Gran Turismo 5 Update - Course Maker, Driver Management, and Kart Racing

Kazunori Yamauchi shows a few more features, including two that let you get creative and tactical.

by

At this point, there's not really much left to be said about Gran Turismo 5. It has been in development for what seems like ages, but unlike most games with a curiously long production cycle, it's not showing any reasons for concern. Quite the contrary--GT5 looks every bit the terrific racing sim that developer Polyphony Digital has become known for over the years. Gran Turismo 5's lengthy development seems to have resulted in a borderline absurd amount of content to be found in the game. From nighttime racing to NASCAR vehicles, we've seen a lot of what GT5 has to offer over the past few years, and with the impending release (hopefully) right on the horizon, we've just had a chance to see a few more bells and whistles here at Gamescom 2010.

First, there's the course maker. Game director Kazunori Yamauchi was careful to avoid calling it a course editor, because to him that implies a barrier of entry on par with a 3D modeling program. If you're looking for a tool to lay your own asphalt and design billboards, this isn't it. Instead, the course maker is something that allows players to select a variety of course parameters from dropdown menus and let the game randomly generate a track in line with those settings. You start with a theme, ranging from the Tuscan countryside to Germany in the spring, and select the time of day, weather, and whether you want a point-to-point rally track or a looping circuit. Then you get into the nitty-gritty, selecting the number of sections, how many corners each section will have, and everything from sharpness of the turns to the width of the track to each section's bank angle. Then you hit the "generate track" button, and the game spits out a course that fits your specifications. You can hit the button again as many times as you like until you get something perfectly suited to your liking. After all this, you can share your track with friends and race it against other players online.

One of the other notable features Kazunori showed was an expanded version of the B-Spec mode originally found in Gran Turismo 4. If you recall, B-Spec mode is essentially a driving management simulation. It's more or less the direct counterpart to A-Spec, the basic game mode that lets you get in the seat of the car and drive. The idea for this mode goes back to Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec. The game was given that title because Kazunori intended to release Gran Turismo 3: B-Spec shortly after, a game that would use the same technology but focus on what it's like to manage your own racing team from the comfort of the pit. Obviously, that game was never released, which Kazunori attributed to a variety of technical hurdles they couldn't overcome. He said that B-Spec was included in GT4 as an experiment of sorts, but it has taken all the way until now for the two Spec modes to become perfectly balanced in terms of quality.

So what does all that talk mean, exactly? B-Spec gives you a fairly impressive suite of controls to manage a team of racers. You start with a single driver, but eventually build up your team to a maximum of six. During a race, you're shown a screen with a window of the live race flanked by a gaggle of meters, gauges, and numbers. There are gauges for your driver's current mental and physical staminas, as well as one that shows how agitated he is. These are factors that you as the manager control by giving him directions to increase the pace, lower it, maintain it, or what have you. If he gets really hot under the collar, he might eventually ignore your directions and become more prone to accidents on the track. You can also see information such as current tire damage and real-time averages of how every driver has been doing on every section of the track so you know when to plan your attack.

While B-Spec and the course maker were very much the focus of our demo, there were a few other features mentioned toward the end. For one, the photo mode we detailed at E3 will offer 3D support. Yes, you can take your cars, position them in a variety of tracks and showrooms, and then snap a photo that you can then gaze upon in three dimensions. We also saw a video of the kart racing in Gran Turismo, which if nothing else boasted the undeniably entertaining visual of drivers fully decked out in racing uniforms, shoes, and tinted helmets throwing their weight around the corners as they raced in front of the Roman Colosseum. Kart racing seems like an odd addition to a series so known for supercars that push the boundaries of modern engineering, but it's certainly at least a sign of Polyphony's dedication to further fleshing out a collection of race types that already includes WRC and NASCAR.

