The game that has been in development for almost five years is finally here! Following the continuous delays that Gran Turismo 5 has faced over the years, the much awaited driving simulation on the PlayStation 3 is finally here and it has a lot of things to make up for fans who who’ve been eagerly anticipating the game. With over a 100+ cars available in the game, around 70 tracks to race through plus a number of new features, is it all worth the wait?
For a game that has been in development for five years, a lot of gamers have high hopes for Gran Turismo 5. Now that the game is finally here, is Gran Turismo 5 all worth the wait? Let’s take a look in the HOTs and NOTs of the game to find out.
Welcome to My Home
My Home in Gran Turismo 5 is the main hub for all the aspiring racers where they can prepare for the upcoming races, sign up for events, access the garage and more. This hub will act as the main menu where the player can change their GT Profile, change certain options to fully optimize the game, pick events, acquire licenses, and a whole lot more. The hub is fully customizable where you can change the color of the dashboard’s theme, the profile picture or even the wallpaper. Every driver needs to go through the My Home hub to access all the needs of an aspiring driver in Gran Turismo 5. This is where everything begins!
Gain Experience to Level Up
People who have been playing Gran Turismo all these years should know that in order to gain access to events or unlock more cars in the game is by acquiring a specific amount of licenses or trophies while participating at events. In Gran Turismo 5, a leveling system is implemented encouraging players to gain experience to level up. The events and cars in the game are mostly locked in the beginning and in order to gain access to them, you must reach a specific level. Earning experience can be done by simply acquiring either of the three trophies in the game while participating at the events.
There are two main events in Gran Turismo 5; A Spec and B Spec. Participating in these two events are one of the ways to earn credits to buy cars and gain experience points to level up. In the A-Spec event, players will have go through a series of racing tracks and achieve one of the three trophies in each race. Everyone must begin on the low class ranks which is the Beginner’s section. As you reach a certain level, the next section will open up allowing you to access more of the tracks in the A-Spec event. Some events will require a certain car or tires in order participate.
As for the B-Spec, it’s an entirely different mode. In B-Spec, the player will no longer have to drive the car to race through the tracks. A driver must first be selected in order to participate in any of the B-Spec events. Selecting and customizing the player’s personal driver can be done in the My Home hub. Just like in A-Spec event, players will gain credits for achieving any of the first three places and a special level for the drivers. The driver the player will select has its own abilities that players need to look out for. Each of them has a special trait such as the mastery in turning into corners, speed, their aggresiveness, and their temper. All of these aspects will reflect on the performance of the driver in a race. Once the driver is selected, the player can now begin the race. As soon as the race begins, the player can coach the driver in how to drive. The player can ask the driver to maintain the pace, slow the pace down, overtake the driver, or increase the pace. Excessive commands will annoy the driver and makes them do un-necessary mistakes that can lead into losing the race.
Earn Rewards By Leveling Up
There are benefits in earning a level in Gran Turismo 5. At every level that the player will get, there will always be goodies that you can unlock. In addition to unlocking more events and tracks as the player levels up, players will also be rewarded with things that can be used in customizing the player’s car. Most of the time, players will receive a voucher that can be redeemed for a car, and sometimes, a voucher that can be used to buy paint jobs and parts for the car. These are just some of the rewards that players can expect as they level-up and there are more surprises to come!
Earn Credits, Get a New/ Used Car and Tune it Up
Having a well conditioned car is one of the keys in winning a race in Gran Turismo 5. At every race the player wins, credits will be rewarded. These credits can be used to purchase cars through the dealership or if the player is on a tight budget, they can always go and buy a used car. Just because the player buys a new car, it doesn’t mean it’s always well-conditioned! To make it even more effective and faster in racing, the player must go to the Tune Up section of the game and buy parts to increase the horsepower, change the tires for a specific race track, and spice up the body parts of the car. With so many cars to choose from and events to participate in, players are expected to spend some quality time with customizing cars tuning up their rides.
There are three modes that are playable in the arcade mode. The typical Single Race, Time Trial, and Drift mode. In the Single Race mode, players will have to race against computer controlled opponents and the races are divided into three difficulty levels; Beginner, Intermediate, and Professional. In Time Trial, players are free to choose tracks, cars and customize it with the weather effects. As for the Drift Trial, players will be awarded points on how effective they will drift on a track. The performance on this mode will be graded based on various criteria. These three modes are not new at all for Gran Turismo fans who have been playing since the first one on the PlayStation One.
Let’s Make a Race Track!
