Review: Gran Turismo 5
TL;DR: Scan the post for tips. They’re prefixed with ‘Tip:’, then read the Pros, Cons, Missing, and more Tips are the bottom.
So I bought Gran Turismo 5 (GT5) a week ago, and I’ve been playing it with every free minute I can get. I’ve been a fan of the GT series since I bought GT3 back in 2003. So I’ve been waiting for GT5 for a while now.
I bought the standard edition (‘cause lets face it, a book of pictures, a wallet, a key ring, and a model car aren’t worth the extra $250 the Collectors edition costs).
Here’s my experience so far and what I think of the game.
When you get the game, and put it in for the first time, you’ll be prompted to update the game. This will take a while depending on your internet connection. After that is complete and restarted, you’ll need to wait an additional 30-60 minutes while it installs all the resources to the hard drive. The game takes a while to load anything with the resources installed, so I can’t imagine how slow it must be when you try to load everything from the disk.
Tip: Install all the game resources to the PS3 HDD when you start the game. It’s needed!
Once everything is installed, and you setup your driver and the home screen, then you’re good to go.
The first thing I noticed was that the game is really designed for newer widescreen televisions. If you stuck on a 4:3 aspect (like myself) then you’ll notice some of the game cut off on the left/right sides of the screen. Not much thankfully (about 1cm) but enough to cut of some menu buttons.
Additionally, the text is very hard to read on 4:3. But thankfully, GT5 does have a handy zoom functionality. Without this zooming, you simply could get a clear enough view of a cars specs to tell apart 750BHP from 150BHP.
First thing I did was dive into the Licenses and complete the B License. After that, have a go at completing as many Special events as possible, before starting A-Spec/B-Spec. While you could dive into them right away, I don’t recommend it.
You get required cars from the Special events which you need in A-Spec. Without them, you’d have to purchase. As for B-Spec, the driver in training doesn’t know how to cut corners, so he’ll need some seriously fast cars, which isn’t cheap, so best to get the A-Spec up to something around level 10 before starting B-Spec.
Tip: Complete Licenses and Special Events before starting A-Spec. When you reach A-Spec level 10, then start B-Spec.
Aside from being on the new cordless PS3 controllers, ingame doesn’t feel much different from GT3, especially if you view it with no GUI or from the outside as you race. The new damage effects are available with standard cars, and not until you reach higher levels. Therefore, don’t expect to see anything spectacular until you’ve payed the game for a while.
The menus and levels are nicely arranged, and the difficulties has a good progression (i.e. doesn’t too hard too quick). Overall, a smooth playing experience.
- Nice design and attention to detail on the cars
- Smooth gameplay (easy -> medium -> difficult)
- Good variety (many cars, many maps, and multiple ways to earn money)
- The benefit of having cordless controllers.
- Updates to fix bugs and add new stuff, instead of waiting for GT6
- Slow loading and exiting of pretty much everything (maps & menus take ages to load into and quit from, even after having just been used, i.e. they’re not stored in memory)
- Disabled damage effects until higher levels and for premium cars only (i.e. one of the games best features is limited to people who have essentially completed the game).
- Not all cars can be purchased when needed. Some races require cars which can’t be bought from the dealer, and take several days before they show up in the used car dealership.
- The garage has infinite space. A nice feature would have been to have expandable garages.
- When you tweak your car, there is no option to upgrade the brakes anymore, but there is an option to tweak the existing ones, so it hasn’t been completely forgotten.
- There is no cancel map load button. So if you went to the wrong map, and realize after it starts loading, you have to wait quite a while for it to load, then to quit, then to load the right map.
- The premium and used car dealerships display is awful. It works, but finding the car you want is not as easy as it should be. They need to add the same sorting controls from the garage into the dealerships.
- Need more speed? Change the oil of cars you race, especially for used cars. It’ll give you up to 25BHP more depending on how old the oil is.
- Never sell a car you win, never use a paint you receive. Both of them, with large amounts collected, will earn you awards.