Gran Turismo 5 at Eurogamer Expo 2010

Gran Turismo 5 was present in three flavours at Eurogamer; regular console TV setup, 3D console TV setup and steering wheel game pod setup. Deciding that most of us will only ever sample the living room variants, where we have a coffee table where we would ideally like our game pod, we tried both editions that put a standard controller in our hands.

As one of the first 3D titles we have had the opportunity of sampling, hooking the special glasses round our ears was quite an exciting moment, not quite knowing what to expect from it all. It actually worked quite well, with the car or steering wheel (depending on the view) standing out from the screen convincingly. The technology is clearly still in its infancy, with a slight change of angle from your eyes making the effect not so swish, but still an impressive display none the less.

The graphics themselves were slightly disappointing, but you could possibly put this down to the positioning of the little mushroomoid stools provided being far too close to the screen. Lines didn’t appear quite as smooth as they could’ve been on the car models which was a bit discouraging. It didn’t look bad by any means, it’s just that the hype machine possibly did its job a bit too well and this isn’t the crystal mirror of real life that some people hoped for. Having said this, watching the game over the shoulder of others made it look a lot better than the screen sniffing distance that the 3D glasses’ leash allowed for.

Nice 'n' artistic, but not the ideal racing camera angle

It is very easy to look at the beautiful screenshots of this game and mistake them for photos, but at the same time you cannot say that they are taken from a gameplay perspective. Whilst actually racing, the visuals are not quite as super pretty. They are still pretty damn fine though.

The modes available on the version we tried were single arcade race and time trial modes. We jumped into the arcade mode and tried to set off as soon as the lights turned green. Alarm bells started ringing when all of the competition overtook in the first instant, right before the realisation that there was no acceleration. It took a second to work out, but the perplexing thing that overwhelmed this first GT5 experience was the acceleration button being mapped to X, and not the pressure sensitive trigger we had depressed in anticipation.

Racing games have spoilt us since the introduction of trigger buttons allowing for degrees of acceleration on virtual vehicles, and so going back to the face buttons is like having a cassette player in your new car. It just doesn’t feel right and on the build we tried there was no option to reassign control schemes.

There were five tracks available and a nice range of licensed cars tailored to each. The brief time that we were allowed on each track gave a taste of the handling, which unsurprisingly seems to be leaning more towards realism rather than arcade. We spun out a fair few times trying to get used to it, but once the sensible shoes were on it felt nice and smooth. The main frustration came when the game cut out around the two minute mark on each track, really limiting what you could experience. It made it hard to draw real conclusions considering that it wasn’t really possible to complete a full lap.

With more vehicles on the road, even virtual traffic is facing congestion

It was not clear whether or not the optional GT5 10 GB install was on the machines at the expo, but we really hope it wasn’t as the load times seemed lengthy. They were certainly long enough to be noticeably more than your average loading screen. This criticism is just really down to patience (or more a lack of it), but it all impacts on the experience.

We’ve come away with mixed thoughts on GT5. There are some aspects that worked well, and others that were a surprising disappointment. A couple of graphical and texture glitches go to show that we were definitely playing with an unfinished build of the game, but there is certainly time to iron out these minor bugs before its release on November 3.

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Written by Anthony H

Anthony has been playing games for far too much of his life, starting with the MS-DOS classic Mario is Missing. Since then his tastes have evolved to include just about anything, but his soft spot lies with shooters and the odd strategy game. Anthony will inspire you with his prose, uplift you with his wit and lie to you in his biography.

2 comments

  1. BubbaLsL /

    I have one of the original 60 Gig models, and did not have 10 Gigs free to install GT5, so I purchased a 500 Gig HD a couple weeks ago just for this game. I now have plenty of room, and my G27 is set to go.

    • KrazyFace /

      There’s never enough space mate. I ran out of space on my original 60 gigger ages ago and replaced it with a 320GB only to require an external HDD later! So I have over 600GBs for my PS3 to gobble up and it’s done exactly that!

      Anyone know of any cheap TB 2.5″ SATA HDDs?

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