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Gran Turismo 5


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#1
Luetin

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So Gran Turismo 5 has been out for a few weeks now, and I opened my copy at Xmas.

so with only a few hours of play into the game, here are my initial thoughts about the game. The first thing that obviously strikes you are the indulgent graphics, GT has never been a title that doesnt push the graphics to the limit, and in GT5 this is clearly no exception. However whilst so much time is spent on the graphics, there are many aspects that you feel you wished they had spent slightly less time shading, and more time on other physical elements to the game.
One of the things that first comes to bear is the sheer volume of the games setup of information. If you have played GT titles before this is not a problem, but anyone new to the game could easily be overwhelmed by the choices put in front of you, a veteran GT player will be aware that most of the lower level cars can be ignored, but then maybe here is the joy of GT that you can search through your options, and maybe the very fact of being able to dismiss vehicles gives more perspective to the cars that are more favourable to your own specific tastes. There has always been a sense of having a matchbox car collection to GT and this hoarding of vehicles is set to continue. The showroom aspect of the game though with manufactures showrooms proves to be dissapointing, there are numerous car makers that only sport 1 or 2 vehicles, which seems a waste. And you feel frustrated having to trawl through the Used Cars that will shortly expire, leaving you waiting for a lottery of cars on the off chance one you have been waiting for pops up. Which then leaves you thinking should I save my cash? or continue on through the game.

The games main structure continues on with a rather predictable nature, you start off the game with credits and are then able to choose where you make your first purchase. I remember in GT 1 and 2 that when purchasing my first car, it took me a few races to get it up to a standard where i could thrash my other racers. However in GT5 I found this only took basically 1 race.
I made my first car choice a Mazda MX5, I gave it a quick race unmodded, and managed to place 1st with no additions at all in the sunday cup, this gave me the funds to add some minor mods of wing exhaust and tyres. The following races left the AI racers destroyed .. and me feeling rather unsatisfied as they had been little to no competition. However this is only the first few races, and they are meant to be easy.
But it does highlight a more underlying issue the plagues Gran Turismo. It always is keen to point out that it is a driving simulator, and that driver skill matters as much as the car, this is true to an extent. But often winning a race in GT can simply be a matter of selecting the right tyres. The subsequent grip allowing you to leave your other AI racers standing in the dust.

The special rounds and licenses provide with some alternate enjoyment from the track the special events being quite fun, but the Karting so far is clearly the best, the Nascar events end up being little more than License tests which end with a frustrating repetition of - clipped the corner by 0.007 too close.. so you must restart, and then repeat this a further 15 times. The karting events are fun, but again a lack of AI skill leaves them standing in the dust behind what requires only moderate skill to take a high lead.

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This has only been my first few hours, but I wonder if I am right now gliding on a wave of nostalgia pining back to the days of my PS1 when GT was the most amazing racing game I had ever seen in my life and the level of customization was overwhelming, the game seems to have advanced very little since its 1998 release

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With only the graphics and special events being the most notable changes. As well of course the online mode which I am yet to experience. But you cant help but feel was this the best they could do after 5 years in development? For what seems to be not a great deal more than a very detailed reskin? The Off-road courses seem to have had little to no effort to develop them further than being just an on road course with a slightly bump surface, and anyone who has played the Dirt series will be able to tell you that GT's attempts at Rally are just no where near an acceptable marker for this form of racing.

GT excels at endurance and pure Racing on courses, many of the tracks where barriers are not present you are left with invisible barriers of adamantium that would threaten to crush your car to a pulp ( but only if realistic physics were allowed into the game ) You cant help feel nostalgic for a title that is embedded in the minds of Playstation gamers, but at the same time after 5 years you also are left thinking.. is this all they could come up with after all this time?
I will give a further review on other aspects as the game progresses, and I dont want this to seem an overly negative review, but I cant help feeling that the game could have been so much more, and I think that my nostalgic Gran Turismo racing experiences are what is keeping me interested right now.

One thing that should definately be considered is should developers start to consider what their ambitions for a release are against what is capable within a timeframe? If they had cut some parts of GT out and focused on it purely in some areas, maybe the game would feel more finished, and not leave you feeling that it is jack of all trades, but sadly perhaps, master of none?

lol

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#2
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good review. I wish the menu would be more intuative. Some hot buttons that take you directly to the tune up shop would be awesome. But your right on the game feeling the same as past games. an update of the game types or menu userface could be argued for.

#3
Luetin

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I just wanted to add a little small note on to the end of this that I thought about. Which is that GT spent so long in coming out, that it built peoples expectations up and up and up and up. If a game is released every year, like many FPS, you can kind of allow any minor mistakes or badly planned designs to a degree, because you figure well.. they only spent a year on it so what do you expect.

But GT5 took 5 years it was in development, and promised to gamers since the PS3's inception. So this built it up and up. Not only that but as I said it was core of PS gaming, it was and has been always one of the main titles associated with PS racing.

This left the gaming audience feeling that this title has had longer spent on it, than perhaps any other racing title before. And that it should really be the Final word in Racing games bar none. This sadly is clearly far from the case.
Other titles such as Dirt focus on one pure style of racing rather than trying to cover all the bases and again this links back to what I was saying about limiting your choices based on time available for development.

GT5 is a good game, its a good Gran turismo, but it really doesnt push the boundaries, and it does feel weak and rushed, given the time its been in development, that is surprising, and also a little dissapointing.

As the gaming industry expects more and more from its titles, and developers are pushed harder to produce games to the level that is expected, devs are going to have seriously make some hard considerations when it comes to producing their games, it is possible to produce A-list titles but at the moment they feel few and far between



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#4
Phycotic

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I love the review and definatly agree with that the starter races are too easy, but as im in the expert area in A spec, im still against normal cars but tuned up, i get a leading start but in the corners they catch up which I have noticed in my veyron and my enzo, but i=with my nascar its a completly differant story but some races are hard like the nurbergring 2 laps nascar only is extremely hard, 1 mistake and you lose a lot of time to overtake the person in front.

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#5
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The game definitely feels rushed. In the Rally stages, the physics are so untrue.

The online takes ages to load, and with no real invite system, its a massive pain to play with friends.

That said, I still find it enjoyable!

#6
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Or you win by a mile, or you lose by a mile. For a GT1 fan thats my biggest problem. For a more balanced experience i would forget the strange graphs, online issues & all the other problems.

#7
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Or you win by a mile, or you lose by a mile. For a GT1 fan thats my biggest problem. For a more balanced experience i would forget the strange graphs, online issues & all the other problems.


This is what annoys me, there is no middle ground. I buy a car, add a few things too it, and win races way too easily, for the longer races it makes them very tedious.

Either that or you use a car that isn't powerful enought and there is no chance for you.

I've not been in any close races yet.

#8
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The only close race I've been in is the Sunday cup, first time I started. lol Even though I got enough for a firm lead at the end, it was pretty close between me and perhaps 3/4 others. ^^

#9
Phycotic

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The closest race ive been is 0.118 seconds with me in first place

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