Ever since the announcement of this game back at E3 last year, it has been disappointing to those loyal to the series. It was delayed repeatedly, missing a Christmas release, and ended up being released at the beginning of this year.
When it finally arrived, fans were greeted with a driving simulator, that punished those not willing to put in the time and effort to line up every braking point, and hit every apex. Saying that, the game did have a lot of positives, the amount of cars included was enormous and the detail on some of these cars was incredible. Also, personally, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful racing game, where the time has been taken with the cars and the tracks, it is a stunning game.
However, some of the tracks have been lazily put together, with a “that will do” attitude that shines through most of the game. Some parts of the game seem glued onto the end as an afterthought, such as the damage. If this was the amount of damage that would happen in real life, I would happily smash a car into a wall at 200 miles an hour.
So, will this new update improve the situation? Well, after a lengthy 2 Gb download, I decided to find out.
The first thing that is to be noted is the new intro movie. I have no idea why somebody thought this was a good idea. It is an optional download, but it seems pointless to put time and effort into changing an intro movie, that you can skip anyway, seems a bit of a waste of resources.
Next we come onto the interior view camera. For the “premium” cars, the interior views have been there since the game’s release, and are in amazing detail, with every switch, button and knob shown in full colour, so do the standard cars get the same treatment? The short answer is, not really. You are treated to a shadow that changes shape depending on the car you’re in, and that’s it. No detail at all, which makes you not want to use the view, as it just cuts off a large portion of the track, restricting your vision.
The final major improvement is a consecutive login bonus, for every day in succession you sign in, you gain a boost to credits and experience gained in every race, this applies to championship bonuses also. It starts at 110% on the first day and rises to 200% on the fifth day, and remains at that level as long as you play, while logged onto psn, every day. Even though this is a welcome boost, it seems a bit of a lazy attempt to keep people playing.
There are a few minor tweaks also, with the addition of the new season’s NASCAR entries, and a new Nissan GT-R. There has also been an improvement to the online features with new filters added to restrict cars. Also the ability to rewind replays and to include an avatar in photo mode are among these minor tweaks.
Moving onto the downloadable content, for a reasonable £9.49 ($11.99, €11.99) you get all 4 DLC packets in one. The four packs are: Circuit Pack, Car Pack, Equipment Pack and Paint Pack (imaginative names right?). The DLC does not require any downloading, as it’s all included in the update, you just need to pay to unlock it.
The circuit pack includes 2 kart tracks in a very trippy neon inspired theme, and also the legendary Spa Franco-champs in Belgium. As a Formula 1 enthusiast, I was looking very forward to this track, and it didn’t disappoint, very realistic and true to the real life track.
The second pack contains 15 cars, the majority of which are touring cars, but also includes 3 new go karts, and the Red Bull X2011. The Red Bull is insanely fast, and is allowed to enter any unrestricted races, which you will win easily, the top speed, or at least the fastest I could get it to, was 305 m.p.h. One tiny problem with this DLC though, you get given a ticket for each car in the “Car delivery” option, meaning you have to click each one individually, then accept, then say you don’t want to drive it, and repeat.
Next we have the equipment pack, which includes a variety of helmet and overall designs. The ones of note are the NASCAR themed suits, and the ability to dress your driver up as the Stig, from BBC’s Top Gear. Other than that, not a lot to see here, everything is down to personal tastes, but hopefully there’s enough choice for you to find something you like.
Finally, the paint pack. There are some very good paint colours, from softer pastel colours, to metallic shades, with some pearlescent paint effects thrown in for good measure. There are 100 paint items to choose from, so again, hopefully there is something there for every taste.
So, to sum up, the new update goes some way to resolving problems, but the big questions are left unanswered, and you may still feel like there is something missing. The DLC is good, but again feels like there may be something missing. If you already have the game, then the download is a must, and the DLC is worth it. If you don’t, then don’t rush out to buy the game, it’s simply not worth it.
For more information on the update, look here: http://eu.gran-turismo.com/gb/products/gt5/spec2/
For information on the DLC, look here: http://eu.gran-turismo.com/gb/products/gt5/dlc/