GT5 Prologue Preview
We received a preview build of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue earlier this week and proceeded to download it over the course of nine excruciating hours. While none of the online elements of the title were available in this build, we gave the complete offline experience a lengthy test drive.
Even while navigating menus, it’s easy to see that Prologue oozes of quality. There are several disparities between the US build and the Japanese release (besides the fact that we can now understand what we’re selecting). Minor elements, like event menu, have been adjusted for the expanded audience. In addition, there is a bounty of purchasable cars that weren’t obtainable in the Japanese release that made their way into the US adaptation.
You’ve got enough credits in the beginning to acquire a single ride, so we opted to pick up a 2005 Volkswagen Golf GTI. We then worked our way up from class C to class A races, earning credits and purchasing scores of vehicles from different dealerships along the way. The six tracks (the US version includes the High Speed Ring track, which have been a staple in past Gran Turismo titles) were varied in difficulty and play style. We enjoyed the fairly laidback Daytona, where sly slipstreaming tactics were key to out-driving the competition. The London track almost resembled a tech demo; while the entire game is gorgeous, this particular track is meticulously detailed. It isn’t our favorite layout however, as that prestige goes to either the track seen in GT:HD, Eiger Nordwand, or the full Suzuka circuit. Both Fuji Speedway layouts felt a tad too forgiving, and as for the High Speed Ring, it’s still the same track that you know and love.
One of the massive distinctions of this build from Japan’s is the ability to tune your car to your liking. There are a plethora of categories, from power and weight to complex ones like front/rear torque distribution. Note though that we weren’t able to perform any adjustments until after we cleared the first set of races, class C.
The gem here is the offline multiplayer. This two player split-screen mode offers a chance for you to humiliate your friends on any of the game’s six adjustable courses. Each person can select their car (which must be previously owned) then proceed to adjust their amount of steering assist, level of traction control, tires, physics variety (Standard and the more realistic Professional) and so on. When racing split-screen, there’s absolutely no alteration in visual quality from the single-player game. The framerate lacks any drops whatsoever, though there aren’t 11 other cars racing, just the two. Regardless, the mode is both a technical achievement and a blast.
While we’ve loved playing this offline version of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, we’re greatly anticipating taking all its online features for a spin. We’ll have a full review for you when that time comes.