7 April 2006


Try as you might, it's impossible to find actual screenshots of Project Gotham Racing 3 anywhere on the internet. (Where by "actual", we mean shots of a race in progress, as it would look on your TV screen when you were playing it.) This phenomenon is by no means limited to PGR3, and it's one of the most cynical and depressing practices in online journalism. WoS isn't quite sure why large, professionally-funded online mags like IGN and Gamespot apparently don't have access to the same equipment that print mags use to take real in-game shots, or why - more likely - they're simply too lazy to do their jobs properly and show their readers something more revealing than the cutscene/replay renders sent out with the press releases by the game publisher's PR department.

Sadly, WoS itself doesn't have access to professional screen-grabbing kit, and usually has to make do with scouring the farthest-flung corners of the web to turn up one or two actual gameplay shots. But just this once, we've gone out of our way to get our own shots to illustrate for you how PGR3 really looks, since there doesn't appear to be even ONE single, solitary proper ingame pic in any of the sackfuls of shitty renders printed by every gaming website in the universe. So here they are.

Click for larger versions of all these shots.

This morning, your diligent reporter sat down and took these shots the old-school way, which is to say by pointing a camera at his telly, under the following conditions:

- the TV is a 52-inch High Definition DLP set running in 1080i mode through component cables.

- the camera was a 5-megapixel Pentax Optio S50, shooting roughly 1.5 metres from the screen.

- all the shots were taken in a bright sunny room using natural light, no flash. All the shots were taken within a 10-minute period and from the same position, so the wide differences in brightness levels, contrast etc are entirely attributable to the game, not to any environmental factors.

- the pics have been cropped to remove the bits of telly, and reduced from 2560x1920 (retaining the original aspect ratio) to more manageable 1024-pixels-wide dimensions for web display, but are otherwise entirely unaltered, unedited and unretouched. The artifacting you'll see in many of the pics on the car's roof, for example, is clearly visible on the screen when playing. If you think I'm lying and want to see the original uncropped full-res pics, feel free to email. (Here's one of them.)

- the player's car is stationary on the road in all the shots, obviously to avoid blurring.

Bearing the above in mind, then, welcome to the internet's first-ever REAL screenshots of Project Gotham Racing 3. On behalf of the entire online gaming press, I apologise that it's taken so long.

Opposing cars appear in these shots roughly as frequently as you'll see them during a race.

The various camera views were also utilised.

In the cockpit view, the rear-view mirror is awkwardly far to the right for practical use.

Close chase view. If you look closely, there are two opponent cars in this shot.

The game uses light to sometimes quite dramatic effect.

This is probably about the overall average width of a PGR3 track.

Ooh, a corner. Most of the time, this is as exciting and distinctive as the scenery gets.

Everybody likes grey, right?

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