Gran Turismo 5 (Review)

“Polyphony’s flagship series finally makes it’s official debut on the Playstation 3, and the wait was worth it.”

It has been five years since Gran Turismo 4, which is the same length of time that Gran Turismo 5 was in development for. An extremely early GT5 prototype was shown at E3 2005, and since then there has been a wave of jaw dropping trailers as well as disappointing delays. It is November 2010 and, finally, Gran Turismo 5 has crossed the finish line. Was the five years of development worth it, and does the quality of the game reflect the half decade of work?

Upon booting up Gran Turismo 5 for the first time, most users will be required to update to the latest patch immediately, which is close to 200 megabytes. Following this, the game will ask if the player would like to install 8 gigabytes of optional data. Well, considering the fact that the install size is a massive 8 gigabytes should be more than enough to convince the average player to go ahead and go through with it. I did not play Gran Turismo 5 without the install, but I cannot imagine doing so. The game has to load so much data and changes menus so frequently that it would be insane not to do the 8 gigabyte install.

After all of the patching and optional installing is out of the way, which will take roughly an hour in total, players are treated with a cinematic intro movie that runs for a staggering six and a half minutes. The intro walks the player through the construction of cars all the way up to the exciting GT-esque racing that the player bought the game to experience. The intro does start out a little slow, but towards the end it is crammed with more action and excitement than you would ever expect to see in a Gran Turismo title.

Once you reach the main menu, there are a few choices available. GT Mode (or simulation mode for those who have not played Gran Turismo lately), arcade mode, course maker, GT TV, and the options menu are available to check out. I’ll cover the meatiest bits at the end, so first off is the options menu. The amount of individual options that the player can play with is nothing short of exceptional. Dozens of settings for race wheels, television display, and even proper custom soundtrack settings are all contained in the options menu. There’s a lot to check out, so players who are decked out with a racing wheel, a music collection on their PS3, and the Playstation Eye will have lots of cool settings to check out and play with before racing.

All premium cars have the interior view. Standard cars do not.

GT TV is a feature I’m not too interested in just yet, as I am still enjoying the main game far too much to give it much attention. However, I do know what it contains. In GT TV, players will be able to check out GT5 related videos, watch Top Gear, historical videos about various cars, as well as support for the PSP that will enable you to watch GT TV videos on your handheld.

The course maker is an interesting feature that I’ve played with a little. It allows you pick a theme (circuit, kart track, snow, gravel, etc.) and then generate a random track. You don’t too much control over the design of the track, but you can adjust the complexity, road width, and corner sharpness of each section of the race track. The control you have is very limited, and really all that you can do is decide whether or not the track will be basic or complicated. It’s not a critical feature in GT5, but it’s a little fun to check out from time to time. I don’t enjoy making tracks to race on in it, but I do get a bit of a thrill out of making test tracks in it and then giving them a shakedown in time trial mode.

Arcade features many familiar mainstays of the racing genre. You can compete in single races of varying difficulty levels of your choice, go rallying or karting, attack lap times in time trial mode, or even play with a friend in split screen mode. There are a few dozen “arcade mode” cars that you can choose to use. There is nothing arcade-like about the cars, they are merely just vehicles that the game lets you use in arcade mode rather than having to unlock cars in GT Mode to use. This lets you use various cars in arcade mode without going through the hassle of tackling several GT Mode races just to purchase new vehicles. The cars that you do obtain in GT Mode can also be used in arcade mode, but the way in which you set them to be selectable in arcade mode is a little peculiar and perhaps even archaic. Within GT Mode, you must go to your garage and select a car that you own, then bring up the menu and choose “add to favourites” for the particular car. This allows it to be driven in arcade mode. I do not understand why you have to do this just to use your GT Mode cars in arcade mode, as it seems like a very unnecessary step that only wastes the time of the player. I’ve forgotten to add cars to my favourites on several occasions and had to go back and forth between the two game modes just to enable the car for arcade mode and then select it. This process can take two or three minutes sometimes, which is a bit of a bother.

GT Mode itself is where players will spend almost all of their time. The standard simulation mode is contained here, which involves car dealerships, a tune up shop, A-spec and B-spec races, special events, and more. Upon entering GT Mode for the first time, players will have to purchase a car from the used car lot and then practice their skills in the license tests. Players who feel sure of themselves can skip the tests entirely and just go straight to racing instead, since the license tests are completely optional now.

