So when Ben and I got on the phone to go over the nominees and the winners, the process hit a few snags. Some we had expected, some we didn't. The whole rundown is fairly straightforward and simple. Ben had a number of nominees written down per category, but when we sat down to discuss the whole list, I had brought up a number of other titles for various categories that Ben had forgotten. We had changed and removed nominees during the review, and yet the whole process was still relatively easy. There were only a handful of categories where we drew out long list of pros and cons, before ultimately making our decisions. Graphics, for example, was one of them. Both Ben and I came down to God of War III and Gran Turismo 5, and after a lot of scrutinizing I made the case for God of War III and Ben agreed.

The great thing about the dynamic Ben and I share is that we are able to share our objective analysis on any given subject and usually one or the other agrees with it. It's never a tug-of-war process, and we've never once had an instance of bickering. One such example is that I was able to make a case of Gran Turismo 5 being the multiplayer game of the year, and that FIFA 11 was the best sports game of the year – and Ben agreed. But then we hit our metaphorical wall. It was time to pick our Game of the Year. So, as per usual, we had our choices narrowed down and then we start picking those we don't think stack up. Process of elimination brought us to Heavy Rain and Gran Turismo 5. Oh, shit.

So began the case building, I had expressed why I felt Gran Turismo 5 is the best game of the year, and Ben did the same for Heavy Rain. To complicate things more, Ben agreed with me. Yet, I agreed with him. Doesn't that just blow your mind? So after about an hour of us talking about just the GOTY category, we agreed there was nothing left to do but to call it a tie. At one point Ben had said "these are about as polar opposite as polar opposite can get." And he's right. I mean, it's one thing if you're comparing, say, Uncharted to Metal Gear Solid, God of War to Final Fantasy, or Metal Gear Solid to Kingdom Hearts, but it's another when you're comparing Heavy Rain to Gran Turismo 5. The reason being is that, at least in those aforementioned titles, you take control of beings. Living, breathing, (well, sort of) creatures that convey emotion and physical actions, which is largely combat. Those games despite being different genres, have a ton more in common than Heavy Rain and Gran Turismo 5.

But then I said to Ben "are they really that different? I mean, yes, they're nothing alike. But they do share one massive similarity in that they both strive to achieve a certain level of realism that no game in each respective genre has accomplished thus far." And it was at that point that we realized why making this a tie made perfect sense and Ben had suggested I write an op-ed explaining why Gran Turismo 5 deserved it (that's just how much Ben agreed with my GOTY decision). And so here is why the choice was made.

First off, I'm not one to call out other writers out there, but the "critics" who covered Gran Turismo 5 or rather the "gamers" who reviewed Gran Turismo 5 did a pretty lousy job at it. I won't get into the specifics, because luckily forums like GTPlanet and NeoGAF have already done all of the ego-shredding for me. And believe it or not, but both of these forums are an integral part of this decision. If you've visited GTPlanet or even NeoGAF's official GT5 thread, you'll have noticed a collective of enthusiasts not just gathering to race online, but also doing something that I'm sure was a goal of Kazunori Yamauchi – sharing. Yes, sharing. It is absolutely brilliant how the Gran Turismo community gets online to share not just tips for a race, but things like in-depth car setups, down to the very increments of a damper setting on a vehicle's suspension. And if those suspension settings are still not working out for you, how about borrowing an absurd 800HP Toyota? It has a better power-to-weight ratio and it handles better than the impossibly insane Shelby you were trying to win with (like I was).

Yes, you can hand someone the keys to your virtual car and help him score that gold, prize money, experience points, and even the bonus car for winning. Hell, a bunch of people simply let you keep the car they've just gifted you. The community is absolutely riddled with gamers who are willing to help each other out, no different than a real life group of guys (and some gals) who post on a multitude of car forums. Somehow, Gran Turismo manages to take the experience outside of the virtual world and maintain it with fellow gamers such as you…and that's just sensational.

