Review by GTJunkie
"What I really think of Gran Turismo 5"
This will be my first, and likely my last review. I have never felt so strongly about another game that I felt the need to review it. I have owned every single GT game ever released since their launch dates, including GT PSP (Blah...). As much as it pains me to say it, and I'm sure a lot of fanboy's heads will explode, this is GT 4.5. There is nothing really new, except a few little thrown together features. I could care less about the track creator, the kart racing is a joke, and the online play is atrocious.
I am truly regretting my decision to avoid Forza 3 and hold out for GT 4.5. It's still an excellent game, but what has really changed in 13 years? With the amount of hype and the brutal delays, I was expecting to be blown away. My biggest disappointment is the Top Gear content, I was drooling over the idea of being able to race against the power lap times, but that's not there. What's really frustrating, is there is not a single one of the reasonably priced cars in the game. No Suzuki Liana, no Chevy Laceti, no KIA Cee'd.
The GT games have always had a certain flair to them that keeps me coming back. This one is no different. The opening cinematic is a little pretentious, but very riveting. The menus are a little clunky, but that's alright too. I really like the new cinematic main menu, each time you start up the game you get a different scene, sometimes your selected car is sitting in a crowded city, a hangar full of Red Bull planes, or in a set of rock formations in the wilderness.
The graphics are very good, but not mind blowing. This game still suffers from the same graphic problems that have plagued the GT series since GT3: squared off shadows, frame rates dropping, and inconsistent car models. The tracks are gorgeous and are probably the high point of the graphics in general. The premium cars are very highly detailed, but that just makes you miss those details on the standard cars. The replays are quite good, but suffer the same frame rate drops as the main game, which really takes away from the experience.
I really wanted to give a 10, but the music just isn't as good as GT4. The sound effects however, are the single biggest improvement in this game. Each car has an immersive and distinct sound. With the premium cars they got every exhaust note right, from turning the key to max RPM's. The sound of the exotic cars is jaw dropping, as James May would say, "I get a tingling sensation just behind my p***s". I can't say enough about the sound, it's what keeps me coming back for more.
Here's where the game falls flat on it's face. The new car physics are great, but the rain and snow is a gimmick and it won't matter that much over the course of the entire game. The general game progression is unchanged from the previous games. There is still A-Spec and B-Spec, still the same set of races for the most part, and the car upgrades seem to be largely unchanged as well. The license tests are still there, but you aren't required to do them anymore to start racing. They added NASCAR to the game, kind of. It's such a lame attempt I will probably avoid it all together. If I wanted to play NASCAR I would purchase one of the licenced games. All in all, when I am playing the career mode in this game, sometimes I forget that I'm playing a new game, and have flashbacks of GT4.
REPLAY VALUE: 9/10
This game will keep you busy for a long time. I gave it a 9/10 because I am going to avoid some of the game modes. If you played GT4 all the way through to 100%, prepare to do pretty much the exact same thing again. If you didn't play GT4, pick up GT5 and have a great time. If you already owned 4, do yourself a favor and get Forza 3.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/30/10
Game Release: Gran Turismo 5 (Collector's Edition) (US, 11/24/10)
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