Gran Turismo 6

 

 
Overview
 

Genre: Simulation Racing
 
Rating: G
 
Release Date: Out Now
 
Overall
 
 
 
 
 
4/5


User Rating
16 total ratings

 

Positives


Fantastic graphics for PS3 | Lots of cars, tracks and goodies | New UI and Progression System work well | Still an amazing simulation

Negatives


Outrageously expensive cars | Still a lot of previous-gen content | AI issues


1
Posted January 2, 2014 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Before I even begin, I have to address the fact that yes, Gran Turismo 6 is a PS3 title, and not a next-gen heavy-hitter meant to go up against Forza Motorsport 5. However, this is hardly unexpected. Since Gran Turismo first hit shelves in Australia back in 1998, an obvious pattern has emerged in the series’ releases. Polyphony develops an initial, graphically-impressive, though somewhat lacking GT title, before following it up with an expanded and definitive release on the same console. Just as GT2 tripled the number of cars in Gran Turismo on the PS1 and GT4 dramatically increased the count of everything in GT3 on PS2, we now have GT6 to do the same for GT5 on PS3. And in fact, in my mind it’s one of the best GT releases in quite a while. However, while I have put time into the series’ first, third and fifth incarnations, I thought it best to get the opinion of a true hardcore series fan – Mick Saige – to give us his two cents on the latest Gran Turismo. So, what did you think, Mick?

Mick: Alrighty – As Adam said. This is not a next gen title. Nor should it be treated as such. What it is how ever, is a solid example of what the PS3 is capable of. As well as a damn fine racing simulator. Gran Turismo 6 retains the foundations that have made all the Gran Turismo‘s to date simply brilliant. In other words: if you enjoy the Gran Turismo formula, you will not be disappointed. That being said, despite the many fantastic additions; if you are expecting a revolution, you are going to find much of the same. Which is not necGran-Turismo-6-3essarily a bad thing. Gran Turismo 6, like its predecessors, is an unforgiving, tough as nails, precision based racing experience. Does it feel like a sequel? Not so much. What this is, is a new chapter. And if you have enjoyed anything GT to date – I suggest firing up your PS3 for one last round.

Adam: Exactly. Gran Turismo 6 is a great culmination of the series to date. There’s over 70 tracks (once reverse courses and variations are taken into account), that run the gamut from old favourites like Special Stage Route 5, to new additions like Australia’s Bathurst Mount Panorama. On top of that, there are now 1,200 cars for you to collect. There’s so much content that plowing through the GT Career mode feels like an exercise in being constantly rewarded – with new things to see, new challenges to tackle and lots and lots of credits to unlock all the crazy cars the game has to offer. Some novelty cars are fun just to have in your collection, such as the DeLorean DMC-12, but there’s also a growing number of hybrid and electric vehicles, to the extent that Tesla are now included in the game as a brand as well. Disappointingly, the bulk of these cars are still ‘standard’ models – which means they are just up-rezzed versions of GT4 cars with no interiors. However, there is an increase in ‘premium’ cars – now up to 400, which is about double the number in GT5. A lot of the most popular choices are among their number, but there’s still a lot of nearly decade-old content from the PS2 era.

Mick: Alright. In terms of additions: GT6 has obviously added in a handful of new tracks, as well as an extended roster of vehicles. But there is allot of recycled content. As a result there is a massive disparity in quality. When I first fired up the game, it wasn’t long before I was racing on a track from GT5… in a car… from GT4. When GT6 is at its best: it’s glorious. But at it’s worst… it is still not all that bad. If you are able to forgive some muddy textures and old elements – what you have is a forever evolving work in progress. End of the day, the older tracks require just as much skill and attention to detail to conquer as the latest ones; and the cars, although less polished; are still just as fun to drive. Which leads me to the larger more substantial changes. Kiss the used car dealership goodbye. Mercifully, all vehicles are available to you from the get go. Which is great: no longer do you have to rely on luck to find any one car… that being said, it will not take you long to get lost in the sea of vehicles available to you. Luckily, the folks at Polyphony offer you a range of recommended vehicles. This is fine if you plan to work your way methodically through the career. However, if you wish to stray from the reserve and buy nothing but cars you like, that is also an option (Provided you take race specific makes and models into account). Which leads me to the Star system. Unlike GT5 which relied on an XP system, GT6 sees you earn gold in any one race to earn three stars. More stars unlock more races and the ability to compete in more events.

