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Is Gran Turismo 5 still relevant?

The case for and against the long-delayed racing sim

Along with Duke Nukem Forever, Sony's Gran Turismo 5 has become one of the most delayed games of all time.

During GT5's development cycle three Forza Morotorsport games have been developed and shipped, Michael Schumacher has retired from and returned to F1 Racing and The Stig has revealed his true identity (spoiler: it wasn't Schumacher).

With that it mind, PSM3 argues whether it's too late for Sony's flagship racing franchise. Is Gran Turismo 5 even relevant any more?

YES: IT IS THE BEST DRIVING GAME EVER AND A MILESTONE IN GAMING HISTORY
It's sheer scale that separates GT5 from its predecessors. When PS3 came along we were promised games which not only evolved technically, but really pushed the boundaries of what a game could do.

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With more than a thousand cars, B-Spec, track creation, WRC, NASCAR, damage and dynamic weather - to skim the surface - GT5 is the first title to truly live up to those lofty 'next-gen' expectations.

It's not simply a racer, but an all-in-one motorsport simulator. Racing games 2.0. And unlike LittleBigPlanet, it doesn't need DIY content to be huge.

It's not just big, but it's unbelievably detailed, too. Yes, we'll only have 200 'premium' cars, but those vehicles - Ferraris, not Fiats - will be accurate to the last wheel nut.

Tarmac has been photographed. One-of-a-kind prototype cars have been test-driven by lead dev Kazunori Yamauchi personally.

Its real-time damage system - a fi rst for the series - shames other racers' scripted bumper breaking.

The realism of the handling system alone boasts a depth lacking in any other title.

Put simply, GT5 is the most important PS3 title that will ever be released. It's been five years in the making, but thanks to Polyphony's almost reckless ambition, it could be another ten before the rest of racing - the rest of gaming - catches up to what GT5 will achieve: a revolution.

After all, when GT5 only does everything, why bother buying any other racing games at all? - Alex Evans

NO: IT'S A RELIC FROM THE PAST THAT OTHER RACING GAMES HAVE BETTERED
Yes, it looks pretty - providing you're looking at the premium cars, and not the garage full of upscaled bangers left over from GT4.

At its core GT5 is doing nothing to innovate in an already well catered for racing genre. 'But its got head-tracking, and 3D, NASCAR and Go Karts!' you cry.

Yes, it has all these frills, which - on the box at least - will distract you from the fact that the AI still behaves like robots, sticking to the racing line like Scalextric cars.

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How many of you will actually use 3D or head-tracking? Hmm, not too many.

Karting? The minute Crash Bandicoot or Sonic climbs into a go-kart we scoff and say 'well, that series is circling the drain'.

NASCAR? Is there anything on this earth more boring? The reality of GT is driving 50 laps around a test track in a Volvo while you desperately try to save up for a half-decent sports car.

And then there's the damage. The car deformation looks like someone smeared the vehicle in Vaseline.

It's awful, and it ruins the game's beauty - its best feature. While GT5 looks shiny and new, it's rusty under the bonnet. Kazunori and his team spent five years making pretty cars and tossing about on test tracks (ignoring real issues like driver AI, online creativity and damage) while other devs made racers like GRID and Burnout - living up to expectations of what a 'good racer' should be.

PS3 doesn't need a great racing game - it has plenty already. - Andy Hartup

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