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The best racing sim ever? Read Paul's views on Geoff Crammond's latest creation - Grand Prix 3.

By Paul
23 August 2000

Introduction

4 years of waiting.... well, for some people at least, I personally have only been waiting since I started this site just over a year ago, and even that seems an eternity.

I have to say though, I have not been looking forward to it as if it is a new millennium like some people, but I have been very interested.... I've had to be interested to run this site and answer 1000s of questions on the game.

Well, the long awaited, Geoff Grammond's, Grand Prix 3, or GP3, whatever you like to call it, is now here. I have the box and CD sitting right next to me ready for a review!

Getting Started

Installation is quick and easy, with 3 choices of installation from small to large. While installing the installshield shows some racing lines you should take when negotiating corners, and when you should be braking and accelerating etc.

Once you have installed the game and DirectX7.0 (which is required), you have the option of registering the game online.

If you register, you go to a Hasbro/Microprose web-site, which asks you a few questions about yourself, and then you are entered into a free competition. Once you have re-started your PC, you are ready to play Grand Prix 3!

The intro video in Grand Prix 3 is not great, but it is acceptable. The video basically consists of cars lining up on a grid (at the French GP), and then some race and pit stop action. The music is good, but the video is not all that impressive. However, they have improved greatly over F1GP and Grand Prix 2, which had terrible videos.

The game makes up for the poor video at the start of the game by the race videos. These are videos that are shown to you when you finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a race. These include in-race game action, and are a bit more exciting. There is also a nice video when you choose 'championship season' which is the same video that you get at the beginning of real Grand Prix races on television.

The menu-system in Grand Prix 3 is a 'simplified' Grand Prix 2 system, but still very similar. The developers said they wanted to make the menu navigation easier in Grand Prix 3, but in my view they made it much more tedious. You now have to specify what you want to do with the game at the start, e.g. what driver / track / mode / difficulty you want. This eventually turns out to be more tedious than anything else, and lacks the 'flow' that the Grand Prix 2 menu-system had.

The options menus remain basically the same, but the graphics menu is made easier for users with a bar which you can decide whether you want more detail, or a better framerate, and what resolution you want to run it at as well.

There is still the advanced options screen where you can turn specific details on and off, and from that you can also choose how far back you sit in the cockpit.

Once you have navigated your way through the menu system, and looked up Mika's nose on one of the background pics you are ready to go into our first race!

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