I completely agree with anyone that disagrees with other people over comparing the game to Dirt 2 or Split/Second. This game is a driving simulator. Split/Second doesn't even have trademarked vehicles! I mean come on people, really. I will agree that GT5 is a challenge to master, but that is because it is a driving simulator. It is a game of challenge and strategy and there is no other game like it to compare it to. If you compare it to maybe Forza Motorsports, that would be fine because that is Xbox's best competitor to Gran-Turismo. Forza is also a driving simulator and is almost just as good.
I got into GT at number 2, it was an eye opening amazing game and I never could get into 3, 4 and 5 as much as I was into 2.
As a comparison we will put this game up against another of my favorites, GRID. GRID seems alot more polished, alot more friendly and welcoming then Gran Turismo. The game even says hello with your name to you. The racing in Grid is more intense and adrenalin inducing and the game flows in seasons so you feel like time is passing and you can compare your seasons against each other.
In Gran Turismo there is no real season racing, you get a small choice of races and none of them are "season" where you get to race like 20 races like a real professional driver. The liscence test are madeningly difficult. Well the level 10 ones where you have to do a race without touching another car.
When you win a "series" of 1-3 races you get a free car, but wait for it to load and you have to click the button that you accept the free car (like you would turn something down) then it loads and it shows you the car you got. you gotta accept that, then after that it ask if you wanna drive it then it loads. The whole process is an example of the game itself. Unpolished, unfriendly.
And the game is not as intense as Grid, mostly because there is always the driving line, I recommend turning it off. However once you get into the game and start driving its a whole other level of experience and is amazing. Sadly you have to endure this amazing present packaged in rose thorns.
That being said get a steering wheel. the controller doesn't let you get the real meat of the game
Reading some of the reviews already posted and I have to agree with some of them. The A-Spec events can get a little easy if you select a fast enough car to use. Some cars you want or need can cost millions and you would have to repeat races over and over just to get one car that's if you don't spend any of your credits but you kind of have to for upgrades (If you really want to win). For example you can't play any of the F1 races without an F1 car and the cheapest one I found was 12,500,000. That's a little extreme for a car your required to get unless there's a free one you get for completing an event but I haven't found it yet. Some of the special events and licenses I believe are set a little 2 high. I love any racing game and a challenge but I'm not an expert. I'm certainly experienced but I shouldn't have to kill myself with frustration just to get a gold on one event. Its fine to make it challenging but draw the line. I'm just glad I'm done with the ones I've done and I never have to do them again. In the challenges and licenses you are given a car that you can't tune. so you should be able to do it but you can't. You just need that 1 lucky run.
I also believe B-Spec could use some fine tuning. Half the time the AI driver just wont do what I say. I say pass but he just stays on his bumper. He starts to pass on the inside but slows way down and allows the other AI to pass on the outside even if you give him a faster car he still wont pass unless its a clear straightway. They just slow down way too much.
I truly hated that there's is NO friend invite. you can make a room but can't invite a friend.
Even though I'm doing some races over and over for credits to buy cars I need to finish off the last of the races I have left to complete in A-Spec, its still too fun to put down and I've had it since the release. Its also fun to try different cars on races that have no restrictions.
The game really tries to push you to drive harder. And I like that!