Google+

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue review

AT A GLANCE
  • Unbelievably gorgeous
  • Training wheels for the casual
  • Chasing the perfect lap
  • No damage until later this year
  • Driving boring cars
  • Obsessing over 0.2 seconds

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue might only be a demo, but it’s worth 40 bucks alone to justify the $2000 you splurged on a PS3 and a 1080p HDTV. Prologue - the preview version of 2009’s full-on GT5 - looks even better than the screenshots you can see here. It’s the game you’ll use to convince confused loved ones about the power of PS3. The demo may have been available in Japan for a while, but thanks to the new Drift Mode, car tuning, two-player split-screen, and a spanking-new set of online and offline Race Events, the US version is now the definitive package.

 

Screeching down the course carved out of a mountain in Eiger Nordwand feels great. Crowds mill around trackside taking snapshots as you speed by, creating a real sense of race day action. Taking to the narrow streets of London in a Mini Cooper S genuinely excites as you whiz past recognisable landmarks like the neon Sanyo signs of Piccadilly Circus. And, as the interiors of every car have been recreated perfectly, you get to experience driving cars that you’re unlikely to ever afford in real life. Not without a crippling bank loan, anyway. Inside your chosen motor, virtual hands clad in Sparco racing gloves grip the wheel and shift gears in incredible detail. As always, the replays are worth checking out - exhibiting the fidelity of 1080p HD like nothing else. You can even record them to your hard drive and show off your skills to your mates. But this is all cosmetic - there’s plenty more on offer. 

Prologue really gives you a taste of the level of intricacy GT5 will incorporate. For learner drivers, there’s a host of aids to switch on - like traction control to stop wheel-spin and driving lines to show you when to brake and accelerate, so you’ll never feel out of your depth. But if you’re a more advanced racer, you’re in for a treat. When you turn off all the aids in Prologue, the heat turns up and the tension rises. Certain races require you to pinch as many split-seconds as you can to achieve a first place gold trophy, and the only way to do this is by playing in the most realistic way possible and turning all the aids off. Sure, you can get a bronze trophy with pretty little effort but the true test of skill is winning as if you were driving a real car.

However, as of release, Prologue still doesn’t allow any cosmetic damage to its range of motors. Not even a wing-mirror will snap off after a side-swipe and all your metallic paint will remain intact. We'll have to wait for a later download before we see how the smashes will look. On the plus side, Prologue comes packing extra features to the Japanese version. We get a Drift Mode, which works well but it’s nothing compared to the arcade-style cornering from NFS: Pro Street and Juiced 2. There’s also a set of new online race days to compete in, two-player offline split-screen races and the ability to get under the hood of your motor and tweak your vehicle’s performance, rather than just relying on the Quick Tune option.

 

Prologue isn’t perfect, but even lapsed GT fans can’t deny the clarity of its 1080p visuals, or the thrill of taming its exacting physics. You might not like the idea of buzzing around in a VW Golf - chances are you know someone who has one - but it’s unlikely that you’ll get to thrash one around the F1 track of Fuji Speedway. For $40, you won’t regret test-driving GT Prologue - not only is it the perfect bridge between now and Gran Turismo 5 in 2009, but it’s also the best-looking technical demo your TV and PS3 have ever had.

GT5 Prologue is available at retail now, and as a download on April 17 via the PS3 Network.

Apr 15, 2008

More Info

Release date: Apr 15 2008 - PS3 (US)
Mar 28 2008 - PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS3
Genre: Racing
Published by: SCEA
Developed by: Polyphony Digital
Franchise: Gran Turismo
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Mild Suggestive Themes
PEGI Rating:
3+

8 comments

  • goofynewfie72 - December 8, 2008 6:22 a.m.

    This game is garbage. The driving physics have been completely changed for the worse making the cars in this game seem almost undriveable at times. The graphics are pretty bad too. Even on my LCD tv running at 720p it looks like a PS2 game running in high resolution. There are tons of jaggies everywhere and flickering textures on background objects just like in the Gran Turismo games on PS2. In fact, both Project Gotham Racing 3&4 and Forza Motosport 2 on Xbox 360 look waaayyyy better running on my TV at the same 720p resolution. The graphics are way cleaner and more detailed and graphical glitches (like jaggies) are nowhere to be seen.The only good thing I can say about this game is that the in-car camera looks really nice, but that`s not saying much is it? Do yourself (and your wallet) a favour and just ignore this game completely.
  • the-one - October 29, 2008 11:24 a.m.

    same here ok i only played it on a normal tv but gt5 is crap you cant make a turn without makeing a 50m drift and some times i feel as if if i was rideing a bike on the tracks i could beet an audi tt!!!
  • wiggy09 - September 22, 2008 2:26 p.m.

    DNT be fooled by the pictures! ok hav only played this on standard def but its crap! its so boring like afther a few hours its like uhhh another race it start to become a chore blocky edgeing rnd the cars out lines, expected wayyy better graphics compered to the pics tbh ad i hav way more fun on pgr4 better graphics tbh an better gameplay an actualy has a online comunity!
  • DarrylC90 - June 11, 2009 1:53 p.m.

    What will differentiate the prologue from the actual full release though? More cars? More tracks? I can't fathom why I'd buy a prologue when I can just buy the game, all be it in September?
  • 2245776a - February 6, 2009 10:34 p.m.

    Oh yes, and learn to spell "the-one".....
  • CoD_22 - May 25, 2009 10:17 p.m.

    i played it in 1080p hd and it had decent enough graphics, didnt blow me away though. where this game really fell down was the gameplay. its just really boring, even for a racing simulator. if you want a decent racing game, get burnout, nfs or the upcoming fuel. they are so much more exciting.
  • shiptardriver - April 27, 2009 3:22 a.m.

    i have 1080p and this is amazing realism they do need to fix the elevations and drops in the nurburgring and add more cars but other than that awsome game true handiling and just cuz u cant drive dont hate on the game 9.5-10
  • 2245776a - February 6, 2009 10:32 p.m.

    You guys have no idea what you are talking about. This is the best driving game ever, and the only reason that you can't drive on this is because you aren't putting the effort in to get a good lap. It's like real life! And also, can I remind you that this is the prologue, and the actual GT5 has been in development for 8 years, so I'm pretty sure that it will be the best driving game ever made. Actually put the effort in everyone, and when you hit the apex just right, and you overtake just right, it is the best driving game in the world. Ignore these people. This is better than PGR and Forza, by a bazillion light years.

Showing 1-8 of 8 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000