But that's not even the end of it. Then you simply start looking at the features list. 1000 cars. Awesome. 70 track setups. Kick ass. Course creator. Yes. WRC. Formula One. SuperGT. NASCAR. Karts. 16-player online gameplay. 60 frames per second. Custom Soundtracks. That list goes on and on, as you know, and it's only going to get longer. Since launch Polyphony has already released four new updates for Gran Turismo 5, nearly every single one having an affect on gameplay. Fantastic enhancements to the online gameplay have made matches exactly the way they should be with update 1.2, and that just came only a number of days after the launch of the game. Another update added a plethora of advanced race events to the game, quelling those who complained there wasn't enough race content in GT Life. Also added was an online dealership where rare and highly sought after cars can be purchased. A multitude of other little updates and additions were made throughout these downloads, and the craziest thing is that there are many more to come. Polyphony has already expressed that they are fully committed to Gran Turismo 5 as a platform that they will add to very frequently. New cars and tracks aren't just what we can look forward to, but also formerly standard cars becoming premiums, complete with damage and interiors. All of that. Free. Absolutely free. Brilliant.

But that's still not the end of it. Honestly, 1000 cars is a fantastic feat no matter how you slice it. I've said this countless times before, but I'd much rather have those 800 standard cars, then an extra 100 or 200 premium cars. The bottom line is that it's more content and more options. Furthermore, I find the cockpit view to be pretty pointless in a videogame, because it is simply not the best way to accurately drive in a simulator – that would be the bumper or hood cam with a Logitech steering wheel in front of you. So if I'm never even looking at the inside or outside of my car to begin with, I'm not too fanatical about how it looks. Yes, I love the premium cars and I love a gorgeous looking game, but unless you're using the photomode all the time, you shouldn't be too concerned. Besides, I've actually noticed a lot of the standard cars such as the Bugatti Veyron and a number of others look shockingly better than other standard vehicles – which implies that Polyphony did add extra touches to a number of cars they felt deserved them.

Yet, I'm not finished. Because its the physics that really reeled me in. Getting in front of my Logitech G27, stepping into my Nissan 370Z and taking it out for a spin is a great feeling. I have my own personal test track in the game, Autumn Ring Mini, and it's become my proving ground for every car I own. I'll race a new car around stock, note the time, get to work on the mods, and then race it around again and mark the improvements. Currently, my 1230HP Bugatti Veyron and 900HP Audi R8 V10 hold the top two seats, though despite being slower, I prefer the more sonorous and lively Audi over the clumsy, dull, and understeering Veyron any day of the week. The Audi can also perform these epic and controlled drifts that I just have to look back and awe at the 1/4 mile long cloud of smoke I left behind as I went through a curve. It's simply sensational how each and every car feels so utterly different than the last. Even the different variants of the 350Z, the Skyline, RX7, etc. – they all have a unique handling or performance characteristics that makes them instantly discernible from one another – no other racing game achieves that level of detail. None.

And while I contest that Gran Turismo 5 is far from perfect, it is simply unparalleled in the genre. It offers so much in such a tiny package, and yet it keeps on giving. I've been glued to the game from the moment I got it, because as a bleeding heart gearhead, who is often the annoying guy who loves to explain the ins and outs of a vehicle, this game captures my attention. It speaks to me. I know that, for the most part, what I do in a real-life car, I can do in Gran Turismo 5.  I know that it's more difficult in real-life to drift a high-powered BMW 1-series than a 370Z – because one has an open-differential and the other a limited slip. Going back to what I said about being the annoying car guy, just two days ago my cousin was confused why only one wheel in one of his cars spins when he's climbing out of a mountain of snow (yay, NYC blizzard!). So I sat there and detailed how a differential works, and the types of differentials that exist and how they function. A few weeks ago, my girlfriend couldn't grasp the concept of a manual transmission. She understands the process of clutching and shifting, but doesn't understand the function. So I sat there and explained to her what exactly is going on internally right below the very seat she was in. So you can see that I'm *that* guy. I'm an absolute automotive fiend and I'm extremely critical when it comes down to authenticity in sim racers, and simply put Gran Turismo 5 matches my expectations, and in some cases exceeds them. Is it the most realistic a racer can possibly be? No. But it's really close.

It's a shame that critical reception was so…dare I say it…wrong for the game. And in many ways, I felt pretty embarrassed reading some of the reviews. But, it is what it is, because in a short amount of time Gran Turismo 5 has already added a slew of content and fixed a number of technical issues it had – a testament to Polyphony's commitment to the game. Looking ahead, Gran Turismo 5 is sure to only improve considerably more and we can't wait. So having said that, I'd like to end this piece with a thank you to: Kazunori Yamauchi, the entire Gran Turismo 5 community, Polyphony Digital, Quantic Dream, and Sony for giving PSX Extreme the ability to pick two Game of the Year winners.

