Developer: Polyphony Digital
All good things come to those that wait. Not just an adage for the long wait that's preceded this much delayed game, but a piece of advice for getting through a rough start with Polyphony Digital's driving simulator.
There have been a few patches already to fix the online issues, such as packed servers infecting the single-player game. So now after the storms have settled following GT5's release, we can provide a proper verdict of the game as it stands today.
Gran Turismo 5 is a great game when you hit the track and for those players who will enjoy tinkering with a cars settings to optimise performance. In many other areas though, GT5 is seriously average. Let's have a look through the rough stuff and see if the good can overcome it though.
The menus are sluggish and poorly laid out, making navigating the career mode a real chore. Even the car showrooms are problematic as comparing a list of different cars stats is too slow as each tech sheet loads after the car, making it a slow process looking for the most powerful ones. There's still no option to test drive a car from the showroom, instead you have to try and hunt it down in the long, uncategorised list in the Arcade mode.
Most annoying though is the lack of shortcuts. Many of the career tournaments are very specific as to what car you can use, so it would be good if you could go directly from the 'allowed cars' list straight to that section of the showroom if they're available to buy. At least the loading times have sharpened up a bit since the v1.02 patch.
They're just menus though right? Well a few of the races have crumbled beneath the weight of expectation too. The Rally events are really poor, the cars feel under-powered and handle like milk-floats in treacle. For some bizarre reason, the map is moved to the middle of the screen for these races, which is really distracting. It's so badly placed, I thought it was a glitch at first.
If you've been looking forward to taking on The Stig's and other celebrity lap times on the famous Top Gear test track then brace yourself for disappointment. The track isn't unlocked from the start and you're forced into a Volkswagen Bus (think Little Miss Sunshine) race around the track. It couldn't be duller. Once you do unlock the track, you can't gauge a comparable lap time because you can only perform a rolling start, the TV show times a lap from standing. Polyphony Digital have completely missed the point of including the track. If they're going to patch anything else, let it be this. That's PATCH, not paid DLC.