Gran Turismo 5 Prologue

Overview

I have to say that I am one of the few people out here in the gaming industry who has liked the way Sony and Polyphony has brought out their latest entry into the Gran Turismo franchise. Sure the first Gran Turismo HD wasn’t all that exciting, but it at least gave you an idea of what to expect from Gran Turismo 5, not to mention you couldn’t beat the price. Today we are checking out yet another iteration of Gran Turismo 5 before the real deal, this time in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue on the Playstation 3. Does this game move past the claims that it’s just a glorified demo? Read our full review to find out!

Gameplay

So in Sony’s effort to push the new Playstation Network (PSN) has put up Gran Turismo 5 Prologue on for digital download and for a boxed copy. The price doesn’t change for either version, nor does the content or performance. However the question still arises, does this Prologue version make a worthwhile investment, or should you just wait for the full fledged Gran Turismo 5 title?

Well obviously this isn’t the Gran Turismo game fans have been waiting for on the Playstation 3, but what it is, is a bit of a smaller package showing off some of the great racing that is to come. The question then arises, is there enough content in this game? Like many other Gran Turismo titles before it, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue starts you off with a minimal amount of money. This lets you purchase a rather modest ride; my starting car was a 2004 Honda Integra.

From there you are then going to enter races, and your goal is to win, make money, and continue on forward. Let me get a few of those stats that you’re all probably wondering about right now. There are 70 cars, which as I mentioned range from the Integra and the Mini Cooper all the way to the debut of the Ferrari’s in a Gran Turismo title. There are however only six tracks available, which doubles if you count the reverse tracks as well.

Even with the lack of tracks, both the single player and online play still works out quite nicely. What really moves this game along is the gameplay, which is back to its purest and richest form. There is something to be said about the Gran Turismo franchise, it is never disappointing in the way the cars handle. There is such a noticeable and realistic difference between handling all of the different vehicles in the game that it’s hard not to get a little giddy about what is to come from the full version.

One of the major improvements in Prologue are the many different viewpoints that you can take while racing, mostly notably the full interior view. Although I still find the interior views to be a pain, watching your driver shift and gauge through tight turns is absolutely stunning. What is amazing about the interior viewpoint is that each vehicle has an accurate reconstruction of the interior models of the car your driving, once again adding to the realistic factor. However for as great as they look, racing in that view to me can be a bit over distracting, but I have a feeling many will like it.

In the end, both the online play and the single player feel like half the experience of what we will see from the full fledged GT5 game. However a partial version of what is bound to be a fantastic game for 39.99 actually turns out to be quite the game. For the price, GT5 is a fantastic racing title. It’s a few courses short of what I would have liked to have seen, but the mechanics are flawless, the cars handle beautifully, and the online play is smooth as butter.

Graphics

There is only game that I can think of on the Playstation 3 that is even in the same category as GT5 Prologue and that is Uncharted: Drakes Fortune. But even Naughty Dog’s Uncharted doesn’t come close to how gorgeous Gran Turismo 5: Prologue looks. The vehicles are flawless, perfect color, detail, and stature, and the courses are as detailed and vibrant as you could ever imagine. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is a game in my mind that really requires an HDTV set to really appreciate the game to its fullest capacity.

Fun Factor

The real issue with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is not anything to do with the gameplay mechanics or graphics, but instead just on content. With six tracks, twelve if you count the reverse way, you’re going to grow tired of the tracks rather quickly. That is not to say that each track doesn’t create a great challenge. They do, but you will just want more variety throughout the game. Taking the game online is fantastic, it really is great to race against some top notch competition, and that’s exactly what you will find on PSN, along with of course your occasional goof off.

Overall

To call Gran Turismo 5: Prologue a glorified demo, is far from accurate. This game on its own could compete for one of the best racing games, if not the best racing simulation on the market today. If you’re a huge Gran Turismo fan and can’t wait for the full version, there is no reason not to pick this game up, if for nothing else to really show off your HDTV.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.