Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Review
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue box art
System: PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Polyphony Digital 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SCEA (SONY) 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: April 15, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 (16 online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

But enough with single-player; let's move on to the online modes. I am not kidding when I tell you that the online modes in this game are seriously epic. You've got thirty-five modes to choose from the moment you boot up the game, and if the "new" tags are any indication, there are plenty more to come. But there is somewhat of a catch to the online experience. You can't just hop into a Pro-rated match as soon as you boot up the game. You'll have to unlock different license and vehicle classes to be able to compete in some of the more advanced online modes. But even with a beginner's license, there is still a lot to love in the online modes.

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue screenshot

You may be wondering how you can possibly get thirty-five modes out of a racing simulator with so few tracks. Well, the idea is actually pretty cool. Each of the online modes emphasizes a different strategy for beating the competition. For example, one mode emphasizes using the slipstream technique to pass your opponents. Another one focuses on navigating tight corners. The online modes are really a great compliment to the single-player modes, and though it may sound a little unorthodox, the online modes actually bolster the single player component rather than detract from it. The two components of the game really just work well together.

Sound in this game is first-rate. The menu music is very jazzy and matches the very classy menu look. The gameplay music is a lot more uptempo and features several rock tunes, as well as some generic driving tunes. Sound effects, however, are where this game really excels. Each car has its own motor sound effects, and if you have watched the "Beyond the Apex" documentary, then you can actually see them recording these motor sounds. It is a really cool detail, and it is undeniably another immersive factor of the game.

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Control in this game is extremely straightforward and has you using the X button to accelerate and the square button to brake. You can also use the O button to use your e-brake, but I would only recommend using this control for drifting events. Even though the control seems straightforward enough, I must note that this game represents the very finest in precision-based control, and if you are a newcomer to the driving simulation genre, you may have some trouble with the controls at first. But I would encourage you to hang in there, because as soon as you get it, you won't be able to put the controller down!

Although I have been nothing but complementary in this review so far, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is not without its faults. One thing I was disappointed with was the amount of tracks offered. There are only six individual tracks, each with one modification in case you want to switch it up a bit. Because there are such a vast amount of cars in this title, I was expecting there to be more content here in terms of tracks to race the cars on. Another thing I was somewhat disappointed in was the lack of any sort of crash physics. But supposedly these are getting a major overhaul before the release of Gran Turismo 5, so here's hoping that this issue is resolved before the game's final release.

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue screenshot

Overall, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue certainly proved to be worth the hype. I was excited for this game, and when I finally started playing the full version, I was in awe of how amazing this game really felt. The Gran Turismo series has always set the standards high, but this game literally blows all other driving sims out of the water. Once you really spend some time with this title, you'll have a hard time going back to Project Gotham Racing or Forza Motorsports. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue definitely lives up to its title as "The Real Driving Simulator." This game must be experienced for automotive fans as well as Sony fans, and I can almost guarantee that you'll have a blast playing this title. But be warned: this gaming bliss does have its cost: once you delve into Prologue, you won't be able to wait for Gran Turismo 5! Oh, the agony!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
5.0
Graphics
The best graphics ever seen. The photorealistic environments are unprecedented and the level of detail on the cars is outstanding.
4.5
Control
Controls are very smooth and responsive. This one is a breeze to control, as long as you have the simulation chops to get through it!
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Menu music is jazzy and classy, while race music has a definite rock vibe and is very exciting!
4.7
Play Value
There are not a whole bunch of tracks, but there are plenty of cars and the online modes are absolutely epic. If you love your PS3, you will own this game.
4.7
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • More than 70 cars available including the Nissan GT-R, the Audi R8, Aston Martin DB9, and Ford GT along with classics such as the Ferrari F40 and Lancia Delta HF Integrale rally car.
  • Gran Turismo 5 Prologue features six courses, many with alternative track layouts, including a new London City Track, the Daytona International Speedway, and series' favorite High Speed Ring.
  • Gran Turismo 5 Prologue introduces an interior dash view with full driver animation and working gauges -- putting gamers into the driver's seat.
  • Fresh for the North American version of Prologue, gamers can experience Drift Mode, Car Tuning, two-player split screen racing, and a new set of offline and online Race Events.
  • The ability for the first time in the GT series to race with up to 16 players online; includes community events and leaderboards.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 1080p (Full HDTV, Widescreen).


  • Screenshots / Images
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