This morning the demo of Grand Turismo 5 was unleashed on the PS3. The last time we seen anything from the GT franchise was GT5: Prologue, released March 27th 2008. Given we’re about 18 months on, the expectations for this were high. The demo / time trial contains 1 track, 1 car (Nissan 370Z) and two race modes – Untuned or tuned.
Naturally the cars look great, but that’s a requirement at this point. Unfortunately this demo disappoints on a number of fronts. Despite seeing videos online showing it off, there is still no DAMAGE. I’m at a lost to explain why this is. I remember watching a video with the game developers a couple years back who said until they could do damage properly, they wouldn’t include it in the game. However recent reports and videos show the GT damage engine is actually built. So where is it ? This is after all meant to be ‘The real driving simulator’.
Bizarrely there is no reverse gear. I drive manual in driving games, and usually when you change down 3,2,1, N, R is the norm. In the demo 1st gear is the lowest.
No skid marks – Grabbing the handbrake or sliding around the corner leaves no marks on the road. It might sound like a small issue, but when every other racing game does it (because it represents reality), it’s very noticeable.
Driving on a seemingly flat plane of grass results in your 370Z becoming a paint shaker. Rocking violently back and foward like it was off-road.
No replay speed controls. While you can choose from a couple of cameras, you can’t skip forward or reverse in the playback of the replay. Hell, you can’t even pause it.
I expect (hope) that all these issue are resolved by the time the final game rolls around.. some time in 2010, but it is clear the production schedule is way off track.
It shocks me how badly Grand Turismo dropped the ball on this franchise. They used to be the innovators and pillar of the racing game industry, unfortunately, my advice is to go get Forza 3.