Finally, this couldn't possibly be a Gran Turismo preview without revealing a handful of new cars and a track or two. We'll start with the cars. The theme with this batch of rides can be boiled down to one year: 1967. From that year you'll find a Ford Mark IV, a Ferrari 330 P4, a Jaguar XJ13, and a Lamborghini Miura P4000 Bertone Prototype. Why that year? The 1967 Le Mans was a personal favorite of Kazunori's, as the Ferrari that won first, second, and third places in the Daytona earlier in the year was beat out by the underdog Ford. Rounding out that list from a more modern era are the Zonda R '09, the Impreza Sedan WRX STI '10, and the Lexus IS F Racing Concept '08. And in terms of tracks, Kazunori announced Italy's Autodromo Nazionale Monza, or Monza for short. This track features few turns and ample straights, making it a good place for beginners to get a feel for revving their engines.

Gran Turismo 5 is currently scheduled for release on November 2. We've got our fingers crossed that it makes that release, but in the meantime, expect to see more coverage at next month's Tokyo Game Show.

Discussion

187 comments
Tevi
Tevi

i cant find it in any store

SkaiNett
SkaiNett

Those karts better have some awesome and hilarious crash physics

GT5FTW
GT5FTW

Kart racing? Yay! I love Karting! the drifts, the wind and all that... Awesome!!

StarrGTR
StarrGTR

It took me about 2 years to complete GT4 to a perfect 100%. Won every race, collected all 722(?) cars and all gold on the licenses. Not a single B-spec point :D I can't imagine how long it's going to take me to complete GT5. If I ever get my ruddy hands on it.

FullyQuipt
FullyQuipt

Shaun McInnis who wrote this preview said "Kart racing seems like an odd addition to a series so known for supercars that push the boundaries of modern engineering" He obviously is not qualified to write about motorsports clearly. Cart racing is the begining sport for all kids /adults across the world before going to the big league racing series... just not as popular here in the United States. Here in the U.S. the sports here are different so some like to grow up and be Basketball , Football, Baseball etc stars but in Asia , europe and places like Brasil , Spain Italy etc the kids want to grow up to be a Soccer player or Formula 1 racer. Cart racing is the basic tool to any form of racing used by almost every world champion of any motorsport .. Nascar , Indy , Formula 1 , Moto Gp , Rally etc. Most International racers from Indy , Nascar ,Formula 1 , WRC all known each other as kids growing up cart racing in their recpective series. But end the rant with a great addition and will be very popular with small twisty courses.

mabbb
mabbb

While on the subject of race games. Does anyone remember the NEG-CON controller. It was like a game pad but it twisted for steering movement.I always found it to be a good controller.

mabbb
mabbb

This is very exciting.I loved to play B Spec mode in GT 4 .This looks to be much more interesting.I am looking forward to the circuit creator aswell.Even if this game is delayed it will be worth the wait !

eddyoshi
eddyoshi

this does sound really good, but i think im going to get dirt 3 because you can tumbleturn more. Oh and Anoush13, im also getting LBP2

Anoush13
Anoush13

Gran Turismo 5...... Simply put that this game is to epic for words! Oh and there's also LBP2! Damn this is such a good year for gaming!

JuiceMcGoose
JuiceMcGoose

The Tokyo Game Show is this weekend so we should find out if the release date is really going to be Nov. 2. With the updated XBox out I was thinking of getting one to try out Forza 3. The biggest drawback is my G25 wheel won't work and guys with both units say the wheels available for XBox are not that great. Codemaster's F1 2010 is supposed to be delivered to my house Sept. 22, next week, so I guess I will just wait.

kozarman
kozarman

sweet looking game that will show the the PS3 is capable of

panda_fu
panda_fu

Definitely more exiting than Black ops.What about the DRIFTING race type?

studfly
studfly

This is without a doubt, the Best looking Racing game I have ever seen, EVER

advanracer
advanracer

I need a break from Forza 3. I'm stick and tired..of having cars with no "Displays". LMAO XD. especially my All to Perfect Peugeot 203 and BMW M3 GTR. I spent a ton on features to find out..it had a Blacked Out Display?! - FML.

