Gran Turismo 5 Prologue review
A game fit to be a part of the real driving simulator.

The good:

- Sticks to the same winning Gran Turismo formula.
- Graphics are among the best to ever grace a console.
- Details are painstakingly crafted ingeniously.
- The new in-car view is fantastic.

The bad:

- Only six courses.
- A relatively low total of about 70 cars.
- Online mode is a bit on the basic side.
- Only forty events.
- No rallies/special challenges.
- The curse that is the penalty system.



The Gran Turismo series has presented an extremely exquisite look of the best cars, tracks, and drivers for the last ten years. From Gran Turismo in 1998 to the upcoming fifth full version due out in 2009, the series hasn't had a disappointment yet, and that continues to be the case after this game was released.


In this game, you start out with only a little bit of dough, similar to the other games in the franchise, and only a couple of cars to choose from. Once you choose your car, you have the option then to enter races based on class. Once you've finished all the races in the C class, you can advance to do some races in the B class, and then so on. In terms of overall gameplay, this event by event basis, while effective, is a little bit tedious since there are only forty events to play and for the most part, and getting golds on most of them is almost near impossible. From what I've found, there are no possible cheats available for this game, just some basic hints/tips. Arcade is a minor addition in terms of having drift trials and race trials that doesn't hurt or help the gameplay of this title. One thing that Gran Turismo did do extremely well this year, however, was the addition of the in-car view. While the views aren't adjustable, you can peruse what's in front of the car in terms of environment and also have the ability to browse the back window to see who's on your tail; this addition was extremely crucial in advancing the Real Driving Simulator one step further since it makes you feel like you are actually in the driver's seat ready to go! In terms of upgrading the car, the Quick Tune option is about as far as you can go. Quick Tune is unlockable once the S class is available, and the Quick Tune option gives you the option to adjust your tires, horsepower, weight, and aerodynamics, which are the only things that will increase/decrease performance points in order to fit into a certain event.

Gameplay: 8/10


This is what the Gran Turismo series has always been known for, and continues ever so much farther in this game. The mountains of Eiger Nordwand makes me feel like I'm actually there while the buildings of London lead me to believe that I'm rampaging through the city at the highest speeds possible, which only intensifies the gaming experience. The people at Polyphony Digital spent weeks upon months trying to recreate each minute detail to equal the most realistic gaming experience ever, and they didn't disappoint in the slightest.

Graphics: 10/10


There is really no plot in terms of this game. You complete a variety of races until you unlock some more, and once you finish unlocking all the events you try to achieve gold on them. It doesn't get any more simple than that!

Plot: N/A


For the first time in the series, the game has an online component, albeit a very basic one. Unlockable once the S class is available, once you get into the network, there are an immense amount of races to choose from, and most of them are put into classes, whether it would be by performance points, time trials, or by specific makes. When you get into a race, depending on the limit, there can be up to 16 different players, way more than 6 offline for the likes of GT4 and the rest of the series. Unfortunately, the connection time between races does take a little while (I had a perfect connection for testing), and the races are a bit on the buggy side, kicking me out are having me lose my connection from time to time. Some things I'd suggest are adding tournaments or doing more offline/online tie-ins, but the general formula is there and working. On the plus side as well, you usually win more money online than offline, at least from what I noticed.

Online: 7/10


One other category this game shines in is the sound department. Ever car sounds exactly like in real life and the best part is that each car sounds different in comparison to the others. Also, by adding/lightening weight, adding/decreasing horsepower, and changing the tires also have an effect on the sound of that particular vehicles, which is extremely crafty. The soundtrack is surprising bouncy and it really does gel into the game extremely well.

Audio: 10/10


If you are familiar with the GT series, this game's controls aren't much different, except handling is a bit harder in order to capture the realism further. Besides that, the controls are well managed, simple, but effective.

Controls: N/A


GT is a game of chance. Either you love the game and its formula or you hate it and it desperately needs to change. In terms of repetition, expect the same stuff you were to find in the previous installments, with each racer trying to gun it out for first place. To me, the game has yet to be boring, and the only time I can point it out is when I was trying to get the golds for each race.

Repetition: N/A

Lasting Value:

From what I've experienced in the series, each installment is equally addictive, and this is no different. If you love this series this game will give you more of the same fulfillment that you got previously. The online mode further enhances the replayability of the title as well.

Lasting Value: 9/10

Final Thoughts, Scoring, and Recommending It?:

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is just a taste of the real thing. With the extreme chance that the full installment due out next year will have at least ten-fold as many cars and as many tracks, this gives you an insight of how revolutionary this series really is and how it's come a long way since the original Playstation.

Gameplay: 8/10
Graphics: 10/10
Online: 7/10
Audio: 10/10
Lasting Value: 9/10
Overall: 44/50, 4.4/5, 88%

I would recommend anyone who is a fan of the series to shell out the $40 to buy it, and those who want to enter the series for the first time should rent it at the very least.

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