Review by Warhawk

Reviewed: 12/02/10

The wait is finally over

Gran Turismo 5 finally hits stores and after all the waiting to try the full version of the game, while that we had Gran Turismo 5: Prologue to hold people for the past two years or better. Over the years Polyphony has always go about doing more with each installment in the Gran Turismo games, Gran Turismo 5 isn’t any different than the previous four installments. One of the new things that they have decided to add in this game was NASCAR and being a NASCAR fan, I was excited to hear about that they’re going to have some of the NASCAR drivers in here. While I didn’t expect them to put in enough drivers to have the 43 car field, and there wasn’t going to be that many drivers to be featured in the game. I mean this game is all about cars, not just all about one type of racing or anything, since the series has always been about trying to progress throughout the game starting with slow cars to eventually getting those fast cars we want to drive. Another thing that has been said that this installment of Gran Turismo games will have finally, is damage. Yes that’s right ‘damage’. There are other things that Polyphony did to make this game unique over the previous games and maybe better than what they have done before.

Graphically, it seems like with each game that they do they go about trying to make sure that the game looks real enough for the fans let alone each of the tracks looks quite well. Yes I mean even back with the first two games on PlayStation. With 20 tracks and more, along with well over 700 cars each of them looking so real, you almost think that you’re really out there on the track racing whatever car you have on whatever track you’re racing. I never thought that I’d see the day where Polyphony would manage to get the famous Dayotna and Indianapolis tracks for a Gran Turismo game. While those tracks I’ve only seen in NASCAR games, though I have to say that both tracks look like they were taken from real life and put into the game just about. Polyphony never ceases to amaze me when in terms of presentation of each of their games, even if they only have done racing recently.

With some of the new additions to the game, makes this Gran Turismo game a little more challenging to the players. One of the new things that was added to this game was the driver experience, and if you have played racing games like Need for Speed: Shift, you should be familiar with how something like this is done. Though the driver experience is earned throughout the GT Mode in ‘Special Events’, to doing ‘Licenses’ and even doing ‘A-Spec’ races, but the ‘B-Spec’ rating is separate from the ‘A’ part of the racing. Some of the challenges they have for the ‘Special Events’ learning to drive cars includes NASCAR, Go Karts, to even like learning how to drive Mercedes Benz around the 13 mile track located in England. One thing is that you can’t go ahead and do some of these things right away you’ll have to work on getting your driver level up to a certain point before you can tackle some of the things in GT Mode. I can definitely say that there are many things that are in the game that can give you a challenge.

With the gameplay of Gran Turismo 5, feels just like that of the other games but they always seem to somehow improve the physics of the cars throughout the game to help make the cars feel like if you’re driving the real thing. When it comes to the AI I have one complaint about that and I know that AI is supposed to help give you a challenge, but at times I wonder about it in the newest Gran Turismo game. It seems like if you go about drafting behind a car and trying to go about passing them especially at a track like Daytona where handling and speed is a necessity, but if you hit them, I was expecting that they’d go about spinning out in some way. In reality that they don’t and it’s like hitting a brick wall in the end, but at the same time it seems like that they get a little too aggressive with the player. An example is like track like at Daytona get to make you get messed up like ramming you hard enough to where you end up spinning out of control but you better know how to save the car when that happens.

There is one thing that I had mentioned that was added to the franchise after all these years and that’s damage. I can say that it seems like when you go about racing and if you go about hitting a lot of cars you’ll see some of the damage like on the front of the car or even in the rear quarter panels like with the NASCAR cars. The only thing is that with the damage it doesn’t seem to slow you down in any way after obtaining any. Another thing that seems to be a little weird with the gameplay of Gran Turismo 5 is with the NASCAR drivers that they have managed to put in the game. If there’s anything I can say that the NASCAR cars handle like that in real life but there’s like one thing that seems to bother me in a sense. Coming from a NASCAR fan of over 10 years is that when racing at a track like Daytona [Superspeedway] is that the cars reach up to around 230 MPH. With this it has me wondering if Polyphony had done their research with NASCAR racing at Daytona due to the fact, that they use restrictor plates while racing at a track like Daytona reducing the speed of the engine to help slow the cars down on the track. I mean sure that the speeds is like if they didn’t have them now since the accident that happened at Talladega in 1987.

Overall after all this wait for Gran Turismo 5 to finally arrive for everyone to play, the game does deliver to most of the things that I had hoped that the game would be. Even with some of the things that I don’t agree with some of the things that turned out in the final product that if they were to include some of the same things in Gran Turismo 6 is to improve on them for that game. After all some of these features I love and there’s always things that I may disagree with like with the licenses being have to reach a driver level to take part in each of the licenses. One last thing that I can say on Gran Turismo 5 is that the ability of having your own custom soundtrack for the game so you can listen to the music that you want to instead of what Polyphony had decided to put in the game for the soundtrack. Overall I give Gran Turismo 5 a stunning 8.7 out of 10.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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

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