GT5 landed near the end of last year, and received one of the most mixed reactions seen in recent times. While some gamers waxed lyrical about the beautiful visuals, spot-on handling and huge numbers of vehicles on offer others were drowned in disappointment, feeling like even after so many years of development it was still unfinished.
Several months on, and in the middle of a mild gaming drought, would the outcome have been any different had PD held off for a little longer and polished the game a little more? What if all of the patches released since the game landed had bee in the original game? We’ll look at a few criticisms aimed at GT5 and see just how much has changed since release. Will it have been enough to give the doubters a little less to criticise? Don’t get me wrong, I loved GT5 when it was released and still play it several times a week, but not everyone has the same level of affection…
Problem 1: The odd mix of premium and standard cars
It’s widely recognised just how amazing GT5’s premium cars look, but it’s also well known how crappy the standard cars look by comparison. But that’s nothing to worry about, because we were told some DLC was on the way giving us more premium models to redress the balance. Hooray! but have we seen any DLC yet? No. Booooo. Unfixed
Problem 2: The epic grind to earn XP and credits
To buy better cars and enter the better races needs some ranking up, which after a while became a ball ache of the highest order. Gamers cried out for a way to speed up the levelling feature, and PD answered the call. Not only do you win XP and credits when racing online, but the seasonal events give you a great chance to boost your wallet and XP while having some decent racing at the same time. Fine work. Fixed
Problem 3: Lack of online leaderboards
People like to compare their progress, speed, times and all sorts against friends. Half the point of racing is to be faster than everyone else after all. Leaderboards for each A-spec race or time trial would be a great way to see how you measure up against your online buddies, but aside from a couple of seasonal time trials we remain without comparisons. Unfixed
Problem 4: Online car choice limited to “favourite” cars
Initially the only cars you could use online were those you’d selected as a favourite, as well as a handful of standard online models available to all. An update since release has sorted that, allowing you to pick any car in your garage as long as it fits within the regulations of the lobby. Fixed
Problem 5: BHP limits in online racing aren’t fair
Limiting a race by BHP seemed like a good idea until you realise just how much difference the tuning, tyres and all sorts of other factors affect how quickly a car can get round a track. Enter performance points, which take all of that into account and mean that an open car selection online should still be a pretty fair event, or at least as much as you could expect. Fixed
Problem 6: Sterile circuits
Even though the car damage was clarified soon after the game’s release, the track deformation was almost non-existent. This wasn’t all that noticeable until Shift 2 rolled into town and showed exactly how it should be done. If a car piles into a tyre wall at 150mph you’d expect the wall to move, deform and send tyres in all directions and Shift 2 gave us that. GT5, several updates later, doesn’t which just makes crashing feel a bit less realistic. Unfixed
Problem 7: Awful menus
This is a difficult one. Initially, GT5’s menu system leaves a lot to be desired, but like any new user interface it just takes some getting used to. If people reviewed the game now would they still be moaning about the menus? I doubt it. Once you get used to it they’re more than logical enough for anyone smarter than your average dimwit. Not fixed, but they didn’t need to.
It’s quite clear that while PD have worked hard to sort out some initial problems, GT5 still isn’t perfect. With Shift 2 offering a more racey experience and Forza 4 lingering uncomfortably round the corner, can PD still keep adding and amending GT5 to turn it into the ideal game? It’s important to note that all this is based on issues we found on various reviews around the web, not all of which we agreed with when the game was released. What issues in GT5 are you still waiting to be sorted? Have we missed something that has been fixed in an update since the game’s launch? Let us know!