By the time Gran Turismo 5 is released on November 2nd (North and Latin America) and a day later in Europe and Japan, it will have been 5 years since the last full Gran Turismo game on Sony’s main console and it looks like it will have been worth the long, long wait or at least that was the impression I got from playing the demo at the Eurogamer Expo 2010.
The first thing that hits you about Gran Turismo 5 is simply how good it looks. The cars shine and gleam like well…a real car does and the courses themselves also play their part superbly although on the Rome Circuit course that I tried out in the demo, the background looked a little blurred and the detail on some of the buildings (most notably the Colosseum) was basic at best but this is most likely something that Polyphony Digital will have cleared up by the game’s release.
I’ll continue on the theme of the courses (over 70 different tracks) for a few moments and as well as some fictional circuits being in the game, some real-world circuits are also available for your racing pleasure and my personal favourite circuit the Nürburgring Nordschleife is here and some other notable circuits that I unfortunately didn’t get the play on includes the Daytona International Speedway and the test track from the world famous Top Gear TV show.
The cars handle and perform like they should with the tuned sports cars going round circuits such as the Nürburgring with the ease that they should and the off-road circuits being left to the rally cars that take to them like a duck does to water. However, I encountered a problem as I was driving around on the game which lead me to have many crashes and me wondering what on earth I had done wrong.
The problem that I alluded to in the previous paragraph is about how the cars control. When using the game the majority of corners sent me car spinning and eventually facing the wrong way (this problem was often made worse if I had the nerve to use the brake) which made the game frustrating to play at times but there was an option to turn on something called “Active Steering”. I don’t know whether this would have made a difference to the gameplay as I didn’t have time to find out but it was a minor scratch on the paintwork (if you forgive the analogy).
Overall, I think Gran Turismo 5 is going to be one impressive racing game and the game’s designer, Kazunori Yamauchi, has said that the full game is hopefully going to include over 1000 cars for the first time in the series’ history and some cars like the Bugatti will be in the game. Hopefully if all goes well for Polyphony Digital and Kazunori Yamauchi, Forza Motorsport 3 will be getting a run for its money as the best racing simulation.