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Grand Prix Legends HD

Grand Prix Legends HD
5
Platforms: PC
Publisher: Sierra On-Line
Developer: Papyrus Design Group
Genres: Racing / Racing Simulation
Release Date: 1998
Game Modes: Singleplayer / Multiplayer

A superbly realistic vintage F1 simulator.

10_1From their early days crafting the superlative ‘Indianapolis 500: The Simulation’ through ‘IndyCar’ and the more modern NASCAR series of games, Sierra’s Papyrus division has consistently set the standard for racing simulations. With Grand Prix Legends they have topped themselves once again, delivering what may be the purest simulation ever created for the PC, a swaggering, chest-thumping game, one without equal in any other genre. Eschewing anything resembling a simple mode for beginners, it caters exclusively to the hardcore.

A number of new rules were introduced in the 1968 Formula 1 season to make the sport safer. Unfortunately for you, Grand Prix Legends models 1967, the year before the drivers saw racing sanitized for their protection. As you’re sliding around in one of these wingless wonder cars, it’s hard not to get high on the romanticism of that racing era, the thought of drivers risking their lives by driving on the edge in a vehicle that was a 400 horsepower deathtrap on wheels.

The Most Gorgeous Racing Sim Ever

The very first thing that will strike you are the superb graphics. Although it’s customary here to cover games in their original, unaltered format, the version featured herein sports an updated high-resolution makeover courtesy of gplps.wordpress.com, whereas the original used significantly lower texture resolutions and poly-counts (being powered by a modified version of the NASCAR 3 engine). Thus Grand Prix Legends won’t be judged completely by its own merits, but boy is the trade-off worth it!

Speeding through lovely Monaco.

Speeding through lovely Monaco.

The car and environmental graphics produce one of the most magnificently beautiful racing sims I have ever seen! The circuits are hyper-realistic in their presentation, draw distances seem infinite (background textures and foreground terrain blend in perfectly) and the car dashboards, combined with the gripping engine sounds and solid controls, produce a wonderfully authentic sense of speed and danger. The first time you power up your racercar and speed down the road, listening to what could be one of the loudest grabs-you-by-the-balls engine roars, will make you truly appreciate Grand Prix for its no-nonsense approach to simulating the driving experience.

On top of the graphics being excellent the game is also wonderfully realistic, which is really where all the meat is. It’s all about the physics of driving, of weight transfer, of friction, of torque and horsepower. The resultant concoction is a wild beast of a car, one that reacts horribly at the limit of adhesion and is somewhere beyond twitchy and tail-happy. The great difficulty in handling these cars is painfully realistic, as the original vehicles were also notorious for their unpredictable nature at high speeds. It requires the patience of a saint and the focus of a surgeon to pilot your Brabham or Eagle through the streets of Monaco or on the straights of Monza.

Few games make you this nervous behind the wheel, with the feeling that you’re on the brink of a crash. If you think the cars get airborne more than they should when they hit curbing or trackside objects, it’s probably because the drivers of the era weren’t quite as stupid as we are, or more accurately they knew the limits of their machines and didn’t fly into the turns with the same reckless abandon a modern race car allows. You can’t mash the brakes or stamp on the throttle when you don’t have all of those aerodynamic aids pushing your car toward the ground. You will need to completely re-learn everything you know about driving a race car.

No Rookies Allowed

The dashboard looks superbly authentic, featuring fully working gauges and reflective mirrors.

The dashboards look stunning, featuring fully functional gauges and reflective mirrors.

The game cuts little slack for beginners, with not so much as an AI slider to adjust the seemingly godlike driving skills of your computer-controlled opponents (who almost never seem to crash). On the upside we get an included practice mode that lets you drive around the many wonderfully rendered circuits with no strings attached, and the added option of disabling damage really lets you learn from your mistakes. Or you can even kick back and watch individual races, using numerous onboard and external cameras. But there is no such thing as an ‘arcade’ mode or even a tolerable learning curve here, so only die-hards need apply.

