gtracing2Gameloft announced a sequel to their popular sim-racer GT Racing last month, and this week I was able to stop by their San Francisco offices to take a near-final version for a test drive (terrible pun, but I couldn't help myself). The response to Gameloft's over-the-top arcade racer Asphalt 8 has been great so far, and based on my experience with GT Racing 2: The Real Car Experience it looks like their on their way to a similar success in the sim-racing genre.

There are loads of real models of cars from real car manufacturers in GT Racing 2, and since Gameloft is partnering with Mercedes-Benz for this release there are even some of the more rare cars from their rich history like the gullwing-doored 300SL. There is only one actual real-life race course in the game, the famous Laguna Seca raceway in California, but there are a good number of courses designed by Gameloft that do reside in real-life locations.

Visually, the car models and the environments are extremely detailed, and you'll be able to race in the various locations during the daytime, during twilight, during nighttime and even during the rain. Here's a lengthy direct-capture video of GT Racing 2 as we run through a few different races and show off a selection of the cars and courses on offer.

Seeing as GT Racing 2 is a free-to-play game, one concern is how stifling the freemium elements might be. Thankfully, this appears to be handled rather well by Gameloft. There is a fairly straightforward and simple upgrade system for your vehicles, and upgrading different aspects of your car will come with typical wait timers. However, this will never impede your ability to race, and although there is damage modeling when you bang up your car during a race there is no sort of repair mechanic involved in the game at all. As long as timers are relegated to the upgrading system only, I think I can hang.

One other really neat aspect of GT Racing 2 is a selection of cars that you can only obtain by completing certain challenges. You can't buy these cars otherwise, be it through IAP or in-game currencies of any sort, you'll have to actually buckle down and complete the challenges required through playing. This selection of cars contains a broad selection of unique vehicles including some very cool American muscle cars which you can catch a glimpse of in the video above.

GT Racing 2 has just soft-launched in the Canadian App Store as of today, and full worldwide release is slated before the end of the month if everything goes smoothly. It's definitely not a "hardcore" simulation racer like Gran Turismo or the like, but it does offer a more realistic brand of racing that looks and plays really well. If you have access to a Canadian App Store account you can give it a spin for yourself with the link below, and check out more early impressions from gamers in our forums, otherwise be on the lookout for GT Racing 2 to hit worldwide in the near future.

Canadian App Store Link: GT Racing 2: The Real Car Experience, Free (Universal)

  • PresidentZer0

    Sick of time shifted multiplayer....

    • Boris Nguetie

      That crap sounded so damn good when announced by ea back last year!

    • Arif Ullah

      Please don't say this game has time shifted multiplayer, and not true multiplayer? :/

  • tranceforma

    Looking forward to this if it isn't as greedy as the first!

  • B3nlok

    Ewww physics. Handling looks very arcade ish and simplistic. Its like they decided to remove the simulation aspect and unpredictability handling of GTR1 so it could have broader appeal.

  • PresidentZer0

    Still waiting for carnage racing review.its a really fun game

  • Chris1a

    "Thankfully, this appears to be handled rather well by Gameloft"

    IAPs, currencies, wait timers etc. There is _nothing_ to be thankful for at all here. *confused*

  • ImJPaul

    I spy with my 2 eyes...

  • JJE McManus

    You didn't mention control schemes nor what your steering setup was. I tend to prefer accelerometer and I keep it rather tight.
    That said, the models are lovely, the tune beats acceptable and the tracks are imaginary vanilla bland. I would much rather real tracks in real elevations.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      It was tilt controls though there is an option for a little touch control wheel similar to Asphalt 8. Also I forgot to mention that you can toggle on/off both steering and brake assists before each and every race. This whole video was shot with them both on but I did try it with them turned off and it's much more challenging.

      • B3nlok

        Is it me or the cars seem to handle like Rc models, in the sense that they are overly responsive/agressive and they move unrealisticaly fast every corner(like they are unaffected by g-force)?

    • JJE McManus

      In that case I'd say it looked way loose, much like Asphalt8 right off the download. Something with whatever engine Gameloft is playing in lately. It's a game worth taking out for a spin through tier one for a FTP. I love nifty car model pron. We will see about the quality of the tracks.
      Relating to the last podcast: Will GL bring it in the first 20 minutes? How do they convert players to payers? Zazz and all that.

  • drewpoc

    Downloading now...

  • drewpoc

    Dynamic lighting is spot on, much more realistic cornering than RR3, the backdrops look amazing...it's going to be an excellent game design and play wise. Not sure how iap will pan out.

  • H4nd0fg0d

    Ios racing gameplay sucks. No really effective way to manually shift gears. Automatic gearboxes in racing games are just as not fun as they are in real life. Lol

  • rewyan

    They did a better job on the cars in this than in Asphalt 8. But I can guarantee that this one doesn't have an awesome giant robot.

    • http://www.gameloft.com/ Ryan

      I can confirm there is no giant robot.

      • PresidentZer0

        Its true

  • marc0313

    I can honestly say this is better than RR3.

  • drewpoc

    It's better than RR

  • http://www.playrisedigital.com/ nburcombe

    I've been reading some of the comments below (above - not sure where this post will show up) and I'm seeing lots of noise about a resistance to IAP and freemium model in general. My question is this. "Would you be prepared to pay $14.99 for a console quality title on condition that any further purchases in game were for DLC and expansion of the game." No wait timers, no consumables, no "delivery times", no repair bills.....Its a conundrum for developers of all sizes, but small experienced Indies like ourselves are wondering if the market will take it? You know Table Top racing went out at $2.99 and it can probably soak up about 10-30 hours of time and so as far as comparable value goes I'd say it was pretty good. If I went to the cinema - for a 2 hour movie - over here in the UK it's likely to cost me close to £10 ($13-14) and that's it - I can't go back and watch it multiple time - its a one shot deal. I could have a coffee for £3.50 ($5) its about 30 minutes before I'm on my way. A football match (soccer I mean) - a premiership ticket is on average £28.30 ($35) and it could well be a couple of hours of watching you team perform terribly. So when you're making a valuation on games how is it that some people think that $1 is "too expensive" is it because historically the quality of games has been pretty lacklustre and only now you're seeing mobile gaming as "real gaming" i.e. the quality is there, the content is there and it's worth putting the time in - or is it something else? What drives your thinking on mobile game value? I'm curious. Its economical suicide to keep diving for the the lowest possible price for most developers - we don't have armies of analytic specialists tweaking and tuning and refining for the most profitable set-up, we just make games. Don't get me wrong - we understand the market is what it is - but even since starting our first game, it's changed massively and paid apps are having a hard time so free 2 play is a strategy you have to consider along with its complications and difficulties. But what's wrong with paying a talented developer for a well executed game? Why do you think this is such a difficult concept to go back to now that the bottom (i.e "Free" has been reached?). All opinions welcomed.

    • timborama

      You get to see the whole movie in one sitting, not pay after each scene to continue.

  • phonecats

    these are the same jerks that cloned Clash of Clans right?

    yall should be against companies that do this.

  • jailbreaker

    does anyone know the name of the music in the intro? I know I'm off topic but I'm crazy about music! :)

  • XxNMYPeTeRxX

    Sigh.....
    How long I've to wait for a game that can be better than RR3?
    I have high hope in this and 2K drive,but they both disappoint me:(

  • DannyWalkman

    What about the cockpit view?

  • ErickC

    The game is alright but It crashes a lot all of that is awesome!