Gran Turismo 5 Review Round-Up: A Mixed Bag

Harsh words, but are they being reflected in the scores?

Posted by Staff
Gran Turismo 5 Review Round-Up: A Mixed Bag
Polyphony Digital's latest labour of love, Gran Turismo 5, is finally out after six long years of development, and reception across the industry is decidedly mixed. Despite some damning comments, the game is getting some unprecedented high scores.

IGN's Martin Robinson marked the PS3 racer an 8.5 out of 10, and wrote that the balance of the game was more heavily weighted towards the simulation aspect rather than the game itself; "Gran Turismo 5 is a 10/10 simulator wrapped up in a 5/10 game... its brilliance on the track is matched by its sloppiness of it, and there’s a lack of polish that would at one time have seemed sacrilegious to the series."

Eurogamer published the most glowing review with a 9/10, with reviewer Oli Welsh noting that the game is "an off-kilter vision of the future, a cumbersome game with odd priorities, certainly. But it's equally a game that heads off in unexpected and exciting directions, makes a few notable improvements, and overflows with love."

Despite some final comments that would leave Kazunori Yamauchi wincing, CVG's Andy Robinson awarded the game with an 8/10, stating that "This is a good game. But, it's not a great one. Too much of GT5 relies on past glories, building on the success of the series without shaking free of the design quirks that are holding the series back."

VideoGamesDaily (formerly Kikizo) supported its 8/10 review with a high amount of praise for "what it gets right." Writes Rupert Higham, "what PD have delivered is unquestionably a phenomenal achievement and will represent countless lost hours for petrolheads the world over, but the GT series is no longer the gold standard for driving games."

A mixed bag of opinions with a distinctly unmixed scoring range, then.

Which leaves us - SPOnG - with no formal review and no score published just yet. That will come later today, when we've properly collected our thoughts - but our impressions feature has more GT5 information than you can possibly stomach, with opinions from several different viewpoints.

Editor-in-Chief, Tim, felt that "GT5 offers plenty of bang for your currency. By this I mean that there is lots of content. It's simply that none of it lives up to the hype. Lots and lots of “things” have been shoe-horned in at the expense of one, majorly important item: enjoyment," noting a severe lack of tuning options.

Racing simulation newbie and Senior Writer Mark didn't mince his words. "It's a bit boring, really. The real failing for me, though, is the disconnect between the speed you see on the speedometer and the speed you feel you're going at. I get that this isn't Burnout, and I even got into the more technical driving a bit as I played for longer, but any sense of speed just evaporates at way higher speeds than it ought to."

Meanwhile racing nuts Gavin and Marcus had nothing good to say about Polyphony's latest at all. Gavin wrote that "I can't see myself playing GT5 for very long at all since the rest of the game is just as disappointing. The cars handle so badly that I can hardly keep them on the track, or slow down for a corner without hitting the barriers," while Marcus added the game is "almost unimaginably bad.

"Whereas earlier Gran Turismo games trod a fine line between arcade driving games and sims, Polyphony have become increasingly obsessed with the latter, while trying still not to close the door on fans of the former. The result is a dead husk of a game, all the fun sucked out of it by the accuracy vampires." So, Marcus didn't like it, then.

Have you bought GT5 yet? What do you make of it? Let us know your thoughts - and if you agree with any of those posted here - in the forum below.


Showing the 20 most recent comments. Read all 39.
GT5 Tracks, glitches, cardboard trees and more 25 Nov 2010 10:32
Your hilarious, have you seen all the options in Forza 3 and the amazing amount of data it can show about evey aspect of the car and also all the adjustments etc you can do to the cars?, also have you seen how much more you can do with the cars online (Customise etc) which you can't do on GT5 ?
Forza has a lot more in car views than GT5 so where is the sim in the mainly NO in car view of the majority of cars in GT5 ?

GT5 tracks are a joke tearing and distorted and as for the trees !! they look like someone has taken a pair of scissors to them.

Just looking at your logic on what controller you have says it all really, so as long as you can afford a controller minimum of the G25 that starts at around £150 that will make you right and everyone else wrong eh!!!!!...
MIKE 25 Nov 2010 10:50
Bought a 37" 1080p tv specifically for this game and can't tell you how much of a disappointment this is.

