1-Player Racing (16-player Online)
Sony Computer Entertainment
Release November 2, 2010
In 2003, Polyphony Digital published Gran Turismo A-Spec, which easily sold millions and was hailed as one of the ‘ best racing simulators ever. Polyphony had projected on releasing a second title called B-Spec briefly thereafter, but like all great plans, this one shifted along the way. Over 7 years later, the car crazy studio ultimately feels like it was ready to release B-Spec as part of Gran Turismo 5.
Fans are already acquainted with the popular A-Spec mode; players race along a series of events, purchasing new cars and tuning old ones till their garage looks like a mini car dealership. In Gran Turismo 5, A-Spec races blanket everything from NASCAR to go-karts, and Polyphony has made a number of tweaks to its physics and geometry systems to cope with this wild range of race types. If you believe some of the game’s super cars do not handle like this in the real world, it’s due to the fact that you’ve never driven them.
B-Spec, on the one hand, operates more like an RPG for race team managers. While a similar mode was involved in GT 4, Polyphony did not feel that it stood on same footing with A-Spec. It has taken until Gran Turismo 5 for the team to materialize its vision for this unique racing mode. In B-Spec, players still purchase and tweak cars, but AI drivers do all the racing. The manager’s job is to foster a winning environment. During races the manager trails his or her driver’s mood as well as their car’s stats. Holding these statistics in mind, a manager gives instructions to the driver, asking him or her to speed up, overtake a driver, or come in for a pit stop. Each Al driver has a genuine personality and reacts to these commands differently according to on their mood and personality. When a manager rides a driver too hard or has a beginner behind the wheel, their instructions might be neglected. It could have taken nearly 10 years, but Polyphony ultimately feels that B-Spec’s racing management sim is at par with the company’s much-lauded racing simulator.