Gran Turismo 4

 
(i)

 

Realistic racing experience for the entire family.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game is all about high-speed racing, which may have your child believing that this is the only way to drive

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is full of commercialism, with advertisements from major car manufacturers like Audi and Chevrolet, along with sponsors like tire makers Bridgestone and Dunlop visible throughout the game.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game provides players with more cars, more race courses, and more high-speed fun than earlier versions, though gameplay is only slightly different from its predecessor. While the game is a good alternative to Need for Speed Underground games, parents may be concerned about advertising in the game, and the speeds at which cars travel around the racetracks.

What's it about?

GRAN TURISMO 4 offers racing fans an authentic gaming experience that features more than 650 automobiles representing more than 80 manufacturers, along with 50 diverse racetracks. There are two main game modes: arcade and Gran Turismo. Arcade mode is ideal for beginners and younger players because they don't need to have mastered the game's intricate control system. Gran Turismo mode is accessed by earning points in arcade mode to unlock more challenging courses.

In Gran Turismo mode, tires slide more easily off of the course, cars move faster, and just keeping the car on the track requires good hand-eye coordination. The most noticeable difference from earlier games: pop-up visual guides that help you control momentum and turns along the racecourse. As with previous versions, players earn points for performance that can be used to purchase vehicle upgrades. New upgrades in this edition include nitrous oxide, bigger engines, tires, braking systems, and heavy-duty suspension packages.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

You can feel comfortable purchasing Gran Turismo 4 for just about any member of your family. It's a more family-friendly alternative to the Need for Speed Underground series. Players younger than 6 can give the game a test ride, but probably will be frustrated because keeping the car on the track takes hand-eye coordination and quick thinking.

Commercialism and reckless driving are the downsides of the game. Logos from top car manufacturers are visible everywhere. Also, because cars consistently crack the 100 mph threshold while speeding around sharp corners, a discussion about safe driving is highly recommended.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about marketing. All of the cars have logos from top automakers prominently displayed. Ask kids: How did you decide which car to drive? Which brands did you notice while you were playing? Why do you think these ads are in the game? What do they do to your opinions of the brands? This might lead to a broader discussion of advertising and the desire for labels. Also, a discussion about safe driving practices is a good idea (especially for kids around the 16-year mark).

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 2
Price:$45.95
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:February 23, 2005
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:E for (PlayStation 2)

This review of Gran Turismo 4 was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bygnatti April 9, 2008
 

Great game for all

There are so many great things about this game! First of all, it does not invole getting out of the cars at all, or any violence whatsoever. You simply, drive, try to win cars and fix cars up. It's great if you have time to devote, because this is not a "I'll beat it by tomorrow" kind of game. The graphics are phenomenal - movie like in certain parts.
Parent Written byLBPman April 9, 2008
 

An Excellent Driving Game

This game imitates real driving physics very well, specially when using the 900 degree wheel. While "commonsense" made a bit of an issue about "commercialism" in the game, it really isn't, for there's a difference between names of car manufacturers and "get ripped quick pills" ads. The game can be fun for everyone, but the realism of it may not be something kids can handle. There isn't any car damage(crashes), so wreckles driving isn't an "iffy", and it all takes place in closed legal tracks.
Adult Written byshopteacher April 9, 2008
 

A Realistic Driving and Tuning Experience

This game goes deep into real driving dynamics and requires mastery of the dynamics of driving to get the full experience. Modified cars have a fantastic range of adjustments for the brakes, suspensions, gear ratios, aerodynamic downforce and more. If you are interested in learning not just how a high performance car behaves, but how to tune a car to extract it's true maximum potential, then this game has what you are looking for, big time.

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