Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Review

The Gran Turismo series is easily one of the most successful and highly praised series in video gaming history. With sales totaling almost 50 million units and consistent high-scoring reviews, you’d think the devs might slow down a bit or take a break. Certainly not!

For the past four years Polyphony Digital CEO Kazunori Yamauchi has had 150 people working on Gran Turismo 5 (GT5), and if Prologue (GT5P) is anything to go by, it is going to be superb. GT5P features just over 70 cars, 6 tracks (with multiple layouts) and a handful of different modes. There are three classes to work your way through in the career mode, with 10 races in each class, followed by a handful of races after the class races are complete. You get credits for finishing races; the higher you finish the more credits you get. You use these credits to buy better cars to help you finish more races and move to the next class and thus the circle goes on.

The thing I like about the class races is that there are restrictions on certain races within each class. I didn’t just repeat the first race 20 times, get a whole bunch of credits, buy the best car in that class and then romp my way through that classes races. You have to buy lesser cars than you already have, and expand your driving skills by using a wider range of vehicles.

And expand your driving skills you will. While GT5P may not feature over the top realism like you would find in Live for Speed, it still has a very nice drive model that will punish you if you don’t pay attention and learn the tracks. I got used to the driving model and each track after a few races on each one and I was having a great time. You get such a great feeling from making that perfect move on the last corner of a race to take the lead.

Graphically, GT5P is stunning. The game really does look absolutely amazing, easily the best on the PS3 so far and certainly the best looking racer ever. When you put it up on a larger 1080P LCD or Plasma, jaws will hit the floor. The cars have been beautifully modeled, and in a first for the Gran Turismo series, they all have fully modeled interiors that can be seen in the great new cockpit view.

Thanks to the graphics, watching replays is very enjoyable. Other than the early Need for Speeds and the TrackMania games, I never watch replays, but in GT5P I’ve watched almost every single race. The game just looks so good that when I saw my car barreling down the track I just had to sit and watch it.

Online play is a great inclusion in GT5P. It’s incredibly easy to jump into a match with anyone playing the game, or if you want, you can set up a match with your friends on any track with any car you own. There were some lag problems at some points during the races, with cars warping around and light taps sending people careening sideways, but for the most part the experience was great fun and there was little to complain about.

On top of all this, GT5P has some great little extras. The News channel is a great way to see which updates have been released and what’s on the way for GT5P. On top of that, GT-TV allows players of the Gran Turismo series to see exactly what the developers do when making a GT game, and will also feature some great behind the scenes looks into some of the cars featured in the game.

All in all GT5P is a great game. Although it’s nothing compared to what GT5 will be, GT5P has enough cars, tracks and fun to keep you going until the release of the full game. Plus, with talk of a damage model and plenty of extra content to be provided via GT-TV, GT5P will keep players happy long after release. Think of this as entrée; Gran Turismo 5: Beef Satay Skewer.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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