by Bane Williams
reviewed on PS3
Lots of choices
Sony took a mammoth five years developing Gran Turismo 5. On top of that the game saw innumerable delays because of many different reasons, some of them suspected to be PR ploys. Being a fan of the franchise I was a bit nervous rather than excited because these delays created a doubt in my mind that the game would not be able to live up to the promises and expectations it had built over the years. But after playing I can most definitely say that it was worth the wait.
In Gran Turismo 5 gamers will never run out of options and choice as they get 1,031 vehicles to choose from, which includes NASCAR racers, hypercars, supercars, ultimate performance vehicles, rally cars and even go-karts... thatís right, go-karts. This overwhelmingly vast selection provided is good enough for leaving gamers baffled by choice.
The selection doesnít end here either. The feast of automobiles is further boosted by the over 70 tracks that are available in the game with racing landmarks, rally tracks, NŁrburgring and even the Top Gear Test track.
The game is divided into Special, A Spec and B Spec, events. In A Spec event gamers need to make their way through a series of racing track and also achieve any one of the three trophies. Every gamer start in the Beginner section and as they reach certain level, the next level in the game opens up for them to give access to more tracks and cars. Many events in A Spec event require a particular car or tires for participation. B Spec is entirely different from A Spec event; it is where you are basically the radio man who issues directions to a driver throughout a race. You have to manage a driverís strength, aggressiveness and how they perform throughout a race. This mode has more restrictions than A Spec, and doubles the distance cars must travel.
Arcade features three game modes Single Race, Time Trail and Drift. In Single Race mode gamers have a racing battle against computer controlled opponents. This racing battle is split into three difficulty levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Professional. Time Trial gives gamers a chance to choose their own racing track, cars and even option to customize them. Drift is entirely based on the drifting ability of gamers, on the basis of which they will be given points. There are also various other criteria in this mode on which grades are awarded. None of these game modes are new to the series, and all of them play more or less like their previous incarnations.
New to the game is the ability to build up and customize a track and upload it for others to play. This feature makes the replay value of the game much higher. However gamers can only decide the scenery of the track, length and weather; they are not given the option of putting obstacles to slow down their enemies.
Another new feature is the Online Multiplayer, which is definitely one of the highlights of the game. In multiplayer you land on the track for racing online just by entering in the open lobby in the My Home Hub. If you are the host of the lobby you have the complete right for customizing according to your needs. You can play with up to 15 other players at once.
Including over 1,000 cars, the graphics are quite possibly the best in any game. Tracks are highly detailed, as well as the cars. There is a slight difference between that of Standard cars as opposed to Premium ones, but outside of damage models and interior views, it is barely noticeable. Some of the downsides are things like unrealistic car collisions... in fact causing an accident for any car but your own is practically impossible, yet if you yourself are nudged by a rival car, you often spin wildly out of control. The AI is about even with other racers, although they do have a tendency to stick to the racing line.
Like no other
Even if you are not a fan of the series, Gran Turismo 5 provides a racing experience like no other. The new features added in the game definitely give a boost for the game, and graphics that can at times look so real it feels like you are actually there only add to this. One of the most capable racing experiences to date.
An extremely varied and capable driving experience, B-spec mode is amazing.
Opponents seem never to crash, but if you\'re slightly nudged you spin out.