The actual driving in Gran Turismo 5 is brilliant. If driving cars is all you care about, Sony and Polyphony Digital have you covered. These days, I want more. I want a streamlined career mode, an exhaustive set of online features, cutting-edge visuals, and above all else, a spark – the something that turns a game from good to really special. Despite improvements across the board, Gran Turismo 5 still feels like an iteration of the game we were playing on our PlayStations in the mid '90s.

Gran Turismo has always been about near-MMO levels of grinding, and GT5 is no different. To begin with you buy a cheap and nasty car, equivalent to what a 16-year-old might pick up with the money scraped together from five years of doing a paper round. It's the kind of car small enough to fit sideways in a parking bay, and has an engine sound weaker than the Crazy Frog's drivel. But entering some beginner events inside the A-spec menu is just something you have to put up with.

Events in GT5 have numerous restrictions in place, so you can't pick and choose whatever you like. You have to make sure your driver is of a high enough level to enter (performance in events earns experience points), but then you also need to own a car that meets the entry criteria: such as a certain model or car type, a nationality of manufacturer, a vehicle developed within a certain era, or a motor with horsepower under the specified level. GT has always worked like this, but it makes for a lot of messing about in the unintuitive menus.

Instead of suggesting a list of cars that would fulfil the entry criteria, you're left to go off and find suitable vehicles yourself - and there's no quick way to get from the event screen to the showroom. It's a complete chore if you just want to get on with the racing, and a far cry from Forza 3 - a game which made every effort to remove the tedium from acquiring new cars.

At the risk of enraging GT's hardcore followers, Microsoft's driving simulator featured a career that didn't constantly require you to fiddle around in menus, hopping between cars and generally struggling to earn enough credits to buy the next required ride. In the initial few hours with GT5 it felt like I spent more time in the clumsy menus than actually on the track, which just isn't right. I wouldn't have minded if that time was being spent on tuning and buying upgrades (an area which thankfully is streamlined over GT4), but I was just stuck doing trivial stuff.

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Highest Rated Comment

The_Safety_Badger's Avatar

The_Safety_Badger

Now remember KIDS: when taking PART in a FLAME WAR, you must be very careful not to BURN YOUR HANDS!
Posted 11:44 on 25 November 2010

User Comments

RecoN's Avatar

RecoN

Just watched the video review, im sorry Tom but i disagree with alot of that video review. I think this is one of the best racing simulation games to date. Not an average shunt job from GT on the PS2.
Posted 22:54 on 30 November 2010
renegade's Avatar

renegade

One question when you ended your review what level was you on. Only curiouse as it would seem some reviewers (IGN) did not finish the game as per usual and since you delayed your review one day I was wondering if it was because you "finished"it
Posted 10:35 on 29 November 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

I love how many new people have signed up just to comment on this review. You mst be getting some awesome traffic guys ;)
Posted 21:49 on 28 November 2010
Racer2010's Avatar

Racer2010@ marvindessica

i can tell that you have never actually driven a racing car then.

i've been driving race cars for over 25 years and gt5 doesnt feel anything close to reality, its handling and physics are closer to arcade than sim.

forza's handling and physics feel a lot closer to reality, especially when it comes to the feel of the car, change in grip levels and how the various setup changes affect how the car feels to drive.

the cars in gt5 with the driving aids off are all way oversensitive, unnaturally twitchy & a lot less predictable than real life.

The cars in this game are actually a lot more unforgiving than when you race them in real life. the sort of sudden snap oversteer, instant brake lock-up and sudden wheel spin at half throttle doesnt happen with real cars, you feel everything building up and 9-10 have time to react accordingly, on gt5 everything happens without any warning.

wet weather physics are also overly harsh. when the driving aids off it feels like your constantly aquaplaining, even slightly touching the throttle causes a spin & this is not how wet weather racing actually works. the sort of grip levels in the wet in gt5 only ever happen when you have slick tyres on a very wet track.

people always call any new gt game a racing/driving simulator yet in reality they are not anywhere cloe to been a true simulation.
Posted 20:11 on 28 November 2010
jonkar56's Avatar

jonkar56@ marvindessica

This review is not bull. It's fair. Forza my friend is as much as a racing simulator as GT5. Put all the assists on GT5 and it feels much the same. I found the cars in Forza handled much more realistically then GT5. I like GT5 but not as much as Forza. I believe we have a new king of the road lol.
Posted 02:55 on 28 November 2010
RecoN's Avatar

RecoN@ stpinmass

Il disagree with the dated graphics statement. Simply because GT5 does have great graphics and not many games on consoles have high quality sharp lines. I know this by playing my PC alot which has powerful graphics and when i go back on my console its like watching a VHS instead of a DVD sometimes.

Not many games have sharp edges and good textures on consoles due to limits. COD MW1+2 is another good example of good quality sharp lines in most parts of the game. But yes the damage should have been tons better, games like Dirt & GRID should slap GT5 in the face with disgust lol
Posted 21:00 on 27 November 2010
stpinmass's Avatar

stpinmass

I'm not sure that I'd list Tom's complaints at the top of my list.. regarding how tedious the interface is, or how much of a struggle it is to earn credits to buy cars.. I've had the game two days, maybe put in about 5 hours.. amassed 350k (mostly in special events).. not a good point on Tom's part. It's a good game.. is it revolutionary? not by any means.. There was a lot of hype surrounding the release.. and God knows how long we've all been waiting for it to come out. I think the score of 8 is fair. The graphics are indeed dated.. but then again.. so is the ps3.. The driving mechanics are fantastic.. however, damage modeling is horrible, the career mode is lacks depth and hasn't changed since inception.. All things considered though, there's a reason this title has as much of a following as it does.. It gets the important things right. I highly recommend the game, particularly if go out and buy a driving wheel and pedals. It's a surreal experience!
Posted 07:22 on 27 November 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone

