by Chris Scott
reviewed on PS3
A $40 demo?
When gamers think perfection there are only a few developers that come to mind and Polyphony Digital is on that short list. The developers of the Gran Turismo series have led the videogame industry in cutting edge graphics and real world driving physics. Their love and dedication for the game has made Sony’s flagship racing series one of the most popular gaming franchises in history. With Gran Turismo 5 still a ways off, Polyphony has released a glimpse into what their final product will look like with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue.
At first glance, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue may seem like a demo, a $40.00 demo at that, and it is easy to see why one might think that. Prologue features far less in the way of overall options than a full GT game would. The first thing that gamers will notice is that the car and track counts are significantly less than a full release would feature. You also won’t be able to buy after-market parts to boost your cars performance or tune your car (at least not right away).
Another noticeable missing piece is the license tests. Instead of having to run a gamut of driving tests to gain entry into different races, players will have to complete a series of ten racing events. Completing a class of these events unlocks the next class. There are initially three classes of races, Class C, B, and A. Completing the ten events in each of the classes will unlock the S class. While the first three classes will present drivers with a decent challenge, competing in Class S races will push your skills to their limits.
As I stated earlier you cannot tune your car right away, which may be off putting for longtime fans of the series who are used to the robust tuning options the series has offered in past instances. However in addition to unlocking the ultra-challenging Class S races, completing the first three classes of events unlocks a limited tuning mode. You will be able to tune certain aspects of your cars by changing the power, weight, ride-height and gear ratio. This feature is sure to add plenty of life to the game.
Of course none of this would matter if the game didn’t look and play well. From generation to generation, the Gran Turismo series has led the industry in cutting edge graphics and GT 5 Prologue continues that tradition. Graphically the game is the best looking racing title on the market and is arguably the best-looking PS3 title to date. Tracks are true to life and some of them, like London’s road course are breathtaking to behold. Each car is modeled photo-realistically both outside and on the inside.
In fact, one of the best additions to the Gran Turismo series is the introduction of the in-car view. Most in-car views in games are just a novelty with little practical use. GT5 Prologue’s cockpit view on the other hand, is arguably the best and most functional view in the game. Driving with the cockpit view enables drivers to see the road in front of them and using the rear and side-view mirrors behind and to the sides. Couple all that with the most realistic driving physics in a game, you get one of the best driving simulations on the market today. Polyphony Digital has once again outdone themselves. Each car handles differently demonstrating real-world physics. You will really notice the difference between driving a Ford Focus and a Ford GT, and I don’t mean in just the obvious power difference. Each car has a different weight distribution which means you will need to have a different driving strategy for each car.
No Pros and Cons at this time