Crispy Gamer

Outlook 2010: Gran Turismo 5

Gran Turismo 5
Kyle Orland

Kyle Orland:
I've been kind of down on the Gran Turismo series since getting burned out on the first one back on the original PlayStation. After playing that initial, revelatory driving simulation for what must have been more than 100 hours, I found I just wasn't enough of a car nut to care about the mostly cosmetic upgrades the future entries brought.

But I'm still hopeful about Gran Turismo 5 for one very specific reason: vehicle damage. This has been the one glaring omission from Gran Turismo's otherwise flawless racing simulation, and one that makes it really hard to take seriously in this day and age. Other games penalize me when I crash headlong into another car at 120 mph ... as they should. In the Gran Turismo games, there is no such penalty, making it almost possible to resist playing bumper cars with the opponents on those hairpin turns. For a game based around simulating a realistic driving experience, this is nigh inexcusable. But with the introduction of vehicle damage, Gran Turismo 5 could very well get another 100-plus hours of my time.

Russ Fischer

Russ Fischer:
I love racing games to death, and consequently keep trying to change my mind about Gran Turismo, but I can't manage to be anything but full of dread for Gran Turismo 5. Vehicle damage is a step in the right direction, yes. But the whole franchise is so cold and distant. The one time I've had a good time playing it was actually at Polyphony Digital in Tokyo, where they have built an immersive cockpit that surrounds you with sound and vibration and a real sense of physical movement. That was fun, but playing the game on its own, I never get the sense of danger and immersion that other racing games deliver.

I do understand how the series appeals to die-hard gearheads, and would never dream of trying to push them away from it. But that seems to be all the appeal it has, and I have no interest in spending hundreds of hours tuning a simulation. I need to do enough work on my real car as is. Gran Turismo is like a to-do list, not an escape.

Our Outlook for the first half of 2010 continues...