Grand Prix Legends
|Grand Prix Legends|
North American boxart
|Developer(s)||Papyrus Design Group|
Brian C. Mahony
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Inspired by the 1966 film Grand Prix, the developers chose to base the game on 1960s motor racing because during that period tracks were narrow and lined with trees, houses, and other elements that in a video game can serve as backgrounds to enhance the sensation of speed. In addition, the more primitive suspension of cars of the time meant that the car physics could be more visually dramatic.
However, the amount of time that has passed since the 1967 Grand Prix season meant that some of the tracks the designers wanted to recreate no longer existed in their original form. The team visited town halls to get blueprints for defunct tracks. Licensing could also be difficult. Papyrus co-founder Dave Kaemmer commented, "It's not a pleasant thing to call someone on the phone and say that you want to license their dead son's name, but people have been very helpful."
According to Andy Mahood of PC Gamer US, Grand Prix Legends experienced "abysmally poor sales". It ultimately totaled 200,000 sales by 2004. GameSpot's Gord Goble attributed its performance to the "combination of treacherous gameplay, sometimes glacial frame rates, and esoteric subject matter". The game received "favorable" reviews according to the review aggregation website GameRankings. GameSpot said, "Grand Prix Legends will reward you with arguably the most intense racing experience ever seen on a personal computer."
Next Generation reviewed the PlayStation version of the game, rating it five stars out of five, and stated that "Overall, there aren't enough adjectives to describe how excellent this is. If you're willing to make the investment it takes to become good, you'll be rewarded with what is perhaps the most exciting and engaging racing game we've ever had the privilege to play."
Grand Prix Legends was the runner-up for Computer Gaming World's 1998 "Best Driving" award, which ultimately went to Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit. The editors wrote of Grand Prix Legends, "Arguably the most ambitious and realistic driving simulation to date—modeling the thrills and difficulties of Grand Prix racing circa 1967—it is also perhaps the toughest to play. It's an awesome game for those who can handle it."
Grand Prix Legends won Computer Games Strategy Plus's 1998 "Sports Game of the Year" award. The editors wrote, "Racing games are always popular, and there are a lot of them, but few if any approach Grand Prix Racing's level of sophistication and uncompromising detail."
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