The wait was long.
Racing simulator Gran Turismo 5 was first announced five years ago as one of the potential early releases for the then-new PlayStation 3.
Delays and fine-tuning resulted in a wait so long that developers released a Gran Turismo 5 Prologue in 2008 to preview the eventual release of the fifth full game in the franchise.
That long wait ended in late November with the release of Gran Turismo 5 for the PlayStation 3.
It doesnt take long after cranking up the game to understand why it took so long. The game is massive.
The game contains more than 1,000 cars, 70 tracks and hundreds of different races. You could play this game for months and not unlock everything.
Much of the game stays true to the series roots.
The player has a number of license tests that help unlock a variety of races. The progression through those tests and the purchase of a car or cars helps send you through the wide-open career mode. Youll unlock vehicles as you proceed through the game, and you earn cash to purchase new cars and build up a garage.
Ive always enjoyed the series because it allows you to really just collect cars. The variety is so huge, that its easy to get lost this time around while searching for vehicles. Youll want a nice variety to give you options for the different race types.
This is a racing simulator, so the racing is supposedly realistic. I dont race cars, so I dont know about that. But I do know that every car handles differently, and youll have to play around some to find cars that fit your style.
The game includes the licenses for NASCAR and the rally series. No company owned a NASCAR license this year, so it might be tempting to pick up this game for a NASCAR fix. You can certainly use NASCAR vehicles, but this isnt a NASCAR game, so beware if thats what youre looking for. This is a racing game that includes a small taste of NASCAR.
My biggest complaint with the game is its ridiculous load times. There is an optional 10-gigabyte install to your hard drive for the game. Without the install, load times are among the worst Ive seen. But load times are still long even with the install.
Living up to five years of hype was an impossible task for Sony. But Gran Turismo 5 is still one of the better racing games ever released, and it certainly rivals the other racing simulators out on the market.