• Dec 23rd 2009 at 12:58PM
  • 85
Click above to watch the video after the jump

We're waiting with baited breath for the arrival of Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5. It's getting more difficult to sit on our hands all the time, so it's a good thing that Polyphony has released a time trial demo to wet our whistle. The demo is available free of charge for anyone on the Sony Playstation 3 network, and we recently got hold of the 200+ mb file for ourselves (it took about 30 minutes to download via high-speed cable Internet) to get a sense of whether the game is worth our elevated anticipation.

The time trial demo features both a stock and a tuned version of the Nissan 370Z. The goal is to manage the best single lap in each vehicle on a special road course layout of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and our experience with the demo shows that beating every GT5 fan out there for a chance to win a trip to the Indianapolis 500 is going to be no easy task. Hit the jump for our first impressions of the game, along with video of a hot lap captured by Dave Hinkle over at Joystiq.

[Source: Joystiq]

We've taken about 50 laps around Indy so far, and we can tell you firsthand that the demo is more than a little difficult. Many of the customization options that are available in GT5 Prologue are disabled in the demo, and the settings are fixed on the most difficult level. Go too hard around a corner and you're in the grass. Hit the grass or the gravel and you're spinning all the way to the wall. Hit the wall and your next lap will be invalidated.

The stock 370Z is so incredibly tough to keep under control that our first lap was about 40 seconds off of the world record time, which is at about 1:46 the last time we looked. In other words, we suck, and it took everything we had to keep playing. We still have a long way to go, as we are about 12 seconds off the record pace and the world's best cyber drivers are chiseling away at the fastest lap times.

Drive the tuned 370Z and Indy becomes a lot more manageable. Corners are easier to negotiate, tires are a incrementally stickier and the brakes work a bit better. The tuned Z can also be configured a bit, which helps a lot. We switched traction control from 7 to 9, an alteration that leads to less spin at the drive wheels when coming in and out of turns. The downside to bumping up the TC is that the tuned Nissan has a bit less pop at the pedal. This blogger's fastest time was a pedestrian 1:47, though our friends at Joystiq managed a 1:46 with a lot less practice than we had.

There are very high expectations for GT5, so we expect nothing less than earth-shattering graphics, a killer sound track and a virtual driving experience that rivals the best racing games of all time. We understand that our first taste of GT5 is only a demo, but so far we are a bit disappointed by what we see. No damage rendering, no customization and a very frustrating driving experience to master. But we will withhold final judgment until we are able to play the full game. That should be next summer, but with the seemingly infinite amount of delays to GT5, we wouldn't be surprised if we have to wait until next year's holiday buying season.

If you haven't seen the GT5 demo in action, click on the video created by our sister site Joystiq. And if you've got any tips to help us get our terrible lap times down or have some times of your own, feel free to spill your beans in the Comments below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      i love racist people, you're really mature for saying forcrap came out before gran turismo. yeah thats why forcrap is the original real driving game? i love how racist people who thinks crap box is cheaper than a ps3. people who buy crap box are little kids who do the school shootings.
      • 5 Years Ago
      These guys at Polyphony need to get over themselves. First of all, this demo feels like a gratuitous display of the physics engine. Wow, look at how we model oversteer! Jesus, if the 370 had that much power-oversteer 90% of their drivers would be dead by now! It's just ridiculous. What, are the running studded snows on the rear? And before you get on me with "it's not a arcade racer" and "you're a rookie" I'll just disclose that I have a 300 HP RWD sports car (Cayman S) which I also take to the track, so I have some basis here. Second, I'm one of those who owns a PS3 for the sole purpose of racing games. I've been eagerly awaiting GT-5 for years, but after playing this demo, I'm feeling really good about my decision to buy a 360 and Forza 3. If it ever comes out, I'll have a hard time rewarding Polyphony with my business. Sorry, I needed to vent. I feel better now, thanks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agree 100%. The car does NOT step out that badly, or that instantly in real life.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Ok, my turn.

        I've tested and pushed a 370 around a track; it reacts just like in the demo.

        So shut it...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Put the traction control to off or one. When it kicks in it slows the car dramatically so lower the better.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Man, I was really disappointed with this demo. I was raised on the GT series up until GT3, but Forza won me over with its first game. I have a PS3, which I buy very few games for, but was hoping GT5 might be one og them. If this demo is any indication, I will be saving my money.

