6 years in the making, has the wait been worth it?
I’ve been having a bit of fun with how long its taken Gran Turismo 5 to arrive. I almost thought it was the new Duke Nukem Forever and if it was delayed till next year, it very well could have been! But despite this, I’ve been curious to see if the wait has been worth it and if it could teach Forza 3 a trick or two, oh how times have changed…
There are some real gaming highlights to be found in GT5, don’t get me wrong…but even at 6 years in development, Polyphonic has been very lazy with many standard options including online and since the release a few weeks ago, there have already been numerous patches (including one that came out today weighing in at a whopping 608MB!) that finally gives you experience for your online matches, as before you didn’t get anything.
I guess if there’s one thing that grinds my gears about GT5 more than anything. It’s just how dull it can be. Racing the AI proves to be a small challenge when you have the right cars and in the end you just end up doing laps to earn more cash and grind your way to owning every car in the game. The menus are bland and offer no help to those unfamiliar with the way Gran Turismo works, I respect the authenticity of the cars and the tracks, but it’s just not enough for the time spent in development.
The premium cars are the most detailed, but the rest are actually fairly average. The biggest offender is that the backgrounds look dated by PS3 standards, even the crowds are 2D pixels. GT5 was meant to be the best looking game on Sony’s machine, but instead it comes across as being behind the times due to such a high time spent in the making. Essentially, GT5 is like a wine that’s been in the cellar for too long, clinging only to a shadow of its former glory. It’s a shame that I think quite a few of us have realised in the time playing it.
Even basic weather effects like snow and rain look average, which there really is no excuse for. Oh, the game may play as it always has and the amount of cars and things to do is impressive, but it’s all been done before, but also much better than this. The main reason why its such a disappointment is that the hype was just far too high for GT5 to achieve, but it even fails at the basics that it promised…it was meant to be the perfect game and instead is just a very average game compared to the other racers on the market.
Over the past six years, the competition has run ahead of GT5 and it’s tried to play catch-up with not much success. Purists will still enjoy the game immensely, I’m not disputing that in any regard…I’m just saying that it’s nowhere near as good as GT4 or the other racers that have come out over the past 2 years. It’s fallen behind the times and feels archaic in the way you play, one endless grind session after another to unlock everything quickly becomes monotonous.
Another problem is the music. In the menus it’s just horrendous to the ears and the rest of the in-game tracks are nothing to write home about, although you can thankfully play your own music. Sound effects are also disappointing, even crashes don’t sound right and once again, crash damage is minimal at best. Silly when the game focuses so much on realism and yet you cannot damage the cars properly…
Gran Turismo 5 is a rather big disappointment. I’m not saying you won’t find any enjoyment out of it, because you will. It’s just that it follows the same old pattern that became obsolete a few years ago, mix in a rather lazy attempt at online, plus numerous patches and mixed visuals, GT5 feels unfinished even now and will continue to do so for quite some time yet.