There are several different kinds of races in GT Mode. First is A-spec, which is essentially just standard single races or tournaments that follow certain themes such as only allowing Japanese cars or European antique cars. Winning these races will grant you credits (currency) and experience. Complete all races under certain categories and you will often be rewarded with cars. B-spec races are identical to A-spec races (same categories, events, etc.) only instead of you driving, you get to instruct an AI “apprentice” sort of driver. You will issue him commands to ease up, increase his pace, or attempt to overtake other drivers. Your B-spec drivers will usually struggle initially, but as they drive more often, they will level up and become better drivers. Some B-spec drivers will just struggle with certain kinds of cars. For example, I stuck my B-spec driver in a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, and he made countless mistakes, spinning out at almost every corner. Afterwards, I stuck him in a Toyota FT-86 Concept ’09 and he immediately proceeded to kick ass, winning race after race. I then figured that the twitchiness of the Corvette may have been too much for my B-spec driver, as even I had troubles with the car. The FT-86 was a much friendlier car to drive and felt great, which my B-spec driver seemed to agree with.

2010 Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and the futuristic Red Bull X1, which is available ingame.

I mentioned experience points, which is new to Gran Turismo. Obtaining experience from events will allow you to level up, which unlocks new special events and allows you to drive higher tier cars. In previous Gran Turismo games, you could essentially just grind credits and then purchase the best cars, but now you must reach the proper level to pilot certain cars. I always used to buy a Doge Viper as soon as possible, but I had to be level 12 to get the one I wanted in GT5 (the Viper SRT/10 Coupe ’06). When I finally reached level 12, I was ecstatic to purchase the car, and then proceeded to lovingly throw it around the corners of a self-created test track.

The special events in Gran Turismo 5 are great. Initially they may feel challenging or perhaps unfair, but after realizing that the special events take not only raw skill but also careful planning and quick thinking to win, they become extremely intriguing. I struggled with one event that involved racing a pretty ugly Toyota bus around the Top Gear test track, and I just couldn’t figure out how to win it. The best I could muster was 9th for a full day until I went back to the event, observed the AI carefully and planned out several various overtaking moves. When I felt ready to challenge for the gold again, I pulled through and came in first position. It was an awesome feeling to conquer the event, and I felt like I really achieved something. The feeling of accomplishment that I have received from Gran Turismo 5’s various events and races easily trumps any other game that I have played recently.

Now that I have discussed the majority of the game’s content (except the online play, which I have not yet played but here is quite good), I want to go over how the game itself plays. There is really only one thing to talk about, and that is the racing.

As in past Gran Turismo titles, the huge collection of cars present in GT5 (slightly over 1000) contains some pretty awful turds, but most of the cars are either pleasant or flat out awesome to drive. The Toyota bus for example is a wretched vehicle that I never want to drive again, while the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is perhaps the smoothest handling vehicle that I have ever used in a racing game, and I have fallen head over heels in love with it. Few cars handle terribly, and those that do not feel like they are just bad cars, no. Instead, the poorer cars instead just feel like untamed animals that fight with you and challenge you for control. It’s an exhilarating experience to drive such cars, as even the real shit boxes possess lots of personality.

In terms of sound, not many cars sound terribly interesting. Many of them sound like they have generic stock engine noises that we’ve heard several times over now from various other racing games. However, my Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI GSR ’99 is a real treat to listen to. It sounds ALIVE, as if it is breathing. NASCAR and karts also sound pretty fantastic and really capture the essence of their real life counterparts.

The graphics in Gran Turismo 5 seldom dip below “good.” Most of the time, I would rate them as being either good or great. The only time the graphics appear to be “average” or perhaps bad in any way is when there is lots of mist or smoke being kicked around. For some peculiar reason, mist and smoke effects cause cars who get caught inside of them to look very pixelated. Even the premium model cars, which are ordinarily gorgeous, look like PS2 era vehicles when caught in mist or smoke. Fortunately cars are rarely ever in this situation, their stunning beauty rarely comprimised by strange graphical issues. A few cars do have polygon tearing issues, which is very odd in this day and age. I’ve only witnessed it on the NASCAR cars in replays, but there may be other cars that are the victim of polygon tearing.

In terms of trackside graphics, it’s a bag of mixed nuts. City tracks look absolutely fantastic and are perhaps the best looking environments I’ve seen on the Playstation 3. However, once you move away from the city tracks, you will find two dimensional trees and bizarre instances of distant objects popping out of nowhere, rendering far later than they should. These aren’t gamebreaking and don’t really make the game ugly, and at very high speeds most of the graphical problems are hard to even notice. However, tracks with many slow corners give you ample opportunities to pick out the game’s graphical flaws.

All cars look very impressive in the game's race replays.

