There are people, reading this right now, who bought a $US 600 PlayStation 3 at launch for one game: Gran Turismo 5. Why? Because despite the recent advancement of other racing franchises, Polyphony Digital's near religious devotion to automobiles has offered hardcore racing/racing game fans an unparalleled driving simulation for a decade.
But until Gran Turismo 5 actually comes out, we can only get a taste of things to come through Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. So is that taste making reviewers hungry for more? Hit the jump for our Frankenreview to find out—a buncha reviews with the crust cut off because we know you like it that way.
Gran Turismo 5...ups that realism to an insanely high level. Not only in its boasting of tossing around 200,000 polygons, but also in the way physics differ for each car, at times offering infinitesimal but still noticeable changes in the way you must drive each car. Making sure each is different it from the one before.
Online play is certainly welcome, but compared to rival games, the lobby features are not what we've come to expect from this generation. We've no doubt that's one of many things that will change come GT5's release, but that's not what we're reviewing here today.
What doesn't impress nearly as much is the way your AI rivals behave during races. The GT series has always been criticised for its racing experience and GT5 Prologue doesn't improve things a great deal...At times while playing Forza 2 you could have mistaken an AI driver for a real-life opponent, but no such mistake could be made while playing Prologue.
...in order to complete every race in the game you'll have to do some serious grinding for cash in order to simply be able to afford the cars you need. The bare-minimum ride selection will cost you somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1.5 million credits, while the biggest payoff you'll get for any race is around 30k credits. Considering that most of the races pay far less than this, you're looking at a whole lot of repeat laps...
Look, as a demo, it's a good one. What's already on offer looks great, and feels great, so GT fans should have little doubt that when the full game's released - with hundreds of cars and dozens of tracks - Gran Turismo 5 will be everything they want it to be. But now, as a retail product? With a limited singleplayer experience and unstable online play, I just don't think it's worth $40.