Competition is a wonderful thing. Companies may hate it, but for the consumer, competition means choice. And what’s a better example of choice than Gran Turismo 5 XL Edition? It’s got over 1000 cars, more than twenty tracks (not to mention the ability to create your own), and what is a pretty obvious requisite nowadays: online gaming. I won’t get into really specific details about the game, if only because this is a re-release with some additional content of a now year old game, but don’t think that it doesn’t deserve some praise, because it most certainly does.
So does the game hold up to our recent review of Forza Motorsport 4? Well, based purely on numbers, yes. And based on gameplay, well, sort of yes. On numbers, GT5 XL easily blows Forza 4 out of the water with more than double the cars, although Porsche is still missing (damn you, EA). However, when it comes to gameplay, while this game is absolutely on par in terms of look and feel of state of the art, right up there with Forza 4, there just isn’t as much content. But I have to clarify that.
See, in Forza, you’ve got Top Gear, wicked awesome Kinect support, and that in-car mode that just can’t be topped. With that said, if you’re a car buff, that stuff all goes out the window if what you want is CARS. I can’t stress just how many cars over 1000 actually is. If your favourite car isn’t a Porsche, I can virtually guarantee you that it’s in here. And when it comes to value, this is the XL edition, which means you’ve got to be getting something more than you would’ve got when you bought the original title way back when, right? Actually, yeah, you get quite a bit, too. There’s more than $20 of add-on cars, tracks, and other goodies that will do their best to
Probably one of the best reasons to own this game is something that has more to do with the console it runs on than this specific piece of software: 3D. You’re just not gonna get 3D from Forza 4. In one of their developer interviews, they said that 3D just didn’t make sense unless they could create a new way to show driving off. I don’t think they could be farther from reality, and GT5 XL exemplifies it: when you’ve got a car going 120mph on a straight track, sometimes having 3D on is the only way to tell what’s going on. Okay, not really, but my God it’s beautiful.
Let’s not beat around the bush: Gran Turismo 5 XL is Gran Turismo 5 with some add-ons. If you’ve already got the original, don’t buy this one, or you’ll be wasting your money. But if you don’t have the original, you owe it to yourself to buy this one. I’m not a huge racing game fan. In fact, I kind of loathe racing games that aren’t Ridge Racer or Wipeout. But Gran Turismo 5, and more specifically the XL edition, makes me love the virtual leather-wrapped steering wheel all over again. It’s a fantastic game, it’s visceral, you feel the love from it, and it deserves your dough. Just remember when you’re done playing and actually driving on an actual road, speed limits do apply.