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UK_MrSim_UK
UK_MrSim_UK
9 years ago

Has anyone seen the game of year choices at gamespot? They haven't even nominated GT5 for game of the year, just a bit annoying. Never trusting that site again. Anyway, good read I love GT5, now to save up for my F1 car..

UK_MrSim_UK
UK_MrSim_UK
9 years ago

By the way that reminded me, if someone has a Classic Race Car I could borrow I would be extremely grateful. Please?

swapnilgyani
swapnilgyani
9 years ago

I did it with the Lamborghini Countach I won in some other tournament. Even though it is much less powered, its a breeze through the corners, and is almost weightless!

The X Factor 9
The X Factor 9
9 years ago

Good luck trying to figure out the GOTY for next year…you'll have a MUCH harder time.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Uncharted 3.

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
9 years ago

That was easy.

TheShadow
TheShadow
9 years ago

UC3

thats easier lol

sticklife
sticklife
9 years ago

Pff, ape escape 4 might come out. Not that lame looking one, but the real 4. That would make things tough.

Lemon_Saint
Lemon_Saint
9 years ago

I must be the only one thinking Deus EX is a contender for GOTY. If it follows the pedigree delivered by the first two, that is.

mackid1993
mackid1993
9 years ago

Brilliant editorial Arnold. I'm someone who really hates racer and could really care less about the inner-workings of a car, yet I agree with you. Both Heavy Rain and GT5 are genre defining. They are incredibly innovative and give people the chance to play and enjoy the game in ways that they haven't before. I don't particularly care for either game and personally, I would have loved to see BFBC2 or MGS take home the prize, but I do agree with yours and Ben's consensus. These are the two most innovative games of 2010, making them both equally deserving of the prize.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

Fantastic reasoning Arnold. I really could hardly agree more with what you've written in regards to GT5 being worthy of the title. A massively underrated game, in spite of the fearful amount of hype that was built up behind it. And with Polyphony continuing to add to and expand on the features already in the game, it'll be interesting to see just how different it'll be in a years time.

Also, the way that you two decide on the GotY winners makes a lot more sense than the seemingly random selections of other sites. Perhaps it is simply because they refuse to go in depth with their readers on the subject, but we can see your reasoning and the shared debate on the subject. Seeing other sites, I really do like the transparency that I feel is here. And when it comes to Heavy Rain and Gran Turismo 5, there really is no way to compare the two in any manner that is even close to fair. That's it from me.
Peace.

P.S. Can anyone suggest a vehicle to get me through the intermediate rally challenges? I've tried about twenty different cars with all sorts of varying stats and haven't once come close to even third place. Maybe I'm just a bad driver.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
9 years ago

My lovely Peugeot 206, great car, great handling, very "swift" for those awkward rally track layouts.

I need to go through the newer rally cars, but the 206 has never failed me.

For pure speed I recommend the Toyota RSC rally car (effing beautiful car, really fast too).

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

Thanks, I'll make sure to try that.

Bandit1
Bandit1
9 years ago

I used a 2010 Subaru WRX STI. Did all body/chassis mods, suspension, drivetrain, and intake/exhaust up to the horsepower limit. It worked good for me.

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
9 years ago

Awesome article Andrew. After reading this I am super excited to get my copy of GT5 in the mail either Monday or Tuesday. Since they have already had a few updates I won't even see most of the issues most people were complaining about. Great job.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Whos Andrew?

PorkChopGamer
PorkChopGamer
9 years ago

lol

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
9 years ago

My bad. I meant Arnold. I was typing and trying to deal with my little boy at the same time. Boy do I feel like an idiot.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

lol, I figured you did, I just have a habit of singling out mistakes (as if I don't make them)

😉

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
9 years ago

Well I'm glad you spotted it cause it made me laugh.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

COOL. 🙂

Zorigo
Zorigo
9 years ago

clearly the MOST productive comment of this article

😉

ApexPredator
ApexPredator
9 years ago

This editorial was phenomenal! Seeing the reviews utterly destroying Gran Turismo 5 was a shock to me. I couldn't understand why graphics, which are reffered to in many reviews, can diminish the overall experience at all. Thank god, I couldn't care less end was able to experience the best simulation on any platform. It is terrific how much effort the put in every single car. However, many of my friends showed me reviews of the game that made Gran Turismo 5 look like a mediocre game. Until now I was waiting for an editorial like this. You nailed it, we play Gran Turismo 5 not only for fun but because we love cars and this game resembles our love for cars.

jlch777
jlch777
9 years ago

Pretty good read Arnold!!!
I am trying to setup the Nascar car right now for the extreme events and its not easy too much oversteer going out of the corners.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
9 years ago

Nascar shocks me… it literally amazes how far out Nascar really is.
Not as simple as it looks.


