First and foremost, just to give you some of my perspective, I need to say that I had fun with Gran Turismo 3
, but absolutely hated Gran Turismo 4
for some reason. That being said, Red-Fat-Invades-Your-House-At-Night Clause was generous enough to give me Gran Turismo 5
(along with Vanquish
and Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
*) in hopes of entertaining me with some hot cars and fast races. Noting my past hesitancy with the Gran Turismo
series and my seeming distain for the 4th entry in the series, I popped the game into my PS3 and waited about two hours to download patches and install the game.
However once I got playingÖ damn
I was having fun!
There, I said it. Iím having fun playing a Gran Turismo
title again. This is the first time Iíve been able to say this in years
and it feels refreshing. I canít entirely put my finger on why GT5 feels better for me, it just does. The gameplay feels more polished and simulation like than the much inferior GT4 in my opinion and things that bugged the fuck out of me in the last game donít seem to be happening this time around thankfully. For example, for some stupid reason it seemed like I was spinning out doing pretty much any fucking corner in GT4 regardless of how slow I was going. Every car feels like it handles a lot more properly to its real life counterpart and the game feels more like Iím driving instead of fighting my own car.
Graphically, I have to say Iím a little disappointed in Gran Turismo 5
Ö only slightly. The premium cars are, obviously, just silly fucking good to look at. My primary car I use is a 700 horsepower jacked up 2010 Chevy Camaro SS, so I spend a lot of time oogling at the car model instead of focusing on what the fuck Iím driving towards. On the flipside everything besides the premium cars looks a littleÖ how can I say thisÖ bland in comparison and it makes me ask the question ďDid this game really
need a six year development window?Ē especially since a large chunk of cars and levels are just upscaled ports from the previous game. The graphics of Gran Turismo 5
honestly look akin to a first generation Playstation 3 game in the vein of the first Ratchet and Clank
PS3 title or the first Resistance
title, and not really up to the same par of God of War 3
or either Uncharted
title. Yes I know you really shouldnít be looking at how pretty the trees or some of the scenery around you is when youíre driving at 200mph with a hairpin turn closing in on you, but when your trees are just two static images that intersect each other to create a fake three dimensional optical illusion as you drive past it ends up looking cheap. Yes the screenshots Iím using for this blog review are nice and fucking sexy looking, but theyíre static screenshots and everything looks better in screenshots.
While lacking a matchmaking system for now, the online component of Gran Turismo 5
is tolerable; you find a lobby, join it, pick a car, and drive, itís basic but works. The races themselves run pretty damn smoothly too, Iíve not had a single experience of lag outside of the occasional car jittering on the track once and a while. The games also sync up to damn near perfect timing, I tested this by doing a side-by-side comparison with another friend of mine. Only complaint I have regarding the online component right now is that there doesnít seem to be a way to invite friends to an online lobby once youíve created or joined one, which seems rather odd. If someone knows of a way, please let me know.
Overall, Gran Turismo 5
is pretty damn slick and enjoyable for me to play especially considering Iím a timid fan of the series and lean towards arcade racers more so than simulation racers. The only things I can say negatively about the game are summed up in two things. First, the graphics of the game donít really seem very cutting edge, premium cars being an exception. Secondly, given how much was just upscaled and ported into GT5 from other titles did this game seriously need to be in development for just over half a decade? I donít really want to come out and say it, but I wonder if there were some lax moments during GT5ís development cycle at least when you compare it to what the people working on Forza
have done in the timeframe between when Gran Turismo 4
In summary, I like GT5 and will likely buy a steering wheel for it to get a more proper feel for everything. However it goes without saying that the competition has definitely caught up to Polyphony Digital, and that may not be a bad thing.
(*Note: You're probably wondering why the fuck would I ask for Shattered Dimensions for Christmas? My parents know I just usually want a couple of games for Christmas, so they oblige because my parents rock. What I end up doing is asking for games I'm not sure I'd pay full price for but want anyway because they look fun, so I end up getting them for free this way and its a win/win.)