great tagline :D
Posted 15:22 on 26 November 2010
strickers66's Avatar

strickers66@ CheekyLee

I get what you're saying but all major 360 games seem to struggle at launch.Just look to Gears 2,Halo 3.The problems with GT are the stupid way they've planned it,not PSN.500000 maximum users for a game series that has never sold less than 10 million per full game.
I think it's another example of why the Japanese devs are losing touch.They don't share tech like all the western Sony 1st party devs(hence why games like KZ2,UC2 have 0 torn frames)and are stuck in last gen.They want to biuld all their own engines when in fact middleware/other devs tech can help produce higher quality product.
There is a lot of silly fuss about this game though.It's simple really,GT fans will like it but it won't convert anyone.
The only real disappointment is an uncharacteristic lack of polish.
Posted 12:29 on 26 November 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod

I need to get ready for work so I haven't yet read all of the replies here but I'd just like to say that I also thought Tom's review was pretty much spot on although there are a couple more criticisms I'd have thrown at it (such as more intuitive and simplified soundtrack customisation :().

Overall it's a fantastic game but falls short at a few key junctions which ultimately make it a less than perfect outing for PD.
Posted 10:58 on 26 November 2010
tvr77's Avatar

tvr77@ pblive

nice comment "pb" spot on, after putting aside the bad bits i love the game too
, since getting it wednesday morning its the only game to go into my machine and im slowly liking it more and more
i think if the game came out without delay and without all the hype i dont it would be criticised so much, they had so much time to get this game near perfect and iron out all the kinks and give the customer what they were all expecting a 10/10 game!
Posted 09:23 on 26 November 2010
mikejosh1978's Avatar

mikejosh1978

GT5 is POOR compared to GT3 IMO & PD / KY shouldn't be seeing what console GT6 will be on but IF they should even make it .
The Bad
Screen tear , finnicky menu's , really cardboard copy & pasted "photo realistic" backgrounds , a damage model thats just embarrassing , a delivery truck icon that just seems pointless when it should just put the cars in your garage , a wasted Nascar & WRC licence , embarrassing online, the 3D looks abysmal , you get a trophy for figuring out in game music??? ,track designer seems pointless , the cars are ugly or shiny WTF & after testing pre-installed to gradual the loading times seen to be no real difference . I'm sure the is more but this lots off the top of my head.
The Good
Menu's look nice even if they are crap, the signature edition , keyring, wallet car , book & box are funky & now i'm really struggling .
I own all of the games in the series from GT to GT5 including prologues & limited editions & the £130 i have paid has been a real soul raping experience & the 1 game of 2010 i thought would slay them all has left me wanting my money back & considering a lawsuit for rape & abuse lol.
Sony , PD & KY should be ashamed of this game and i personally don't believe any review has been realistic enough & deep down a 6 would be the highest you could give this mess . The driving is no discernible difference to its ps2 days and thats the only bright light as the cars are the same & the menu's & mmo/rpg elements have gotten worse . I thought the lack of a GT mode on the Psp was bad but at least its better looking & more functional than this shambles.
Posted 08:52 on 26 November 2010
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ pblive

Quote:
a good menu system, more robust online (and I don't blame PSN
The thing is, if PSN will just do what XBox Live did all those years ago and standardise all the processes, then both of these problems would never have even arisen. I honestly find it ridiculous that a marquee title released in 2010 requires almost arcane knowledge to just get racing online! Even offline, there are faults that just shouldn't happen. Why do I get told that I need to be in a go-kart to race the karting special event, and then left to literally go to the garage and get in it before I can start? There is ONE go-kart in the game, JUST AUTOMATICALLY PUT ME IN IT!

Project Gotham Racing 2 was an XBox Live launch title, and it managed to get it right in 2003. 7 years on and GT5 is lagging FAR behind. Don't get me wrong, in terms of gameplay, it is flawless. But, getting to the gameplay is an overly fiddly and frustrating experience, and that is why the title is not getting the 10's that were expected all over.
Posted 08:49 on 26 November 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

Quote:
Scoring-wise, you have to think of target audience just as you wouldn't score a kids game down for being too easy because the intended audience are kids. I'm pretty sure that's what Tom has done here.

very true - still makes me wonder why, in comparison, Prince of Persia Forgotten Sands got a 7 when it delivered exactly what it should've though and catered fully to fans of the franchise.
Posted 08:36 on 26 November 2010
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Right. That's it. This review is just....


...pretty much spot on.

For all the skill and improvements over car handling, model design (on new models at least) cool head tracking feature, Top Gear test track and karting there are a dozen things that should really have been at least thought about in the last 5 years.

The target audience are going to love the game anyway (I do) but it would have been even better with a good menu system, more robust online (and I don't blame PSN, it's down to how the code copes with the servers rather than the servers themselves I believe) and improvements over ALL cars and tracks. That said, the Arcade mode is pretty cool too.

Scoring-wise, you have to think of target audience just as you wouldn't score a kids game down for being too easy because the intended audience are kids. I'm pretty sure that's what Tom has done here.
Posted 08:31 on 26 November 2010

Game Stats

Gran Turismo 5
8
Out of 10
Gran Turismo 5
  • The driving is superb
  • Looks stunning at times
  • Lacking essential features
  • The racing isn't great
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 24/11/2010
Platform: PS3
Developer: Polyphony Digital
Publisher: Sony
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 497 59
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