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Gran Turismo 5 Prologue!

The popular racing sim from Sony has finally released their appetizer to the upcoming Gran Turismo 5. Will this early sneak peak at GT5 be what you've been waiting for?

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Shiny: Visually, the game shines in standard def, but it's truly a picture perfect sight to see at times in 1080p. Sony teased gamers early with an HD version of Gran Turismo featuring a quick race around the Eiger Nordwand circuit. That short demo was meant to show off what the PS3 machine was capable of when played with properly. Prologue is every bit as stunning, and a lot bigger.

She'll Be Comin' 'round The Racetrack When She Comes: In addition to the Eiger Nordwand track, you'll get to speed away on five other circuits ranging from the curvy Suzuka circuit to the well-known Daytona Speedway to the ubiquitous High Speed Ring.

Because this a game that PREPARES you for GT5, there are only a handful of tracks to race on, but the game does a decent job of mixing things up. There are reverse courses and, in the Arcade mode, you can do your racing in either a time trial mode or a drift trial mode.

Multi-Cars: Because of the lack of depth in the single-player mode, Prologue seems very heavily geared toward online play. Hopefully GT5 will be a little bit more balanced between offline and online racing. We noticed a few frame-rate issues when things got very busy with multiple cars onscreen, but overall the online game ran smoothly and finding a race was no problem.

Also, the game does a decent job of policing foul play and disruptive players. Standard and expected contact -- when two cars are fighting for the same line, for example -- is allowed, but cars that do anything unexpected -- cut horizontally across the track, for example -- become ghost cars with collision detection turned off. When this happens, anything they run into will go right through them. What initially seems like a huge bug helps alleviate a common online hassle.

Same Problems, Same Game: Whether your racing is done online or off, you'll notice a few things that have haunted the series for a while; it's still far too easy for the race to become bumper-cars as you maneuver tricky turns. At higher levels, time penalties are put in for reckless driving, but it would have made more of a statement if those penalties were implemented from the start. Another gripe is that the cars still don't show damage at all, in any way. Smash you car into an 8-car pile-up, and you will walk away with the same car you came into it with.

Rent vs. Buy: Overall GT5 Prologue is a good game to soften gamers up for the real deal, but wouldn't mean much if this was a standalone game. But, you have to remember; this isn't a full game, just an appetizer. The stunning graphics are amazing to look at, and the details on the cars are astounding. I would give my full recommendation to anyone who is a fan of the GT franchise, and I would prepare myself for a ride when GT5 come out.

Report Card

Overall GT5 Prologue is a good game to soften gamers up for the real deal, but wouldn't mean much if this was a standalone game. But, you have to remember; this isn't a full game, just an appetizer. (Krakrabbit.com)

B-


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