Friday, February 4, 2011

Gran Turismo 5 - PS3 - Mediafire

Gran Turismo 5

Publisher: SCE Japan
Developer: Polyphony Digital
Genre: GT / Street Racing
Release Date: Nov 24, 2010
Hoster: Mediafire

Like a classic car that has been lovingly but only partially restored, parts of Gran Turismo 5 look as good as new, while others are showing their age. Developer Polyphony Digital's latest "real driving simulator" introduces plenty of great new features to the long-running series, but it also recycles a lot of content. This is undoubtedly the biggest and best Gran Turismo yet, and despite its impressive level of realism it's also the most accessible, but aspects of both the gameplay and the visuals evoke deja vu, while the all-new online play uses a lobby system with about as many modern conveniences as a Ford Model T. If you love to drive, Gran Turismo 5 is a game that you're sure to enjoy; just don't expect it to have that new-car smell.

Though things improve later on, Gran Turismo 5 doesn't make a good first impression. Lengthy load and install times, unwieldy menus, and music that should be swapped out for a custom soundtrack as soon as possible are early disappointments, and sadly things don't get much better when you enter the GT Life career mode. You're told to buy your first car on a budget that more or less forces you to check out the used-car lot, rather than one of the game's many dealerships, only to find that most of the rides there look incredibly rough. That's not because GT5 features faded paintwork, rust spots, or bumpers that look like they've seen some action, but rather because the vast majority of the game's 1,000-plus cars don't look significantly different than they did when they appeared on the PlayStation 2. These poorly textured, jaggy-edged "standard" cars also lack the interiors of the vastly superior "premium" models, so when you drive them there's no option to do so using GT5's new cockpit view. Climb into a premium car, on the other hand, and the attention to detail both inside and out is staggering. The cockpit view is ruined somewhat by nasty-looking shadows that move across the dashboard as you drive, but they're not overly distracting, and the exteriors on these cars are so stunning that you need to take them into Photo mode to truly appreciate them.

Although the used-car dealer invariably has dozens of cars in stock, your purchases are limited not only by your available funds, but also by your driver level, which starts out at zero. You earn experience points toward your next level every time you complete a challenge or race, and as you gain levels you unlock additional events as well as the option to buy more powerful cars. You might think that being prevented from buying the most powerful cars at the outset keeps those early events competitive, but as in previous games, it's all too easy to win most races simply by entering in a car that's significantly more powerful than the rest of the field. The 45 different race series that make up the A-Spec (drive yourself) and B-Spec (give instructions to an AI driver) portions of your career all place restrictions on the kinds of vehicles that can enter, but they're rarely stringent. The result is that you end up winning races easily, which, while rewarding financially, isn't particularly satisfying. Even race series that restrict you to using certain car models aren't competitive unless you go out of your way to make sure that they are, because there are no rules in place to prevent you from upgrading that car in the impressively comprehensive and easy-to-use tuning shop. On the flip side, it's also possible to unwittingly enter races in cars that are hopelessly underpowered, in which case you're likely to quit before you even finish the first lap.

It's unfortunate that the lax restrictions make competitive racing the exception rather than the rule in A-Spec and B-Spec events, because on those rare occasions that you find yourself driving in close proximity with AI opponents, it can be fun to jostle for position with them. AI drivers rarely stray far from the racing line, but they at least attempt to overtake each other in a somewhat believable fashion and occasionally get something wrong and end up spinning their car or driving off the track. It's good to see other drivers getting it wrong from time to time, not only because it's realistic, but also because it makes you feel a little better about the mistakes you inevitably make yourself.



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