Gran Turismo 5

Is Polyphony's grand racing simulator worth the wait?

By King, Posted 17 Sep 2011

When you spend as long on a game as Polyphony Digital did with Gran Turismo 5, you're setting up expectations that will undoubtedly be difficult to measure up to. After numerous delays it's hard to believe that a real copy of this game is actually out on the market, as to many this game become nothing more than an imaginary tease that would never see the light of day.

The reason it took so long is certainly due to how dedicated Polyphony is to getting each and every detail correct. This meticulous attention leads to the most realistic driving simulator available to date. The Gran Turismo series has always been known for its true to life feel, and this fifth installment takes that to another level.

Each car has a distinct style, forcing you to adapt and toy around until you find a vehicle that drives to your preference. If you are a car fanatic but aren't the wealthiest person in the world, this is about as close as you can get to test driving your dream cars. The driving conditions will alter your play, as wet roads of course will be slick, and if you're running a long race you'll have to be careful with the wear on your tires. 

Gran Turismo 5 feels as realistic as it gets in terms of your car braking and accelerating on the diverse courses the game has to offer, however, that realism is completely off-set by the bogus collisions and dumb A.I. You can easily cheat your way around in races if you're coming into a turn and rather than slowing down, you just continue flying by and bumping off of a competitor's car. This bumper car like physics system has been something that always has plagued Gran Turismo games, and it's unfortunate that it's still in the game all these years later.

hen you have the A.I.. Computer controlled vehicles feel like they are truly robotic. They'll stick to the determined path, paying no attention whatsoever to the position of other cars on the track. They'll get in your way and sometimes bump you of course because they know no better. This is another problem that has been in the series and never accounted for.

Gran Turismo 5, Review, GT5, GT 5

The main mode of GT5 is A-Spec, the single player career mode in which you'll compete in events to earn money and level up. There is a decent number of races to compete in, though maybe not as many as you would expect. The most fun of this mode is trying to save up your money to go shopping for that shiny car of your dreams, then taking it to the shop to tune it to run to your preference. There are also the license events that have become a staple of the GT series, though this time around they aren't required to advance in the game. So if you get stuck in one (and they can get difficult) no worries.

If you get tired of racing standard cars, Gran Turismo 5's offers the unique option of Special Events. These include many different types of races, such as Nascar, go-karts, rally cars, competitions inspired by the Top Gear show, and more. These are a great break when you get tired of Gran Turismo's regular mode, and the money and experience you earn in these races count towards your A-Spec account. Sometimes you might wish there were more than three levels for these events, but nevertheless they are a great addition to the game.

B-Spec mode returns from Gran Turismo 4. This basically puts you in the role of crew chief, calling out commands to your line-up of drivers, such as to drive more aggressively or lay it off. You have the option of speeding up the pace of these races, so you won't be stuck watching the race for the duration of what a regular race would take. It's a nice option to have, though I have a feeling that most users will get bored by this mode easily, and only a select few will really be motivated to keep going and build up their legacy as a crew chief.

Much talk has gone into the cars of the game because while there are just over one thousand cars available to drive, eight hundred of those are standard models while only two hundred are premium. Standard models are slightly less detailed on the exterior, and they don't feature an interior cockpit view. The premium models got the full attention to detail, with expertly modeled bodies that'll make you think you're looking at a car from real life, and a beautifully rendered inside featuring a spot-on representation of the inside of those cars.

Gran Turismo 5, Review, GT5, GT 5

While it would have been nice to have all premium models, the standard cars don't look bad at all in there own right, and in motion you likely won't even be able to tell the difference between the standards and premiums. The game itself really looks amazing, with the best looking cars in a game to date, and unbelievable tracks and locations. The lighting effects bring out the beauty, and the only real spot of dirt on this work of art is the sometimes jaggy shadows which serve as a reminder that you are only looking at polygons.

Gran Turismo 5 is an expertly crafted racing simulator with copious amounts of detail put into making this game reach the vision that Polyphony Digital had in mind. The problem is that while it may be an incredibly realistic game, some of this is at the expense of having a fun video game. Gran Turismo 5 is another great entry to the series, and a game that everyone could get enjoyment out of. However, the people who get the most out of this game will be those with a true passion for cars and want to get as close to the real things as possible.

Logan Smithson, NoobFeed

comments powered by Disqus

  • I spent that gas money on clothes with logos.

    Posted Sep 20, 2011
  • avatar 313

    I really don't care for race sims.

    Posted Sep 25, 2011

  • Still "addicted" to it, nearly a year after its release :)

    Posted Oct 22, 2011


General Information

Platform(s): PS3
Publisher(s): Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer(s): Polyphony Digital
Genres: Racing
Themes: Driving
Release Date: 2010-11-24

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