Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Review (PS3)
Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is a game that many have expressed concern about. Over the past several weeks many Operation Sports users have complained the game is nothing more than an overpriced demo.
For the most part, they were right.
Do not get me wrong, Prologue is not a bad game. You also shouldn't worry about the quality of the Gran Turismo series slipping. However, when it comes to paying $40 for what amounts to be a souped up demo, that's a decision that I believe is tougher to make than what it should be.
Prologue suffers from some puzzling design decisions as well as a bad marketing strategy. But, when you actually get in and start driving you will be greeted with a fun but familiar game.
Prologue features dozens of cars and several variations of six core tracks. It also features buttery smooth full HD graphics at 60fps - definitely a huge bonus and a good reason to check out the game.
Design Decisions, Questionable?
The core problem I have with Prologue is the basic premise of the game was done wrong. The game is priced too high and the concept of having to unlock every car in the game by buying them just to drive them is a really puzzling move to me.
Prologue should be about getting to demo what Gran Turismo 5 has to offer. You shouldn't be laboring just to unlock cars in the game. In my opinion, the game should be at the most $30 with most of the cars unlocked from the get go.
I simply cannot believe this design decision. Many Gran Turismo faithful will feel I’m harping on a non-issue, but I believe that it's a valid point as the game is not accessible at all from the get go. I felt very restricted at what I could do, which is never a good thing.
Taking it a step further, you also can’t tune cars in this game until you receive all of the licenses.
Gameplay, More of the Same
I have got great news for you, the gameplay has not changed much from previous versions of Gran Turismo.
I also have got bad news for you. The gameplay has not changed much from previous versions of Gran Turismo. This means bumping to victory while being magnetized to the ground with pretty tight control is all still there.
The way that I look at this is very comparable to Madden, except I believe the Madden series' core gameplay has changed more than Gran Turismo's since the first Turismo was released. And, I don't think Polyphony deserves a free pass on this.
While some would argue that the original Turismo was very close to perfect, limiting damage and keeping things extra tight pulled down the games realism.
With that said, I spent several hours playing the game and I enjoyed most of those hours. Basically what you are getting is a past gen Gran Turismo gameplay experience with next-gen graphics and polish.
It is most certainly passable, but it isn't the full experience that Gran Turismo 5 might offer.
It is Beautiful and It Sounds Great
The graphics in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue are some of the best I have seen on the PS3. The game looks great in 1080p on my 42” HDTV for sure. It also runs great at 60fps, so overall on the technical end, this game shines.
Dust is thrown up if you run off the track, there are heat waves radiating from the track, reflections off of the cars (which all look just great) and a whole number of other little visual touches.
Each car has an in-car cockpit view which has quickly become one of my favorite new additions to the game. I played with this view for quite awhile and I feel that it is another step towards making the game feel more realistic.
Then there is the sound, which I feel is the game's strongest point. Everything from the cars to the music just fits. Not to say you should rush out and buy Prologue because of the soundtrack or anything, but the audio adds immensely to the overall presentation of the game.
If this game was $20 or even $30, the score would be at least a full point higher.
However, given the price tag, the limited number of tracks and cars, and the strange design decisions, it is hard to recommend this game to anyone who isn't a fan of the Gran Turismo series. If money is no object you are going to get a game that plays like Gran Turismo 4 but looks and sounds like Gran Turismo 5, with a limited lineup of cars and tracks no matter how you shake it.
We may take another look at this game in a few months if the rumored damage model patch makes its way into Prologue.
On the Track: It plays like all previous Gran Turismo titles, so it features very good gameplay. But, how long will we continue to see the same gameplay?[/b]
Graphics: Pretty. Beautiful. It's not the best looking next-gen or PS3 title, but it's definitely in the upper echelon for sure.
Sound: Each car sounds superb and the soundtrack, though limited, was typical Gran Turismo fare and it works.
Entertainment Value: This game is fun to play, especially head to head. However, not having any selection of cars at the front is just a really bad idea.
Learning Curve: If you are a veteran of the series, you will be able to pick up and play this game almost instantly. If you have never played Gran Turismo but plan on picking up Gran Turismo 5, this would be a good introduction for you.
Online: I only played a few races online but all were what you'd expect really. There isn't much more variety to the online mode than what you'd expect, but it worked and was relatively lag free for me which is saying a lot.