Better late than never…
Back in April 2008, I wrote a review on this here website for a ps3 title called Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Two and a half years later (give or take a few months) I am back to review Gran Turismo 5 . Now this review is about 12 months later then all of us here at YARS expected- oh you lot thought the same huh! Back when I wrote the last review, GT5P`s main rival was Forza 2 on xbox 360, well back in October 2009 (around the time we expected GT5 to be released Forza 3 came out.. And it was stunning. Some calling it “the greatest racing game of this generation”. Needless to say, the people at Polyphony Digital needed to pull out all the stops to make sure they could reclaim this crown.
So if you have a PS3, and are a serious petrol head, then you need this in your life- end of.
So, what do we get from the nations favourite racing franchise this time. Well first off we get 1,000 vehicles. Yep, you read it right one thousand vehicles. Now I’ll admit I have not snagged them all yet, but GT5 is a game that is not over in a mere 8 hours (unlike some first person shooters we could mention). Nope the lifespan for this baby should keep you going well into 2011. We also finally have some kind of damage to our hunks of metal, although unlike other games with non-licensed vehicles, this damage is toned down quite a lot. I personally would have like to see some more carnage with bonnets and doors flying off all over the place, but GT was never about that. Graphically I`ll admit to being a bit under whelmed. When the demo that was GT HD came out on the PS3, I’ll admit to my jaw hitting the floor on the odd occasion, and GT5 prologue was pretty impressive too. But there does not seem to be any improvement from then. It seems like Polyphonic Digital decided not to improve the graphics, just add a shed load of content instead. Don’t get me wrong, GT5 still looks impressive, I just expected major eye candy- and this time around GT% is not the best liking game on the console- sorry.
So to gameplay, well to it certainly is very familiar and welcoming. You still have you’re a, B and international Licences you have to pass before you can progress to the more challenging races. You still buy your new motors from the dealership, but you can also purchase cheaper cars from the 2nd hand market, which is handy to pick up some cracking bargains early on in the game when you are a bit strapped for cash. As for the actual handling, things are as good as ever. Different vehicles such as the go karts, vw camper vans and rally cars all handle differently, so giving a nice variation in the gameplay- if you wish to take it.
There is a nice selection of tracks both new and familiar (including the legendary Top Gear test track). Night time races also bring welcomed variation., as do the Nascar races, and the aforementioned rally stages. As you progress you can tune up your chosen vehicle, and all the various interfaces are clean and functional. The engine sounds are suitably meaty, but the cool jazz sounds of the loading screens do start to grate after a bit. Talking of bloomin loading screens- can someone tell me why you have to install the game first-, which takes over 30mins (and a whopping 8gig), and you still have loading screens to load up the tracks then are longer than Forza (Sorry- rant over!).
One big selling point of GT5 this time round (that beats its “other console exclusive racing simulator”) is the inclusion of online multiplayer races with 15 other players involved. Yep, no matter how much fun trashing AI controlled opponents is, there is nothing like the thrill of multiplayer online races. Now initially there where a few teething problems with the servers, but things seemed to have settled down now, and I have had no problems finding an online game, and joining in the fun, although I still need more practice.
After my initial disappointment, I think I expected photo realistic racing after the extended wait, GT5 is a game that gets under your skin, just like it’s predecessors and all the best video games. It has the depth and addictiveness to make me want to finish this review quickly, and get back in the driving seat. This game is most certainly the best driving simulator in the Playstation 3. So if you have a PS3, and are a serious petrol head, then you need this in your life- end of.
The Bad: Graphics lack sparkle, 8gig install & long loading times