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About the product
- Build a dream collection from over 1,000 of the world's most exciting cars, from exotic imports to muscle cars to customize, race, and upgrade.
- Travel the world to experience a wealth of real and fictional road, rally, NASCAR, drift and kart courses.
- Expand the Gran Turismo experience with deep and robust online community features, challenge friends in the new custom race lobby system.
- New and improved modes include A-Spec, B-Spec, Photo Travel and Course Maker.
- The most advanced Gran Turismo yet, featuring unrivaled graphics and a true-to-life driving feel.
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Gran Turismo returns with the most realistic and complete racing experience. An unprecedented collection of over 1,000 meticulously detailed cars, complete with robust online racing and community features, and just about every style of racing imaginable - all in Gran Turismo's signature cutting-edge graphics.
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The bad reviews are right. The online content has been shut-off, which doesn't bother me. The download times!... Forget-about-it! Like Seinfeld once told Elaine while she was apartment sitting: "The water takes a while to get hot, so turn on the faucet and then go downtown and do your shopping..." It took hours. But, I expected that, thank you to the other reviewers. Then, the file install is supposed to take a little under an hour. The installation stage is where my biggest grievance lies. I have attempted the installation now, probably 3 or 4 times. It doesn't take 100%. Always freezes up before completing. After about 20 hrs of game play, I had it figured out that only the Nurburgring was corrupt. Any attempt to load any part of that course for any race at all and it freezes up the game. I thought I could live with that and just work around it. And, I have been able to, for the most part, even though the very first license tests use Nurburgring. They did something really neat in GT5 which, I think, is a great improvement over GT4...a couple of things, actually. 1. You level up with driving experience, in both A-Spec and B-Spec, so licensing doesn't appear to hinder progress during primary game-play. 2. They give you a driving line with a braking indicator. This probably sounds like training wheels to more experienced GT racers out there, but I actually really appreciate it, especially playing at night when I am tired. I never used to able to play GT when I was tired, because it required too much focus and concentration. The used car lot does rotate quite a bit. I kind of like that. It encourages frequent shopping. The graphics are very good, of course. There are 2 new views during driving, one from inside the car and another that shows only the hood. I've always been partial to the 3rd person view, myself. I like to see the car move and get a better feel for any tailgaters.
So, those are some good things. Now, here is my biggest complaint so far: I just found out the rally races are corrupted files as well. That is the reason I decided to write this review. I mean, the rally races! Like, all of them, so far! That tips the scales for me. Wishing I had made a different purchase decision. Although, for the $6-8 I spent, it is still way better than pumping that money into an arcade game. So, it's all good. It is just a game. And, it is a good game (with no shooting or violence).
Peace and happy racing!
p.s. If anyone has ideas on how I can complete the installation, please shout it out!!
Well... finally, it came. My pre-order, placed on September 21, 2009 was FINALLY fulfilled, more than one year later. Ahhh... the rejoicing. Not surprisingly, the sound of engines roaring has been filling the living room ever since Nov. 26, the day we took delivery. It's been myself, 2 kids, sometimes their friends booking time in front of the big screen TV, racing, managing and maintaining cars, gifting each other needed vehicles, playing videos of our best races for the rest of the family to see, passing or struggling with the increasingly difficult licensing tests, discussing overtaking and cornering techniques, educating ourselves on the finer points of car tuning.
And, it's true, GT5 does not have 'everything' and not all is perfect but it has 'a lot' and most of it is done amazingly well. Anyone who doesn't think 1000+ cars is 'a lot', be aware that one of the trophies is awarded for holding 1000 cars in your garage - I know I'll never get that one. The 70+ tracks are more like 50 because the number includes track mods and even the same track raced in reverse but, again, there's enough variety.
More on the 'a lot' topic. There's so much to do. My favorite activity is, of course driving but 'racing' is only one option - the GT mode - on the main menu. Like Prologue, GT5 comes with 'GT TV', just in case you feel like watching something and there's not much on your 200+ channels (always the case for me). Then, there is the most intriguing 'course maker', something I must use more, where you can create your own tracks by determining the type of road (gravel, tarmac, ice...) the time of day, number of sections, each section's complexity, weather, time of day and so on. Like I said, I haven't used this option too much. Then, there's the 'arcade mode', if you feel like maybe drifting or racing against a friend in a split screen mode, or racing against computer-controlled cars or just race on your favorite tracks for your best time.
The main option in the menu is, of course, the 'GT Mode'. It's where you will see most of the action. It's where your garage with its stable of cars is located and that's where the used and new car dealers can be found as well as the car maintenance and body shop where you can have your car painted or washed, oil changed, and your engine overhauled. Then, there is the separate tuning shop where, for a price, your car can get the mods it needs to win its races. There's so much to do here, I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't spend too much time in the 'practice' section where every single track is available, some under specific weather conditions and times of the day/night. Another section I've only visited sparingly is the 'Special Events' where you can refine your techniques, run kart races or even race WV vans on an airfield runaway (not as easy as it seems).
