Gran Turismo 5: Prologue Preview

Gran Turismo 5: Prologue
Platform: PS3
Develepor: Polyphony Digital
Release Data: 4/15/08
Price: $39.99

The next installment of the critically acclaimed Gran Turismo series, which has sold nearly 50 million units to date, is on its way to the PS3 next month. However, there is a catch. The prologue in the title indicates that this is not the final and complete version of GT5. In fact, it's more of a progress report as Polyphony is breaking down the release of GT5 into increments to tide fans over since the scope and development time for the full game would have too long of a wait. Indeed, the existence of this game is smart marketing by Sony to milk one of its biggest franchise on its still young PS3 which has been starved for big games. The first installment came out in December 06 titled Gran Turismo HD concept which was a free demo featuring a single new location to race about 20 cars around with new HD graphics. It looked great and was a great free tease of what GT5 could be on the PS3. Well GT5:Prologue takes us deeper into GT5 for the not so free price of $39.99. So is it worth it?

GT5:Prologue demonstrates many of the new features that has been discussed for Gt5 for a while including an in car view with full interior modeling of individual cars, live guages, and working mirrors (1st in the series), the addition of high end European manufacturers such as Ferrari and Lamborgini (1st for the series), and an online mode complete with online racing, stat tracking, and a TV spectator mode. Prologue will release in North America this April (Japan had it since Oct 07 with less features) with 6 tracks, over 70 cars, 16 player online, and a brand new drift mode which the Japanese version did not feature (see full details here). In typical GT fashion, GT5:prologue will be an absolute showcase for the technical prowess of the Ps3 with 1920x1080p high definition graphics running at 60fps. The car models consist of over 200,000 polygons each and the environments are accurately modeled after real-world locations with glorious HDR lighting. Up to 20 cars with the increased detail can be driving in a single race (previous GTs never had double digit number of cars on screen at once). The physics engine has been overhauled making for even more realistic and accurate handling of each car and the audio has been upgraded in both quantity and fidelity featuring uncompressed 7.1 PCM surround sound.

GT5:prologue looks to be a great treat for fans of cars and previous GT games. Its even better to think that this is not even the finished version of GT5 and almost every aspect of the game will be enhanced by the time its released. Polyphony already promised damage and hinted at weather as additions to the final game. $40 is cheaper than the normal $60 game but is pretty expensive for a "glorified demo". But with online play, 6 courses, 70 cars, and some of the best graphics in gaming today, it may just be worth it.


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