Gran Turismo 5 has to be for me, one of the best driving simulation games I have ever played. I must say its graphics are very attractive and its variety of car selection outmatches any other driving simulator out there. It encompasses Rally, Endurance/F1, NASCAR, Karting, and so many other unique events for car specifics making the player experience tons of different vehicles before anywhere near completing all the challenges. The series ‘Gran Turismo’ is something I came across on PS2 with GT3, and of course GT4 and fan boy’s were going crazy as it took Polyphony some six years to release GT5 on the PS3, delaying release date after release date.
It had been a long time coming and I must say it was more than worth the wait. This game is huge in variations with over 1000 cars to choose, 26 different locations and 71 different track layouts. It segregates the cars from ‘standard’ (used cars you can either win from racing or buy from the used car lot) and ‘premium cars’ (brand new cars you must purchase from dealers but can also be won in certain races). It focuses primarily on simulation so driving is very realistic. Alongside this the game also contains driving assists such as a driving line, traction control, ABS, active steering and a new feature called ‘skid force recovery’ which helps you keep control in corners at high speeds. However as a veteran you get the most fun out of the game turning all these off and throwing it into manual.
You find early on how much content this game has been rammed with as it requires long installation times, and even gives an option for further data installation to speed up the loading time of the races. With its variety in car selection you find yourself building a very personal garage as you progress through the game, GT5 is a game where you can win races with the cars you enjoy driving and the game mechanics try hard to give you that individuality. Two main modes grasp the player, A-spec races where you do all the racing, and B-spec; where you train a driver to level up and race whilst you watch, some could say ‘what’s the point’ but you still get money (credits) so why not?? It can be quite boring pressing a button every 30 seconds as this driver races in a robotic fashion, the same races you do yourself early on so the cars are shared between you. This I thought was a not so strong factor because it just becomes déjà vu.
Another big question with this game was ‘will it have damage’. None of the prequels have this so with games such as Grid and the Dirt series both with strong damage mechanics the pressure was always on. GT5 has not embodied this system like the other driving games out there, you can have scratches and dents to your car but it’s very basic and hardly impressive. I think the goal was to produce the best driving simulator, which I think they have achieved so damage was not the focus from the start. Another thing you realise about GT5 is that it’s like a suited up new next gen version of the prequels, so nothing really ‘new’ catches your eye if you have been playing it since the first one. That being said things like the online system also have their pros and con’s, for example there are no filters so you’re racing any car your opponents want to choose. Cars are something I will always enjoy so this is definitely my type of game, its realistic, has tons of different cars to drive, and endless challenges where the A.I is not forgiving. Overall for a racing game I think Gran Turismo 5 is one of the best, the fact it is PS3 exclusive is also a bonus and this is why it is probably overloaded with content.