#375 Grand Prix Legends

Posted: 14th April 2021 by Jeroen in Games
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947th played so far

Genre: Driving
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 1998
Developer: Papyrus Design Group
Publisher: Sierra Sports

The focus on Grand Prix Legends feels different just reading the description. While other racing games tend to have you drive modern cars with focusing on that polished experience – Forza Motorsport feels like one of the best of this – or even sets you in the future with the Wipeout series of games.

Instead, Grand Prix Legends is set in the 1960s, trying to replicate the 1967 Grand Prix, with its older cars, old layouts and racers of the time. It’s obviously quite a different setting and while I won’t expect the Mafia type of old style cars, I do wonder what the influences will be other than it looking that much older.

Our Thoughts

Sometimes games hit you in a weird place. While I never had the biggest interest in racing, as I discussed in past write ups (Sega Rally Championship and Gran Turismo) my father did. While I mostly accompanied him to some rally races, I have memories of visiting races at Zandvoort with him when I must have been about ten years old. While I don’t remember too much of the races, I remember some of the places where I watched it from from my memory – not too far of the pit street, and the exit from the Tarzanbocht – I feel there was a spectator area there where we watched some races from.

As this game replicates the 1967 Grand Prix, the old Zandvoort Grand Prix and old circuit are in the game and I recognised some of these spots. While I’ve recently had a similar experience with Project Gotham Racing 3, this one goes back further to really connect to that nostalgia. So yeah, I got stuck in the level geometry a few times and that got frustrating, but it worked.

Like GTR 2, this game doesn’t just have you go in for a few laps to win the race. Instead, the full race is simulated. While there are some options for time compression, you can race them at their full length and have to do the different practics and such. The real life number of laps and such can be shorted, but there’s that structure that’s there – it’s really a simulation of that season rather than a racing game that has you do a few laps of each circuit.

The downside, in general, is its age. Not only does the game look like it’s from 1998, as I said it’s also too easy to get stuck in the geometry. It’s tricky enough to control at times, and that sort of annoyance feels worse when you are dealing with these longer runs.

Final Thoughts

I’ll admit that this game hit a button that not everyone will feel, but it still works for me. The racing itself isn’t as much to write home about, it’s hard to keep your car under control, the fast forwarding leaves you missing out on too much stuff and it’s incredibly fiddly to get the game running these days. Still, there’s something here that hits that specific spot that simulates this experience.