When you're developing a game that's both as eagerly anticipated and as labour intensive as Gran Turismo 4 you're bound to be faced with a bit of a dilemma: accurately modelling all those vehicles (as exhaustively as we've come to expect) as well as introducing new elements such as network play and vintage and classic cars is going to take time and, if you're a sympathetic developer, you're going to worry about your diehard fans and whether they're going to either explode or riot with anticipation. So what do you do? You give them a little taster - something to whet their proverbial gaming appetites in a 'Milky Way before dinner' kind of way. Which is precisely what GT4 Prologue is - a cut-price, trimmed-down, bite-sized treat of GT goodness, designed both to demo and get folks trained up on the upcoming driving sim.
Heralded more as a 'training product' than a demo, Prologue features over 40 licence tests, designed to get you up to scratch on all aspects of your driving abilities. As you successfully work your way through these tests, you get to unlock 52 new vehicles - making for a total of 64 - each sporting Gran Turismo's signature ultra-realistic handling and dynamics, and subsequently helping to showcase Polyphony's new physics engine. As well as these tests, Prologue also offers a simpler Arcade mode, which allows you to fine-tune your skills in competitive race events across five different circuits.
Prologue is pretty much an essential purchase for any Gran Turismo fan - more so due to the fact that completing it will give you a little headstart in the full game. As an added bonus, the European release also comes bundled with a 'making of' movie, so you can see for yourself exactly why it's taking them so darn long!