Last edited by Scarecrow on 1/2/2011 9:31:29 PM

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

The reviewers who didn't like Gran Turismo 5 aren't real gamers. They just want easy games like Hannah Montana: The Movie or the endless shooters that they love to churn out. They probably were upset that Gran Turismo 5 didn't have a lame rewind feature like Forza 3 so they could win every race. That's why I ignored many of the reviews. None of these lazy "critics" understood the point of the game.

Thanks for your article, Arnold. It's the plain and simple truth.

BTW, despite Hilary Goldstein saying he's going to play more PS3, he still said Forza 3 is the better game of the two. I guess he doesn't want to upset the little kids who live and die over their Xbox 360 that worship him and his crappy site.


Last edited by n/a on 1/2/2011 9:18:03 PM

TheShadow
TheShadow
9 years ago

I played both GT 5 and forza 3 and I got to say gt5 triumps all over Forza 3, not to say forza 3 is BAD, but compared to GT5, why would I play it.

Also the worst reason I really don't like forza 3 is the rewind button mixed with the 360 controller= me keep hitting the rewind button because my thumb is big.

FatherSun
FatherSun
9 years ago

That comment regarding Forza over GT5 (HA!) and Halo was strategic. Notice that it was in the first paragraph.

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

@ FATHASUN

Strategic indeed. We'll see how true to his "word" Hilary is.

FatherSun
FatherSun
9 years ago

A Double Agent! By Default.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

A good read, and I typically tune out when "That" guy tries to teach me stuff about cars.

I think it is safe to say that most critics don't even have the patience to review the game. Something tells me you can't hire a twitcher to dump 5 hours into it and give it an accurate review.

HighOnFire
HighOnFire
9 years ago

Its the same thing that happened with MAG. The community had not developed for that game when the other sites were hammering it with low scores, and the community was the whole point. Same way with GT 5. No patience at all.

FatherSun
FatherSun
9 years ago

Not only the patience. I believe many simply lack the skill to play the SIM. And when GT5 damages the ego they go limp and start with the stories.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Fathasun –

Or, they bring up GT5's shadows.

DemonNeno
DemonNeno
9 years ago

Amen, Arnold! This game is very unique in so many ways, yet it's still transforming itself with every update. It doesn't end! I recently ran across an thread at shoforum.com, one fellow SHO enthusiast met scrutinizing forza fanfare trying to rip gt5 into nothing more than a flop. Again, it's attacked for the detail of standard cars, while other members mention that gt5 isn't the only game running 1080p… Others decide the game is too mundane in environments. Finally, the naysayers nag that it just doesn't feel as "good" as forza..

We all know where that led, right? The problem is, I'm tired of gamers who aren't looking for realism in racing games.. Especially one that's the ultimate racing sim.. Cmon! Give me a frickin break! Gt5 isn't perfect, but between how great it is already and the impressive update intentions, I couldn't be happier… Unless I happened to get an g27 wheel.. 🙂

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
9 years ago

Read it all. In depth op-ed that backs up all of the points presented. All objective and authentic.

This is real journalism right here. Thoughtful analysis through and through.

This is one of the things that truly separate Gran Turismo from the rest:

"It's simply sensational how each and every car feels so utterly different than the last. Even the different variants of the 350Z, the Skyline, RX7, etc. – they all have a unique handling or performance characteristics that makes them instantly discernible from one another – no other racing game achieves that level of detail. None."

That combo'd with an amazing set of race tracks from Laguna Seca to Top Gear race track, to Indianapolis superspeedway, and many of the most legendary tracks on Earth is perfection in my book.

Best racing experience this gen, hands down.

