You have £15000 to spend on a car as you begin the game, this obviously limits your choice of purchase and means for the first few hours of gaming you will have to chug around the track in a" chicks car" something like a Peugeot 205. Unlike other games in the same bracket as Sega GT 2002 it's not a case of winning a few races and buying and selling a few cars before you have the fastest machine available. It can take ages for you to climb the motor ladder and you can be stuck with your starting vehicle for quite a long time. Although, with the amount of money you must spend on garage work like repairs, upgrades and other customizations you do get kind of attached to each and every car you own. Unlike Gran Turismo you are going to struggle to build a large collection of cars because all your money gets spent repairing what you already have (unless you are an extremely cautious driver).
Sega GT 2002 is the place you'll race in your career, and you can enter an Official Race which will move you along in the World Tournament. After a few races, you'll reach a point where you need to pass a license test to move on to the next series of races. Event races also come along from time to time. These are where you do get a chance to make a bit of cash as the purse, compared to the Tournaments races are massive. Sometimes you can win almost as much as you originally started the game with or first place in the later Event races can result in you winning a brand new car.
As you unlock new licenses and complete stages of the tournament you will progress through the game and find after a while the cash does begin to pour in giving you more and more flexibility in the car market and in the garage. Overall the game unfolds at a good pace, although for anyone new to this kind of game at first it does feel like you are never going to get a car that has any serious power.
The controls don't really warrant any explanation although the handling and responsiveness of the cars definitely deserves some praise. Unlike the Dreamcast version the driving feels good and the Xbox's rumble pack adds to the sensation of turbulence and impact. The sound is great with all the necessary rumbles and screeches and some of the faster cars available later on in the game-play really do howl. You can also play your own music as you drive, which is a bonus.
The standard driving views are all available and the lighting on the cars is superb. The tracks are a bit under developed graphics-wise which in this day and age is not really acceptable and I found the spectators and surrounding scenery very boring.
Overall Sega GT 2002 is leaps and bounds ahead of its previous incarnation. If driving is your thing, then you could do much worse than buy Sega GT 2002. Hours and hours of playability, a stunning selection of cars and a very compelling competition make Sega GT 2002 a must buy for GT freaks and a worthy addition to any games collection.
8 out of 10