In the end, you may end up respecting Grand Prix Legends more than you’ll ever enjoy it. UbiSoft’s superlative F1 Racing Simulation, for example, is satisfying as both a simulation and an arcade game, allowing the game to be tailored to your mood. Grand Prix Legends, on the other hand, is the type of simulation the hardcore fringe wishes every game could be, one that screams “screw the masses, this is as real as it gets”.

Although extremely challenging as a game, the ultra-realistic driving physics coupled with the superb high-resolution graphics give this game excellent value to those willing to go that extra mile. It isn’t easy, but once in control you’ll find it a superb driving sim.


System Requirements: Pentium 166 Mhz, 32 MB RAM, SVGA, Windows 95

Download Link


Tags: Free Version Grand Prix Legends HD Download Full PC Game Review

11 Comments

  1. masquedios says:

    What attonishing graphics for such an old game! GOOD WORK!

  2. Rob says:

    I have just updated to Windows 10 and my favorite driving simulator that I have been using for 18 years was not working ! Disaster !! What a releif that I found your website and have now downloaded your updated GPL and not only does it work, its better than before ! Thank you very, very much !!!

  3. pr says:

    down load has a Trojan,Its free, with the game.

  4. It’s a false positive. Neither Avira nor Kasperski can find anything.

  5. paul adey says:

    gpl is really incredible

  6. ali says:

    I have downloaded the iso file and mounted it. Then I tried to run the setup but nothing happens. plz help me guys. I have windows 7. what to do next?

  7. Ian says:

    FYI these arent the original graphics. These images are of GPL after it had been modded years later..

    Here is what it looked like upon release, typical 16 bit graphics.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yacqcY4CC6k

  8. The original cd is in the download i think

  9. Sabkahn says:

    1.: The Original Image is unmodified and in german language.
    2.: The Virus alert is a flase-positive and it also happens with the original retail disc.
    3.: The Original On-Disc Installer schould work on most modern PC´s when run in Win 95 or Win 98 compatibility mode and as Administrator. After launching the setup.exe give it a few minutes and in most cases it should pop up and work fine. It´s the same for almost all Papyrus games with the exception of NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, that one is the only Papyrus game that Installs just fine on modern Systems.
    4.: The unmodified game should work just fine on most modern PC´s, however I never tested this. However since GPL is based on the NASCAR Racing Engine, and including NASCAR Racing 3 they all work fine on Win10 x64.
    5.: Like mentioned above the unmodified game is in german language and AFAIK it is unpatched. Without one of the official Patches the game only supports Rendition, Glide and Software Rendering. Even with the later patches it is highly recommended to use a Glide Wrapper like nGlide on modern Systems since older D3D and OpenGL games tend to not work properly on modern cards. Also most Glide Wrappers allow you to render the games in higher Resolutions while keeping the Aspect Ratio on modern Widescreen Displays.
    6.: Within the Archive you find an external Installer that aplies Fan-Patches, improves compatibility with modern Systems, allows to Improve Graphics and Sound of the game. With this Installer you can install the game in different languages, just ignore the error that it couldn´t copy a .txt file, that´s only the readme anyway. This Installer is called gplinstall or something like that.

    Wanna know why I know all of this? Because I created the image file from my personal retail disc, bundled it with the external installer and uploaded it. But not to this Website, it was for The IsoZone, just like any other game offered here. This sites Admin should just fuck himself for stealing other peoples Uploads without giving the site where he get´s all the links from any credit what so ever. Now I also know why Lz18, that´s his user name on The IsoZone, messaged me a while ago because a “friend” of him was in doubt because of the false-positive virus alert.

  10. Kayo Michiels says:

    This game did not used a modified nascar racing 3 engine, instead a new engine was created called the GPL engine which was later used on Nascar racing 4 and subsequent nascar games from Papyrus.

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