Tried the track maker which in theory is good but when I increased the complexity of one track the screen just went blank - after 10 mins I figured something had gone wrong. Also the tracks that were built do not look as good as they would had a designer spent time adding detail.
I think they have tried to be too clever and the PS3 can't cope with all the detail. There are really shocking shadow effects, particularly in cockpit view which look very unnatural ( and under the cars when stationary - very jagged)
I can only think it has taken them 5 years because they only had a few people working on it. You can't tell me it would take that long to re texture some of the old tracks.

EA sports have been scathing saying it is sterile and more a car collectors game than a racing game - unfortunately I have to agree.

They made a big thing about 1080p and 60 fps - I don't think it is running at that and in some tracks the smooth camera panning when going around corners is far from it - there is awful screen judder and rippling.

Tempted to sell it on - GT5Prologue was a big improvement on GT4 but this is not

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Troy 25 Nov 2010 11:34
@Jordan_Dyckes - black ops is broken? Man what have u been smoking? Black ops is awesome, red dead redemption was a killer game, even vanquish was fun. But thanks for the review on gt5, u saved my hard earned cash!
Sony Boy 25 Nov 2010 11:37
Say what u will

Watch everyone in the whole wide world go buy a copy
Zippo 25 Nov 2010 11:42
Jeez you guys are all muppets..
vizi0 25 Nov 2010 11:54
GT5 is a big disappointment!!!! the online game play sucks and u have to unlock cars in the game in order to race them online... Why cant they have a online mode to unlock and advance levels besides in the awful game??? This was a real let down.. be warned dont buy this crap.
Climbitize 25 Nov 2010 12:25
I got GT5 12:00am 24th. The games is stunning, the graphics are a slight let down due to the volume of videos of the game and there has not been any real improvement since these teaser trailers or the GT acadamy DLC. I feel the physics are incredible just try to get a Zonda S round the trck with traction control off i dare you. If you like the pervious pace of GT series this is defo for you if you don't like it don't play it. If you love cars then this tribute to the industry is awesome you really can feel the love for cars pouring from this game. I would score 9/10 ll day long, also the addition of fun aspects like the Karting is just perfect the physics are wicked for the karting. If you are a TRUE PETROL HEAD buy this game you will not be disappointed.
benny44 25 Nov 2010 13:08
I agree with Climbtize. The menus aren't great, loading times are a bit slow but the game has the physics down. All these people on here that say it's too hard to corner obviously can't drive in real life. Forza is a good game, I enjoyed them but it has nowhere near the depth and realism GT5 has. This is the way these cars handle in real life. And quit knocking it for being a simulator, it says it on the front of the box. This, in my opinion, is by far the best in the GT series. If you want to paint your car pretty colors and chat with fellow teenagers online, buy Forza. If you want to see what it is like to drive a real car and push it to its limits, buy GT5.
dave 25 Nov 2010 13:23
well dont no if it just me but i manage to keep the cars on track i found the handling perfect if you treat the cars as a real car and as for top gear challenge with vw vans i managed to win it on 10th attempt only by driving perfectly as you would if u r racing overall this is a brilliant game and also the fact it supports my PS2 driving force wheel
prolific 25 Nov 2010 13:44
thanks for the reviews guys, I havent even played it, its in my basket on but since then I've been reading reviews. As I see doesnt matter who's right and who's wrong, if a games reviews are this bad from anyone, its not worth buying, I have a PS3 and only play GT5 prologue, dont get as much time Im not buying this...what racer do I buy?
Tom 25 Nov 2010 14:37
@prolific If you like GT5 prologue, buy GT5. Regardless of what anyone says, it's still a good game/sim. Just not as good as it should be. Not as good as expected. And people are pissed because of that. And have a right to be. Because we didn't imagine GT5 is going to be amazing, end-all racing game. That claim was pushed down out throat for the last 5 years by Sony and Polyphony Digital. So understandably many are pissed to find... just a solid racing sim. Nothing more, nothing less. If you can objectively accept this and don't expect the God of racing games, you'll prolly love it. However, if NFS or forza are more your cup of tea, than by all means don't buy it. This is a SIM. And for all the n00bs out there (I'm not calling you one) a sim means you can't enter a corner at 250km/h in a BMW. Don't believe me? Try it in real life, see what happens. It means you have to actually use the breaks. It means mastering corners is key to a good time. Etc.
Those who enjoy this, will enjoy GT5. The rest should just go away and buy mario kart.
benny44 25 Nov 2010 15:43
@prolific: I second what Tom said. The physics are much better than GT4 and Prologue, there are more things to do in 5 like Nascar and the suprisingly fun Kart racing. It's just that the menus are awkward and it isn't as smooth as it should be (the user interface, not the racing). Kids and casual players won't like it because the driving, as it is in real life when you drive fast, is difficult. By the way, I have the DFGT wheel. I played about 10 minutes with a controller and I didn't have anywhere near the fun. My guess is that most people who are trashing the game are playing with a controller.
DoctorDee 25 Nov 2010 19:15
benny44 wrote:
All these people on here that say it's too hard to corner obviously can't drive in real life.

