Written by Chris Boots-Faubert for SuperCheats.com Introduction and Synopsis
Gran Turismo 5 (GT5) is the 5th game in the Gran Turismo Racing Series, and vies with the Xbox 360's Forza Series for the top slot in computer racing simulation games. GT5 presents an ultra-realistic cutting-edge take on the licensed auto-racing sport, including World Rally Championships, NASCAR, and Super GT, fully utilizing the PS3's hardware to offer players an intense racing experience that is as close to real-world racing as you can get in your living room.
GT5 continues to honor the legacy of the previous games, but also represents a huge leap forward for the series, with a large number of improvements and new additions to the game. A 3-D Photo Mode has been added to the game this year, permitting players to take spectacular photos of their cars to share with other players that, when viewed through 3-D glasses, offer a unique view of the scene. Fans expect to see the fastest cars in the world as part of the stable for the GT series, and they will not be disappointed here, as the game includes over 1,000 cars, but they may be surprised to discover that an online racing mode supporting up to 16 players has been added to this release!
The game includes a very robust track editor that has been simplified for ease of use. Rather than design every inch of the track, players instead specify a set of stats that they want applied, as well as the location and difficulty rating, and the track maker then generates the track. Once that process is complete the player can then fine-tune the track until it meets their liking prior to committing it.
The retail game comes with 70 full courses to race, and using the 3-D glasses the track scenery and features and the cars come to life around you. The implementation of the 3-D process may have been cause for concern prior to the demos at E3 and GamesCon, but we can now say with confidence that the new viewing style adds to the games over-all enjoyment! The developers were careful to be sure that the view in all of the modes was spot-on gorgeous, so regardless of whether you prefer the view from the cockpit or from outside and behind the car, maintaining a high level of uniformity, though the player still has the option to play the game in 2-D mode.
When we demo'd the game, the 3-D mode seemed to make it easier to play, as we naturally tended to look further down the track than we did in 2-D mode, which resulted in the edge of a little more time to react to conditions and the track. Each of the cars in the game has its own handling profile, and they actually feel different, and you are not left with the feeling of sitting on top of a missile when you drive the really fast cars, but rather it feels as if you are part of the car as you control it quite a neat trick for a video game to pull off!
Another new feature in the game is progressive cumulative damage display on the cars. For the first time in the series the game features progressive internal and external damage modeling, that faithfully depicts the actual damage that the cars receive. The game also alters performance based upon the damage, most notably when the aerodynamics of the car are compromised. Cars in GT5 can now roll over as well, so over-using the brakes inside turns now has real and lasting impact! Game Play
Game play is divided into two modes: A-Spec, and B-Spec Racing, and includes the Arcade mode that makes for quick access when you just want to race. A-Spec encapsulates the full driving experience that fans are accustomed to in the series, with an expanded and deep tuning system and complex race progression calendar. Polyphony Digital's CEO Kazunori Yamauchi gave an in-depth presentation at GamesCom 2010, emphasizing that the development team made significant improvements to the physics and suspension geometry for the A-Spec Mode.
The games B-Spec mode is something new and different for the series, as its central focus is, according to Yamauchi, a racing simulation RPG style of play, with gamers manage a number of drivers and cars as they work their way through the various classes of competition. The play-style is personalized in B-Spec, with the player having very hands-on control of both the cars and the drivers.
Examples mentioned in the press briefing include a signaling system to direct the drivers strategy on the track, as well as the ability to monitor the drivers mental and physical health. A suite of real-time monitoring tech is integrated into the cars just like in real-world racing, allowing the player to monitor the status of the systems and sub-systems, including the tyres, in order to assist the driver in determining when to pit the car for replacements.
The game at launch includes 20 tracks with 70 variations, which is a significant improvement over the 51 tracks featured in the previous title. Fans of the UK auto show Top Gear will be pleased to learn that the distinctive test track regularly featured in the show has been carefully reproduced in the game, and the majority of the rest of the tracks featured in the game follow that example of recreating the real-life versions, which should make for an interesting driving experience!
Players can expect to see the latest models of high-performance street and licensed race cars in the game, a partial list of those making their first appearance including the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, various models from Lamborghini and Bugatti, and the McLaren F1 just to name a few. Hybrid and electric cars will make a return to the game in this title, including the Tesla Roadster, and hard core fans will be pleased to learn that developers confirmed at GamsCon that Prototype models including the Jaguar XJ13 will be included in the game!
In addition to the modes and content we have already covered, it should be no surprise that GT5 will include an extensive Kart Mode as well, an experience that is pure fun according to the folks who have already play-tested the mode.
Kart mode is totally different in the way that it adds fun into racing, as driving around the circuit while sliding round the bends becomes an enjoyment. Normally with a Gran Turismo game all the focus is on the attention to detail with graphics, which over time takes your focus away from the gameplay, according to Peter Chubb, who covered the mode for PR News.
Whether you play the game in the standard 2-D or the optional optional Stereoscopic-3-D resolution, there is a lot to be excited about, but the real question on most gamers mind call it the Elephant in the Room if you like is how will the folks over at Forza react to having the bar raised to the top of a ten-story building?
Gran Turismo 5 is set for a November 2nd North American street date, with the rest of the world getting it on November 3rd, and it will arrive in several forms, including:
Gran Turismo 5 Retail Edition: includes the game disc and manual, with an MSRP of $59.99 US / £49.99 UK.
Gran Turismo Collector's Edition: includes the game disc and manual, special GT5 packaging with specialised outer box finish, Collectors Edition inlay sleeve art, 200+ page drivers/strategy guide, 5 x Collectors Edition art cards / postcards, 5 x Collectors Edition 'ChromeLine' car pack, and an Exclusive Polyphony designed dynamic theme. The MSRP for the Collector's Edition is $99.99 US / £59.99 UK. Pre-Order Bonus Programs
Gamers who pre-order GT5 from retailer Gamestop will also receive two GameStop exclusive in-game cars, the McLaren F1 Stealth model, and Joey Logano's #20 NASCAR Nationwide series car.
Gamers who pre-order GT5 from Amazon will get an in-game Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Stealth Model car.
Gamers who pre-order GT5 from retailer Best buy will receive the Best Buy exclusive version of the Nissan GT-R GT500.