done (Thermonuclear Tire Model!!!).

        So, where’s all this fucking negativity you’re talking about? Just cause you’re a spineless pussy who will gladly lap up whatever shit they put in front of you, paying with mommy’s credit card that you swiped out of her purse, doesn’t mean I gotta take it.

        And GTR2 FFB doesn’t work with modern wheels or Yeah – I’d definitely go check that shit out again. Have you ever even played it?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Would you care to share your pcars settings? I’ve tried and tried with that game and no matter what I do with the ffb, I still can’t feel anything. Can’t feel the wheels locking, understeer, oversteer. The only thing I can actually feel are bumps.

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  4. If GTR3 will have the same quality GTR2 did – regarding physics and overall gameplay – omg. I played GTR2 for many years, participated in the nogrip GTR2 league for quite some time. Lot’s of fun, clean racing. And if i remember correctly, we did not have any technical issues whatsoever.

    Only “drawback” i remember with GTR2 was that the Ferrari 550 was a bit to easy / generic to drive opposed to the rest of the lineup.

    Oh, and to catch a slide… well that was near impossible in GTR2.

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    1. I wish them the best of luck. But with none of the team that made GTR2 and all of that team currently at SMS I’d be surprised.

      We have 35 of the original 38 team members that made GTR2.

      I don’t count beta testing in this (no disrespect). I’m talking the original leads on art, audio and code.

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  5. GPL never, EVER had an arcade physics model. What it did have…..was two other physics sets in the trainer cars, the novice that had about 100-150HP, the advanced that had 200250 and the GP that had around 400HP, the two trainers had 4 gears whereas the GP had 5 or if you wanted to be a bitch and drive the BRM, have fun with six gears in Monaco with your H16 engine sir….

    NR2003 on the other hand? It had one physics model out of the box, an arcade mode that gave you extra grip and power vs the AI and relaxed the rules (f.ex. you could go flying down the inside without getting a black flag)

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    1. Conserning NR2003 the end result was like 2 physical models: Arcade + Sim mode.
      Where the arcade mode gave more grip and made the cars more forgiving.

      The 3rd mode, Hardcore mode, locked driving to Cockpit View and made it mandatory to enable certain realistical graphical things – like windshield buildup + sunflare.

      When refering to the good ol days where racing sims were sold like complete(d) packets then Nascar 2003 was absolutely one of these (few).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The hardcore mode was MP only though, in the offline modes there was no view locking or mandatory graphical stuff you had to turn on. It was an option you could set when hosting a server for the fixed setup, forced cockpit view and so forth.

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    2. Didn’t PRC state that iRacing was still 90% made from NR2003 code? I expact that top sim racers like Bono Buis and Greger Hutu have been using this hidden arcade mode to set fast lap times.

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  6. The most intriguing thing about GTR3 for me? That Unreal 4 engine and what it can potentially mean for endurance/night racing. That first leaked teaser from months ago looked promising.

    That said, going to be cautiously optimistic until we know a bit more, GTR3 is still like a year away afterall.

    Half-Life 3 on the other hand…

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    1. Check out the night racing in pCars in the meantime. I finally got the FFB figured out and it’s great fun.

      No, the game’s not perfect, but you can set up a night race around LeMans and it’s pretty awesome. I never have more than about 1 hour at a time to play, so it works for me.

      The graphics are pretty fucking awesome (especially if you throw variable weather into the mix and speed up time a bit) and you can definitely lose yourself in the moment with a 49″ 4k screen about 2 feet away from your face.

      Next step: VR.

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      1. Had I caught when the Pagani edition, or whatever it was called, was on Steam for free, I might’ve tried it.

        But for now my wallet is tucked away, got more than enough games as it is for my freetime.

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  7. What a bs post

    GTR3 will very probably be R3E 2.0 – and not the sucessor to GTR2

    They take the sound engine, models and new UE4. Probably they also take the lousy physics and FFB from R3E?

    2.0 because they add rain & night which is a real upgrade btw – otherwise it still would be 1.5 for me.
    Its just their good marketing to use the GTR name (which is legendary) to their advantage.

    I expect it to be a good racing game but a not so good Simulation. That is already hinted in the approach “The product at the end of the day needs to appeal to both sides, hardcore racer as awell and the casual gamer.” – Ridiculous, you either go fully sim or you don’t and if you don’t it won’t be ever a true sim (like rFactor 2)

    Wait for the first REAL reviews of the game (by users of simracing and not my dumb magazines that get “paid”).

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  8. I think this is good news. As Kondor pointed out, we need more sims that actually include a whole series worth of cars, rather than two or three GT3s, one LMP1, one F1 car, so forth. I hate that shit. I think the people upset about this announcement are the guys who can’t stand the thought of a game like this being marketed towards less experienced racers, or people who prefer simcade physics because it challenges their perception of sim racing as some elitist genre. But they’re looking at this the wrong way. If GTR 3 contains a good set of sim physics, and a good set of simcade physics, it might actually draw more people into the genre, which is what we want and need.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Although I love the idea of a fully licensed FIA series approach, I’m skeptical about its online potential.

      Not the end of the world, but with the inherent difficulties associated with BOP equivalence, a fastest car usually emerges, which everyone runs online.

      Nonetheless, for SP racing, I hope they embrace the concept.

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  9. i am waiting so long for this, hopefully they nail it like GTR2 the driving feel ffb was one of the best at the time, rember also clearly Rfactor2 people at the time when GTR was new, dismissing it as too simcadish. So nothing changed in the simworld, there were and still are People telling you a game isnt worth a play because its too simcadish.

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  10. Quite a lot of people saying “UE4 finally no more ISI physic engine” and I wonder why, they never said they are dropping their pre rf1 physic engine that they have been working for more than a decade

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  11. Really looking forward to it. GTR 2 was the first PC sim I played online and introduced me to the big world of mods for sims.
    Seeing how it runs on the new one runs on UE4, it might end up looking better than pCars which will mean that pCars’s biggest selling feature will become irrelevant

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  12. I’ll wait and see, but I’d be more excited if it was a GTL sequel. Every major simulator already does GT2 and GT3 cars so all you’re really getting is the removal of options.

    Like

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