Gran Turismo 5 - game review
Six long years have come for PlayStation fans to endure the expectation of a full-fledged sequel to one of the most important games of the previous generation - Gran Tuismo 4 . From the very beginning, the "Five" was uphill. The constantly postponed release date irritated the fans and it was possible to get the impression that Kazunori Yamauchi joined the respectable group of developers, explaining all the delays with "blizzard" buttoning. In this review, we will try to look at the final result. Of course, Gran Turismo 5 is a massive game in terms of content, and it doesn't have the physical ability to know everything or almost everything about it a week after its release. However, I will try to look fairly objectively at the work of the Japanese, sometimes relying on comparisons with its biggest console competitor - Forza Motorsport 3 . From this text, however, you will not know which of these games is better. Each has its pros and cons, offering a slightly different experience. Both are definitely a great source of entertainment for automotive enthusiasts. And neither of them is a simulator.
In Gran Turismo 5, the authors stuffed more than 1000 different vehicles. This is a huge, even overwhelming number, which is an excellent breeding ground for home-grown mathematicians. Assuming that each of the available cars, the player would like to make one lap on the famous Nordschleife, and the average travel time would fluctuate within 10 minutes, the individual would have to spend almost 170 hours on this one activity only. This is not an impressive number, but if I add that for each of these cars you must first earn the appropriate amount of credits in the career mode, then the challenge faced by some fans is considerable.
Among the available cars, the so-called premium models. There are 200 of them and what distinguishes them from the others is that they were prepared especially for this version of the game. The quality of their workmanship is excellent, they look amazing, and in addition, everyone also offers a view from the cockpit. We can find cars from virtually all classes. From Kubelwagen remembering World War II, through typical city cars, supercars, rally cars and Nascars. We buy all premium cars new, straight from the showroom.
The remaining 800 are the so-called standards. Carriages are available from dealers in the used car section. The authors, probably wanting to increase the realism of completing the garage, do not allow us to choose between them as in ulęgałki. The offer is always small and changes from time to time, so sometimes you have to hunt for a find longer. I like this solution because I feel that otherwise I would be completely lost in the shopping madness, but I also think that it may have a large group of opponents.
Unfortunately, the quality of workmanship of this huge number of cars raises concerns in many cases. They have definitely less details, weaker quality textures and in no way want to undergo the operation of even changing the rim. They also do not offer a view from the driver's cabin, which is quite archaic nowadays. Despite the fact that they are not the prettiest, their existence should be appreciated, because in the representation of the driving model, cars from the premium category are not inferior. During the race, in the heat of the fight, the quality of workmanship is relegated to the background anyway, and the differences are no longer noticeable. There are fewer cars in Forzy Motorsport , but each of them offers a view from behind the steering wheel.
However, it is Gran Turismo 5 that provides a more interesting and closer to realism driving model. Here, practically every car drives completely differently, and it takes some practice to tame a monster of several hundred horses. Turning off all assistants such as traction control or ABS definitely positively affects the gameplay experience and is really the only choice for people who want to feel the true spirit of this game. Being a fan of realism and rFactor, you may be a bit disappointed when driving GT5 cars, but if you think FM3 or Grid is the pinnacle of difficulties, be sure to play Polyphony Digital. In fact, the subtitle of The Real Driving Simulator series is such a trick for the uninvolved, because you have to understand that the console, or more generally speaking, the mainstream racing market is focused on the mass audience. Hence, if we do not have any steering wheel, then with some assists we should be able to drive without hitting the boards, and with time even start winning in the more difficult competitions intended for professionals. Steering wheel owners are in a much better position. Having any "circle", we will feel much more fun. Unfortunately, I do not understand why there was no official support for one of the best devices of this type on the market, i.e. the G25 / G27. It is true that everything, including force feedback and the clutch, works as it should, but without the tricks of assigning various actions to additional buttons.
The game can squeeze a sweat out of us. If you've only dealt with the NFS and its derivatives so far, learning to drive in GT5 will be a painful chore. Feeling the braking zone, the need to dose the brake or the simultaneous use of the brake and gas, learning the so-called best line, i.e. the optimal track, is a task for a long time. It's easy to spin, and driving over the corb may result in losing control of the vehicle. There is a constant struggle to stay on the track, which, of course, is not helped by the other drivers. You can see a clear progress in the driving model compared to the previous parts of the series. The behavior of the virtual players has also been slightly improved. It is true that the sight of a polite column of cars is still bread and butter, but there are also some flashes and mistakes. A small, just slight fall to the side of the road, sometimes a crash - the rivals are still better in this field. The fact that artificial intelligence wants to stick to the best line at all costs may be irritating, which ends up hitting our car or pushing it off the road.
Before the premiere, a lot was said about many interesting attractions that will go to the final version of the game. The career has been divided into two separate profiles. In the main one, called A-Spec, we race in a series of events, winning cups, earning money etc. We also receive experience points for each race, thanks to which we increase its level, which in turn translates into unlocking new races and special tasks.
The second profile is B-Spec, which has already appeared in the fourth installment of the series. Its mechanics are also based on gaining experience, but here - instead of driving personally - we become the manager of the racing team. The whole thing is similar to watching replays, but we can give our player four simple commands such as keep speed, accelerate or overtake. Each driver has a different physical and mental strength, which affects their driving style and the mistakes they make. Both profiles use the same garage of cars, so if we have already gone quite far in the A-Spec mode, there is nothing to prevent the person under his care from being in a better car.
B-Spec certainly adds variety to the game, but I don't think it finds many fans. Races cannot be rushed, and our driver often drives like the last clumsy. So it is not particularly interesting. Anyway, if you want to watch reruns (and those in GT5 are among the best), it's always better to look at your run. It is true that I can find some fun in looking at nicely made car models, but many people will wave at it. And in total, it will not lose much.
