Opening cinematics have a clearly defined purpose - to give players a look at content they'll soon be able to enjoy, and to put the player in the mood that the game's designers want. So for Gran Turismo 5, a single introduction video has to not only give a stylish look at the new standard in racing simulation, but also make up for the six-year wait fans have had to endure.
You can see for yourself if the result succeeds, now that video of the game's opening has been leaked online.The series is known for their adrenaline-infused, yet artistically paced opening cinematics, but how could a single sequence manage to capture the massive world that Sony is about to unleash upon racing fans the world over? The answer: have it clock in at just under 7:00. So sit back, relax, and take a few minutes to see how Polyphony Digital plans to usher fans into their upcoming masterpiece.
It might not be exactly what you've been expecting:
There are several things that have come to be expected from Gran Turismo's openings (choirs, slow-motion, throbbing bass, somber drivers) but frenetic piano and a short film depicting the process of turning metal ore into a car is a first. The development team knows how difficult it can be to turn resources into a work of art, so the cinematic can be applied on a few different levels.
What may be worrying to some is that where previous games began with realistic glimpses into the minds of the drivers and their pit crews, trying to capture the nerves and adrenaline that accompany race day, the focus here seems to be on the technological and mechanical aspects.
The sheer amount of different game aspects that players can interact with is staggering, whether you're focused on creating custom courses or trying your hand at entirely different forms of racing. The weather effects alone are proof that this game will set a new record for graphic fidelity in racing titles.
Whenever a game is given a great deal of time to come up with a finished product, the ideal result is that the time will be used to deliver the most polished version of the creative team's vision. You need look no further than Alan Wake for proof that extra time can lead to greater success.
But there is also the risk of what can happen when a team is allowed to spend six years working on a single title. The constant drive to add 'just one more feature' carries the risk of overloading a title, and weighing down what began as a great concept. GT5 has already been delayed twice, and the team has announced that before GT5 has even been released, they've already begun work on the game's sequel.
I've always been a fan of the series, mainly due to the fact that while other games focused on flashy cars and destructible models, Gran Turismo concerned itself with one thing - driving. If this opening cinematic is a sign of what can happen when a team is left alone to craft a masterpiece for over half a decade, then there might be a risk of the size outweighing the soul.
Odds are that those fears will disappear when the game drops, but this glimpse at the game will surely divide some fans out there, so let us know how you feel about your first look at the must-have racing title of 2010.
While we hope that it will be the masterpiece that we've come to expect, we'll have to wait for Gran Turismo 5 to be released exclusively on the PlayStation 3 'on or about' November 30th, 2010.