Gran Turismo 5 is finally arriving. And as it has been delayed more times than an average British train – when it arrives the passengers will want it to be faultlessly smooth, sell tasty sandwiches and have clean toilets.
Customers will be demanding perfection. So now we know when it will finally be out, and the intro video from the game has emerged from somewhere, now seems like a good time to get a grip on what is actually going to be included in this beast of a game.
First-up it’s a racing game so let’s start with the cars. They’re are split into two types – ‘standard’ and ‘premium’ – the standard cars are just your regular, run-of-the-mill Gran Turismo cars, whereas the ‘premium’ cars have better damage models, are rendered in even greater detail and are also perfectly replicated inside the car – so you can look down at your beautiful gearstick while driving, and then presumably crash. There are 800+ standard and 200+ premium cars, and it remains to be seen if the premium models will cost any extra. 1031 cars in total will be featured in the game, which includes the licence for NASCAR and the WRC. Lamborghini and Bugatti will make their Gran Turismo debuts, and Ferrari are back on board too. I’m most excited about the inclusion of the McLaren F1 – I don’t care if it’s old by supercar standards these days, it’s still beautiful. Chuck in go-karts and the fictional X1 Red Bull prototype designed by legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey and it’ll keep you going for a very long time. The full list of cars can be found here.
There will be 71 different tracks including old favourites Deep Forest, Grand Valley and High Speed Ring alongside classic real-life legends such as Monaco, Laguna Seca and the full 14-mile Nurbugring Nordschleife. Also expanded are the city circuits, with Tokyo’s Route 246 back in the mix as well as tracks set in the centres of Rome and Madrid. If these look as good as London did in ‘GT:Prologue’ they should be worth the wait. Also chucked in for good measure is the Top Gear test track – although I imagine this will look mainly like the bleak airfield that it actually is. Go Dunsfold Aerodrome! Oh, and obviously there will be some off-road dirt and snow tracks too, in case you were thinking you’d be driving your WRC car on asphalt all the time. The full GT5 track list is here.
So what of the game itself – will there be more second-hand cars you can modify? Alloys you can buy to customise them? The pointless carwash? Some ball-crunchingly hard licence tests? The answer to all those questions is a categorical yes – these guys are not messing with their tried and tested formula. There’s a sexy damage model, you can flip cars over, you can race at night and there is even wet weather to contend with. The intro video even shows one track with trees either side of the road. It looks good.
Amongst the brand-new things available are head-tracking via the psEye camera (although it remains to be seen if this will be any good) and a rather interesting thing called ‘Data Logger Visualisation’ – where you can turn your in-game driving into a real-life effort, in real time, via some very clever GPS-type software/memory/data stuff. As you can tell I am an expert on this kind of technology. However it works, it’s damn impressive. Perhaps the most important and interesting new feature is the track editor. Detailed information on this is scarce, but if it offers virtual racers the chance to create and race on their own original circuits the game could develop a whole new community and much wider fanbase – far beyond the 16 players that will grace each online race.
To summarise – even if this train is massively late, it’s primed to make up for all the time it lost.
(Editor’s note – Now you’ve read Tom’s take on Gran Turismo, why not check out ORD’s fellow GT fan, GTDon, and his look at whether ‘To GT or not to GT‘ – especially if you’ve been playing other games, such as Forza, in the meantime).
The various Gran Turismo 5 Packages:
Collector’s Edition: Game, Custom-etched keychain, 1:43 scale model of the Nissan GTR Spec-V, 300 page book, voucher for 5 DLC cars, Certificate of Authenticity.
Signature Edition (Exclusive to Europe/Australian): Steel case, book, Gran Turisimo wallet, 1:43 scale Mercedes Benz SLS, voucher for six ‘Stealth’ cars and more.
- Gran Turismo 5 standard edition (amazon) (Pre-order includes Mecedes SLS AMG Stealth)
- Gran Turismo 5 collectors edition (amazon) (Pre-order includes Mercedes SLS AMG Stealth)
- Gran Turismo 5 Standard edition (Game)
- Gran Turismo 5 Signature edition (Game)
- Gran Turismo 5 standard edition (Gamestop) (Pre-order: McLaren F1 stealth and GameStop NASCAR car with Gran Turismo 5 logos.
- Gran Turismo 5 signature edition (Gamestop) Pre-order: McLaren F1 stealth and GameStop NASCAR car with Gran Turismo 5 logos.
- Gran Turismo 5 standard edition (Play.com) (Pre-Order: Mercedes SLS AMG and Nissan GT-R GT500 Stealth models)
- Gran Turismo 5 Collectors edition (Play.com)