What an unbelievably exciting week! Not only are we on the tail-end of another Formula 1 weekend, but there’s been tasty news morsels left, right, and center concerning games of varying natures; all of which deserve a sliver of attention, and that’s not even mentioning that the Super Bowl of video gaming nirvana takes place next week.

That’s right, it’s that time of the year of again – no, Christmas has not come early so you can put the decorations right back where they came from. I’m talking about the wondrous E3 taking place in Los Angeles, and it all begins next week Monday.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s E3? Let me know in the comments below!

GTPlanet Picture of the Week

This week’s featured image is a gorgeous one, and could quite possibly pass for the real thing if it were slipped into a stack of real photos. Brought to us by taz, this is the BMW 1M Coupe behind the line at Monza.

Have a suggestion for next week’s featured image? Drop me a private message, entitle it “GTPlanet Picture of the Week”, and fill it out with your two choices and they’ll be featured in upcoming Rewinds. NOTE: You cannot elect your own work.

GT6 and Goodwood Set to Reveal Mercedes Motorsport Feature Simultaneously

On June 26th a new central piece will be unveiled at this year’s Festival of Speed, and this unprecedented collaboration between Polyphony Digital and Goodwood will bring the new “central feature” to life in the virtual world of Gran Turismo the moment it’s revealed — 10PM (UK time) — in the real world, thus allowing players to drive the famous Hillclimb course past the spectacular new tribute before any of the real-life drivers have the opportunity to.

See the original post here for more information.

New Nissan Coming to GT6 on June 10th

“There are 148 Nissan cars in Gran Turismo 6. Each car — from the Skyline Sport Coupe and Fairlady Z, to the GT-R NISMO GT3 — represents a chapter of Nissan’s story. On June 10th we open the next chapter.”

See the original post here for more information.

GTPlanet Quiz of the Week

The thirteenth week is upon us, and the question is and forever will be, how much do you know?

1. What car is referred to as a “unicorn” in the 2000 action film Gone in 60 Seconds?

2. This track made its debut in Gran Turismo for the PSP and hasn’t been seen since.

3. Ian Callum and Henrik Fisker are responsible for this 2004 Aston Martin grand tourer.

4. This chassis from F1′s past is powered by a 3.5L Ferrari Tipo 036 V12 engine.

Clues will be provided if necessary. The official thread is up and running and has finally been updated but there’s still work to be done. Drop me a private message, entitle it “GTPlanet Quiz of the Week”, answering in the comments section does not count, and share your answers.

Forza Horizon 2 Announced, Set for Fall 2014 Release

Weather is finally making its debut appearance in the Forza series. One of the most surprising things regarding the announcement of Forza Horizon 2 is not only will there be a made-for-Xbox One version headed by Playground Games using the baseline of Forza Motorsport 5, but there will be an Xbox 360 version handled by Sumo Digital, whose responsible for a reputable library of ports and wholly-developed games. The latter will be built upon the original Forza Horizon.

Details on any possible differences between the two versions have yet to be clarified, however, with E3 looming in the distance you won’t have to wonder very much longer.

Contrary to original rumors which placed the game’s setting in the bayous of Louisiana, the game will actually be set in Southern Europe, leading to “incredible diversity” and “amazing vistas.”. Specifically the South of France and parts of Northern Italy, areas that were considered as potential spots for the original Horizon.

[It’s] a place of vast landscapes, amazing vistas, beautiful, unspoilt scenery, and incredible diversity. From the foothills of the Alps, right down the Mediterranean Sea. From the rolling hills of Tuscany in Italy, across the border into France and beautiful Provence and the glamorous Côte d’Azur.

Incredible variety, amazing landscapes, amazing vistas for you to explore. So that doesn’t hurt, having a beautiful world to start with is a big start.

Forza Horizon 2 will feature a revised open-world concept, by removing barriers that heavily dampened the degree of freedom in the original game with the philosophy “if there isn’t a barrier in the real-world, if there isn’t a wall, there shouldn’t be one in our game,” remarked by Ralph Fulton, creative director at Playground Games. “We want the player to be able to drive wherever he can in the real world.”

So that means that not only is the world of Forza Horizon 2 bigger than the one in Horizon, it also has three times more driveable area; a three-times bigger play space. Which means that you’re no longer constrained to the road. You can take the road, or you can hoon off it, through a fence. Through a vineyard. Through a deep forest or up a hill. Suddenly we’re really realising that sense of freedom that people feel is so important to Horizon.

Freedom isn’t the only aspect of Horizon 2 that has improved over the original, the new entry in the series has permitted Playground to fill the game with more of everything for the player to do, and this isn’t restricted to ‘just’ racing – you can expect to collect more things, more to discover, and more secrets and barn finds to track down. There will be more than 700 events across the world of Horizon 2, contributing to an admittedly conservative 100 percent completion of well over 100 hours.

There’s plenty more information on Horizon 2 that you can read exclusively at IGN, as they continue to unravel information on the upcoming game all month long.

GTPlanet Vehicle of the Week

This week’s featured vehicle is none other than the 1985 Lotus 97T designed by Gérard Ducarouge. The 97T is powered by a 1.5L turbocharged Renault Gordini EF15B V6 engine which produced 900 horsepower in race trim, and over 1,000 horsepower in qualifying trim.

