Now, before you get the wrong idea: I think that GT5 is great at what it does. For the true car lovers of the world, the folks who tweak and tune to drop milliseconds off lap times, who strive for precision above all else, this is the new paradigm. You'll find myriad modes and options; with the series' infamous license tests and drift challenges, kart racing, Formula One and NASCAR, the game dips its metaphoric toe into just about every facet of the stock car racing world. There are, of course, somewhere around two zillion cars, give or take 1.997 zillion. Courses range from revamped originals from earlier games to lavishly detailed locations like Rome and London. Of course, after nearly six years in the works, there was never really any worry that GT5 would skimp on content.
It is tough to see them in other aspects of the simulation, though, collisions being a prime example. After four iterations of the original Gran Turismo now, cars in the series actually leave the road -- sometimes flipping over. There are dents and dings (which have to be worked out at the body shop, of course, after an oil change or engine rebuild) but the aftermath of crashes look like the cars are filled with helium, rather than thousands of pounds of metal and glass that, if truly simulated, would explode like luxurious pinatas.
More than the g-forces of high speed turns or the impact of wrecking, I felt cold, hard calculations.
Which brings me back to that white gloves analogy: GT5 never looks anything but pristine but, as has become an unusual staple of the series, the lighting model tends more towards "the sun is everywhere" than realistic. The whole thing basically looks like a car commercial, and sometimes it felt like I was playing one.
Here's the deal: If you're one of those car nuts I mentioned earlier, here's your game. Have fun, we'll see you in a year when you finally leave the house. If you're not in that group -- you like, even love racing games, but care less about tuning and more about the thrill of the race -- GT5 is like walking in on a group of physicists discussing string theory and asking who wants to go toss around a ball for a bit. You're looking to have fun; they're only interested in studying the math behind how it bounces.
This review is based on a final production sample of Gran Turismo 5 provided by Sony.
- Key specs
- Game format Optical disc, Downloadable
- Online features Multiplayer, Voice chat, Video chat, Store, Browser
- Drive capacity 250 GB
- Controller type Wired, Wireless
- Motion controls Accelerometer, Gyroscopic
- Video outputs HDMI (v1.3), RCA / composite
- Released 2012-09-25