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Gran Turismo 5 Impressions - The Real Deal

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At the tail end of 2007 we prophesized 2008 to be the year of the PS3. Starting with MLB 08 The Show it was easy to see the exclusives were finally making their way onto the Playstation 3. It had become time to consider the machine more than a Blu Ray player. This week, one of the most anticipated franchises of the Playstation brand hit retail shelves. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue sets the visual standard for realism in a driving game. The attention to detail in GT5P sets it clearly apart and above its competition.

When you first pop in GT5P there is a lengthy (no joke, it timed about 15 minutes on my PS3) installation process, but it’s worth the wait. You’ll be greeted by the opening menu to buy your first car. You only begin with 35,000 CR so choose wisely. I decided to go with the Mazda RX8. The best and worst part about this opening sequence is that once you visit the dealership you are shown every manufacturer you can think of and all those hot rides you want to get on the track seem so far away.

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Immediately after this, GT5P bats its beautiful eyes at you. This game is visual eye candy. I do not ever remember seeing a more visually appealing racer from the cars themselves, to the environments, heck even the menus are slick looking. I admittedly am more a single player at heart and I wanted to build up some credits before going online and tearing into the game on PSN.

Suffice to say, there is a single player mode. It may not be as deep as people would like in comparison to prior GT games but it is a prologue and as a newer player to the GT series I liked the straight forward approach. There are 30 events in all spread across 3 classes and you must pass all the events in one class to move on to the next. Various single player events include straight races and timed lap events where you are given a set amount of time to run a course in underneath a certain time. The one that really got me going however was the 16 car race in Daytona where you start in the back and have 1 lap to catch the first place car. In this race, it was all about drafting which seems to be a real focus point in GT5P. You absolutely must draft nearly every car in the field or you won’t reach the speed required to pass the challenge and this even becomes a necessity in beating some lap times which on its own some cars like the Capuccino simply cannot do.

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As you pass events you are given credits for your efforts which you can use to buy more cars. The nice thing about the events is that you can replay them for credits if you really want a superior car. Other racing games only award you credits once for completing a race, in GT5P you are rewarded for every race you run if you come top 3 or complete a challenge.

Gameplay wise GT5P ingeniously accommodates players of all skill levels. I love cars but when it comes to racing I’m fairly clueless as to how much break and gas to apply and when. GT5P takes the guess work out of all that by not only offering you a suggested line, but when you reach those sharp turns the required MPH to make a successful turn are displayed. For example, there’s a nasty U turn on the back stretch of the High Speed Ring as you approach the turn the suggested line turns red and displayed 55 MPH. You instantly start to tap the breaks and once you hit 55 MPH hit the gas and power out of the turn.

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The views from within the car are also incredible and detailed. You can switch between a first person view, a hood view, a cockpit view complete with hands on the steering wheel, and a third person view of your entire car. Just noticing the little thing GT5P does that set it apart from other racers are so much when switching in views. For example, in the cockpit view not only do you see the steering wheel and your driver’s hands but say you want to look in your rear view mirror? No problem! Just like in real life you can see the back seats and tinting in your car rather than just what is behind you. Not only does the game visually please, but audibly as you change views the change in the engine’s pitch is incredibly accurate. If you really want to hear your engine work go into cock pit view as it sounds distinctly different from 3rd person and so on. Did I mention yet the visual detail is nuts?

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I completed the C class challenges last night and am onto B class and as a tip buy the RX8 and the Integra Type R early, it makes things a lot easier. I haven’t had a chance to jump online yet but I will do that soon for the full review this weekend. GT5P is worth every penny of the 40 dollars whether or not you believe the game is complete. It’s a ton of fun, the cars look fantastic and sound great, and environments are a knock out, and it’s online. After 3 hours last night, I didn’t even scratch the surface of all the game has to offer.

One Comment, Comment or Ping

  1. Khanh

    How do you switch to different views??????

    Thanks

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