GT5: Why PD?
Welcome to another Perch of StaticFalconar. This is the last of my retrospective blog of gaming in 2010.
Yesterday I had written up the timeline of giant mess that was the dev cycle of GT5. That blog wasn’t meant so much as a slight or being apologetic in why people should hate or love GT5. It should really just be taken as a lesson and move on since PD has just that and constantly patched the game since its launch. Even with all the patches, I still have some gripes with it.
Alright, lets get the BS stuff out of the way. If you are complaining that GT5 didn’t let you paint cars or crash them realistically enough you probably should not be playing GT5 to begin with. There are plenty of other racing games out there and no matter how many patches come, PD was never about that. Even with the damage modeling that GT5 has, it was added in the last moment after another delay was announced. So instead of asking based on what others have done (or personal wish lists), I instead ask based on the logistics of real life racing and past GT games.
I recently got my B-Spec level to the point of 24 hr endurance races, and I was honestly kind of disappointed that it wasn’t split into classes. In real life there would be the top of the line Le Mans Prototype (LMP) cars that look like spaceships and GT cars that actually look like cars you see in real life but prepped for racing in different HP ranges. Those are different classes in real life as the GT cars have no way of being fast enough to keep up with the LMP cars. So there is a winner in each class as a result. You can see where I’m going here and no the endurance races aren’t split up in classes. That could have been a real easy way to add in more races in general.
That brings me to my next gripe. In all the past GT games, I could always count on a crap load more races then I actually had to do. But now, there is no Evo Vs Sti or meeting of the Audi’s, or any spec racing that is specific to one car (or type of) only. Ok, I shouldn’t say none, but it’s a lot less of them. I mean, you got the WRC license and its completely absent other than the special event test which gives you zero incentive to play it once you beat them. At least Nascar showed its head as a race that you could grind, but there is no F1 event and you cannot even use them in the single player when you do actually unlock it. Why the fuck not? You don’t think its already broken that I could use LMP cars in an event filled with GT cars and even the Formula GT (GT’s version of an F1 car before they had the license)? Hell, I could even use the Red Bull X1 which has twice the power of a real F1 car and probably better aerodynamics as well. But no, I can’t even use an F1 car to grind some races when I have a bunch of other overpowered cars for the same events already. Then there’s drifting, I personally haven’t really gotten the hang of it yet, but that’s because I have no incentive to. In GT4 it was incredibly hard to drift and even if you did look up drift set ups online, the game engine made drifting too stringent. Now however, from the few times I tried to drift it was much easier already. Come on PD, you could have easily added way more events then what GT5 had.
I realize the patch did bring in new events that give greater amount of XP and money compared to other races, but once you beat them, you can’t repeat it for any extra. The online feature is a real hit or miss. There have been tons of flex your HP muscle in drag runs and Nascar like races, but also the super technical ones where the host turns every single aid off including the driving line. I realize having the stability control or skid recovery control may seem like a cheat to the hardcore, but I haven’t memorized every track yet so the driving line is a nice guideline and reminder to brake every now and then. After all, the person that follows the brake line religiously can only go slower than the person that truly knows the track. In between the two extremes, I have been in plenty of races where half the field knew how to drive with enough courtesy and those that love bumper cars are usually bad drivers that gets smoked anyway. Maximum penalty like 5 second force slow down time (and mechanical damage) when you bump into someone may seem excessive, but it certainly serves its purpose when you see somebody deliberately mowing you down.
In GT5 Prologue, there was a system in place where heavy higher HP muscle cars can race against smaller less powered sports cars but its equal based on the PP points assigned to each car. Depending on the track it would be a fair race or a slaughter. Perhaps I just said the reason why they abandoned it, but I am still mildly disappointed. Other things like being able to add ballast weight or restrictor plates to fine tune your car made it much easier for everyone to have different cars, yet be relatively equal still. Yes there are 1000 cars in GT5 but I can only favorite 100 of them to play online. Why PD, Why? Photo mode is great but why do I have to play glitch tricks on the camera just to get pictures of the interior like as if I’m sitting in it? Part of me probably shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up with the track generator, but when I see how far along Mod Nation Racers and LBP has gone perhaps I was too optimistic that the two Sony exclusive companies would talk to one another.
To end this rant on a positive note, I should mention I actually do like having 1000 cars. The whole standard versus premium thing doesn’t mean that much to me since I always play in the bumper cam to begin with. While, not as noob friendly as Forza 3 (where you can rewind any mistake), things like skid recovery makes it possible to have some fun and kick out the back end of your car a little bit without being too strict on you. The AMG School was the final kick I needed to get comfortable with the Ring. Finally, The Red Bull X1 deserves its own mention since driving that thing is more like playing an arcade racer except you cannot drift. If you thought taking a turn at 200 mph in an F1 or LMP car was crazy, just wait til you can take the same turn at 250 mph in the X1. Its not until you inevitably spin out still somehow that you realize its still meant to be a sim racer.
Alright, I’m finished building the wall (of text). I still do like GT5 and will probably still play it when I have the time until I have collected most of every car I wanted. Even after then, as long as the online community is strong enough (or more constant updates), GT5 will be a regular game in my rotation. Still, even without the stupid complaints like “Why can’t I crash this car realistically enough?” aside, GT5 still could have been a much larger game then it was. As much as Jeff don’t give a fuck about the franchise, he got it right when he said GT5 was trying to be too much of everything. Yeah, go ahead and leave your personal wish lists and asinine comments like “I don’t like GT5 because it doesn’t play like an FPS game”. Even though my this blog really was my personal wishlist of what could have been done with logic, it wasn’t until towards the end of it that I realized my blog was just that.
PS: I spent a cool C note on this game and I am still glad I did. If you didn't bother to read the entire thing, just know I do like GT5 and thought it was worth every penny.