Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 3
Rating: E — Everyone
Game type: Racing
Rating: **** (out of five)

What’s the premise?

One of Sony’s greatest franchise finally makes the leap to the next-gen platforms… sort of. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue serves as an hors d’ouevre ahead of a full release expected in 2009, offering over 60 hot cars on a half dozen tracks to whet your appetite until the full meal arrives.

This game is most similar to…?

Gran Turismo 4, Forza Motorsport 2.

Is it suitable for younger gamers?
There is a nice slow learning curve in GT5P that helps make it a little more kid friendly, however the game is still likely to appeal more to those who’ve actually been behind the wheel.

One player or more?
Head-to-head split screen if it’s just you and a friend or races of up to 16 competitors online.

The (not-so) secret to success is…?
Get to know your cars. You’ll need a variety of different vehicles to wins your way to the top of the heap in GT5P and no two cars drive exactly the same, so be prepared for a learning curve every time you get behind the wheel of each one.

What’s missing?
There are six beautiful tracks to choose from, and they are lovely, but six is far too few — even for a “prologue”.

And in the end?
Gran Turismo usually sets the bar in racing simulation games for every generation of consoles and GT5P is no exception. The graphics are impressive, the in-car action is engrossing and it’s sure to make you hungry for the full game next year.

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