After six long years, Sony’s Gran Turismo 5 has finally been released for the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately outside of blind PlayStation fanboys who would love a turd wrapped in the GT logo, normal gamers are finding that Sony’s flagship franchise has kind of hit the skids. In fact, the game is so disappointing when not looking at it with PlayStation-tinted glasses that many are comparing it to Final Fantasy XIV in terms of disappointment. Here are ten reasons why Gran Turismo 5 isn’t really worth your $60.
It’s No Longer the Only Game in Town
In the years since Gran Turismo 4 came out, and even those preview releases on the PS3, other driving developers have really stepped up their game and exceeded Gran Turismo in many ways. Turn 10’s Forza series on the Xbox 360 still features better physics while driving than Gran Turismo, especially in regards to tires. Despite GT5’s hyped graphics, Froza runs smoother and in many cases looks much better. In the past, GT was the best game in town for racing fans but Sony no longer has that on their side. With increased competition, they needed to really outdo themselves, and with GT5 it just seems like they were coasting on cruise control.
Attention PlayStation fanboy: YOUR GAME DOES NOT LOOK LIKE THIS. Stop using Photomode screenshots as some defense of the game. Gran Turismo has multiple levels of graphical sheen and the actual in-game graphics when you’re playing a game do not look anywhere close to how the cars look in Photomode or Replays.
Standard vs. Premium Cars
Sony loves harping on the 1,000 cars in GT5. Even their hilarious commercial does it. What they don’t tell you is that the 1,000 car number breaks down into 800 Standard cars that use the PlayStation 2 car models and 200 Premium cars that are full PS3 cars (with cockpit views) that are a pain in the ass to unlock.
One awesome feature Forza 3 has is full car damage. There’s nothing like rolling other cars in an epic crash. Unfortunately when you boot up GT5 you don’t have that option yet. The game unlocks damage for you as you level up. You need to be level 10 for the first tier while advanced damage doesn’t unlock until level 40. They say this is to be forgiving on new drivers, but lets face it; new drivers aren’t playing GT5. Don’t hide a feature your key competitor does better.
Horrible Load Times…Even When Installed
BluRay gives you a large amount of storage space on the disc, at the cost of really low drive seek times in comparison to DVDs. That’s caused many PS3 developers to offer game installs to help with the load times. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help in Gran Turismo 5’s case. After a one-hour long install (go get a sandwich fanboy!), and nearly 8gb on your HDD, there is no improvement in the load times.
Backwards Online Integration
This is one of the most baffling features of GT5. Ignore the fact that Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit features an online mode a thousand times better than Gran Turismo 5. No, the problem with GT5’s online mode is that it is always on and when online congestion hits the servers, it affects even your single-player gameplay and menu navigation. Even worse is that they only set up the data center to handle 500,000 connections to the server at once. This is something that definitely needs to be fixed, and fast.
We talked about the Standard (PS2) vs. Premium (PS3) cars, but this becomes really apparent when you’re playing and you see a Standard car racing against a Premium car on the same track. And the car models aren’t the only problem. The game can’t seem to run smoothly enough at 1080p, which means for a better framerate you need to set your PS3 to 720p.
Hope You Don’t Like Porsche (or RUF)
Another omission that is strange is the complete lack of Porsche, or popular Porsche replacement RUF, in the game. Most current racing franchises such as Forza and Need for Speed include the manufacturer so it’s very strange that the premier racing enthusiast series lacks it now.
Padding the Content
It’s bad enough that they had to include 800 PlayStation 2 cars in the game just to give you the illusion of value, but they also included PlayStation 2 tracks. It’s one thing to race along bad car models, but to do it on a track using the PS2 graphics is even worse.
It’s Still Gran Turismo
Like FFXIV, GT5 seems to have been developed in a vacuum. There are really no big improvements to the game to attract new players to the series and it seems like no attention was paid to the competition to improve in the areas that they did. The cars still feel like they’re driving 15mph, and the game just isn’t fun. You can try to convince yourself that you’re cool for playing a simulation, but that doesn’t make it a fun game.