Attention to detail is incredible, particularly on the 200 premium cars that are closely modeled on real vehicles and can be driven from a cockpit viewpoint.
Some of the lighting effects are also dazzling, particularly as the sun sets and you enter the world of night time racing. The new weather effects are also a welcome addition.
However, even with the limited time we've had the game, it's apparent that there's a lot of aliasing where the edges of shadows, hoardings and panel lines are rendered with a jagged edge rather than smooth curves or straight lines.
The processing power needed to get rid of this effect would be massive, so perhaps it's unrealistic to expect the game to achieve photo-realistic racing, which it clearly doesn't.
Switch between Forza 3 and GT5, though, and it's clear just how far forward 5 has taken things, but many might be disappointed that it isnt even more advanced.