Gran Turismo is a series that has thus far had an impressively immaculate run. Through 4 main installments, a PSP offering, and several offshoots, the series has sold over 50 million copies, putting it firmly as one of the top selling series ever. As such, the anticipation for part 5 was incredibly high. Yet for all the hype surrounding the game, it just may end up exceeding everyone’s wildest imaginations.
No Lack of Effort
In development for more than 6 years now, Polyphony Digital has had a team of more than 100 working tirelessly on their opus, pouring $60 million into the development of the game. So sought after has the game been that’s its teaser Prologue version has sold nearly 5 million copies; so devout have its developers been, that said Prologue will scarcely resemble the real thing by the time it goes on sale.
One of the most notable new features of Gran Turismo 5 will be the ability to mangle up any of the close to 1000 cars in the game, a feature most gamers have longed for since the first entry. An advanced physics engine will calculate and display damage exactly as it would occur in real life, save for the painful neck with optional neck brace for you, the driver.
While the majority of cars will display a more rudimentary form of damage (comparatively speaking), GT5’s collection of some 200 premium cars will bust up and deform in spectacular fashion. These cars have been meticulously digitized to the point that their in-game likeness is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing (claims that have been made in the videogame world for many years, but are now truly about to be fulfilled).
Not only will Gran Turismo 5 be an incredible showpiece for the PlayStation 3, and possibly end up as its bestselling game, it may also offer a glimpse at some of what we can expect from the PlayStation 4. Polyphony’s Kazunori Yamauchi has said that his team may actually have gone too far in rendering the premium cars, and that such a level of detail may in fact be better suited for the next generation of consoles.
The 1000 cars, car damage, and spectacular graphics are just the tip of the iceberg though. Car customization has always been one of the many features and selling points of any GT game, and this facet of the game will be taken to new heights with GT5, especially as it relates to the aforementioned premium cars. Players will have near limitless ways to customize and tweak their rides, making crafting the perfect ride possible, though ever so elusive.
The game will feature 20+ tracks, including a few old favorites and plenty of new ones. While 20 tracks would be a good number for any racing game, there will actually be more than 70 different layouts contained within those 20 tracks. Some of these new tracks will take advantage of some of the prominent new licenses Polyphony acquired for GT5.
For Americans (at least those in the south), the inclusion of an official NASCAR license, to go along with NASCAR cars and tracks should prove incredibly appealing. In addition to NASCAR, GT5 will also introduce Super GT and World Rally Championship licenses to the game. These licenses should make for some exciting leagues and events, modeled after real world competitions.
Another benefit for those who can take advantage of it is the fact that GT5 will now come in 3D, something that wouldn’t have happened a couple of years ago. 3D is only one of GT5’s technological tricks though, as it will also incorporate the EyeToy peripheral into its gameplay in the form of headtracking, which will put the gamer in the driver’s seat like never before. In this mode you’ll be restricted to a first person view, and must move your head left or right to see what’s around you. It should make for an incredibly challenging and immersive experience.
One thing’s for certain, PlayStation gamers are going to be in for one heck of a treat come November 2, as the long overdue Gran Turismo 5 will finally hit stores. I’ve never been more excited for a racing game, and honestly I didn’t think I could even get this excited about one. This could very well be the game that defines the genre for the next decade, and will likely leave all others in its dust well into the PlayStation 4’s lifespan.