GamingReview: Gran Turismo 6

Review: Gran Turismo 6

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So it’s GT time again! At least this time we didn’t have to wait 5 years. I was quite disappointed with GT5 so I was well ready for some GT goodness. But I thought it best to start off on a strangely negative point. But it’s so major it can only make sense at the start.

So the PS4 and X1 are well underway. For Playstation users Gran Turismo was an exclusive to be proud of and excited about. Xbox owners have the genius of Forza and Playstation owners enjoy Gran Turismo. So why is it then that GT6 is exclusive to PS3?

I found it so frustrating to watch my PS4 in standby mode as my PS3 loudly cooled itself. I appreciate that not everyone is able to get a new console and that’s why there are always months of multi-format releases. Even the exact same game available on PS4 would be nice, at least I could use the Dualshock 4 (which doesn’t work with GT6 despite the PS3 supporting it).

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GT6 boasts a massive 1,200 cars. I don’t think anybody would argue that’s an amazing amount. But browsing your way through the 5 slightly different models of a car from one year only to find 5 more from another year very quickly starts to bog the menus down. To be honest I don’t need that many versions of a single model and don’t even know the difference between most.

It’s unnecessary and when you literally can’t tell the difference between two cars it’s difficult to see why it’s been done if not just to boost the numbers. It’s also a little frustrating that there are often 8 pages of cars for Japanese manufacturers while there isn’t a single Royals Royce and only one Bentley, and that’s a racing car. I know the game’s Japanese but lets have a Phantom and get rid of one of the 10 or so different Skyline R34’s.

And there’s still a lot of cars that haven’t been remodelled since GT4. It’s quite clear when a car hasn’t got a proper new HD model. Switching to the interior view on a car with an old model will show only a rough black outline of “a car”. However a lot of the cars do look amazing. The instruments and detailing on the inside are just as well modelled as the outside, on the cars they bothered with.

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Where tracks are concerned I’m glad to say that both quality and quantity have certainly been considered. For a PS3 title they look stunning and there are more than enough to keep the game from becoming dull. All your favourite GT tracks are present as well as a huge amount of tracks from the real world.

Unfortunately despite the amount of races they leave little room for freedom. It becomes clear from the start that there will be loads to do. But there still aren’t as many as I was hoping for. Perhaps I ask too much but when I look at the roster on a racing game I expect to be intimidated and wonder how I will ever complete them all. There are rally events, but only one section. Same goes for Nascar. There are a few more cart races but still not an impressive amount.

Entry is based on the game’s Performance Point (PP) system. It’s very similar to Forza’s system except it only concerns power. You can add brakes and suspension as much as you want. Tires don’t count and have a separate limit. You will not be able to race with soft racing tires until literally the last league that you unlock after the credits. I would far rather tires had counted as PP and been able to use them. I want to race a car with great handling and get an edge that way. GT6 only allows you to have the edge with power.

Much like games of old, buy a car, put the biggest turbo in it and win. Almost all of the races I had where won in this way. There was often no challenge or any actual racing whatsoever. It all felt so familiar, like an old GT title. And I only bought 3 cars in total to get to the credits. A Mitsubishi Evo VIII, a McLaren MP4 and a Corvette C5 (my personal favourite). And I completed all the races with ease. Overtaking every other car to win and often having a lap to spare. And that’s not because I’m good at racers. GT6 is far too easy.

And even though each league has a few manufacturer races where everyone has the same vehicle there is a need to have races with limits beyond PP. There’s no need to buy new cars and use different things. There’s no incentive to either. That being said thankfully there aren’t only Suzuki Cappuccino races to do. I still have nightmares about that.

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Visually things look very nice. The new car models are smooth and ultra-glossy. Even the tracks look great most of the time, apart from a few nasty instances where textures don’t render properly. Unfortunately there is still no sign of a proper damage model. It’s actually amazing how little it matters but it’s quite tacky when you slam into a car at over 100Mph and their back end looks like it has some bad soap smears. And to accompany the epic accident will be the usual muffled thud that sound like it was recorded on tape.

But all that said I enjoyed most of my time in the cars in GT6, despite the fact every car had massive under steer. I tried assists on a small amount, on full or off completely. Although I still managed to win the races there is very little difference between the vehicles (even when changing the assists). You can have a Skyline or a Ferrari 599 and they will both suffer from under steer. Put loads of power on them and you will still get some under steer. My McLaren MP4 only ever spun off in a straight line and never round a corner. Figure that out. And even with extra power the mid-engined rear-powered supercar had under steer. It got very frustrating near the end when even my Chevrolet Corvette C5 had the same problem. It might be realistic (although I have my doubts) but it doesn’t matter if it’s not fun. And I tried countless vehicles (that I didn’t need) only to find they where all similar.

So GT6 just feels old. It’s using systems and mechanics that are so dated that some literally haven’t changed since GT4. That’s 8 years ago, which in terms of video games may as well be 100 years. Nothing feels different, new or better. It certainly looks great but the sounds are unimpressive and dated. The vehicle roster unfairly represents Japanese manufacturers and forgets some of the worlds greatest cars. The race limitation only concerns power and you can’t use soft racing tires until the epilogue. Racing in a GT championship with hard tires is annoying. I want choice, but there is not room for player choice in Gran Turismo 6. Gran Turismo 6 is a slightly updated version of an old relic that badly needs some new tricks.

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Reviewed on PS3.

phillvine
phillvine
Phill has been the director of a small IT repair business since 2011 which he runs alongside studying for his degree in Information and Communication Technologies at the Open University. Video games are his real passion and they take up more of his time than he'd like to admit.

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