So this little game called Gran Turismo 5 just came out. Maybe you've heard of the series?
Sarcasm aside, the Gran Turismo series is very important to me. It's the game most directly responsible for me getting into the PlayStation platform, and I've happily purchased every new version (well ok, except the PSP version. No Career Mode = No Sale, sorry guys.) since the original, usually on the day of release. In fact, the day before Gran Turismo 4's release, my original fat launch PS2 gave up the ghost. This sucked extra hard because I had actually gone as far as to pre-order GT4 (the end result was my purchasing of one of the new slim PS2).
In any case, after 5 long years of development and delays, the king of CarPGs (as I like to call 'em) is finally here in all it's 1080p glory. Even though this is not the first taste of GT on the PS3 platform, this is a complete game at last. GTHD, GT5p were at their cores, demos. Expensive demos at that. Demos that wouldn't let you tune your cars until you've cleared everything bone stock...
So let's talk about game play.
If you've played a GT title in the past, the only thing that will jump out at you as being new and different will be the game's main menu system. Under the hood (heh heh), the core game play is exactly what you'd expect from a Gran Turismo title. You start the game with 20k in credits to purchase your first car and some upgrades. GT5 then eases you back into the game by tossing you into some familiar, but challenging courses. It's almost like a mini-greatest hits from prior games used to get you back into the flow of things. The tuning experience isn't all that different from prior games, but I've thus far noticed a lack of options for brakes. I don't understand this change or it's removal, but with a game this large I wouldn't be surprised if it's something I haven't found or unlocked or something - so for the time being I'll avoid making this an official nit-pick.
Online racing is also a rather big selling point for GT5 - however I have yet to try this myself (what can I say, I'm very into the career mode at the moment).
At the end of the day, GT5 is the sort of game that fans will probably automatically buy even without a review - and if you are a long time fan you really should not hesitate with this purchase.
While writing this post, I had a realization that the GT series is one of those rare titles that has wide appeal in all the major gaming markets (JP, NA, EU). It's a game series I can talk about with any of my PlayStation friends from anywhere in the world, and we can all mostly agree that this is a very fine series of games. That said, I do feel that at some point the gaming world will reflect upon the GT series and agree that this is one of the best video game series to ever come around.
Oh also - I completed the Black Ops single player game. My hat is off to you Treyarch. I've never been happier to be so wrong about a game and a studio. That was a hell of a story, and a HELL of an ending. I'm looking forward to their next COD title.
Until next time...