It has been years since Gran Turismo 4 stormed the racing simulator world in 2004.
It doesn't take long for one to get familiar with the menus of GT5 if you have been a long-time fan. The main gameplay is the GT mode. You start off with 20,000 credits to purchase your first car, whether it be a brand new or second-hand. That being said, the amount of start up credit isn't much to play with and cars of desire cost millions, but there's always the arcade mode for a quick race.
However, let's cut to the chase and concentrate on the game's biggest new features: Weather and damage. For weather, GT5 has added the element of rain which brings a whole new challenge to the racing sim - where we struggle to keep the car on the track and with the pack, but that adds a whole new dimension to the racing experience which is a much needed touch of realism.
For in game damage - in reality, no one crashes a $800,000 car into a wall just for fun, but thanks to the intricate attention to detail, even crashing a car into the wall is a breath-taking visual feast that only serves to solidify Polyphony Digital Inc's prowess in the graphics rendering department.
There may be thousands of cars but most of them are “standard” models. Only 200 odd “premium” cars get the total attention to detail that extends to the interior of the car. While the handing is incredibly realistic for most of the time, it's the cars that got ported over from the GT4 that look gaudy next to the much more polished “premium” cars. Of course, if you do have a favourite “premium” car, you can snap stills with the Photo mode.
And boy did we play the game endlessly for nights, though one problem that we had to nitpick was the loading time which can extend to well over 10 seconds, which is a tad too long for us impatient folks, but nonetheless what's with a few seconds since we have waited for so long for GT5 to arrive?
In summary, of course there are other grouses that we could pick on such as the sound quality right down to the performance tuning, but those aside, it is the incredibly detailed imagery of the game that keeps us addicted as well as the fact that we are just hardcore racing gamers, and we're glad that nothing has diluted the pure racing experience. There’s no denying that the beautiful GT5 has set the bar for racing sims to an all-new high and we are looking forward to more nights of racing in the comfort of our office lounge.