GT5 Prologue Impressions


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Control

I tried this game with a dualshock 3, and it’s good, but IMO, to get the real immersion factor, you need the steering wheel controllers. The G force sensations are still the big omission, but overall, this game comes surprisingly close to delivering the genuine racing sensation. The force feedback effects are much more involved than the simple buzzing you get from the dualshock: you feel all the bumps in the pavement and the tension in the wheel whenever you go into a tight turn. Also, the full 900 degree turning radius on the newer wheels is a huge improvement over older wheels that just let you turn within an artificially small range. Even though you only use a small part of that during regular racing (you won’t be doing too much parallel parking), it makes a big difference.

I use the Driving Force Pro, but if you are thinking about buying a new wheel, you are probably best waiting for the Driving Force GT, which looks like a slightly upgraded model. The Logitech G25 is also highly regarded, but that is at a way higher price point. For all but the most hardcore looking to get a real racing wheel, I’d recommend waiting for the GT.

Overall

Overall, this game is great. It’s surprisingly improved from GT4. I wasn’t expecting much because: the graphics were already spectacular in GT4 so an upgrade in this department sounds predictable and mundane, none of the feature list bullet-points sounded exciting, and it’s the same basic formula with less content.

Thankfully, it’s a lot better than that. The graphics are a huge upgrade and it’s very noticeable. The driving feels much more realistic and the computer cars are more fun to race against. The track selection and event selection is definitely limited next to GT4, but there is still plenty to do. I’ve logged many hours into this already, and it definitely has longevity to it.

The new interface is great. Loading times are much snappier than GT4. The selection of cars isn’t near GT4, but it’s surprisingly complete and will have most favorites. The in-cockpit racing view is beautiful. And, overall, the whole game still has that hyper fine polish, style, and attention to detail that the series is known for.

Downsides

There is a limited selection of tracks, and a limited selection of events and ways to progress through the game. While it’s great to finally get online play, the online mode is currently very simple.

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Footnote

I went to a large arcade recently, and played several arcade racers: it’s amazing how much better home systems are today. Of course, the arcade games are designed for quick novelty enjoyment, while the home systems are designed for more extended and serious play. Also, the home steering wheels are much nicer quality. This is probably because the arcade equipment is designed mainly to tolerate public abuse and easy repair rather than to provide accurate control and complex force feedback effects.


Written by: Darrin - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by Burten on April 25th, 2008 [ 550 Points ]

    I feel much the same, but remember that its “just” an Prologue, and the final GT5 wil be MUCH bigger :-)

  2. #2 by Paranoimia on April 26th, 2008

    The problem with this online is that there are some idiots who spoil some races.

    I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been rammed off at corners by people who don’t seem to know how to brake, deliberately slammed into barriers while trying to overtake on a straight, or nudged down a pit lane to receive a ‘shortcut penalty’.

    The full game really needs to implement a way to invite friends to race with, or at least block individual users so that you won’t get matched with them again; if they could add similar functions via a future update to Prologue, that would also be much appreciated. Then these retards would end up with no-one to race against.

    That said, when you get a selection of ‘serious’ racers, the online can be truly awesome.

  3. #3 by Jason on April 26th, 2008

    Is there any voice support?

  4. #4 by Paranoimia on April 26th, 2008

    Nope, no voice support at all.

  5. #5 by Glitch on April 26th, 2008

    It’s probably for the best, that there is no voice support in the game. I can easily imagine sixteen players going “rrnnnnnn rrrnnnn nn wrooooooooouuuuuummm” in their headsets the entire race. I know I might. ;-)

  6. #6 by mcloki on April 26th, 2008 [ 2355 Points ]

    I just bought it and I do like it.
    Must get a wheel though.
    I would love a way to design custom paint jobs for your vehicle. That would be great. Then racing teams could be formed and they all drive the same paint job. Custom names on the side. Race for “skins” where the loser loses his paint job. I think that would be awesome.
    I also like GT TV. Great idea, but Sony should incorporate it into Home. So every game has access to it.

  7. #7 by west coast ps3 on April 26th, 2008

    GT5P has been the #1 game in my PS3 for the past week.

    I’ve almost finished the Class A events and am looking forward to that, as it will unlock the intermediate and expert online races. As mentioned before the beginner races are basically a demo derby, lots of players just ram and hope for the best.

  8. #8 by chrysostom on April 28th, 2008 [ 830 Points ]

    it’s my fav. game so far. i like the design of the events. Some of them are really fun and tough, e.g. overtake 15 cars in 1 lap. The driving line is indispensable (for driver of my level).

    I think we need more rules in both the online game and the offline game, for example, driving at a subnormal speed or deliberate contact. They should be made an option much like the physics / tire restrictions. I am seeing some of it already, e.g. if you take a short cut, you will be penalized. I think we just need more to make the game more enjoyable.


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