Review by Sahirrama

"Amazing game, flawed presentation"


Gran Turismo 5 is a great game. It's gorgeous (albeit some screen-tearing and lackluster trees), with beautifully shiny cars. It's expansive, with a thousand cars at your fingertips. And most of all, it's a true racing sim - this game handles better than any other racing game I've every played. The physics are jawdropping, and even slight mistakes can send you off-course, much as in real life. However, there are some major flaws that hold this game back from reaching its full potential.

Presentation - 6.5/10

The game starts off with a pretty slick opening sequence (I won't spoil anything - a quick Youtube search will sort this out for you). However, you are prompted to install a massive game install which takes around an hour of time. This normally wouldn't be an issue (who doesn't want to cut down loading times?) - however, the game doesn't completely install at this time. Instead, it installs a bulk of the game, and installs additional parts for literally every single thing you visit in the game. These minor installs only lengthen the amount of time spent crawling through the archaic menu system implemented in GT5. Every single action taken in GT5 will have you go to another loading screen, waiting, waiting, and waiting. This is mind-numbing.

About 200 of the game's 1000 cars are "premium". This means that they have much more detail than the other 800 "standard" cars. Detail in this case means that car chassises are much smoother and easier on the eyes, cars are less pixellated, and just generally look better. Premium cars are also allowed to be upgraded much more than the standard cars - standards can't even have their wheels changed!

Graphics - 9/10

GT5 is a great looking game. Premium cars capture the true look of their real life counterparts, right down to the last nut and bolt. They're truly amazing to look at, especially through the game's photo mode. This mode lets you position your car so that you can capture its best angle. While the game's standard cars still look good, they are comparatively worse than the premium cars, and stick out like a sore thumb in the game's collection of cars. Tracks have been modelled well for the most part, but there is still the occasional pixellated block or tree.

Gameplay - 10/10

This is where the game really shines. In fact, it's so good that you should be completely willing to look past all of the game's shortcomings for the gameplay. The revamped physics allow for the absolute most realistic driving simulator ever. Cars drive just like their real-life counterparts. Every single car handles uniquely, premium and standard cars alike. The game's damage system is implemented throughout the course of the game. While this may seem odd at first (You can crash at 200mph in a barricade, and drive away without a dent), it's logical when you think about it. Wrecking that first car you get with no money is no fun, and forces you to start over. This slow implementation allows you to learn how to drive these super cars properly. The AI has also been much improved from the previous games, and here too the scaled difficulty is present. Special events like NASCAR and Rallies are a blast to play, and feature some of the best of their respective sports as instructors in the game. The Top Gear track has at long last made its appearance in a video game, and trying to match the Stig in a Ferrari is a worthy use of your time. Using the game's photo mode might not seem like gameplay, but you'll be surprised by how much time you spend in it. You'll be taking gorgeous photos of your car in the mountains, and bragging to your friends about your snapshot. The course maker is NOT a course EDITOR - it's a maker. You are given a range of settings to modify, from time of day to number of bends in a track, and a track is generated for you by the game. Essentially, this provides you with infinite tracks. I'd love to add more to this, but I still haven't uncovered all this game has to offer. I can still confidently tell you that the gameplay is fantastic, and will definitely keep you entertained for a vast period of time.

Sound - 8/10

The vast majority of sounds are crisp and distinct. However, there is the everpresent dull "thud" from car collisions which doesn't sound realistic. While the game's soundtrack can at times be seizure-inducing, it does allow the option for custom soundtracks. This is a great option when playing endurance races.

Overall - 8.8/10

The game is mindblowing when racing. Feeling the game's cars under you, and responding to your every move is just a great feeling. However, the game's presentation and menu system can be disappointing at times. I still would recommend this game to anyone with even a slight appreciation of cars/racing. It shouldn't be missed by anyone.

Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/01/10

Game Release: Gran Turismo 5 (US, 11/24/10)

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