Anyone who has been paying attention to the ongoing saga of Gran Turismo 5 knows that the game didn’t take as long as it did to be released for no reason. Polyphony Digital has made it clear that they have spent years working on the game to make sure that it reaches brand new heights for the series, and the genre. While the game is busting at the seems where content is concerned, heads of both EA and Codemasters, the makers of Shift 2 Unleashed and F1 2010 respectively, believe that GT5 will still not be for everybody.
While Gran Turismo divided cars and races into different classes and groupings, GT5 is including entirely different forms of motorsport. It would have come as a surprise to fans of the early series to hear that the franchise would one day include NASCAR as a playable game type. With kart racing and even Sony and Polyphony are set on pushing GT5 into every media market available.
Expansion of this size doesn’t come without a cost, and Patrick Soderlund, Senior VP at EA believes that their upcoming cross between simulation and arcade racer Shift 2 Unleashed doesn’t have to compete with that aspect of their competition’s product. Soderlund admits that their other title, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit and Gran Turismo 5 will likely attract very different audiences, he sees Shift 2 as a definite competitor to GT5. Is he scared? Far from it:
“Honestly, my take on this. Would I want to compete with Gran Turismo on sheer scale – meaning number of cars and the depth that they have in the game? Probably not.
“What does make sense to me… I think they have a very sterile, almost car collecting type of product where that’s mainly what we do and I think we can offer something different,” he continued.
“Our idea is that if we can offer the most authentic driving experience and portray what it feels like being inside a race car, then I think that’s where we can excel and where we absolutely will beat them. That I know for sure.”
“We don’t have that problem. We feel the adrenaline rush that we’ll always provide in F1 will not be matched by anyone else. You’re going to have all the cars, all the tracks and all the worldwide locations – not to mention the best strategy, and the best damage, as far as we can. If you’re an F1 fan, you don’t need to go anywhere else for that.”
Only time will tell if their predictions are correct, and if the years of development spent crafting the masterpiece that is GT5 were well spent. They aren’t exactly fighting words being thrown around, but if one thing is clear, it’s that fans of racing games in general have a few very bright years ahead of them.
You can take a spin and see for yourself if Gran Turismo 5 is as good as it gets, or just good enough for now, by picking the game up today exclusively for the PlayStation 3.