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Grand simulation

The newest title on the Gran Turismo franchise has been the most anticipated PS3 game this year. It’s time to buckle up, car simulation junkies!

india Updated: Nov 30, 2010 15:22 IST
Aalap Deboor
Aalap Deboor
Hindustan Times

It took Polyphony six years to launch Gran Turismo 5. The hype was massive; and in the interim, technology advanced manifold and a lot of cars were released around the world.

But Polyphony has filled itself in on both counts — technology and automobiles. Gran Turismo 5 packing in over 1,000 cars, still ascribes top priority to the adrenaline rush of high-octane car simulation, and offers a variety of racing events. And it does a pretty neat job of it all.

Limited customisation

One of the first flaws you’ll notice about the game are the limited garage options. Sure the cars are plenty, and even going through the entire list is a tedious process, but when you’ve earned enough to make decent purchases, you’re left craving for more customisation options. That isn’t too dissuading, though — once you’re on the go, it’s nice to see yourself get increasingly closer to perhaps a Lamborghini or even a Ferrari.

PS 3The graphics and lighting effects are truly a force to reckon with. The physics, too, in some places is astounding; tweaks in drive conditions, mechanics and in-game atmosphere affect gameplay just the appropriate amount. Street tracks have been rendered with excruciating detail and simulation is immersive.

However, animation on the human figures seems patchy and textured, especially in the WRC (World Racing Championship) event where a shoddily lip-synched semblance of Jeff Gordon briefs you through the history of WRC races and cars. Damage, too, in most races is nonexistent — making collisions an absolute dampener. Bystanders throughout are starkly inanimate and rather bovine.

GT5 emphasises a bit much on piecemeal career progression. There’re six different varieties of practice modes with 60 races in each, which earn you credit points. You can use these to gain experience and, subsequently, money through league matches. This makes beginner level races in all modes painfully easy; although, the game progressively gets difficult as the stages go by.

In-game videos, few and far in between as they are, seem rather run-of-the-mill. The soundtrack too, is a drudgery of beats and keyboards that repeats itself far too often.

Perfect your drive
On some levels, the AI is hardly responsive, and on-track interaction between opponents is minimal. This tends to dwindle your personal involvement as you notice how inconsequential you might be. But what takes the cake is the detailed replication of every last piece of machinery in the battle — it ensures that you’re glued to the edge of your seat trying hard to decipher tracks to nail the upcoming hairpin bends.

Yes, this edition is packed with loads of unwieldy turns and will ensure you master all the braking techniques. Upfront, winning requires loads of practice and patience. We recommend that you get started soon.

First Published: Nov 30, 2010 13:29 IST