The first international reviews have been published for Gran Turismo 5 and subsequently collated on popular review-aggregation site Metacritic. At the time of writing, Gran Turismo 5 sits on an average score of "87" based on 13 reviews.
Of course, expectations are particularly high for this PlayStation-3-exclusive racer, owing to its rather protracted development cycle and multiple delays since its first announcement at E3 2005.
While a score of 87 is by no means a bad score in our books, a Metacritic score of 87 can sometimes mean bad news for a purported blockbuster game title. Many publishers have made no secret that a 90-plus score on Metacritic is often a core objective and, rightly or wrongly, many also consider a Metacritic score below 90 to be somewhat of a failure. Edge magazine even goes as far as to suggest that bonuses for developers and publishers are often tied to the game's Metacritic rating.
It's worth pointing out that, being an average, a Metacritic rating can be skewed by extreme review scores on either end of the scale. Currently, Gran Turismo 5's Metacritic rating is punctuated by two 100s, a 70 and with nine reviews placing it between the range of 90 and 80.
A Metacritic rating of 87 is also not necessarily the death-knell that some believe it to be: the blockbuster PlayStation 3 exclusive Heavy Rain also scored 87 on Metacritic, but went on to shatter the developer's pre-release sales estimates, selling over 1 million copies worldwide.
Like many other local media outlets, Game Console received a review copy of Gran Turismo 5 today just as many of you likely picked yours up from stores. Stay tuned for our review after we've spent sufficient time on the game to deliver a considered verdict.