Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The five ages of Gran Turismo

The original Gran Turismo was released when I was sixteen years old, and it was the most exciting game I'd ever seen. Not only could you race Skylines and Imprezas (which weren't so ubiquitous on Britain's roads back then), but you could drive everyday cars too - Peugeot 206s, Honda Civics... the realism was mesmerising. I used to bore my dad with replays, saying 'look, it's just like watching motor racing on telly!'. How wrong I was. Looking back at it now, it seems blocky and basic.

Of course, it's all relative. It was the best that was available at the time; the cars were made of a few hundred polygons apiece, whereas by Gran Turismo 4 each one was made of over 4000. The cars of Gran Turismo 5 consist of half a million polygons apiece, which is frankly mind-boggling. It's scarcely a game any more, it's an art form. I imagine in five years time GT5 will be very dated, but for now it looks phenomenal. Take a peek at the videos below, you can see how the series grew organically into the visual goliath it is today.

Gran Turismo - 1998, PlayStation

Gran Turismo 2 - 2000, PlayStation

Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec - 2001, PlayStation 2

Gran Turismo 4 - 2005, PlayStation 2

Gran Turismo 5 - 2010, PlayStation 3

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