Gran Turismo 5 impressions

Naturally the anticipation for a next generation, bells & whistles sequel to arguably the premier driving game series, was always going to be mammoth.  Now having sat down for a couple of weeks and played it, I come away feeling both impressed and a little disappointed.  The tried and tested gameplay seems tweaked and streamlined, the choice of cars impressive, and the fun of winning races and building up your garage as enjoyable as ever – but in this age of online multiplayer, the options here feel tacked-on and old-fashioned.  I’ve never been fond of racing games online as real-world players tend to play dirty, and during a race there isn’t that dip in and dip out of say a Call Of Duty death match.  Get shunted off the track once, and that’s it, you may as well quit out.  Also the fact the game’s 1000+ car roster is only made up of 200 or so fully realised graphically impressive vehicles (complete with in-car dashboards) feels like a cheap trick (the others are more like HD upgrades from GT4).  Sure, who’s ever going to need more than 200 cars?  But that 1000+ labelling seemed so rosy at first!  Tutt Tutt. 

Still the car’s are all upgradable and handle just the right side of realistic without being too tough to control, and there’s tons of menu options to style the game to your own playing style.  Tracks consist of old favourites spruced up gorgeously in HD, flashy city tracks, and anally-recreated real-world tracks.  The arcade mode is still there for the casual player, and its great for trying out the tracks and playing with some cars you can’t quite afford yet (I’m looking at you, Lamborghini, Ferrari).  But it’s the GT Life mode which has the depth and the months upon months play time.

So all in all, I’m happy to have GT back in my grubby hands.  Racing games may have fallen by the wayside with the popularity of First Person Shooters, but something about Gran Turismo has always appealed to me, and I’m sure always will.


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