      The cars just start drifting the moment you make any adjustment, the tires continuously squeal, the graphics (besides the amazing-looking cars) look very dated. I still can't believe I am seeing cardboard cutout trees in this era! Very disappointed to say the least.

      Forza 3 just feels real to me and I have driven many cars in real life, and aggressively for that matter, and that is how it feels. Last second braking, accelerating out of a turn all feel real. Going into a turn at a mere 90mph and braking late before a turn, your car just goes straight. It's like they went overboard to punish players to fool people into thinking is realistic, when it really isn't.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Going into a turn at a mere 90mph and braking late before a turn, your car just goes straight."

        I hope you're not braking and turning at the same time. Try that in "real life", your car will do just that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed, have driven the many of the cars in Forza (own the 350Z so that's my benchmark) and it's damn near spot on.

        I'll see if GT5's 350Z (hopefully also from 03) will be similar to reality.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I really don't think 200MB has to do with people not being able to download a demo. Anyone on the PSN has high-speed and 200MB is nothing these days so that theory doesn't make sense.

        It just really surprised me that this is the best that they could come up with just months before its release. This game will have taken nearly 6 years to make! So even if this demo was created with code from a year ago, then why the PS2-grade backgrounds and Ridge Racer handling? I really hope they improve things before release or this will be embarrassing for PD and their fans. Anything less than blowing away Forza 3 will be a disappointment.
        • 5 Years Ago
        First, the demo is meant to be a physics showcase and to allow competition. The 209 mb file is not representative of the final graphics. Demo downloads don't seem to go over 200 mb because files that big become difficult for some people to download.

        Also, I have not played the latest Forza nor have I driven a performance car around a track but taking a corner at 90 mph with late braking in real life probably would not work either.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Just because you suck, doesn't mean that the game does.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So all my other claims are correct? Thank you, sir.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This demo only allows pro physics. Fans of arcade racers like NFS, Grid etc... need not apply. You may find it boring, but sim fans find your "exciting" arcade racers boring too.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Man I can't wait till the real thing gets here... It's going to be amazing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "...and it took everything we had to keep playing."

      I don't think this is the sort of praise that Polyphony Digital was hoping for. I'm all for a challenge, and I think that there's a valid argument that Forza was tuned a bit too easily, but if it's so frustrating that you're ready to lob your controller out the window, then that just doesn't sound like fun.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's supposed to be a time trial challenge...against the best drivers in the world.

        It should be tough.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I just got the demo a few days ago when it came out. Wow. How much does this suck, let me count the ways:

        1. On our 1080p TV, it really does not look much better than GT4 while racing. Yeah, the replays and care detail is better, but overall, it really isn't much of a step. Not visually impressive.

        2. THE @(#$(*&@#$(&*@#$ MUSIC! OMFG. Is this an exciting RACING simulator, or a ****ING ELEVATOR!?!? It is SOOOOOOO bad. Like, cheesy 90s japanese VCR commercials bad. Fake saxophones, smooth jazz. Jesus ****ing christ what were they thinking?!?!

        3. Really seems like an HD version of GT4. Not good.

        4. Massive delays, every time you select something in the main menu. It just sits there and does nothing.

        5. Cars feel not realistic. You'll be in a turn, at full throttle, with no slipping. Then, suddenly your rear end slides out. For no reason. No change of steering angle, no throttle input difference, no braking, just POOF suddenly you are correcting the car from spinning out.

        6. Still no damage.

        7. It is not FUN. Like, it is NOT ENJOYABLE even. It just feels like a huge chore. Now, instead of feeling good about yourself for winning it says what "rank you are" in the global stats for lap times, meaning everytime you finish it says you are like 5,242nd in the world. Wow. Thanks, go **** yourself.

        8. Still only 3 views. Inside, bumper, and outside. Holy crap. Need for speed had those three views. Back in 1995. WTF.

        9. The cars just do not TURN. At full lock, they just slide. If you touch the grass, at all, say goodbye to any sort of traction you'd expect, even when you get back on the pavement.

