Since it was first revealed at E3 2005, it’s been 5 long years since we’ve waited for GT5. But the main question is, was it worth the wait?
From the moment you put the game in your Playstation 3, GT5 doesn’t make a good impression, and it’ll take at least 45-60 minutes to install the game before your ready to set off.
Things get even worse with the lengthy loading times, you’d think with the long 1 hour wait, it would be sorted, but I honestly can’t see the point in the huge 8GB install at all.
However things get much better once you get to the main menu. From here you can choose to do as you please. You could either jump straight into arcade mode and break the speed limit with the premium cars, or enter the main aspect of the game, GT mode.
Unfortunately the 1000+ cars that the game offers are split into two categories, premium and standard. The standard cars make the majority of the 1000+ cars, and are basically rendered HD versions of the cars found in Gran Turismo 4. These standard cars don’t look terrible and suffer from not having a cockpit view, but get behind the wheel in a premium car, and your jaw will drop.
It’s clear to see where all those years in development went into. The attention to detail is stunning, from the stitching on the dashboard (in the cockpit view) to the reflections that glide across the body work.
Things get even better when you take one of the 200 premium cars to Photo Travel Mode; this is where you have the opportunity to truly see the detail, you wouldn’t be wrong to say that the cars look the same, if not better than the real thing.
From GT mode, you can either get behind the wheel in the challenging A Spec Mode, or create a driver and guide him through races to victory in B Spec mode.
B Spec isn’t great and can get boring very quickly; however it’s a great way to earn even more money or credits towards your next car. A Spec mode is where you’ll probably be spending most of your time, racing through different events with the difficulty increasing as you progress.
Gran Turismo 5 also offers night racing, making races even more challenging when you’re at top speed, struggling to see the next corner. It’s this sense of fear of crashing that makes night racing so exhilarating.
Another great addition is the ability to drive Go Karts, and they’re insanely fun to drive. Thanks to Polyphony’s obsession with realism, these karts can be very challenging to drive, one sharp turn and it could lose you the race. They’re great fun to drive and a nice break from driving cars, so it’s disappointing when you find out that there aren’t many events to keep you going.
These go karts could easily have been something truly great, if only Polyphony had expanded the events available to them.
Nevertheless they are a great addition to the series that I’d love to see in GT6, but the same can’t be said with the introduction of damage, drive over 200 mph straight into a barrier and you’ll be lucky to see the front bumper hanging a bit loose. When you compare the damage modelling to games such as GRID, GT5 is clearly behind.
On the other hand, Gran Turismo has never been about damage, but more about the driving thrill, and as always, it delivers. Having a Logitech wheel at your side will give you the best simulator experience ever, making the game even more challenging, yet so rewarding. Or you can get behind an everyday car such as a Ford Focus, and tune it until it turns into something completely different. However tune it to much and you’ll be struggling to keep the car on the track because of that V8 engine you fitted in.
As I said earlier, the cars look great, especially the ones in the premium range, so what about the environment and tracks? On some tracks, mainly real life tracks, the visuals look great. Take a car down the Nurburgring in Germany and it clearly resembles the real thing but take a drive down the Original High Speed Ring, and you won’t be as amazed due to the low amount of detail, making the track looking rather dull.
Online racing also makes it first debut to GT5. Races with up to 16 players are perfectly stable, with the whole race running smoothly without any problems. It’s a shame it’s not very user friendly, try inviting your friends to your lobby and things can get complicated. Having said that, with this minor issue sorted, the online is a great way to show off your skills to the rest of the world and to your mates. Hopefully Polyphony will bring out patches in the future to help unlock the multiplayer to its full potential.
I have spent a lot of time on playing GT5 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Saying that, GT5 still has its own share of problems, from the unfriendly multiplayer experience, the long loading times, to the odd screen tearing and the poor shadows. Kazunori Yamauchi had said throughout the games development that he wanted to create the perfect racing game, and it was quite obvious he was obsessed about the graphics and detail.
It’s a shame then how these little bugs ruin Kazunori’s dream. It seems as if Polyphony had focused way too much on the premium cars, rather than anything else. What I can say, is that the game is a near perfect simulator. Once you get into the game, you will appreciate everything GT5 has to offer, and forget that those little issues ever existed.
GT5 might not appeal to those who play arcade racers such as the Need for Speed series, but for those who have fantasised about driving the world’s most exotic cars; this game is definitely worth the purchase. The same can also be said for those who are loyal to the series. Although a lot of the game feels similar to its counterparts, there is enough new content in this game to keep me going until Gran Turismo 6, whenever that comes out.
Overall, Gran Turismo 5 still retains the crown of being the best racing simulator, and as to the question at the start, Gran Turismo 5 was easily worth the wait.
This is by far the most realistic racing simulator available to date, and the fact that this game offers more than any other racing game available, makes this game a bargain for what its worth.