Orangetastical
Orangetastical

Sounds like B-Spec might actually take some work now. Good-bye Le Mans free pass.

LiquidSifu80
LiquidSifu80

I've been playing Forza 2 and 3 for the past 3 years and am still waiting for GT5. I'm afraid that it will be a let down, since the prologue was pretty poor. Still, let's hope for the best.

progamemania
progamemania

@madSomnambulist ok but The gameplay in Gran Turismo is not so easy to get used to, anyone can play it yes, but not any one can master it. this is the brilliance of Gran Turismo.

progamemania
progamemania

immm 70 days left more or less... coming to think about it really.. it is not that much:P

liquid_plasma
liquid_plasma

i have always looked up to the GT series for its simulation-esk properties. If it wants to be the best, there needs to be nothing held back.

liquid_plasma
liquid_plasma

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

F-14-D_TOMCAT
F-14-D_TOMCAT

@ BLKGZUS04 said: culd somebody possibly find out whether or not data from the gt psp, or gt 5 prologue will be able to be used in the full version of the game. Duude its like you read my mind coz I was thinking that it would be awesome to import my progress data and all my cars from gt5 pro-logue to GT5. It would be a huge selling point for gt5 if owners of pro-logue were to import their progress data and I think Kazunori and sony will do just that in-order to boost sales.

madSomnambulist
madSomnambulist

@ progamemania -- GT has always had an interesting dichotomy of players. In the NA/EU markets is more about simulation and supercar insanity, but in Japan there's also a large appeal toward being able to simulate driving "your car", often a run-of-the-mill B-segment or Kei car, on the world's best tracks. This is why so so many seemingly dull and meaningless cars are always in the lineup. Stuff like the kart racing is something that should appeal to any fan of the racing genre. They're just a total blast to flog around and in the sort of settings shown are really "arcade-like" and friendly to all. They stop on a dime and veer in predictable patterns. Stuff like this and the mentioned high-speed beginners-level tracks like Monza (with all of 7 very basic turn areas; as a note it's the fastest F1 circuit with 4 segments over 200mph) and the American ovals were surely included on the idea of getting the more casual player and 'converts' hooked. ...Many will indeed get hooked this way.

progamemania
progamemania

@ GoofyGoober88 of course forza is better for you. Gran Turismo is designed for hardcore gamers, if you find it a little hard don't worry about it, you can play your arcade-ish forza. you might get stronger yes.. but still not good enough to play Gran turismo

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

I have to say - I am one of the many nay-sayers on this game, but only brought about by the insane wait we have had for it. I adore driving sim games and have loved every GT game so far, I just felt that this one had been far too long in development. Well I have to now say that the more I recently read about this game, the more I understand some of the delays - the amount of content is looking ludicrous. All I can say is, the wait better be worth it... it sounds like it might just be.

raphaelcoelho15
raphaelcoelho15

@EnzoF66057 I dont have Forza and I dont own a X360 because I'm waiting, just like many people, GT5 for a long long time. So, if they can put a Course Maker, Driver Management and Kart Racing and keep everything that they already have why they can't put car customization? I just want the game to be better

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

also, not hating on the game or nothing, But if you say you're going to release the most realistic racing game, and not even include proper damage for cars just because the Auto Industry says you can't, in fear of people really seeing what happens to cars, just to protect you're cars name brand and still say its the most realistic racing simulator is a huge injustice, I can easily go on the internet and pull up pictures of cars that claim to be amazing and durable that are totaled to hell and back. Highly doubt a video game is going to ruin car sales, strictly because of the damage done in a video game, when you can easily go on the internet and pull up every negative bit of feedback on said cars.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

Im not gonna lie, when I first glanced at the title of the article, I thought it said "Gran Turino 5" Update lol.