There were a lot of debates online which are even going on now over the premium and standard model cars. The difference between the two is that premium model cars have interior camera views and every piece of the cars’ exterior is modeled to perfection. Standard cars do not feature any kind of in-car camera view and have lower polygon counts. Many frustrated gamers, particularly at GameFAQs, have gotten very upset over standard cars, calling them nothing more than reskinned vehicles from Gran Turismo 4. Some have said very unkind things towards the standard vehicles and have spoken harshly of Polyphony Digital as a result. So, what’s my verdict on premium and standard cars? Well, unless you are intentionally looking for any kind of graphical difference and freezing your replays in order to do so, you probably won’t notice a damn difference between the two. Yes premium models look absolutely stunning, but standard models are not the ugly abominations that the internet trolls make them out to be. They honestly look just fine and can easily go toe to toe with the premiums. In my opinion, the only advantages that the premium cars have are in-car cameras, fully modelled exteriors, and more thorough damage models. Aside from that, they look pretty much just as good. I’m being brutally honest here, standard cars are not an issue at all.

So how does Gran Turismo 5 hold up? Were the five years of development worth it? In my opinion, yes. Many people are upset and let down by the game’s critical reception, but those are the people who overhyped the game and hailed it as the greatest game of all time long before it even came out. The truth is that Gran Turismo 5 is not the best game ever made, far from it! But, is it still a good game? Yes, it’s a good game. In fact, Gran Turismo 5 is an exceptional game. The care taken to create this wonderful product is very apparent to anyone who plays the game, and the quality of the racing is definitely unmatched. In time, I expect Gran Turismo 5 to most likely become my favourite racing game that I have ever played. So, is it worth checking out? If you are a fan of Gran Turismo or racing games in general, then yes. Even fans of Forza (which I did not want to even mention in this review) should find some aspects of GT5 to be extremely enjoyable.

While there are a few graphical and technical issues with the game, none of them directly harm what this game does best, and that is delivering some of the absolute best racing to ever grace a gaming console. This is, without a doubt, Polyphony Digital’s finest work ever. Bravo, guys.

Final Score

9.4/10

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Top 5 Most Immersive Racing Games

As a huge fan of racing games, I like it when I feel immersed in what I play. I like to feel like I am the one racing, that the opposition are trying to cut me off, and not a digitally rendered racing car. There are a few games that, in my experience, nailed immersion so well that they should be recognized for their achievements. I’ve selected what I feel are the five most immersive racing games ever created.



Before Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft came into existence, there was Rock n’ Roll Racing. Today, the idea of Blizzard Entertainment making a racing game sounds laughable, but they did it in 1993. Of course, this was no ordinary racing game. Rock n’ Roll Racing was set on alien worlds, and the racers were aliens and monsters. So how could a game like this, which doesn’t even seem to carry much humanity in it, possibly be immersive? For starters, the soundtrack was stunning for it’s time. Midi renditions of Paranoid by Black Sabbath and other heavy rock and/or metal songs populate the soundtrack for this game. In 1993, this was simply awesome and was the next best thing to having the real recordings. The gameplay was pretty great as well, and I felt immersed by it simply because the racing felt truly personal. In a lot of weapon-themed racers (such as Wipeout), the in-race combat doesn’t feel authentic and only serves one purpose – to frustrate you. In Rock n’ Roll Racing, it felt different. The guy in second blasting at you? It felt personal. Add in a primitive career mode, which was rare at the time, and you have a good racer from 1993. It may not be much today, but back in the Super Nintendo’s early days this game was something special.


In recent years, Need for Speed has forced us to pretend that we are convicts, cool dudes from the ghetto, or whatever else their protagonists are now. This was a colossal mistake by Electronic Arts when they tried to force coherent storylines in each Need for Speed. It began in Underground and only got worse. By the time Need for Speed Undercover rolled around, I wouldn’t touch the series with a ten foot pole. You see, the key mistake that Electronic Arts made was not giving their racing games some basic storylines, no. What they did wrong was plunk us into the lives of daring street racing punks who, well, are nothing like us. There was just no connection, and I couldn’t get into the games as a result. SHIFT changed this by making you the main character in the story mode, which was essentially just a career mode. It was very refreshing, and it made me feel like I was really part of the game. There is some good voice over work in the game that only enhances the experience as well. Electronic Arts did a fine job with SHIFT by making the player the main character rather than having us follow the exploits of Biff Dangerous or Slugger McRoadkill. However, Electronic Arts failed to capture one thing that a few other games pulled off wonderfully. They failed to make the games “speak” to us.