In special tasks, we will sit behind the wheel of a go-kart, go through the Nascar driver school, explore the track known from the Top Gear program or learn how to properly drive through the North Loop in Mercedes. These challenges are a lot of fun and, apart from the licenses known from previous editions (here we can also listen to Martyna Wojciechowska), they raise the level of adrenaline. They are also the source of tons of extra experience points and money. It is a pity that there are not many, much more of them, and if the DLC is announced, then in part I would see some news here.
It's time for a few words about tuning and damage. Almost every premium car can be tuned, also visually. And also standard, but in terms of external appearance, we can only count on a spoiler. In addition, we have five types of tires (unfortunately without the possibility of determining their width), manifolds, various exhausts, turbo, discs, weight reduction, engine modifications and many, many more. After replacing the parts, of course, some of them can still be adjusted, such as brake balance or gear ratios. The rummage is from the devil and a bit, a bit, and it brings a huge banana on the face. The more so that each change of setting and parts results in a noticeable change in the driving model.
Damage and slowly in the case of Gran Turismo 5 some "urban legend". The game uses a progressive damage model, which unlocks when you reach a sufficiently high level of the driver. This is true, but if we bump into anything from the beginning, it will eventually become necessary to visit the workshop and repair the suspension stiffness. I admit that I haven't reached the 40th level myself, after which the game supposedly becomes more real than realism in this respect, but if I were to write this review after this fact, you would probably read it in a month. Or two.
Personally, I do not understand such an approach by Polyphony. Why, if someone wants to, not let him click on some option from the beginning so that everything will be turned on full? Yamauchi says: learn to drive first, then pay a lot of money for repairs. Because, unlike the situation in Forora , restoring a wreckage to working condition is very, very expensive. The more so, the better the car we destroyed. For comparison: a ride of two wheels on the Le Mans track in a Nissan GT-R SpecV '09, valued at a showroom for about 160,000 credits, with a few minor bumps, costs almost 80,000 for repairing the stiffness of the suspension. Exactly half of the amount paid for a new one in the salon. And this applies to all cars, those worth 20 million, most likely also, although there is probably no player in the world who would get such a gem within a week of the premiere to be able to confirm it.
The visual damage depends on the car model in which we sit, but the standard cars will not scratch even a bit, even on the lead at 300 km / h. This is the specificity of the series and between the fairy tales you can put the boisterous announcements of Yamauchi, who a few years ago said that if he were to introduce a damage system to the series, it would only be if it was absolutely realistic. Reality verifies such promises. Of course, complaining is completely out of place, I am very impressed with the work put into the game and you should really appreciate what the authors implemented in the fifth part.
Visually, as I already mentioned, the premium models are an absolute top. They look great, have a beautiful varnish on them, thanks to which they look almost completely realistic. Unfortunately, the graphics of the surroundings do not go hand in hand with the appearance of the cars. Some of the tracks, built from scratch for the GT5, look very decent, and while not as pretty and speckled as in Forora or even more so in F1 2010 , it is acceptable. It is a pity that, unfortunately, not all routes can be said the same. Some of them even scare with their roughness, tree trunks and branches are ordinary bitmaps. I don't think I need to explain how tragic it looks. Something for something. At the expense of the location, we have smooth animation around 60 frames per second and at the same time up to 16 beautiful cars on the track.
Several routes offer skiing at night or in changing weather conditions. While the night ride knocked me down a plus, the effect of rain on the windshield has nothing to do with what can be seen in the competition, not to mention F1 2010 . Gran Turismo 5 , I emphasize, has fantastic car models, but its visuals are lame in many other aspects. The game belongs to the category of titles that look fabulous from a distance of several meters. The closer we get to the TV set, the more imperfections begin to emerge. And the biggest problem is the very low-quality shadow map, which makes all the shadows strike the eyes with as large as Minecraft edges. Worst of all, these shadows behave very strangely on cars, causing windows and car bodies to flicker. Here, however, it is also easy to find the culprit, which is the dynamic lighting system. Again, we have something for something, and although the above words may sound like a reproach, I nevertheless pay tribute to the skills of graphic designers and programmers from Polyphony. Let's hope that this problem will be eliminated in some patch, although it involves interference with the game engine.
The salt in Yamauchi's eye was a multiplayer game. The real multiplayer was supposed to appear in Gran Turismo 4. Unfortunately, it didn't work then. In part five, after the initial difficulties with overloaded servers, after the release of the second patch, everything works as it should and except for the game settings aspect, the ride is quite pleasant. The more that the game puts a lot of emphasis on the development of the community, offering a preview of the progress of friends, an "in-game" forum or sending text messages.
So what is the new Gran Turismo really like? I can confidently argue that this is a great game and when we think that we have learned some element of it in depth, we suddenly discover the other bottom. A great, though not entirely simulation driving model, offers a lot of fun while riding new cars. In this respect, this product definitely beats Forza Motorsport 3, which after the fantastic "two" was prepared as a title more accessible to the masses. At the same time, it is the work of Turn 10 that offers many more interesting solutions, especially those related to tuning. The models may be appealing in both games and it really depends on personal preferences. I like the cars from Gran Turismo 5 more, which look more natural.
Gran Turismo 5 is a great game that has not avoided a few school mistakes. It would seem that in six years of waiting, players will be rewarded with a title ordering their jaws to be lifted off the floor each time it is started, but it did not. Hence, you can feel a slight disappointment. However, it passes along with winning more cups and buying new cars. The gameplay experience is fantastic, provided that we place our expectations for the driving model somewhere between Forza Motorsport 3 and more complicated PC simulation positions. Each platform has its own game that no one has to be ashamed of.
Przemek "g40st" Zamęcki