I have a feeling I’m going to spending a lot of time with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Well, that is if I want to unlock everything in the game. I started the game with a Mini Cooper-S and the Ferrari F2007 feels so far away. At least I can race right away and earn money right away.
Since this is the first iteration of the Gran Turismo Prologue / Concept series in North America you may not know that Gran Turismo 4 Prologue wouldn’t let you race right away. You had to earn a license by going to driving school. Good thing Gran Turismo 5 Prologue threw this out the window.
Instead you jump into races right away as a C class driver with ten events until you can move up to the next rank. Once you get through the A level challenges you get to customize your cars weight, horsepower and other parameters through the quick tune system. The system has been simplified for junior mechanics, which makes it easier to use than tuning systems in other iterations in the series.
If all you care about is passing the events the single player mode feels shallow. However, if you want to unlock all of the cars you’re going to spend a lot of time with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. There is a type of “grinding” (for lack of a better word) that is similar to leveling up in RPGs. My Mini Cooper-S isn’t the best car in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. After each race I earn credits that can be saved or spent on a better car. A more powerful driving machine is an edge towards an increased credit payback and thus an even better car. However, there is a cap on progression. You’re not going to earn a million credits from a single race, which means getting that 2,000,000 credit Ferrari is going to take time.
Gran Turmiso 5 Prologue is way longer than a demo, but probably way shorter than Gran Turismo 5 whenever it comes out.
With only six tracks to race on, twelve if you consider reverse tracks different, you’re going to learn every curve in great detail during the unlocking quest. This essential if you want to go online because Gran Turismo 5 Prologue isn’t an arcade racing game. You can’t hope to catch up by throwing a blue koopa shell at the person in first place. If you’re way behind the only way to catch up is through perfect laps and making use of your opponent's slipstream. The alternative is knocking in to cars, which works well against the AI. Sure, it’s the jerk’s way to win, but it’s surprisingly effective.
I wonder how long it will be until people start playing bumper car turismo online. Hopefully not soon. Online play keeps Gran Turismo 5 Prologue in my PS3 even though I’m barely competitive.
Images courtesy of Sony.