previews\ Dec 16, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Gran Turismo 5 - PS3 - Preview

Dashing round the track
Our ghosts are there to chase
It's speed that we don't lack
In this high-speed race …

It must be the holiday season because SCEA has a Gran Turismo demo ready on the PlayStation Network for fans to download and put the pedal to the metal.

The time trial challenge is one part Indy speedway, one part 370 Z (standard setup or tuned car), three parts slick traction and a good measure of tantalizing graphics.

While the time trial is nothing that is new to the GT series, at least the new car is front and center. Handling is a little trickier, but everything, from the photo-realistic graphics, to the revving engines and tires screaming in agony as they slide across the pavement are the elements expected of a GT game.

Sure, there are aspects that will need some work leading up the to early February release of the title. The Z car hits the infield grass and you might as well drop the controller because you can’t correct or temper the slide in any fashion. The car hits the wall and then you get some sort of control, but don’t expect to get back on the track any time soon, even if barely nudging the accelerator.

Run the track a couple of times and the ghost of the gamer’s best lap fades in to give some head-to-head competition. The lap times are actually going up on a leaderboard at the moment.

The trial is, of course, just a taste of what lays in store for GT fans, and while this is a couple of turns around the track (which is set up for formula cars with some nice cut-backs, so juicing the accelerator the entire way is ill advised), it is a nice little pre-release holiday gift.



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