Now that the final version of Le Mans 24H is hitting stores in Europe, the transition from the Dreamcast to the PlayStation 2 is complete. Our European correspondent took it for a spin to bring you the latest hands-on impressions.
Every year in June, a race takes place in Le Mans, France, which is labeled as the biggest race in motor sports. The race historically takes place partly on a racetrack named Circuit de la Sarthé and partly on the surrounding public roads. The first race took place in 1906, and it spanned an unbelievable 64 miles. In 1923, the 24-hour race, as we know it, was born. Amongst the racers were mostly playboys and aristocrats who wanted the recognition that money couldn't buy. But in 1960, Ferrari entered the race with prestige as its motive and won the cup five times in a row. Other car manufacturers, such as Mercedes, Jaguar, Mazda, Peugeot, and McLaren, eventually joined in, making the races even more professionally focused. These days, the infamous race consists of three categories: GT1, GT2, and prototypes. In 1999, the GT2 class was changed to GTS, and a third GT class was included. GT2 cars are serial cars allowed in normal public traffic, and they include models such as Dodge Vipers and Porsche 911s. The GT1 cars are around 35mph faster, and they're allowed to use nonstandard brakes. Aside from this, though, the GT1 cars are street legal. The "prototypes" category consists of cars specifically built for the purpose of racing. Cars such as the BMW V12 Le Mans, Ferrari 333SP, Courage C51, and the Kremer K8 fall into this category. With each race starting at 4pm and lasting for 24 hours, this is one of the most challenging races ever for both drivers and technical teams.
Infogrames is now bringing this race from the Dreamcast to the PlayStation 2. While the DC version wasn't without flaws, it was a highly captivating racing game that garnered very positive reviews from critics. The PS2 version is not adding much to it, but it will naturally bring the game to a much wider audience. For starters, there are 70 official cars in the game, which is a whopping 30 more than what the Dreamcast version includes. The aforementioned racing classes are split into GT and Prototypes--there are 22 GT cars and 48 prototype cars. The prototype class is split into open and closed prototypes. Some of the models included are the Audi R8, Cadillac LMP, Panoz Spyder LMP, Courage C52, Toyota GT-One, Nissan R390 GT1, GTC Competition, Panoz Esperante GTR1, Lister Storm GTL, BMW V12 LMR, Nissan R391, Riley & Scott MKIII S2, Chrysler Viper GTS-R, and the Marcos car. Plus, there are four bonus cars hidden in the disc and waiting to be unlocked. Each of the cars can be manually altered and tuned. Different parts--such as the gearbox, downforce, tires, fuel load, engine, and ABS--can be changed before each race.
- Release Date: May 24, 2002 (EU)
- Release Date: Jun 15, 2001 (EU)