ChromeBallz
ChromeBallz

@JuiceMcGoose Dirt 2 feels very arcade-ish. As far as rallying goes, no game has beaten Rally Championship 2000 yet, and i don't expect GT5 to do it either, given how rallying was like in previous GT's. Road racing though should be pretty good though, they always got it right before and i doubt they'll change much for GT5.

JuiceMcGoose
JuiceMcGoose

My main concern of this game is if the driving dynamics are realistic. They are a little off on Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Not quite up to Dirt2 standards. I'm all about driving games so I will be buying it. Maybe next time they can come out with updates more often. How long they been working on this game?

MaskedInfernal
MaskedInfernal

Is it just me or does everyone think that only the odd numbered GT games are worth buying. GT1 was a revolutionary racing sim, GT2 was very similar to GT1. GT3 was great because it was the first GT title on the PS2 and improved upon GT1 and 2 in many ways. GT4 however was very much similar to GT3. So therefore GT5 is going to be a great and innovative racing game.

ck666
ck666

@ liquid_plasma GT (nor Forza) can't implement full damage system. Not because they wouldn't want to, but because all of these cars are officially licensed and manufacturers don't want people to see what really happens to their car when you crash it to the wall at 150m/h. Why won't they allow that? Should ask them. But that's the way it is right now. Of course, WRC and NASCAR cars are different - these are not 'street cars,' so it's allowed to model full damage for them, as seen in Dirt, for example. Half baked damage models aren't Turn10's nor Polyphony Digital's fault, they must work within these rules.

DeathProofDelta
DeathProofDelta

I really cant wait! I hope it does come out in November.

Gamer999000
Gamer999000

@TonnFool23 Gran Turismo will not have wipeout since GT5 is a simulation racer they shall not include arcade racing

rancor_
rancor_

... Longest.....wait.........ever.

TonnFool23
TonnFool23

They just keep adding new things on day after day after day, what's next...Wipeout in Gran Turismo? :D

TheJamin
TheJamin

Gah it looks fantastic! i remember some clever person at sony found a way of producing high levels of AA via the cell on the ps3. lets hope they use it on this. i hope the reflection resolution is pretty high too!

death12323
death12323

i wish it would come out to the 360 :(

Lord-Rasay
Lord-Rasay

To those of you nagging that it doesnt have a detailed interior for every car, what interior do you expect to be made for a kart ? a driving wheel ? STOP NAGGING! This game is looking amazing with a variety of cars unprecedented in any racing game! 1000+ cars are more than enough for any game to deserve the title of GREAT SIM!

linkme
linkme

This looks great, I hope they have a great engine tuning system.

triplesnakes
triplesnakes

is it true that only 200 cars of the game has detailed interior ?

xshadowzz
xshadowzz

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

liquid_plasma
liquid_plasma

GT5 had better have damage physics for all cars.... if you want the title of "simulation" you do your best to simulate the real world. you can have the most precise driving controls and track rendering... but without all aspects of racing you have nothing more than a polished fantasy realm of a JOKE. WOW.. love how people cant take the reality of the situation

GoofyGoober88
GoofyGoober88

I Hope they have fixed how the game plays...I loved GT3 but it gets annoying sometimes, I always found Forza games to be better driving wise a lot of the cars in that game handle like they do in real life. But with PS3 having way more power than PS2 i expect GT5 to be awesome just wish Sony didn't rush it out ..I am sure the developers would rather the game have detailed in car view with every single car instead of just 200+

EnzoF66057
EnzoF66057

@raphaelcoelho15 Isn't that what you have Forza for? Oh wait, Forza feels like you're driving big plastic balloons filled with air. Nevermind.

raphaelcoelho15
raphaelcoelho15

I want car customization like NFSU series but with the quality of GT series

fredyellowone
fredyellowone

@martin101n Did you ever heard about that maxim : "the young surpass the master"? Well I'm sorry for you but that's not the case here. GT5 will be, as usual, way ahead of any competitor.