Have a suggestion for next week’s featured vehicle? Drop me a private message, entitle it “GTPlanet Vehicle of the Week” and fill it out with your two choices and they’ll be featured in upcoming Rewinds. NOTE: You cannot elect your own work.

Driveclub – 51 Details That Will Blow Your Mind

Driveclub, for those of you that may not know, is a first-party exclusive that was originally intended to launch alongside the PlayStation 4 last year November but was ultimately delayed to polish things up more and provide an overall better game than what would have possible at the time.

Fred Dutton of the PlayStation Blog recently visited Evolution Studios and was treated to, in his own words, “anecdote after eyebrow-raising anecdote from key team members about just how detailed this game is.” He compiled a list of just how detailed the forthcoming title will be, and in effect, just how much there is to look forward to. I’ll only outline 12 of the 51 details, but rest assured you’ll be able to read the entire list after the break.

NASA data was used to accurately map out the night sky – so wherever you are in the world you’ll see the correct star constellations for your location.

Clouds react dynamically to different wind speeds. This is then converted into a ground wind speed which accurately interacts with all vegetation, overhead cables and other environmental features, based on their height from the ground.

Road tarmac textures are hand-modelled rather than tiled or tessellated. Stones and bitumen are all placed and then rendered procedurally to give realistic surface detail with huge visual variety and no repeating detail on any road surface.

Some tracks boast over 1.2 million road-side trees – and this number keeps going up as the artists try to out-do each other as development progresses.

There are over 100 different varieties of trees, bushes, mosses and flowers. The team consulted botanists at Kew Gardens to learn which plants would naturally grow in each location.

Screen space reflections (SSR) are being used together with real time dynamic light probes to render vehicle lighting and reflections more accurately, as opposed to using outdated pre-baked cubes.

Animated active aero flaps are rigged up accurately and coupled with the physics system to operate exactly as they would in real life. The Pagani Huayra is one of the best examples of this.

When you race, the engine sounds are different based on which of the six camera views you choose – inside or outside of the car. You’re not hearing the same engine audio with a filter – it’s all recorded separately.

The recordings were so accurate that BMW and Mercedes-Benz AMG requested copies to replace their existing library.

Although not a sim, DRIVECLUB’s handling model is based on real world physics, using technical data about performance provided directly by the manufacturers.

Aerodynamics are physically modelled. For example, activating DRS on the McLaren P1 affects the levels of downforce to increase top speed and acceleration.

When an AI driver has a car with KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) fitted, they will use the energy strategically at opportune moments to pass or block opponents on the track.

You can read the entire list in the full breadth of its utter amazement right here.

GTPlanet Tune of the Week

This week’s featured tune, recommended to us by tuning aficionado danbojte and courtesy of tuner extraordinaire praiano63, features the 2000 Renault Sport Clio RS Trophy V6 24V.

Victory is the name of the game as usual and if it’s a deserving victory that you’re after and you want to do so while using a car sporting 24 valves, then you’ll want to stop by and see the tune for yourself!

Exactly like the Picture and Vehicle of the Week features, if you have any suggestions for the upcoming Rewinds be sure to drop me a private message, entitle it “GTPlanet Tune of the Week” and let me know. NOTE: You cannot elect your own work.

What Attracts One to A Racing Game, Part 2

A couple of months ago you may recall a similarly-titled piece where I asked and attempted to answer the all-important question of what it is that attracts one to a racing game, and while the end result provided a variety of multifaceted answers it remains a question in my — and I’m sure in many of yours — mind to this day. What is it that’s so attractive about a racing game?

At the end of the day, as all things are, it breeds repetition. To be actively involved in a game, an entire “meta-library” of games where the objective is essentially the same no matter how it’s dressed, disguised, likened to, or even blatantly expressed takes a level of unwavering interest that it could very well pass as a science in and of itself.

Speaking from personal experience I know now what attracts me to a racing game as I near 30 years of age, and I can tell you right away it isn’t the visuals and it isn’t how utterly realistic the representation is – of course those things will always be examined because it’s natural to do so, what attracts me to a racing game now more than ever is one that takes itself seriously; a racing title that strives to rise above complacency, to re-invent itself time and time again all the while remaining true to its original conceptual tasking. I cannot think of a single racing title that hasn’t fallen into the grasp of conformity.

That is what attracts me to a racing game. The endless search of the one game, or maybe even several, that is the perfect fit for me. One that stubbornly chooses to go it’s own way, and not the way of what could eventually lead to utter stagnancy. I now realize that this journey can be likened to a love story of fairy tale proportions: will I ever find the “one”, will I ever be able to stare out at the horizon and think to myself “this is what I’ve been waiting my entire life for”?

Who knows. What I do know has given me enough of a head start to realize what I finally want, and knowing is half the battle.

GTPlanet Photomode Competitions

- Coming Soon!

Closing Thoughts

E3! E3! E3! Sorry, that might read like an overjoyed sportscaster highlighting the win of a team that came from behind to pull a 3 point lead, thus winning the game and the championship. I’m thoroughly excited for what next week is going to bring, but of course, with that comes the realization that several games I was looking forward to playing this year just won’t be the case anymore: Quantum Break, The Order: 1886, Batman: Arkham Knight.

Despite that, here’s to what looks to be shaping up as a wonderful year full of enough games to beat yourself over the head with. Until next week, keep racing!

Photomode images by mazda787, RaY29rus, ShaolinMasta, and chromatic9.

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