PS: I love those classic cars, so much history! 😀


Last edited by Scarecrow on 1/2/2011 9:42:39 PM

FatherSun
FatherSun
9 years ago

GT5 is a community. This what you get when you buy the box with the disc inside. It opens up an entire world of automotive knowledge and wisdom. It immerses you in it. No other title offers this. None!

StevieRV
StevieRV
9 years ago

i love the game to bits but the only thing that frustrates me is the shadows, any word on whether they will be fixed in a patch?

i know its only minor but it just gets under my skin for some reason, coz the rest of the graphics are stunning but the shadows just dissapoint

eLLeJuss
eLLeJuss
9 years ago

GT5 is awesome. Specially with the wheel

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Excellent reasoning…

…and *this* is why so many of us come to this gaming news site. The depth of the coverage, the clarity of eh discussion, the knowledge of the writers and the objectivity that cuts through the crap. This is why we continue to come here.

Thanks Arnold and Ben for the awards this year, your choice for Game of the year Heavy Rain/GT5 is a perfect choice, for different reasons, and yet the same reason.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Indeed.

Alienange
Alienange
9 years ago

You mean you're not here for the lolz?

A2K78
A2K78
9 years ago

If you were to ask me personally, GT5 felt more like GT4.5 rather than a leap that GT3 gave us and its for this reason why I thought IGN's review of the game was right on the money. Overall the king of real cars still remain

In the end even though I like the GT series, the franchise is really showing its age and its really time for PD to move onto something fresh may it be another sim-type game or new genre.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
9 years ago

You're the example of someone who knows **** of what he's talking about.

Unlike Arnold, you can't back up your points.

Your statement alone has nothing behind it. You're going to tell me that the physics in GT4 are as good as the ones in GT5? Online? Robust A-spec and B-spec? graphics? Mods? weather? time of day? 16 cars? Nascar? Kart? portable music? pin point calculations in how the game calculates drafting, breaking, steering, etc.

You're the kind of person who would say Final Fantasy was getting old, or that Metal Gear Solid is getting old, or that Gears of War is getting old, or that Uncharted is getting old.
You're hopeless.


Last edited by Scarecrow on 1/2/2011 11:18:55 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Ignore him. He only exists to be arbitrary and I can pretty much guarantee he doesn't even know where the dipstick is in a car.

FatherSun
FatherSun
9 years ago

Dipsticks Ben. Two when he is in it.


Last edited by FatherSun on 1/3/2011 12:04:18 AM

Fabi
Fabi
9 years ago

I may be wrong, but I think a Game Of The Year should appeal to all. And while I don't doubt GT5 is amazing if you love cars. I played it, and hated it. I would rather play something like Ridge Racer that I can pick up and have fun with.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

Fabi,
No game can really appeal to everyone. Precious few come close, but most fall far short. Strategy games are lost on those that have no mind or patience for it. Shooters do not generally work well for those people with slower reflexes, and the amount of coarse language in most is a turn off to a lot of people. Difficulty will ward some people off. Other people just don't like certain aspects of certain genres, like the grinding of RPGs. And yet others just don't like certain games because of what they are, or what they represent to that person.

TL;DR, There is no universal appeal.
Peace.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

@Fabi
Yeah, dude, there is no game in 2010 that could possibly appeal to everyone. It can't be done. Best to go with quality, innovation, and then through in a general fun factor in direct correlation to the style of the game.

Fabi
Fabi
9 years ago

I know that guys, I've been gaming long enough to know that.

But ask how many people didn't enjoy Uncharted 2, and you will be hard-pressed to find someone who says they didn't.

I have no clue what the ratio would be with GT5, but I have 4 gamer friends in real life, and none of them enjoyed GT5, and laughed their ass off when I mentioned the idea of it being game of the year. And they aren't Call of Duty or Halo zombies. They enjoy great games and have been gaming with me since we were in grade school.

But what I mean is that GT5 for the most part only appeals to someone who loves cars. I'm the kind of gamer who enjoys ALL genres if the game is accessible even without interest in the subject matter.

I hate American Football, but can easily pick up Madden and know what I'm doing and have fun with.

I can't do the same with GT5.

Like I've said, I'm SURE it's the greatest racing sim ever made, but I just can't see it as Game of the Year because it really only appeals to certain type of people. I think Games of the Year need to be accessible to most if not all people who pick them up.