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GT Legends

The generation gap is most noticeable in the worlds of fashion (cable-knitted cardigan vs the hoody), music (Cliff Richard vs Snoop Dogg) and slang ("that singer comes on like gangbusters" vs "bust a cap on yo' ass"). However, cars also seem to fall foul of the age difference. If you're under 20, you probably wet yourself with excitement whenever you see a Lamborghini. Conversely, the more mature are able to appreciate the days when cars were all about massive V8 engines and upholstery that required the death of at least 20 cows, with handling being much of an afterthought.

Put simply, the '60s and '70s era in which GT Legends is set features some of the finest classic race cars known to man, from the all-out muscle of the AC Cobra to everyone's favourite, the diminutive Mini Cooper S. With the last historical racing game we can remember being Grand Prix Legends, there's certainly plenty of room for a newcomer to squeeze in. After all, as SimBin's producer/designer Rod Chong points out: "There's a real romance to these old machines and most people have a favourite from when they were a kid - it's likely to be here if that's the case."

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SimBin's experience with GTR has certainly been put to good use, but the developer is keen to point out that Legends will feel a lot different from its modern-day sibling. "GTR had too steep a learning curve," Chong continues, a sentiment many amateur driving fans will agree with. Luckily, the first thing that's instantly noticeable is that GT Legends is tons more accessible for the beginner.

Starting off with a Mini or Cortina, you have to compete in races to earn money, which then buys you better cars and helps you to make your way up the racing ranks. Three classes to compete in are promised, starting off with '60s touring cars, progressing through '60s GT cars and finishing up with '70s GT and touring cars. The variety of vehicles on offer means that you have to adjust to different driving styles and tactics on the track.

GTR's driving model was undoubtedly one of the best we've driven, but SimBin has re-worked it from the ground up to sit happily alongside the older cars on offer. Rather than the precise positioning of GTR's modern machinery, you're far more likely to find the back end stepping out around corners. Indeed, if you're driving one of the American muscle cars, it's almost essential in order to get it to go round those bends...

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Graphically, Legends features a tweaked GTR engine that supports full DirectX9.0 features. The fantastically animated drivers, exhaust gases that linger around the cars on the starting grid and the dynamic lighting in the cars' interiors all prove that it's shaping up to be a bit of a stunner.

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Throw in some neat additions such as a function to accelerate time so you can experience the full spectrum of lighting effects, an improved damage engine enabling you to break headlights among other things and more believable AI cars, and we reckon that GT Legends could be just the oldie to show these new-fangled kids a thing or two about driving.

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