No. of Players
The fruit of Polyphony Digital's labour has finally ripened. Time to take a bite.
For a few days now, we’ve committed many precise, intricate racing lines to memory, replayed tracks repeatedly to shave milliseconds off our best times, scoured endless pages of used cars for a good bargain and spent a considerable amount of time fine-tuning our dream rides to perfection.
Days later, all of this should have descended into an arduous, mind-numbing slog with rapidly diminishing returns, but the addictive, compulsive nature that Polyphony Digital has been instilling in gamers for well over a decade now is still as fresh and inviting as it ever was. We’re utterly hooked, and amazingly we’ve still only dented the surface. Welcome back Gran Turismo, you’ve been sorely missed.
We fully understand that if you’re a long-standing fan of the series, there’s a good chance you will buy Gran Turismo 5 regardless of what the pundits may say, and indeed what you read on this page. So staunch has Gran Turismo’s following become that not even the frankly ridiculous development time will sway the die-hard fans.
We say that of course, but even after sinking far in excess of 20 hours across all modes, the experience certainly isn’t testament of the six years Gran Turismo 5 has allegedly been in production, but the inconsistent level of quality certainly highlights the passage of time. Some areas radiate excellence, standing as proof of the PlayStations 3 raw, graphical prowess, while other elements falter, looking antiquated and quite literally, six years old.
That’s the problem with attempting to develop something as vast and meticulous as Gran Turismo 5; time is always going to be your biggest adversary, and these less-polished areas suggest that even now, the game has been rushed out of the gate. But to obsess over Gran Turismo 5’s occasional screen-tearing, choppy frame rate or bogus textures is to do it a great injustice, and suggests that the protracted development time has elevated some expectations into the realm of impossibility.
It’s insane to believe even for a moment that Gran Turismo 5 could ever meet all expectations after the hype level has reached fever pitch, but regardless of assumptions and what you think Gran Turismo 5 should deliver, know this; even five games in, the series still has no equal in terms of tone, execution and general aesthetic.
You may prefer other racers such as Forza 3 or Race Driver GRID, but this feels unmistakably feels like a Gran Turismo game, something fans will surely appreciate. The first time you load up the top menu and start descending down through its labyrinthine sub-menus is daunting, yet it puts the overwhelming size of Polyphony’s task into frame.
GT Mode serves as the real meat on the bone, which is broken down into both A-Spec and B-Spec career strains. The former is a standard, sprawling career mode that starts you off with an opening credit balance to spend on your first car, either directly through a licensed dealership or the massive used car list. There’s a great deal of satisfaction to be gained from buying a sub-par vehicle with thousands of miles on the clock, only to tune and service it into an event-winning juggernaut. It was gratifying when the first Gran Turismo came out in 1998, and it’s still highly rewarding today.
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Hailing from the cold, weather-beaten glens of Scotland, I'm an avid gamer across all formats and have a particular penchant for retro Sega titles. I fight as Ken Masters in Street Fighter and I'm proud of it..no matter how much abuse I get from colleagues.Twitter: @NowGamer_Dave
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