        10. Oh, and if you go off the course, the car is limited to about 2000rpms, and about 10mph. I've driven cars on grass. Guess what? They still go really fast. They just don't turn or stop as well.

        11. As soon as you stop turning, the front wheels snap TOTALLY STRAIGHT, INSTANTLY. This ruins how clean many of your exits are. Just. God. Awful.

        I realize that some of these flaws may be considered "more realistic", but it really kills any sort of "fun" the game has to offer.

        Jesus. Forza is going to destroy this so badly. So so so disappointing. At this point, I am seriously considering getting an Xbox 360, purely for Forza III.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Alot of people are complaining about the feel and look of speed. I got one question. What does speed really feel and look like? I own a infiniti G35...closet thing to a 350Z/370Z and I can tell you that when I'm going 100+ I don't even notice it. I've gazed down at my speedo at times and noticed that Im going way too fast on the highway. Thats why most people get speeding tickets. You can't tell how fast you are going by looking at trees whiz by. The pavement looks the same from the drivers point of view and doesn't tell you how fast you are going. So whats the point on arguing speed visuals on a track.

      As far as physics are concerned, all cars have different characteristics. Even the same year and model car. My G35 might handle differently than your G35 if they were brought at the same time and the same location and we swap drives with each other to test the feel. So, the guys at forza probably tested one vehicle and the guys at PG tested a different vehicle thus getting different results. I'm sure both games are good. Whats the point of making clones!

      Demos do not make a game, but I must complain that PG is taking to long with finalizing this game. PS4 will be out before they release it. :(
      Its time for PG to take control of their destiny and do what everyone does. Put out 70% of the game and finish it with add-on packs every month or quarter. The public awaits for the ultimate driving game on the PS3 platform. A lot of people brought the PS3 in anticipation of the GT5 release. Common Sony, its time to put your foot down on this one.

      Feels good to vent! :D
        • 5 Years Ago
        I understand the inertia and gravity process when hitting a curve at high speeds. I do a lot of highway drifting onto on and off ramps :D . I was just making a point on some comments which was posted about trees and objects as opposed to speed visualization. Good observation on the difference between NFS Shift and GT5. I play NFS everyday but I don't use my G25 and racing seat. I don't have it with me right now here in afghanistan.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Drive on track where you're not on a highway doing 100 but instead going into a 90 degree corner barelling down the straightaway doing 140. You'll understand really quickly that the "feel of speed" is important to how you go about it.

        You also feel the feedback of the car through every part of your body. You feel the car sliding if it's pushing, you feel the back sliding if it's loose, you feel wheels locking. You're able to react to those things more quiclkly because they are apparent more quickly by feel than visually. While they can't yet simulate those feelings, things like force feedback do help. Also, as much as there are issues with NFS shift, they did do a good job of representing that feeling of fear and apprehensiveness that helps you keep the car's speed in check for upcoming corners. GT does nothing of the sort and I feel like I'm driving the worst understeering pig any time I drive anything in GT. Now with this 370Z, it also feels way overpowered. I don't care how hard you stomp the throttle in a 332 hp 270 lb/ft car, it's not going to blow the tires off the way it does in this demo, especially at speed. I feel like I'm driving a 1,000 hp drag car, not a street car when I played this.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm going to download this over Christmas and give it a look. I'm not expecting all of the graphics to look exactly like the finished product. If the trees or the fans look like cardboard cutouts then that's totally acceptable. That has nothing to do with the way the cars drive.

      I would suspect that the reason for limited modifications (if any) is for the purposes of the contest and to keep everyone on the same playing field.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yea its hard b/c if you look at the settings they turned off stability control but left on traction control
      • 5 Years Ago
      In the name of fun... here is my time after a few laps:

      370Z Tuned - 1'41'897 (6311th)
      370Z Stock - 1'55'221 (5343th)

      • 5 Years Ago
      Same thing happens on Forza 3 with the expert setting. No ABS no TCS etc etc. But you can use the controller on Froza 3 without any issues or the MS wheel which works really well also. I can see for most of the people that have a PS3 and using the controller why it would be a problem. The unfortunately triggers on the PS3 are garbage and trying to modulate the gas can be a headache getting the G25 wheel for GT5 is totally worth it.
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