Review by Liquidus4

"If You Like Driving More Than Graphics, Get It, Otherwise....."

So, I got GT5 on launch day at midnight, just as I have with all the Gran Turismo games (well, GT1 I didn't get at midnight, I don't think stores did that back then, but I reserved it and got it on launch). How does it stack up? As a long time GT fan, I'm disappointed, but loving it anyway.

The Bad News
I'll get the bad news over first, a lot of the graphics in this game are terrible. At this point you may be tempted to stop reading my review and claim I am insane. You've seen the videos, screenshots, and maybe even played GT5: Prologue, and you're thinking, "LIES!". Unfortunately, this is not the case, here's why: A large percentage of content is a direct copy and paste from GT4. Its like they took GT5: Prologue and GT4 and mashed them into one game, keeping both games original graphics.

The copied cars they can kind of get away with. The cars in GT4 were stunning, and even along side the beautiful GT5 cars, you can only tell the difference close up. The biggest differences are the flatter looking textures, lack of interior, and the tinted windows which try to hide the lack of interior. They lack the depth and detail of the GT5 cars, and you probably wouldn't shoot pictures of them in photo mode, but in game its not too distracting. You should know that more than half of the cars in the game are GT4 copies, its not a small percentage.

Unfortunately, the GT4 tracks are very distracting. Two of my favorite tracks are blatant GT4 copies: Trial Mountain and Nurburgring. Now, when I say blatant copies, I mean same polygon count, same textures, no face lift at all. Trial Mountain and The Nurburgring contain grassy slopes made from four polygons and a muddy, blurry, ugly texture. Bushes that are made from two blurry, low res sprites crossing each other. Fake walls of ugly, blurry trees. I was so excited to drift through Trial Mountain in beautiful PS3 HD glory, only to be very, very disappointed.

Those who like to modify the appearance of their cars will be sorely disappointed as well. There's very little that can be changed appearance wise. Only a select few cars have available body kits, and you can't even change the wheels on most of them. Even worse, in order to paint you car you have to collect a paint piece. You get one for every car you receive, but after you use it you lose your paint piece. So the game punishes you for painting your car.

The final piece of bad news is the collision/damage system. Its the same as all the other Gran Turismos. There is some very minor damage modeling that can only be seen after the most severe collisions, but it barely exists. You can still bounce off cars and walls just like you could in every other GT. This is one area where Forza still has the advantage.

The Good News
The driving. Its nearly perfect. The physics were broken in GT4. The tires didn't grip the pavement correctly, it just didn't reel right. If you played GT5: Prologue you know that this has been fixed, but what you may not know is that the physics have been further improved from Prologue.

I do some amateur racing myself. I'm not a professional, but I have done numerous modifications to my cars, and attended many drift events, auto-crosses, and track days. I know how a car should feel at the limit of its grip, I know how it should feel when drifting, and I know how it should feel when shifting weight from one corner to the next. I also know how a car feels when you go from the stock suspension to coilovers, or from an open LSD to a limited slip. GT5 is by far the closest to the real thing I have ever experienced.

That's why I still gave the game a 7/10. I love modifying cars and throwing them around racetracks, and no other game lets me do that with the authenticity that Gran Turismo 5 does. When I can jump in any car at anytime and fly through corners with such realism, I'll forgive some bad graphics and game design.

The developers of GT5 should genuinely be embarrassed for releasing the game with a good portion of its graphics taken from a PS2 game. This is not what we were expecting based on all the screenshots, development time, and GT5:Prologue. GT5:Prologue came out a couple of years ago, it doesn't take that long to open all your GT4 files and hit copy/paste. Many gamers will feel cheated, like they just paid $60 for a mash-up of two games they already own. And those hoping that this game would finally show off the power of the PS3, well, choose the wrong car or track and people will laugh. Its simply embarrassing.

However, if you looking for driving realism, you won't be disappointed. If you want a game that will never get old because you will always enjoy modding a car, turning all the driving aids off, and throwing it sideways around every corner and watching the replay, you won't be disappointed. It certainly doesn't live up to the hype, but for hardcore racers, this is one to own.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/30/10

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

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