|Pub: Polyphony Digital|
|Release: November 24, 2010|
|Players: 1 - 16|
|Screen Resolution: 480p - 1080p||Mild Lyrics|
B-spec may be a big disappointment, but the good news is that it is the only real sore spot in the game. The game's special modes section is a huge triumph and gives the game some real variety. Special modes include everything from a kart racing simulator (no blue shells here!) to a NASCAR driving school. One of the most-touted special modes is the Top Gear challenge mode, which is based on the hit BBC TV show. Fans of the show will instantly recognize the show's irreverent attitude, and if you want to participate in a race that only includes VW buses, this mode will be your best bet.
The experience of playing the game online can be a little tough to navigate at first, as the game uses a complex menu system that allows you to create lobbies, design races, and invite friends in what is surely the most customizable online experience ever. Want to run through a thirty-lap ultra-race through the streets of London? You can do that. Want to do two laps through the High Speed Ring on karts? You can do that too. There is plenty of depth to the online mode, and once you get the hang of the system (there is a bit of a learning curve), you'll be creating and participating in races with ease. The game's online component also features a social networking system that allows you to leave messages for friends on a public "wall" and invite people to your personal GT space.
The game's structure encourages an almost obsessive amount of commitment, as there are more than one-thousand cars to purchase and tune, as well as plenty of challenges and special events to participate in. The game includes enough content that you'll be busy for quite some time. And of course that doesn't even include the game's license modes (which serve as a sort of advanced training) and the arcade mode.
Gran Turismo 5 doesn't only play well, it also looks great. Fans have come to expect amazing things from the visuals in the Gran Turismo series, and Gran Turismo 5 pushes the game to its graphical limit. Photo-realistic cars, tracks, and weather effects are everywhere in the game, and it is certainly the best-looking game I have ever seen on the PlayStation 3. The only caveat to the visual quality is that the game does not include any realistic crash physics. Though there is some minimal damage included in the game, don't expect to see any bumpers dragging or windows breaking when you hit another car. The game still includes the infamous "bounce" mechanic that fans complained about in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, and if you are looking for realistic crashes, you are better off sticking to a franchise like Burnout or Need for Speed.
However, if you are looking for a quality simulator that pushes the genre forward, then Gran Turismo 5 is your game. With a plethora of modes, amazing visuals, and enough cars to make even the most committed gearhead swoon, there is plenty to love about Gran Turismo 5. I'll admit that I was disappointed by certain aspects of the game, but overall, this package is certainly something that every automotive enthusiast needs to experience. Gran Turismo 5 sets the bar high for the genre overall, and with its detailed approach to core mechanics and commitment to creating the best simulation in video games, it's easy to see why Gran Turismo is the gold standard in the automotive genre. Though some missteps were made with some of the modes, the game is a tight package that begs not only to be played, but obsessed over.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer