My Impressions About Gran Turismo 5

I have been playing Gran Turismo 5 (a car driving simulation on PS3) for a few weeks. Now and then, at the weekends, I’ve had time to test its arcade mode and spend quite a few hours on the GT mode. For the moment I tend to agree with a form of criticism that I often read: yes to the very precise driving of the series, no to some less important aspects. In the following paragraphs I will detail this opinion and add a remark on the difficulty of the game.

Arcade Mode: a (Re)Discovery

The arcade mode has been for me the opportunity to test a few cars, to use once more some circuits that I had appreciated in GT4 and to enjoy the rally mode, which I have particularly liked in this series since GT3. It has also been a first contact with the realisation. Indeed, I had a vivid sensation of realism, particularly at the level of light control (for example with the dazzling light at the end of a tunnel). But at the same time, some elements have disturbed my feeling of immersion. I am referring to the differences in terms of the precision of models and of the concern with depth in the 3D (clipping).

GT Mode: Driving

Rapidly, I turned to the GT mode, that is the mode by which you have to begin to buy a car with a small budget, obtain a driving licence, take part in races to earn money, etc. Given the richness of content, that offers dozens of hours of gameplay. In this mode, you are supposed to start with driving all over again. And, in this respect, GT5 is up to the reputation of the series: a very precise driving, exactly what I am looking for in this type of game (one of my references being F355 Challenge on Dreamcast, without the automatisms of course...). I heard negative opinions on the subject, most of the time something like « Gran Turismo should now propose a more accessible gameplay ». I don’t agree at all. It is a simulation, there is therefore no reason why one could take a 90° bend driving at 200 km/h...

Negative Aspects

I’m not going to make a list of all the drawbacks one can find in GT5; I’m rather going to underline those that bother me the most. First: artificial intelligence. It has sometimes been qualified as ridiculous. Anyhow, I can’t see a real progression from GT4 (which already lagged behind the other games). Second: loading time. Even after having installed the game on the hard disc of the console you’d better read something or do something else while the game is loading. Third: damages. Whereas the game puts forth convincing arguments as far as simulation is concerned one can still arrive too fast in a bend, bounce on a car and start again normally. The car is not projected off the road and can keep on going as if nothing had happened...

Difficulty or... Easyness ?

I have just evoked a problem concerning difficulty (one can overtake too easily in a bend) and I will now stress another: if you chose sports cars that are light, powerful and cheap you end up the races too easily in first position. Examples: Mazda MX-5 then BMW Z4 then Nissan GT-R.

To Conclude

I will keep playing GT5 for its driving and its content, but I will probably not do it to the end. My preference in the series will remain GT3, a decisive progress compared to GT1 and GT2. In short, I will repeat this comment: despite a long development, GT5 is certainly too similar to GT4 (itself too similar to GT3) to really thrill those who have been following the series since GT1...

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