|Gran Turismo 5: Prologue|
|Developer: Polyphony Digital
Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1-2, 2-16 system link & online racing
10 Years. That’s a long time, isn’t it? Think of it in terms of videogames and it’s a goddamn eternity. 10 years’ worth of massive hardware leaps, equally massive software and middleware progression.
So why is it, then that 10 years after Gran Turismo first appeared on the PlayStation (1997 in Japan) and we’re up to the 5th iteration, it feels like nothing’s moved on barring the resolution and polygon counts?
The GT games ALWAYS had the best lighting effects and car models, and that’s almost still the case here, but with games like the Project Gotham and Forza series moving everything forward in terms of their looks (as well as other stuff, which we’ll get to in a bit), the advantage that GT had in terms of aesthetics is somewhat diminished.
The “career” progression is obviously stunted in comparison with a full game, but, unfortunately it’s also as dumb as a bag of hammers; if you (like me) didn’t take the time to look at which cars HAVE to be used in some of the early races and plump for a car that you just like in real life instead of the car(s) that would let you zoom through the whole of Class C with the bare minimum or purchases, then you’re gonna end up with not much cash in the bank for the stuff you’re going to need in Classes B, A and S. The prize money awarded is so low that you’re going to be wanting to buy the absolute bare minimum of cars in order to progress, or else have to race the same low-speed races over and over and over again in order to build up your funds; a pretty stupid idea in a game that’s always been about the car collecting rather than customisation.
Then we move on to 10 years’ worth of AI routine progression…or not. The AI in GT5: Prologue is the best of any GT game, but it’s still not fabulous; start a race, watch where the AI cars go, restart the race and watch as they do exactly the same thing all over again. You will seldom see them overtaking each other, and they will only fight you for position in as much as they’ll try and stay on their (predetermined) racing line – hardly aggressive or intelligent, is it? Admittedly, once you get to the “S” Class races, things DO tend to get tougher, but it just feels like the volume’s been turned up on the existing AI, rather than more “Intelligence” being applied.
GT5P's online mode is a painfully slow affair, and once you get there it doesn’t get any better; lag abounds with cars either skipping randomly all over the track or just plain driving right through you – not what I’d expect after however many years of playing the PGR games online on the Xbox and 360.
Please note that if this was a free demo (like GT HD Concept), or even a demo with an RRP of £4.99 rather than £24.99 it may well have scored an extra point simply for value for money, but as a standalone game at nearly full price it deserves the score it gets.
- Looks nice
- Quick Tune
- No damage modelling
- Predictable AI
- Dumb career progression
- Feels sterile