Codemasters, on the other hand, have become masters of making racing games speak to us as if they are our friends or colleagues. Upon starting up GRID for the first time, players are instructed to create their profile, which includes choosing your full name, alias, and country flag. The game will use these to communicate to you. If you named yourself Bob, then you will probably hear the following during races: That was a great pass, Bob! GRID recognizes a few dozen male and female names, so there’s a good chance that the game will be able to call you by something. If your name isn’t one that the game knows, you can always give yourself a nickname that suits you. How does this sound? You’re on the last lap, Dump Truck. Yeah, I don’t know what to make of the nicknames, but the fact that GRID speaks directly to you and addresses you by name adds heaps of immersion to the game. On top of that, the career mode has you building up your own racing team by purchasing cars, designing liveries, signing sponsors, and so forth. There’s quite a bit to do in the career mode, and you’ll be guided by the voice of a female narrator of sorts who also addresses you by name. It’s pretty cool, and I was surprised by how much a game calling me by my name can help the immersion.


DiRT 2 is another Codemasters game, and it took everything immersive about GRID and refined it. The profile set-up is exactly the same as before, and you’ll hear your name a lot. What pumps the immersion up a lot in DiRT 2 is the pre-race menu system. The game itself is presented as a full career mode. As soon as you start the game, you are thrown into your travel trailer which is rendered in full 3D. From in here, you can select race events, check relationships with other drivers, and purchase DLC. When you exist your trailer, you can check out your purchased vehicles, go racing, and tweak the game’s options. It adds a lot of personality to the game, which is really fantastic. Immersion takes another huge leap up during race events when rival drivers will call you out by name. If you perform well after a race, they’ll always compliment you on your performance. Travis Pastrana serves as the game’s menu narrator, and he calls out to you a lot. In my case, I heard “Hey Dan!” a lot. You can also form friendships with most of the drivers in the game, which you can take advantage of in team events and such. DiRT 2 has a pretty good system, and is definitely Codemasters’ best at the moment.


Despite only playing Prologue, I am placing this mammoth at the top spot. Gran Turismo 5 never addresses you by name or tries to make you believe that you are behind the wheel, but these are all very positive points surprisingly/ Gran Turismo 5 has an absolutely perfect engine for racing, and the game plays silky smooth. The racing in the game is what is undoubtedly the most immersive I’ve ever experienced. GT5 blows every other racing game out of the water with it’s fantastic handling, intense racing, and stunning graphics. You really have to fight the cars in order to make them work the way you want, which is just fantastic as there isn’t even a single shred of arcade racing in this game. The stunning visuals help immersion along nicely, as some locations look so amazing that, at the high speeds you are usually driving at, they will pretty much look photo realistic. The lighting on the London street circuit looks absolutely awesome, and the panaromic mountain view at the Eiger Nordwand is pretty much the best looking landscape I have ever seen in a video game. The racing in Gran Turismo is where it’s truly at, and is proof that Polyphony Digital doesn’t need any gimmicks such as voice actors calling you out by name in order to make their games immersive. No, Polyphony relies solely on good, solid racing. Gran Turismo has always been famous for having fantastic racing, but the fifth game undoubtedly takes the cake as the king of racing. In terms of immersion, no racing experience can even come close to this behemoth.

Honourable Mention: ModNation Racers
It’s game driven by community-made content. How can you not be immersed when you play with a character you created who is driving a vehicle you also created…. on a track that you created as well? Now if only the game didn’t have hour long load times, which I’ve found to be huge immersion breakers sine they allow you to take full bathroom breaks while the game loads.

Return to August 2010 Articles

Gran Turismo 5 Fact Sheet

Who would have expected more info so soon post-E3? Well, some more tidbits have been spoken by Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Worldwide Studios. His comments, along with everything else that’s known, has been compiled here. Read on and salivate, because GT5 is sounding pretty immense.

