Gran Turismo 5 is finally here. It has taken 5 years and tens of millions of dollars to bring Gran Turismo 5 to the stores, so the game has earned huge hype as millions of eager racing fans have waited for it. Gran Turismo 5 does exactly what its predecessors have done, and takes it to a new level. But sadly, it doesn’t offer much else.
First thing’s first: GT5 is one of the best racing simulators ever made. However, “racing simulators” aren’t exactly what racing fans are looking for these days. Since GT4, gaming has expanded and evolved to more approachable racing games like Forza 3, which balances realism and fun in a great way. Gran Turismo 5, not so much. This is still a game for the hard core racing fans, and if you’re one, you’re in for a great ride — for the most part. However, if you’re looking for a great single player campaign, look elsewhere, because GT5 ‘s campaign is a soul-less grind of boring race after boring race, hours upon hours, until you finally reach the better races with the interesting cars. Your fellow competitors — the AI — has the same flaws which plagued GT4 and last-gen racing games, where you’ll be spending more of your time running them off the track than actually doing competitive racing.
The depth of GT5 is insane, to be honest. You can drive over 1,000 different cars in everything from regular racing on the track, to rally, in all sorts of weather (like snow rally). However, a few notes about the 1,000 cars: only 200 or so are highly rendered, while the rest (800) are recycled and updated form Gran Turismo 4 on the PS2. The difference is quite noticeable. On top of that, the car damage that’s been added is only cosmetic, even if you can call that, because even the worst head-on collisions leave only a few scratches, whereas in competitors such as Forza 3, damage means a lot more. But the core aspect of GT5 — racing — is still some of the best you’ll find, that is, if you’re looking for simulation and don’t mind a steep learning curve.
What sounded amazing on paper is a bit harder to translate to the real world. GT5 is definitely a great racing game, but compared to the times of today, there always feels like something is missing. The vast majority of cars don’t look as good as the “premium” ones, the single player grinds to boredom a lot of times, and the AI doesn’t provide realistic challenge. On the plus side, for racing sim fans, expect some great driving now and then, and best of all, the game looks amazing on your PS3. You’ll often find yourself looking at replays than playing the game. But replays aren’t what makes a great game.
Lots of cars
Great for die hard racing sim fans
“Premium” cars are stunning
Great visuals and soundtrack
Single player is tedious at times
AI provides unrealistic challenge
Damage is cosmetic only
Most cars are not high-def
Overall score: 7/10