Gran Turismo 5
While many have complained about the Gran Turismo series’ way of using ‘teaser’ versions of the games such as Prologue, it does make a lot of sense. Polyphony famously loves to lavish its full releases with attention until they’re as good as they can possibly be, meaning that only with a little taster of the action will fans be satisfied with the lengthy gaps between each proper title. So with the finishing touches finally being done to GT5, it’s time to finish up with Grid or – if you’re particularly slow – Prologue since when the main event kicks off, you’re not going to have time to so much as look at another racing sim.
As well as greatly rounding up figures for the amount of cars, tracks and options you’ll have access to, it would appear that we’re finally seeing results caused by a hugely vocal community. For the first time in the series, visible damage on vehicles is in and it stands to potentially change the entire experience. It’s unknown yet just how much of an effect (if any) this deformation will have on handling, but given the simulation nature of the series, it’d be strange if every graze, smash and grind didn’t affect your car’s handling in at least some way.
Another impressive move follows a number of recent sports titles, with Polyphony signing up both the NASCAR and World Rally Championship licences in an attempt to turn what might once have been three games lined up on an enthusiast’s shelf into just one. It’s a massive coup for Sony and lends to Gran Turismo an added sense of authority and realism, enabling players to take on a series of more varied events that can finally boast the familiarity of the famous car brands and courses upon which the series built its rock-solid foundations.
And even in its smaller details, GT continues to delight. Weather can now change mid-race to cause strategies to change and urgent pit stops to be made (should, say, the heavens open up halfway into a race) and in another first for the series, a 16-player online mode will allow the best of the best to compete online.
Hopefully this online presence will extend beyond basic competition and into more community-based territory, but even so, that would simply be an extra treat alongside so many other great new features. Keep your eyes peeled for a release date in the coming months.