With That 3 November release date drawing tantalisingly close, Polyphony Digital isn’t afraid to hit us with a host of new features. I attended a Gran Turismo 5 presentation yesterday and will need to try hard not to write a novella about the stable of additions we saw for the first time.
The newest addition to the series is a track editor that allows to players to generate their own courses based around a complex scheme of parameters and share them with the wider community. There are four themes to choose from and a dizzying array of settings to tweak, including the number of turns, track length, weather, topography and speed of sectors.
We also got our first look at kart racing, which, according to Kazunori Yamauchi, “Completely changes the world of Gran Turismo”. He added that the team had been saving this feature for Gran Turismo 6 but, after it had been leaked to the public, he decided to add it to GT5. The presence of karts shows how capable the game’s physics are in coping with the differences between the lightest vehicles and those generating the greatest downforce.
One of the most eye-catching points was around the Photo Travel mode and the announcement that it will support 3D images; attendees were encouraged on-stage to put on a pair of glasses and see the effect for themselves. This demonstration also showed off the detail of the feature, which evens allows players to adjust the position of the front and back wheels of their parked car before taking the perfect snap.
The mode that Kazunori spent the most time demonstrating is B-Spec. You may remember a version of this in Gran Turismo 4. The father of GT introduced it claiming that they had intended to release this as a kind of sequel to Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec on PlayStation 2.
“In GT5 we have been able to create what I originally intended,” he said.
You take the role of a race manager in what he described as a ‘Racing Simulator RPG’. You start with one driver and, as the game progresses, you can control of up to six. During races you can issue commands such as drive more aggressively or overtake, and you must always monitor stats like how tired your driver is, mentally and physically, and how agitated they are. Different drivers have unique personalities and you can watch their performances via a near photo realistic video feed.
This contributes to what Gran Turismo fans know as GT Mode, now called GT Life.
It was a presentation that will make those with 3 November in their calendar even more excited. Knowing the GT community, I doubt that’s now possible.