Monday, 8 June 2009

E3 2009 round-up part 3 – Gran Turismo 5

Now come the 3rd and final part of the E3 racing game round-up, and I’ve saved the best ‘till last. Seriously, this is a game worth waiting for.

Gran Turismo 5 (Sony/PD)


Yes, folks – that is a screenshot of a game, not real life. Sony and PD had us all guessing whether GT5 would make any kind of announcement or appearance at the show this year and at one point, they said no. But with rumours rife about them actually bringing something to the E3 table, the whole Sony press conference went through without any mention – of GT5 but not of GT as a whole. About midway through, Kazanori Yamauchi, father of Gran Turismo and Polyphony Digital, officially announced and showed GT PSP for the new PSP Go. It certainly looked impressive and as the conference drew to a close, everyone was thinking about GC or the TGS next year for news. But then, right at the end came a trailer which…actually, I’ll let you pass judgement on it:

The epitomy of awesome, is it not? Let’s just clarify the obvious first, in case you haven’t tagged on to it. Those sneaky beggars at Sony and PD have not only managed to secure the official licence of the World Rally Championship but also America’s premier race series, NASCAR. Yes, 2 official licences! Plus, some other little things. First off, eagle-eyed viewers will have spotted the NASCAR scenes at Indianapolis, which confirms the Brickyard’s presence alongside Daytona in terms of oval circuits. Also, we finally, FINALLY, got out first look at damage in Gran Turismo! This is something which fans and players of GT have been screaming for ever since GT2 was announced. At last, their prayers and calls have been answered. Thank goodness.

Also, if you’re even more of a good spotter, you will have noticed some new Super GT/JGTC cars, such as the classic Castrol Supra and a couple of NSXs from the past couple of seasons. There is also a shot of a Mazda 787B and an Audi R10 TDI on a runway of some sorts. A lot of people, through observation and picture comparisons, have come to the apparant confirmation that this is our first look at the Top Gear Test Track at Dunsfold. How has this come about? Simple – BBC did a deal with PD and Sony: you let us put Top Gear on Gran Turismo TV and we’ll put the TGTT in the game!

There’s not been an official word on how many cars and tracks GT5 will feature exactly, as that’s something that these guys like to keep us guessing on until the last minute. But according to Yamauchi, they have gotten to the stage of development with the game that if they wanted to, they could release it tomorrow. But I’m sure they’ll work on it as long as they need to and continue to tease us with pictures, videos and announcements. But let’s look at what we do know – there’s damage, 2 official licences, some of the world’s best tracks including the Nordschleife, Indy, Le Mans and Daytona, Ferraris for the first time, 16 cars on track, online play and graphics that have to be seen to be believed.

Put simply, no matter who you are, no matter how, if you so much as even have a minor interest in cars and motor racing, you NEED this game. I don’t have a PS3 but by god I will have one either in time for or when it comes out. Again, we’re still guessing on that too, but signs do seem to point to somewhere between Christmas and Spring 2010, with my money on the sensible option of the latter.

To sum up this game and the whole franchise in one sentence I shall simply say this: Gran Turismo is like Grolsch – never rushed! Nor should it be. See? We had to wait for it for 5 years, but look at the result. Trust me, this WILL be worth the wait.


Dan Brunell said...

Oh my god. OH my god. OH MY god! OH MY GOD!!!