What is it?:
The latest driving simulator in the long running, system selling Gran Turismo series. The reason many people have bought a Playstation 3 in the first place.
Director: Kazanori Yamauchi
Developer: Polyphony Digital
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: Playstation 3
Possibility of Appearing On Another Platform: NIGH IMPOSSIBLE
Although Yamauchi expressed his interest in porting Gran Turismo to PC and said that it would help the game reach a much wider audience, especially in China; it should be noted that the game is published by Sony Computer Entertainment itself. It is likely that Sony itself possesses the rights to Gran Turismo. As this is a very important, flagship title which, like the previous entries in the series is exclusive Sony’s consoles we find it almost impossible that Gran Turismo 5 is released on any other platform.
Similar to: Forza Motorsports, Need for Speed: Shift, Street Rod
For the Gamist: OK
Although there is a meta gaming layer to this realistic racing game the focus isn’t on creating a fair arena of competition. The online component has problems while some challenges in the single player component are sure you make you pull your hair by being unfair not only by design but also due to the stupidity of the AI. Races are usually won by the driver with the best car, which often turns the game into a weird car RPG in which you grind until your car is better than the opponent’s and then you crush them.
That being said Gran Turismo 5 surely contains more for the gamist than its predecessors. There is now an experience point system which lets you level up and thereby unlock new races and events. This mechanic reduces the importance of the infamous license exams. The exams themselves have an option to let the player watch a perfect run and see where they’re going wrong about the whole thing. These are all very nice things. Gran Turismo 5 also has a so called arcade mode which is by-passes most of the awful interface and skips right to the race. It’s also one of the few racing games to still have a split screen mode in case you are social enough a creature to have actual real life friends who occasionally visit you. If all else fails, there is always the “gotta catch’em all” angle.
For the Simulationist: GOOD
Welcome to your nirvana of racing games. Yes, despite certain improvements, the AI still has problems. Yes, the shadows look kind of bad. Yes, some car models are not as good as the so called premium ones. And yes, the damage feature is crap. But for every negative there is an overwhelming list of positives. Take any one of the 1031 cars for a spin, in Gran Turismo 5. Premium or standard, this is the closest you can get to driving these vehicles without actually being in them.
For the Narrativist: BAD
Despite its light RPG elements and the fact you determine your driver’s appearance at the start there is no trace of anything resembling a story. This is a pointless and boring game.
Fasih thinks it’s … OK
I feel like an ungrateful bastard but somehow I can’t bring myself to be excited about Gran Turismo 5. It feels incomplete to me.
What I’m saying sounds like nonsense since on the paper Gran Turismo 5 is a gargantuan game full of content and features. But somehow I can’t shake the feeling that this is the equivalent of PS3’s Gran Turismo 3. You know, the one with 200 or so cars, which was a great game itself but felt like it’s a demo after Gran Turismo 4 was released. Then again I can’t put my finger on what’s bugging me. To be perfectly objective this game is leaps and bounds better than Gran Turismo 4 save for the wonky interface, the annoying load times and the awful opening cinematic. Oh well, maybe I’m getting older. I just didn’t feel the need to scream “Whoa!” as I remember doing when I saw Gran Turismo 3 for the first time.
This game obviously has a very specific audience and it is surely good enough not to disappoint that audience. It’s just not as good as I expected it to be.