  • Release date is November 2, 2010 and will have an approximate price tag of $60 dollars.
  • Four players will be able to play locally. Up to sixteen can play together online.
  • 3D Compatability: GT5 will take advantage of 3D television technology.
  • Over 1000 cars will be in the game.
  • Car damage is in for all vehicles. A few hundred “premium” cars will also have damageable interiors.
  • Car data and your garage can be imported or synchronized with Gran Turismo on the PSP.
  • Improved physics allows cars to roll realistically.
  • Formula One: Several teams will feature their cars in the game.
  • Kart Racing: How it will function is unknown, only mentioned by Shuhei Yoshida in passing. And no, not kart racing like Mario Kart. Think real life kart racing. Basically go-karts, only better.
  • IRL: Indy Racing League will appear in the game in some form.
  • NASCAR: Cars from the American racing league will be present, as well as a few official NASCAR races.
  • Super GT: I am very unfamiliar with this racing series, but it is in. Sure to please the fans!
  • Stunt Racing: How it will function is unknown, only mentioned by Shuhei Yoshida in passing.
  • WRC: The World Rally Championship is fully licensed and should feature prominently in the rally portion of the game.
  • Race Photo Mode: Players will be able to take pictures of their cars while driving.
  • Photo Travel Mode: Players will have the ability to exit their cars and walk around the race track to snap pictures.
  • YouTube Compatability: Ingame uploading to YouTube is supposedly a possibility.
  • Track Editor: How it will function is unknown, only mentioned by Shuhei Yoshida in passing.
  • Weather Effects: How they will function is unknown, only mentioned by Shuhei Yoshida in passing.
  • GT Lounge Mode: Players can “rent” a race track, which lets them drive around and race whenever they want, or just hang out in the paddock and chat. Players can also drift freely or use this mode as a driving school.
  • Playstation Eye: Will be able to track your head movements. As you move your head, so will the ingame representation of yourself. Looking outside of the car will be possible by looking left or right.
  • Day/Night: Not only has night racing returned, players will also witness actual day to night transitions while playing. High and low beams will be used during night racing.
  • Tracks: There will be approximately 20 tracks in the game. The number of track variations (ie. Reverse High Speed Ring) should bring the number close to 70.
  • Major manufacturers Bugatti, Lambourghini, and Mercedes-Benz are present in the series for the first time with GT5.
  • Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing’s technical director Adrian Newey will be doing voice work for the game.
  • Dynamic Crowds: The longer the races, the greater the crowd diversity and size will be.
  • AI: The opponent AI has been revamped and can react to the player better, also allowing them to make better maneuvers.

No doubt there’s a lot more information, but this is what I’m aware of myself. There’s no doubt that this could very well be the ultimate king of racing games. The features that Polyphony has promised is now looking to be absolutely surreal. If these features are all indeed true, then this game will be so spectacular that a Gran Turismo 6 will not be necessary for several years.

Return to June 2010 Articles

E3 2010 Preview

Each June, dozens of video game developers converge upon Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3, which is essentially the Mecca of the gaming industry. At E3, many new games are announced for the first time while many hot titles in the works are often presented in playable form. Some of the gaming industry’s biggest games ever were first shown at E3 events.

This year at the Los Angeles Convention Center looks to be a show. Many confirmed big name titles will be appearing, and the rumour mill is also suggesting that a few surprises may show up. I’m not going to go into any details on the “motion capture” wars that the Microsoft and Sony are currently engaged in. Instead, I’m just going to go over some of the games that will be appearing at the show.

In this article, I will present you with a list of all “big” titles worth talking about that will be at E3 this year, but I’ll go talk about perhaps a dozen. After that, I’ll mention a few “rumoured” games that people think may show up.

Here is the list of major titles that will be shown off at E3.

Nintendo

Conduit 2 (Wii)
Dragon Quest IX (DS)
Golden Sun DS (DS)
Legend of Zelda Wii (Wii)
Lost in Shadow (Wii)
Metroid: Other M (Wii)
Pokemon Black & White (DS)
Super Scriiblenauts (DS)

PC

APB
Sid Meier’s Civilization V
Star Wars: The Old Republic

Sony

God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PS3)
Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)
Killzone 3 (PS3)
LittleBigPlanet 2 (PS3)
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP)
SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs (PS3)

XBox 360

Gears of War 3
Halo: Reach

Multi Platform Games

Arcania: Gothic IV
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Crysis 2
Dead Space 2
F1 2010
Fable III
Fallout: New Vegas
Mafia 2
Naughty Bear
Rock Band 3
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest
The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

Now that we know the major titles, what’s worth talking about? There are definitely several, but I’m only going to mention a few, the ones that I feel I’d enjoy.

APB

APB, or All Points Bulletin, is like an MMO version of Grand Theft Auto. There is a sprawling city, gun fights, driving vehicles, and so forth. This isn’t a sandbox MMO though, as it has quite a specific focus. In APB, players will join one of two factions at the beginning, the Criminals or the Enforcers.

Criminals are, predictably, out to break the law and cause crime. Robbing businesses and creating mayhem is the name of the game when you join the Criminals faction. At the other end of the spectrum is the Enforcers faction. Enforcers are basically cops on steroids that can essentially wear whatever the heck they want for a uniform. Enforcers fight and prevent crime, making them the enemies of the Criminals faction. Essentially, APB is just a giant game of cops and robbers but with really great personality and a unique presentation.

