Gran Turismo 5

Dominic Sacco

Gran Turismo 5

It’s been a long time coming, but one of the most anticipated racing games of all time is finally coming to the High Street next month.

The Gran Turismo series is one of Sony’s most popular and prestigious franchises, and has already shipped more than 55 million units worldwide. Each iteration is a landmark release, often surpassing new milestones in technical achievement and pushing each PlayStation platform to its very limit.

Gran Turismo 5 is no exception and fans will soon find out why the eagerly awaited racer was worth the four-year wait. Everything consumers expect from a Gran Turismo title is present: the wide range of cars, the incredible graphics and attention to detail, the comprehensive game options and scenarios that will keep petrolheads occupied for months, if not years.

And, as you would expect, there is a plethora of new additions and enchancements that will ensure Polyphony Digital’s latest is the most advanced Gran Turismo yet.

HOT WHEELS

One of the key selling points for the series is the range of cars available: officially licensed and perfectly recreated.

Gran Turismo 5 allows gamers to get into the driver’s seat of more than 1,000 vehicles from some of the world’s top manufacturers. This includes everything from souped-up versions of Ford and Nissan models to exotic supercars like the Ferrari F430 and Lamborghini Gallardo, with plenty in between.

Players can take any of these cars onto more than 20 tracks, encompassing world famous racing hotspots, city courses and even off-road environments, with more than 70 different courses spread across them.

These can be enjoyed at gamers’ leisure in the Arcade mode, or users can challenge themselves with Championship Races and a comprehensive Career mode, in which they will travel the world attempting to win licensed car deals. Each vehicle also has a licence test, challenging car fans to master each one.

What truly makes Gran Turismo games stand out from other racers is the visual quality and Polyphony Digital certainly hasn’t held back with Gran Turismo 5. The game is by far the best-looking entry in the series, and its almost photo-realistic graphics make it one of the most impressive titles available on PS3. But it’s the level of detail that truly shows the dedication behind this game.

For the first time in the series, vehicles will now show real-time damage, thanks to a brand new physics engine that replaces the one seen in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Cars will feature accurate damage – both in terms of the vehicle’s body and performance – based on point of impact and velocity. They will even collect dirt, although players can remove this at an in-game car wash.

Those with a PlayStation Eye camera accessory can add a new level of detail to the game with the face tracking mechanic that allows players to look around the interior of vehicles by turning their head.

BURNING RUBBER ONLINE

Another first for the series is online multiplayer. PS3 owners will now be able to enter public races online with up to 16 players across PSN or host their own private races, with lobbies that host up to 32 players.

The lobbies go some way to creating an online community of Gran Tusimo fans, as does the wealth of content that can be shared. This includes the Photo Mode, which allows them to exchange snapshots of their greatest races, and video replays that can be uploaded directly to YouTube.

There is also a wealth of video content that car fans can enjoy when they’re not racing. Gran Turismo TV gives players access to a variety of great motorsport programmes through PSN. These come from all over the world, including Britain’s own Top Gear, and are available to watch in both high and standard definition. The Top Gear test track is also included in the game as a playable course.

PSP owners have the added bonus option of uploading these videos to the Museum in last year’s handheld edition of Gran Turismo. They can also transfer any vehicles unlocked in GT PSP to their Gran Turismo 5 garage.

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