Like its GT4 predecessor, GT5 comes with a license tests. I don't believe that licenses are prerequisites of anything but, besides the trophies and the cars you get whenever you get certified in one class they do give you the opportunity to practice and the six classes of licenses come with 10 tests each so there's a lot to practice and learn there.
As for racing itself, the A-spec is divided on 5 levels or 'series', ranging from 'beginner' to 'extreme' with 9 events on each series. Each event can involve racing on one or, so far, 5 different tracks. For example the Granturismo World Championship requires that you race on 5 different tracks, doing as many as 5 laps per track and, once you begin you are not allowed to restart IF you want or win the event's cup - it's probably close to 100 miles worth of racing for this event alone.
In GT5, running in a race gets you money, experience points and, if you win an event, some bonus, usually a car - the event I mentioned in the paragraph above will get you an unbelievable 962HP Veyron 16.4 '09 Bugatti monster IF you manage to win the challenge. Experience points are used to level up and you level determines which license classes you can test for, which cars you can buy and on which 'series' you race and which 'special events' you can try out. The higher the series, the more experience points and money you get. You use the money to buy cars, to maintain the cars you have and to buy mods for them. If you don't need a car you can sell it for a lot less than you bought it for or your can 'gift' it to a friend.
B-spec involves creating several racers profiles with you playing the manager. I believe that the B-spec events mirror that A-spec's but I haven't played B-spec yet and it's not likely I will do much of it.
And, talking about money, some of the cars are insanely expensive. You earn some $200,000 for racing 100 miles and winning the Pro level "Granturismo World Championship" which is not a guarantee. Well... a Mark IV Race Car '67 (a Ford) will set you back a cool $20,000,000 and there are many million-dollar cars available for sale at the dealerships. I am not qualified for the Extreme series yet but I hope that they pay a lot there because winning a race in the Expert series gets you about $30,000 and you probably get some half-a-million for winning a championship (5 long races). Well... but that's what should make the GT5 a big challenge for a long time.
And I haven't mentioned the Open Lobby section yet, where the online battles take place. Haven't had time or a good enough car for online racing yet but, last time I looked, there were hundreds or races going on there.
A few words on the technical merit. GT5 is a fantastic racing simulation. With Logitech's GT wheel you can feel every bump on the road, there are very few video glitches, the surround sound is as real as it gets, tires smoke and leave marks on the pavement when you skid, dirt flies and... yes there is SOME car damage. The car damage is usually in the form of bruised paint and maybe some minor bumper dents but it takes A LOT to get your car dented. When I managed to get the front bumper dislodged I immediately recorded the race and played it back because I couldn't believe it actually happened. Then I called the kids to show them but, incredibly, the second time I played that 'recording', the car looked as good as new. I know that there's a lot of complaining about the AI. It's true. If your car blocks the road or gets stuck in a fence it's possible to have an AI car bump into it over and over and over again. They also tend to follow whatever their 'optimal' route may be. This can be viewed as 'bad' or, if you are trying to improve your skills under 'controlled' circumstances, having the AI behaving predictably may be a good thing. So far, I'm okay with the AI. They aren't the smartest drivers in the world but, on the other hand, I do like winning my races so it's okay if I sometimes cut corners while they follow the driving line. When I'm tired of AI's I'll go online to get beat real good.
Still on the technical part. There are, indeed, little flickers and glitches but nothing major so far. A little more annoying is that only a subset of cars, labelled 'premium' have the option of showing their interior while driven. Who knows, maybe future upgrades will add more car interiors to the existing ones. Also, yes, loading times are not instantaneous. I did not mind the hour-long initial installation because it's something that you only do once but I do find it annoying that every time I get into a race I have to wait for 20-30 seconds for that race to load and, if I get out of it to change my car it has to load again.
My overall impression, after all these years of waiting is that I'm happy GT5 is finally here. I can't compare it with GT4 because I never played that but GT5 is as fantastic racing experience with a lot of depth and I expect to be playing it for many months if not years to come. By the way, my review did not touch everything in GT5. There is a lot of depth in this game and, after only 2-3 weeks I can't say that I've explored everything. I would call GT5 a definite buy but I would budget for at least a driving wheel and a 'seat' assembly for a truly satisfying experience.
NOTE on trophies:
Getting the GT5 platinum may not be 'mission impossible' but it comes pretty close to that. You need to win every single race and every special event, which is expected but then... you must earn a trophy for finishing no MORE than 1/100 second ahead of #2. Or... how about filling up your garage with ONE THOUSAND cars? Any idea how much THAT costs? It would be interesting to see how long before the first platinum winner. It will probably make it into the news.
>> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<