I remember when I watched someone playing the APB beta on justin.tv, I thought that he was playing Grand Theft Auto at first because I had never heard of APB. The screen layout is very similar, and the graphics are very good for an MMO. It took me by surprise when I learned that the broadcaster was not playing an offline solo adventure!

Successfully completing goals (completing crimes of Criminals, while preventing crimes for Enforcers) rewards players with money, which they can use to buy/upgrade weapons and vehicles, as well as customize their appearance very extensively.

Developer Realime Worlds has said that player skill, rather than time investment, will determine how far a player progresses in APB. The game will also feature ingame advertising. Normally I am against such a thing, but in the case of APB I really feel that it will help bring the city to life more and make it feel more realistic.

Overall, it sounds like a really great idea for an MMO and I’ve already decided to purchase (and review) it when it comes out at the end of this month.



Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

A new Assassin’s Creed on major consoles already! I have very little information on this game, but I’ll share what I’ve found out. Brotherhood will, surprisingly, follow Ezio again as he embarks on a fifteen hour singleplayer adventure in Rome.

Ezio will be able to recruit and train new assassins, and will enjoy killing Templars through the use of new weapons.

There will also be multiplayer modes available for the first time in the Assassin’s Creed series. How multiplayer will work in Assassin’s Creed remains to be seen, but I bet it’s safe to say that deathmatch won’t be one of the game modes for fairly obvious reasons relating to the gameplay mechanics of the Assassin’s Creed games.

It’s due out around November this year, and given how enjoyable the first two games were, it’s probably safe to say that Brotherhood will be worth checking out.


Crysis 2

Now here is a game worth talking about. The sequel to one of the most memorable first person shooters in recent years, Crysis 2, is not only appearing on the PC but the 360 and PS3 as well.

Set in an alien infested New York City, Crysis 2 sees the return of Nomad as he adventures around in the Nanosuit 2, an upgraded version of the suit he wore in the first Crysis. Because of the fact that he is wearing the new and improved suit, he is being hunted by Crynet Systems because he isn’t supposed to be wearing it. This makes me wonder, how did Nomad happen to get it? Prophet, the team leader from the first game, is supposedly going to play some kind of a role in Crysis 2. Perhaps he was involved in whatever allowed Nomad to get his hands on Nanosuit 2?

Nanosuit 2 is supposedly much more versatile than the original from the first game. Crytek has stated that the new nanosuit will be able to use more than one power mode at once. This opens the doors for some very, very interesting possibilities! Stealth and speed could be very effective.

Finally, it is worth noting that Crysis 2 will have LOWER system requirements than the first game. It sounds like they’ve straightened a few things out, considering the fact that Crysis 2 is certainly prettier than the first game.

Crysis 2 is due out in December of this year. I suspect many people will find this one under the Christmas tree!



F1 2010

Developed by Codemasters and due out in September of this year, F1 2010 is based on the current Formula One season. New teams Hispania, Lotus, and Virgin will all be featured in the game, as will the revised Silverstone and all new Korean Grand Prix circuit.

Codemasters is promoting this game as having the most advanced weather system ever seen in a video game. Weather will change in real time. Just like during the real races, rain may only sprinkle for a few minutes, or only half the track will have rain showering down upon it.

Racing lines will also dry in wet conditions, and trees will shield areas of the track from the rain, keeping them dry. It is also worth noting that driving through the water in the wet will help you cool your tires.

F1 2010 uses the EGO Engine, which was first used in DiRT and then GRID. Because of Codemasters making their recent racing games have mainstream appeal, such as the Colin McRae (now DiRT) series which only appealed to a niche crowd, I suspect that F1 2010 will follow the same path and be a great game even for people who don’t enjoy Formula One. The fact that flashbacks, which let you rewind accidents that you have and essentially “undo” them, are making an appearance in F1 2010 says it all, I feel.

Throughout career mode, players will be able to interact with the media and their team, responding the questions in conferences and interviews. I don’t recall such a thing ever being done in a racing game before, and it certainly has a nice sound to it.

I should note that the following images have 2009 cars. Codemasters have stated that they were just used as placeholders until the 2010 cars were fully implemented. I have a strong feeling that at E3, we’ll see the 2010 cars in action at last.



Gran Turismo 5

Sony’s cash cow racing series is finally nearing the finish line. After a fantastic Prologue followed by a pretty unimpressive demo, Gran Turismo 5 certainly has been taking it’s time. I’ve been told that the only reason we don’t have Gran Turismo 5 now is because of Sony pressuring Polyphony to implement 3D capabilities into the game.

