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Gran Turismo 5 Review

Gran Turismo has a pedigree with the PlayStation console. From the original release on PlayStation One, showcasing incredible physics to Gran Turismo 3 on PS2, finally the long awaited PlayStation 3 debut arrived.

Polyphony Digital has always been incredible with the amount of cars, tracks, and content that it includes in their titles. GT5 is no different, but at the same time it leads to the question, is there too much to include in an arcade/simulation title?

The core of Gran Turismo is still present. The simulation side still has players gaining licenses to compete and the arcade side has the more forgiving racing experience. But it’s obvious to see that the focus of the title was in some ways, recalibrate the title for the PlayStation 3.

Gran Turismo 5 features some impressive graphics for the most part of the title. But there are times when the the gameplay experience is very stunted. Rain effect are one of issues that standout the most because it has a stark difference to the rest of the title. The models on many of the cars look amazing and the sheer amount of cars available is staggering, not including the other types of races like kart racing.

The title is among the best looking on the console, it’s just the problems are glaring among the other visuals.

Gran Turismo 5 features a mix of music mixed with the sound effects of each car and environmental effects. It maintains the realism that previous titles had, but it would have been nice to support a custom soundtrack.

The main changes to the series is GT Home hub where the simulation experience sits. From this main hub, players can race, tune cars, and basically do everything for their racing career. It also connects online to show more information about what is happening in the GT world.

It’s a cool way to bring all the players together, but at times it did feel awkward.

Another huge change is the split of the licenses. The B license used to be the lower stage races, but in GT5, players control drivers from a manager perspective. Essentially, it’s AI racing with the player telling the AI when to make moves in the race. It’s kind of fun, but taking a backseat driver position is a little boring at times.

The A license and up are the same as before. Race in cups, gain money and cars, and work your way up to becoming the best racer possible. The massive amount of cars is also a challenge, because it’s difficult to really know the comparisons of cars without some research.

GT5 is also the first that features car damage, but that is opened in the later Driver levels. Gaining experience levels players, and gaining golds carry the most experience points; so the simulation portion is a bit RPG.

The title still has the simulation physics, some of the most realistic in a video game, but at the same time it has the issues from the previous titles. It’s possible to read all specs and now how a car should handle, but it’s impossible to really feel how a car works without physically feeling the forces at hand. So in this sense, GT5 still feels a little artificial.

The arcade section is the same, but offers a good selection of cars to choose from. The course creator allows for created courses to be imported into the arcade version along with tuned cars from the simulation portion. The arcade mode has always been fun and it still has a place in GT5, but it does feel like it’s being scaled back.

Honestly, GT5 might have the most amount of general information for a title besides a RPG title. It is the best simulation racer on the market, but caters to a specific market. The general gaming public know that the title has gotten a lot of development time, but I’m not sure how many players will set the massive amount of hours aside to complete the title 100%.

It’s amazing and skilled in it’s execution and there isn’t another racing title that can compare to what Polyphony Digital did.

The quintessential PS3 Racing title. Best for Simulation and Gearheads.

Review Copy Provided By Publisher