My every day car is a Megane RS250, my weekend car has 450 BHP and can do 60 in 4 seconds. I drive after and for fun. I'm not claiming to be Senna, but I drive well - better than 99% of people - and I'll gladly meet you at any track and prove that fact in any car.

But GT5 sucks.
benny44 25 Nov 2010 20:01
So doctor dee, are you questioning the games physics? Or do you just find the game boring or tedious to play? It's a driving simulator, not an over the top game like NFS. I realize that most will not like this game, but I love it. To each his own, right? The realism of the driving is what hooks me. I've played Burnout, NFS, and whatever other racing title I could, but GT5 is the only one that feels REAL to me, and that is what I am looking for in a video game.
tanjent 27 Nov 2010 06:39
online sucks real bad.
forza 2 and 3 is much better
MIKE 27 Nov 2010 08:43
Further time on the game ( which includes using a 37 " 1080p screen, logitech G25 wheel etc ) has not altered my initial response. GT for me has always been the benchmark by which others can hope to aspire to but it seems the mantle has fallen which is very sad. I think it was a mistake to put out so many beautifully rendered pr videos but the game just does not meet the expectations.

Handling with the wheel is good if not great and stages like the Toscana time change stage has some stunning effects, likewise city stages have obviously been a labour of love for the model makers in Japan but the over pixellation/screen flicker really spoils the enjoyment for me. Screen tears are unacceptable given the development time - even the prerendered rotating cars don't rotate smoothly and the driver name list that runs across the screen before a race are jerky.

Drive off track and there is no gravel sound from under the car ! Track designer - you get trees and shadows popping up as you drive ( just like the old redraw problems in early versions). I expected a lot more beautiful night rain tracks, the snow stages leave me cold !!

Thought you could import your garage from prologue - there is a psp option.

Maybe when you get access to all the highend cars it might be a little more enjoyable,What I personally want from the game is maybe 20 brilliant cars, lots of new exciting tracks ( not a rehash of old ones )
After eagerly waiting years I can't believe that after a few days I'm thinking of selling it.
El Jeffe 28 Nov 2010 10:19
This is a good solid game. Just like mentioned before, the physics are prettey spot-on. The sense of speed is accurate and I have the real live track time under my belt to prove it although the majority is on two wheels. Trust me, a 120mph feels like a breezy 80mph on a familiar track with all your markers sorted. I miss having the ability to run BBS LM's on all my cars and I'm pretty sure Prologe offered an in car in every car. The Ai is lacking and those dumb ass opponents on the Top Gear track suck gigantic balls. We can't hit them, but they can hit us causing disqualification? Come on PD!
El Jeffe 28 Nov 2010 10:23
Oh yeah, where's my f**king Corrado, how many different MK4, 5, 6 golfs does this game really need?
Malc 30 Nov 2010 14:27
Gran Turismo 5, had it since release day - it completely blows Forza 3 away (Yes, I have an xbox 360 too). Now if you want visceral excitement then perhaps Need for speed: Shift is a rival
Malc 30 Nov 2010 14:28
Top Gear test track VW Campers need an update to remove the disqualifications
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