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Plugged In

Critics: Gran Turismo 5 good, but not for everyone

Plugged In

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Gran Turismo 5

Six years in the making, the latest in Sony's genre-defining Gran Turismo
series skid onto shelves Wednesday. It's been far from a smooth road,
though, as the game was originally scheduled to be released in March,
but repeated delays left some fearing it would miss 2010 altogether.
Those fears proved unfounded, but have the delays given Sony's Polyphony
Digital time to deliver fans the polished experience they wanted?

Yes, says Destructoid's Dale North.
Scoring it a perfect 10, he lavishes praise on its size ("massive"),
its driving feel ("both accurate and exciting at the same time"), and
its visuals ("one of the most visually pleasing games ever released").
Its damage modeling, a new addition for this instalment, comes in for
less praise. It "isn't really notable," he says, being neither as
realistic nor as dramatic as you might be expecting.

In contrast, IGN.com
serves up a comparatively muted 8.5/10. While writer Martin Robinson is
full of praise for the game's gearhead simulator tech, he's not so
pleased with the overall package. It's "a 10/10 simulator wrapped up in a
5/10 game, he says, adding that "...its brilliance on the track is
matched by its sloppiness off of it, and there's a lack of polish that
would at one time have seemed sacrilegious to the series." Robinson
names the bloated front-end, poor collisions, and gutless engine sounds
among his concerns.

"Ultimately its driving wins out to ensure that it's still a great game," he
concludes, "but it leaves that nagging doubt: this could have been a
masterpiece were it not for the fact that Polyphony was so absorbed with
the detail that it took its eye off the ball."

Joystiq, too, seems a little underwhelmed. Gran Turismo 5 is a game "that's
been driven down a very narrow path to end up something only a subset
of gamers will truly enjoy," according to writer Randy Nelson. Although
it's "great at what it does...for the true car lovers of the
world...this is the new paradigm," he clearly feels it's a
limited-appeal title.

"If you're not [a car nut]," he says, "GT5 is like walking in on a group of physicists discussing string theory and asking who wants to go toss around a ball for a bit. You're looking to have fun; they're only interested in studying the math behind how it
bounces."

Currently, Gran Turismo 5 is scoring an aggregate mark of 86% on metacritic.com,
although that'll likely change as the week wears on. So far, though,
the verdict's pretty clear: if you're a gearhead, this could be your
dream game -- but if you're looking for a more casual racer, you may
want to steer clear.

Bought it? Played it? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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