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Hi there! As you can see, my name is Chris, I'm at university and I'm currently 21 years old, but there's more to know than my name and age. So what am I doing then? Well I'm studying Game Art at DMU. I am aiming to be one of the top proffesional vehicle artists in the industry. In the meantime, check out this Blog of mine and when your finished, take a look at my website!

Game Review: GT5

As one of the most famous racing games in videogame history, a lot of expectation was resting on the latest GT instalment for the PS3. The game consists of a huge list of features and unique additions which separate it from any other GT to date and from its competition. There are new official licenses such as NASCAR and the WRC, along with photo mode, and extensive online features.  Along with this was the promised and delivered 1000 cars with over 40 unique tracks. Currently, the game has shipped between 5 - 6 million copies.

However, the game does have some very serious short comings in terms of presentation and style, the race tracks environments and cars. Firstly though, there is much to be praised about the game from the get go. for example, each individual car has its own handling characteristics with a clear sense of over steer and under steer, something that is very difficult to get right. Each car also has the option to be fully tuned. Despite this, your going want to be spending most of your driving inside a premium car which have stark differences compared to there standard car models. most obvious is the fact that premium cars "all 200ish of them" have fully modelled interiors with driving animations etc.

Standard cars on the other hand, are pretty much directly ported from the PS2 GT4. These older models however, have mainly just had a new paint material shader added to them to give the impression they are premium cars. However just by viewing them you can clearly see these are PS2 era models as seen below, although this image is perhaps one of the worst standard models.

As you can clearly see, the use of alphas for the wheel arches, alloys and windows clearly show that this is a ps2 model, not including the extremely low polygon count. these cars unfortunately take up about 80% of the total car list which is quite a substantial amount.

The games overall presentation seems to be a rather confused layout of menus, music and gameplay. Firstly, the menus themselves stick to the classic menu styles of previous GT games but feel very clunky and un-intuitive compared to the more interesting menus on other games such as Codies Grid and Dirt menu styles. The music throughout the menus and races give a very different take on the racing experience. The music is very relaxed and calm and doesn't give anything to the gameplay experience, surly racing is about speed and adrenaline? not driving to the shops.

 Secondly, GT5 is the smallest in terms of single player events than any GT made to date. The game is divided into A-spec and B-spec, with A-spec you are the driver and its all well and good. however, B-spec puts you in the position of a drivers engineer or manager and its down to you to tell your driver what to do. its a great idea on paper but it just isn't executed to a substantial amount of detail. there are very few things you can do during a B-spec event and the AI including your driver are not the best in terms of overtaking.

Lastly, my biggest problem with gt5 is the racing and tracks. although the tracks are made to a very high quality, there is just a serious lack of atmosphere on a majority of them with bland scenery with neon blue sky 24/7. it gives a very fake impression when your driving a beautifully modelled car with so much detail, just for you to be taken out of the immersion by a poor environment. The environments are also very static with no signs of any life, with no movement in the clouds or wind in the trees. The majority of race tracks appear to be way too clean with no real signs of wear or dirt.

 The racing experience is divided at times between the challenge and enjoyment of pushing your car to the limit and the rather massive lack of excitement when your racing. GT5 very much seems to be confused with what it actually wants to be. Personally id say GT5 is very much about the driving of the cars and the racing seems to be an addition to that. there just isn't any real excitement going to a new track or progressing through the game. its such a let down in this aspect as GT5 could of been very much close to perfect. if GT5 was to have the excitement and real sense of speed that Need For Speed and Grid etc have, then it would truly be something special.

Solid driving physics
Beautiful car models
Online play is fun

AI needs improving
Lack of fun in the racing
Overall presentation/style is outdated

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