In Gran Turismo 5, players are able to create their own tracks and upload it for anyone to play. Everyone seems to enjoy this feature in Sony’s ModNation Racers and the addition of this feature in Gran Turismo 5 makes the replay value of the game even more. The only difference between the creation of race track in Gran Turismo and ModNation is that in Gran Turismo, players can’t put obstacles to slow down enemies. Instead, players are only able to create the the scenery of the track, the length of the race track, and the weather it has. To make the personalized race track even more challenging to other players who will download it, players are able to customize the turns to make it sharp.
The main highlights of Gran Turismo 5 is the online multiplayer. This is the first time the series has gone online in a main entry Gran Turismo and it does not disappoint . There are no lags or any other mishaps while playing. In the multiplayer section of the game, players are able to race people online. By simply joining in the Open Lobby that can be found in the My Home Hub, players are able to find a room and look for a race. When the player finds a lobby, other player’s profile can be viewed, kick a player, or simply just have fun. If the player is the host, they are able to fully customize it to meet their needs. They can change the game mode to either Free Run and Race or just a shuffled race.
While connected on the PlayStation Network, players are able to view the Community Section in the My Home Hub. In there, players are able to check their friends that are online who are also playing Gran Turismo 5, post a message in the boards, or even give gifts! When it comes to gifts, anything from the car, or museum cards can be given. For players who are under age and are not allowed, players can choose friends that are able to see the profile online.
Taking the License Test
Not everyone who will purchase Gran Turismo 5 is a fan therefore, they will need to do some training. Similar to past Gran Turismo titles, players are able to practice driving and honing up their skills by taking the License Test. The license test will give players a specific task to achieve and depending on the performance, a trophy will be awarded. If you’re too scared of getting ranked, there is a simple Practice mode available where you can just do whatever they want and practice without getting penalized.
In addition to the A and B-Spec, there are special events that players can participate. The only way to unlock these events is by gathering enough levels. When a certain amount of level has been reached, an event will be unlocked in the Special Events section in the My Home hub. One of the highlights of the Special Events is the Nascar where players will be taught on how to drift. There are more than five special levels to unlock and the only way to get them all unlocked is by playing through the game and gaining experience points.
Custom Soundtracks & PSP Connectivity
Featured on the Gran Turismo game on the PSP as well, Gran Turismo 5 will offer players the ability to play their own songs on the PS3 hard drive while playing the game. Before players are able to listen to the soundtrack, the music files must be stored on the PlayStation 3. When a player successfully listens to a track in Gran Turismo 5, a trophy will be unlocked! For players who have Gran Turismo on the PSP, they are able to upload their Car Collection Data onto Gran Turismo 5.
Graphics Are Not That Good
For a game that is five years in the making, the graphics of Gran Turismo 5 surprisingly does not have the best graphics I’ve seen this generation . If NFS: Hot Pursuit is to be compared with Gran Turismo 5, it will be obvious to the gamer that Hot Pursuit’s graphics are superior to Gran Turismo 5. While the weather effects are pretty good in Gran Turismo 5, the physics and the environment that the game has to offer to gamers aren’t that appealing. The character models and the people behind the race track look dated while the voice overs of the characters are way off-sync.
While the data installation of Gran Turismo 5 is optional, players who choose not to install it will have to suffer excessive installations while playing the game. Similar to what Konami did with Metal Gear Solid 4, Gran Turismo 5 will install a piece of data every time the player loads up a race or the cars in the garage. This can get annoying at times and load times without installing it is horrible. However, if players have at least 8 to 10GB of free data on the hard drive, players are able to download the data but it will take at least thirty minutes to do so. While data installation is not that new for some of the PS3 games, it is not right to have 10GB of space downloaded to the hard drive.
Boring Multiplayer Modes
While the addition of the multiplayer mode in Gran Turismo 5 is a nice one, what makes it a let down is the two modes that players are only able to play. The two modes that players can play are Free Run and Shuffle Race. These two modes are just a basic car race and I can guarantee that after a couple of matches, you’ll get bored of it.
In the five years that we’ve been waiting for, I must say, that Gran Turismo 5 is a game still worth checking out whether you’re a fan of the series or not. While the new features are appealing for racing fans, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit offer more diverse modes than Gran Turismo 5, if I were to compare the two racing titles. Graphically, the game has not changed much from Gran Turismo 5: Prologue but this makes up for the impressive weather effects on offer. It may not be the best game ever made but it’s still a polished title. Racing fans won’t be disappointed.Gran Turismo 5 Review,