First Impressions: Gran Turismo 5

Is it just me or does anyone else think that the previous _Gran Turismo_ games were horrendously boring? I love driving games and have always played through the _GT_ titles, mainly for the progression and the incredibly detailed and varied collection of cars, but the races are just so tedious.

The AI has always been slated for solidly sticking to the driving line with absolutely no aggression. This resulted in just bashing into cars to get round corners quicker, knowing that there would be absolutely no repercussions. For a game that calls itself “the real driving simulator” that’s pretty pathetic. When compared to how much Codemasters and the _Forza_ franchise have pushed the driving genre forward, _Gran Turismo_ looks pretty old school these days. Needless to say, I wasn’t super pumped for playing the fifth instalment but, as there was a short queue, I gave it a go.

I was surprised. A lot of _GT5_ was exactly what I thought it would be, mostly _GT4_ in HD, but a number of improvements have been made. Firstly, and one of the most obvious additions, was the new cockpit views. Not only are these exquisitely modelled, as expected, but they also add some excitement to _GT’s_ driving experience, something that it desperately needed. It still wasn’t up there with _Grid_, at no point did the game get my adrenaline pumping, but it was still a considerable improvement. There was also an off-road/WRC section on offer which, although not the franchise’s first departure into offroad racing, has definitely mixed up what you can expect from _GT5_.

_GT5_ will no doubt be an excellent game as long as it can keep the gameplay exciting. The real question is if this game will ever actually be released; announced in 2006, _GT5_ has been years in the making and when everyone finally thought it would be released this November, it has been pushed back again. Maybe one day…

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