The fifth Gran Turismo offers nothing less than you’d expect it to. Approximately two dozen tracks and more than one thousand cars make up Gran Turismo 5. NASCAR and WRC races will also be featured in the game, and the list of car manufacturers, which was already big enough, has welcomed Bugatti and Lambourghini. All cars can be damaged now, so if you want to smash up realistic looking Lambourghini Murcielagos, then this is the game for it.

The tracks seem to be quite varied, and will include night racing. Here is an apparent complete list of circuits in Gran Turismo 5. Note that I cannot guarantee that this list is accurate.

Apricot Hill Raceway, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Autumn Ring, Cathedral Rocks, Chamonix, Circuit de Catalunya, Circuit de La Sarthe, Circuit de Valencia, Citta di Aria, Clubman Stage Route 5, Complex String, Costa di Amalfi, Daytona International, Deep Forest Raceway, Driving Park, Dunsfold Park, Eiger Nordwand, Fuji Speedway, George V Paris, Grand Canyon, Grand Valley Speedway, Gymkhana, High-Speed Ring, Hong Kong, Ice Arena, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Laguna Seca Raceway, Las Vegas Drag Strip, London, Madrid, Midfield Raceway, Monaco, Motorland, New York, Nordschleife, Nürburgring GP Strecke, Opera Paris, Rally Japan, Rally Toscana, Rome, Seattle, Sepang International Circuit, Shanghai International Circuit, Spa-Francorchamps, Special Stage Route 5, Special Stage Route 11, Suzuka, Swiss Alps, Tahiti Maze, Texas Motor Speedway, Tokyo Route 246, Trial Mountain, Tsukuba Circuit, Tuscany, Twin Ring Motegi, Yas Marina Circuit, Zamboanga.

And here are some car manufacturers in the game. I left about ONE HUNDRED small name ones, or ones that not many people would recognize.

Abarth, Acura, Alfa Romeo, AMC, Ariel, Ascari, Aston Martin, Audi, Autobianchi, Bentley, BMW, BRM, Bugatti, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroen, Cosworth, Dacia, Daewoo, Daihatsu, Dallara, Datsun, DeLorean, Dodge, Dome, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, FSO, GAZ, General Motors, Geo, Ginetta, GMC, Hennessey, Holden, Honda, Hudson, Hummer, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Italdesign, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Koenig, Lada, Lambourghini, Lancia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Lister, Lola, Lotus, McLaren, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Mercury, MG, Minardi, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Opel, Pagani, Peugeot, Plymouth, Polyphony, Pontiac, Porsche, Proton, Reliant, Renault, Reynard, Rinspeed, RollsRoyce, Rover, RUF, Saab, Saleen, Samsung, Saturn, Sauber, Scion, Seat, Shelby, Skoda, Spyker, Studebaker, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Triumph, TVR, Tyrell, Vauxhall, Venturi, Volkswagen, Volvo, Walter Wolf, Williams F1, Yamaha, Z Cars, Zakspeed, ZIL, Zytek

WOW. Okay, so Grand Turismo 5 is massive.



Halo: Reach

I’m not much of a Halo player, but I figure that a fan of the games may accidentally wander into my mostly PS3-centric blog.

Halo: Reach seems to take place in the 2552 in which humanity is at war with the alien Covenant. The player controls an elite supersoldier squad member known as Noble 6. I was surprised not see Master Chief’s name to be honest, but as a Halo outsider it may make sense that I’m surprised since to people who don’t play Halo, Master Chief practically is Halo itself.

I wish that I could say more about Reach, but I cannot. I’m aware that the multiplayer will be very deep however, and customization is apparently heavy. That’s always good! 360 fans seem to be getting a very nice FPS here.



Legend of Zelda Wii

This should be good! Little is known about this new Zelda yet, other than that it stars an adult Link and he is apparently not wielding the Master Sword. A mysterious figure on a piece of promotional art that stands behind Link vaguely resembles the Master Sword, which has raised a few questions.

Unfortunately, this is all that’s known so far about the new Zelda. Despite the fact that there so is little info, I still felt that Zelda deserved it’s own mention because, hey, it’s Zelda!!

LittleBigPlanet 2

LittleBigPlanet 2 sees the return of Sackboy on another epic adventure. This time, a vacuum cleaner-like villain dubbed “The Sucker” travels to the dimension that the game is set in and starts sucking everything up! Sounds like the levels may be more diverse than the first game’s as a result of this interstellar vacuum cleaner bad guy.

LittleBigPlanet 2 is going to play the same as the first game, and all content that you bought for the first game will be available straight away in the sequel.

