By now, I’m sure anyone who has ever owned a Playstation 1 or 2 will be familiar with the game Gran Turismo. Gran Turismo is the most influential series in bringing a more simulated and real life racing experience to gaming. Almost three years after the release of Gran Turismo 4, Polyphony Digital has released a teaser, a very, very big teaser of what’s to come in a long wait for Gran Turismo 5. So fasten your seat belt and let’s go for a drive in one of our sweet rides.
If you’ve ever played a Gran Turismo game you’ll know the basis of any of the games. Over the years not much has changed in the style of gameplay, it’s still and hopefully always will be one of the best simulation racing experiences to date. The only real changes to any of the games is cars, tracks, music and of course mods. Since it has been three years since the release of Gran Turismo 4, hopefully this gave Polyphony enough time to perfect GT5, even though they still have a few more months to perfect the real thing.
The game starts you off with the opening sequence, and if the game itself is anything like the short clip it’s going to be an incredible game. Then like any other basic GT game, you get a set amount of money and you have to purchase a car (in your price range, no Ferrari’s yet, sorry!) and with that car you get to start racing. So the first step is selecting the dealership. And even though this is only a Prologue, there are still about 60 cars to choose from. Anything from Daihatsu, to my personal favorite, and a new addition to Gran Turismo, Ferrari. There are 26 original car companies, and 5 modifying companies each equipped with a few cars. There are some exceptions though, which only have one car to sell. All the cars have their own unique sound and gorgeous styling. While in a race, the views are all the typical race views, but GT has added a new view, in car. While in the in car view you can see everything from the drivers hands to the buttons on the dash and the speedometer increasing as the speed does, and personally Polyphony has made the best in car view.
There are 4 different modes to choose from after you pick which car you want to call your own. The usual arcade and multiplayer is included. There’s also a mini career mode, where each race gets you money so you can buy better and faster cars and have a chance at winning higher ranked races. And something pretty neat that is added in is online mode, and kind of the same as career you select a race and depending on your position you earn cash. If you choose to do arcade or multiplayer there are 6 tracks to choose from and as mentioned enough cars that no one should complain. Also in arcade when you pick your track there is the typical race mode but GT has decided to add in drift mode, it’s tough to get a hang of but when you do it’s pretty intense. After selecting you r cars just go ahead and have some fun racing. After that you can go do a career race. In career there are three classes, C, B, and A. Each class must be completed before you can advance to the next. Inside the classes there are several races, each with restrictions to try and make your experience a little more frustrating (who really wants to use a Suzuki Cappuccino anyways). If you don’t feel like doing career or racing by yourself there’s always online. Online has quite a few, just over 30, different types of races, and like career each race has restrictions but there’s also money to be won, making the experience pretty fun.
In total there are six tracks to choose from, Ranging from Suzuka to the Fuji Speedway. Each track includes amazing scenery, fans that move independently and little details that really show on every turn. In arcade the track can be done in reverse and some tracks have a different route instead of the typical reverse. Most races are done with either 8 or 12 opponents who can make passing pretty cramped, but if you know how to race you’ll know how to make the right passes. Aside from all the modes explained there are a few other options in the main menu. There’s the garage where all you cars are stored. There are also the typical options and replay menu, and a ranking board to see how you’re doing online. Unfortunately in all these options and everything the one thing the game is missing is the ability to modify your car.
The graphics in GT5 prologue are incredible. If the actual Gran Turismo game is going to be better or even the same it will be one of the most visually pleasing racing games around. Each car has its unique look and styling, and all the cars are about as close as it’s going to get to the real thing. The most impressive visual feature is the in car view, as mentioned before it looks incredibly realistic and each car is unique. Even though this is only a demo of what the real thing is going to be, a lot of work has still been put into making this game. The fans on the sideline have unique movements and aren’t made in 2D. The landscape and surroundings are pretty impressive. The only problem about the landscape is that when racing anything in the distance, like mountains, has a very two-dimensional look to them and the clouds aren’t as real as the rest of the game. Also when you hit some dirt, the dirt cloud disappears very quickly and also has a square look to it. But if you aren’t picky then there’s not much to not like about the graphics in the prologue.
As for the sound it’s as good as any other racing game. Each car has its own unique sound. The fans can still be heard in a race but it’s not too overpowering. The tire squealing is generic for each car, and there’s not much surrounding noise. The noise does change depending on the view, if you’re using the in car view it sounds almost perfect. Like most racing games you can hear the wind cutting around your car as you attempt to draft your opponent. So as for the sound there’s nothing to real complain about.
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is an excellent racing experience, for a demo. Although it is a demo it is still a big enough demo to keep you busy for a while. The graphics are very impressive and the sound isn’t too shabby either. The racing physics are perfect as far as racing games are concerned, everything from drafting to drifting. Also the AI is impressively smart and takes a lot to pass and overtake. And that’s another neat add-on by Polyphony, there’s drifting in arcade mode and it’s pretty realistic. There’s plenty of cars and a few tracks that’ll keep you busy for a little while and there is online mode, so if you get bored of computers and want to pawn some noobs it’s all their.
The downside to this game is that unfortunately there’s no upgrading/mods available for cars which would have been neat. Also the online mode has some pretty bad lagging at times; it gets confusing when the guy in front of you starts jumping between lanes like something out of the exorcist. As mentioned before if this is just a demo and the real game is going to be even better, it’s going to be as close to real life as any game has been. So if you have $40 lying around it’s worth it, if not and your just excited to see what GT5 is going to be like then the rental is worth it.
Gameplay:8.5, Graphics:9,Sound:8, Innovation:7.5, Mojo: 7.5 Final: 8.1 / 10