Now to the events themselves. One major flaw in GT5 was the ability to max out a vehicle and use it to complete more or less every race unmatched. GT6 has introduced the PP system, which put simply is a power level. Every upgrade raises your cars PP, get over a specified PP, and you can no longer use that car in a specific race. This is a magnificent feature as it always means the race is level pegging – and you must rely on skill, apposed to upgrades to win (That being said, there is nothing to stop you tweaking a super cars max power level down so you can use a Lamborghini Diablo in a hatchback tournament… ). But still. You will never find yourself lapping your opponents. As a few categories up, not even the greatest cars in the game will forgive a sloppy lap.

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Adam: I thought GT6 does a great job in introducing (or re-introducing for non-hardcore fans like myself) players to the Gran Turismo world and style of play. The tutorial that you’re greeted with when first entering the career mode forgoes any long and repetitive license tests and instead places you straight into the action, with occasional pop-ups to give you hints on how to drive and take corners. You start off with a low-end, but easy to steer car, and after you get a few races under your belt you’re free to work your way through the rest of the career. The way the game’s UI is structured makes progression a lot easier and more streamlined. The stars system is a great way to keep you plowing through races, as are the license tests now placed at the end of a race category as a way to challenge yourself to progress to the next level – rather than simply being lumped into a single menu.

There are some notable omissions that are promised for future updates. I doubt any of these are deal-breakers for GT fans at the moment, but it is annoying that they aren’t already included. B-Spec mode, where you give instructions to an AI driver rather than race cars yourself, is missing, as is the track maker and community clubs feature for the online mode. For the six of us with 3D TVs we use for gaming, 3D functionality is also currently absent, and the PS Eye head-tracking feature from GT5 and Forza 5 is nowhere to be seen.

Mick: Agreed. The license tests and mini challenges are a great way to make some extra dosh; as well as fine tune your skills and abilities. The Goodwood festival of speed being a personal stand out of mine.

Speaking of all things updated. I am personally happy to see B-Spec gone; for one primary reason. The AI in GT is shit. Cars tend to act like slot cars on a flight path, apposed to individual racers fighting for pole position. After the first 30 seconds of racing, rarely if ever will you see cars switch positions. If they do, it is normally because you have accidentally rammed one or done something to get in its way. In GT5, all it took to get ahead was a powerful engine from the starting line. In GT6 more or less all races begin with a rolling start. Which in means by the time the light hits green, the majority of your opponents have already taken the first corner. Throw in the power capping system and more often than not you are playing catch up, apposed to actually having to out class any one racer.

In fairness. The AI isn’t terrible – it’s just predictable. The only real way to introduce a truly human element is to jump online – which is actually an option, so no real issue. To tie up my point – playing B spec in GT5 was like pulling teeth.

One other thing I would like to touch on is the credit system. In GT5 you earned a lot of money for doing just about anything, and a car every time you finished a championship event. GT6 is a lot more frugal. Now you earn roughly half the money and only 3 or 4 cars a class; and even then its upon completion of everything/full stars/trophy’s. When playing the career mode, don’t stress – as the majority of cars are reasonably priced and thus far I have not have to grind once to afford a vehicle I’ve needed. That being said, not once have I bought anything over 400k. There are a great deal of cars in the millions. That is where unfortunately you are forced to grind like an 18 year old at a beach party… or worse yet, purchase credits from the online store.

I personally think a game being geared towards the necessary use of micro-transactions to be a bit of a kick in the teeth – especially when you have payed full retail for a product. That being said: the folks at Polphony have listened to criticism and the latest patch ups rewards substantially. So make sure to update before you begin.

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Adam: To wrap things up, I think GT6 can’t be faulted on its presentation. Even though the special effects, lighting and damage modelling can’t hold a candle to Forza 5 on Xbox One, GT6 is still a ridiculously lovely looking game for the PS3, and it runs at a great framerate. Loading times are reduced from GT5 and even the soundtrack is filled with some awesome tunes. I can’t wait to see what this series can do on PS4, although given the series’ history on PS3, it might take a long time for Polyphony to update the cars with even shinier graphics. All up, even with the flaws Mick brought up, I think it’s one of the most fun GT’s in a while, and offers a great way to get back into racing. Closing thoughts, Mick?

Mick: I agree fully. The game has its flaws, but I struggle to see how any one of them can truly detract from the experience. The majority of my gripes are either cosmetic or revolve around secondary features. End of the day this is a racing simulator… and a good one to boot.

If you are a man or women who enjoys getting stuck into a solid racer – don’t get caught up in the hypocrisy – just play the fucking game.


Adam Ghiggino

 
Owner, Executive Editor of Rocket Chainsaw. I also edit TV, films and make average pancakes.


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