It’s worth noting that customization is going to take on a whole new level of depth. While the first game promoted an editor that let you make platformer levels, LittleBigPlanet 2 supposedly lets you go even further, making racing games and even RPGs. How this is possible, I have no clue, but I’m excited to find out. I just hope that making levels is easier than it was in the first game. Unless you had lots of time to devote to the first LittleBigPlanet, you weren’t going to create much.

Online is supposed to be more intuitive, thank goodness. Hopefully Media Molecule removes the whole “globe” menu gimmick from the sequel! Anyway, LittleBigPlanet 2 will be available this fall, presumably in December.



Metroid: Other M

Team Ninja, famous for developing the Dead or Alive and recent Ninja Gaiden games, has been given a chance to work some magic on Metroid. I can only assume that this is going to be a Metroid unlike any we’ve seen before. I do not have a Wii, but if I did, this game would probably be at the top of my list of games to watch out for.

Other M takes place after the SNES hit Super Metroid and leads Samus to an alien infested spaceship that sent out a distress signal.

Supposedly the game will play like a 3D version of the original Metroid games, and Samus will have all of her old abilities from the classic games. So, fully 3D classic Metroid? Certainly sounds good to me. Wii owners are in for quite a treat with this one, I believe.



Naughty Bear

Now this game is just plain twisted! Here is the plot of the game taken from Wikipedia.

“Naughty Bear is the only bear on the island that was not invited to a certain birthday party because of the fact that he is too naughty. While he crafted a gift for the occasion, he was laughed at by the other bears and sulked back to his house. Naughty Bear decides to take his revenge against all the other bears on the island.”

The object of the game? To be naughty! Doing so rewards you with naughty points and from there… Well, I have no idea. The game has an open sandbox environment like Grand Theft Auto, so there should be lots to do. To be honest, I don’t care what the objective of the game is, I’m going to be picking the game up when it releases at the end of this month. The idea of being a teddy bear who just causes trouble sounds really…. Fun!



Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

Finally, a new game in the numbered Sonic the Hedgehog series! It is very unfortunate that the only good game Sonic has been in recently is a kart racer (and a very good one, to be fair), but he’s finally coming home. I suppose Sega clued in and realized that Sonic has only ever done very well in 2D platformers. So, yes, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is a classic 2D platformer with what I suppose are HD graphics. Sort of.

This game is more of the same. Dr. Eggman (I prefer to call him Robotnik, but oh well) has it out for Sonic, and our blue friend has to do something about it. Sonic will trek through several zones made up of 2D side scrolling levels, just like the old games. I only liked Sonic 2, but I really think I’ll be checking this one out when it is released as a downloadable title.

The first episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 will be released later this year.



Star Wars: The Old Republic

Yeah, some Star Wars MMORPG.

I like the old Star Wars movies, but I know very little about this game. This is all I can say on it, really! It’s being made by Bioware and should be out around April or May 2011. I also fully expect it to steal elements from WoW, but you’d be crazy not to if you’re making an MMORPG.

Star Wars has an amazing history and setting though, which makes it perfect for an MMORPG. Considering the size of Star Wars’ fanbase, there’s no doubt in my mind that this game will be a hit.




Now, the rumour mill is always spinning around E3 time. I will now go over the four games I have heard rumours about but, at the moment, there’s no confirmation at all that these games are in the works, except MK9.

Half-Life 3

Surprisingly, yes. Valve have said that they have a “big” surprise for us at E3 this year but they didn’t specify what. A lot of people are jumping to the BIG conclusion. While it may be a stretch, it’s certainly an awesome stretch. Half-Life 3 would rock E3 to the core.

Infamous 2

While I only played the demo of Infamous (I found myself being more tempted to buy Prototype, which I did), I was able to acknowledge that the full game was probably pretty great based on what the demo offered. Judging by the review scores, I was right. More of the same can only be a good thing, right?

Mortal Kombat 9

Despite the fact that Midway bit the dust, Ed Boon and his wily crew survived after being taken in by Warner Brothers Games. It was an obvious choice for WB, considering the fact that Mortal Kombat is a cash cow. Boon revealed last year that MK9 is in development, so don’t be surprised if it shows up at E3.

Resistance 3

Sony’s “golden egg” FPS series. I find shooters to be pretty boring myself, but Resistance is pretty cool. I fully expect Resistance 3 to make an appearance at some point in time on the PS3. Whether or not it’s at E3 is yet to be seen.


And that’s about it! Overall E3, looks to have some pretty stellar games this year, and possibly some amazing surprises. Despite the fact that Playstation Move and Natal will probably be the focus of the show, we can’t forget that the games make E3, and this year it’s going to be a doozy.

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