Reviewed on: PlayStation 3
Reviewed by: Darryl Linington
It has been a very long time since I stepped into the driver’s seat of Gran Turismo. While I have quite honestly skipped out on the last few games in the series, except for GT 1 and GT 5, I have always felt the need to get back in the series and race the hell out of every beautifully detailed car I could get my hands on. Thankfully, Gran Turismo 6 has finally graced the PlayStation 3; however, is it any good… and does it live up to the name Gran Turismo? All I can say is: yes, yes it does.
Polyphony Digital has pushed the PlayStation 3 to its limits with Gran Turismo 6, which now includes a new physics engine, improved online functionality, revamped UI and GPS Track Regenerator as well as over 1200 vehicles. Also adding to the list, Gran Turismo 6 features a plethora of popular race tracks, which include:
- Silverstone Circuit
- Brands Hatch
- Goodwood Hill Climb
- Willow Springs International Raceway
- Apricot Hill Raceway
If you have never ventured into the world of Gran Turismo before, now is the perfect time to jump into the franchise. Newcomers to the world of Gran Turismo will be introduced to a rather quick and easy tutorial at the beginning of the game, in order to get them to grips with the control structure and the handling of vehicles. While Gran Turismo 6 is a simulator, it is fairly easy to get the hang of within the first few hours (depending on whether or not you use the built-in assists).
Once you have got the gist of things, you will be tuning and upgrading vehicles in no time in order to destroy your opposition and race your way to the finish line. Speaking of tuning and upgrades, you can pretty much customise each and every aspect of any vehicle you purchase. This includes:
- Vehicle Power
- Paint Colour
Players can also equip custom parts to their vehicles, which include: Aero Kits, Flat Floors, Rear Wings and a multitude of other parts. Additionally, you can fit a variety of rims to your newly purchased vehicle in order to make it look sleek and stylish.
While customising your vehicle is one of Gran Turismo 6’s major highlights, I could not help noticing that this can be a difficult task at times as the menus lag rather drastically at some points. Granted, there is an abundance of content within this title, but it seems as though the PlayStation 3 struggles to load things up quickly and efficiently. Another thing I noticed was the fact that every time you start a race the same sort of lag tends to occur. At times, I actually thought Gran Turismo 6 froze up, or I encountered a game ending/breaking glitch. However, it was just the game struggling to load the massive amount of content featured within this title. While this won’t entirely ruin your Gran Turismo 6 venture, it can become a slight annoyance at times.
While loading times can be a bit of a drag, once you actually get into a race you will be welcomed to one of the best driving simulator experiences to grace the PlayStation 3 in a very long time. The first thing you will notice is that the developers have placed a lot of time and effort into the visual aspects of the vehicles and race tracks. Vehicles are beautifully designed and so are the tracks. Polyphony Digital mastered the Gran Turismo experience with Gran Turismo 5; however, I personally think lighting, cloud cover and most of the other elemental effects look much smoother, sharper and more detailed in Gran Turismo 6.
When it comes to gameplay, the new physics engine works well in simulating the feel and characteristics of each and every vehicle. Tyres now take into account its structure and transient characteristics, suspensions utilise actual vehicle analysis, and aerodynamics incorporates vehicle shapes and changes in vehicle orientation. It is unequivocally exhilarating to take corners at 200km per hour and feeling how the car reacts to it. Granted you may clear the corner with grace and style, but there will be times where the car will violently lose control and the back of your vehicle will slide out and smash into a wall. There are times where you can save yourself, and trust me when you do, you will want to show everyone in the room just how you saved yourself from losing a race via the game’s replay feature. Now you might be thinking, as a modern day racing title, Gran Turismo 6 has a rewind feature, well it doesn’t. Personally, I think that the rewind feature should be removed from future racing titles as it destroys the challenge.
While the developers have done a fantastic job with Gran Turismo 6, I can’t help but wonder why this title lacks vehicle damage. Basically the vehicles are pretty much indestructible, which means that the only real time you are in danger of losing a race is when you lose control of your vehicle. I certainly hope that vehicle damage graces future Gran Turismo titles as it will add to the realism factor.
A notable feature in Gran Turismo 6 is that the career mode has received a much needed revamp, from the days of Gran Turismo 5, which ultimately offers a better navigational experience to anyone stepping into the driver’s seat. Another new feature added to Gran Turismo 6 is the star system. Players will be able to progress through career mode by collecting a pre-requisite number of stars, which will reflect upon the player’s skill level. Additionally, several special events are available later in the game, which will truly test your skills as a racer. For example, gamers will race in particular events where the weather conditions change continuously.
Another feature to grace Gran Turismo 6 is the Coffee Break Challenge mode. These challenges are mini-games, which appear between events in the career mode. There are quite a few of them and they range in variation and difficulty. One moment you will be trying to knock over as many cones as possible within an arena, and the next you will face Eco-challenges where you will compete for how far you can drive on just 1 litre of fuel. It’s a nice break from the main races featured within Gran Turismo 6. Overall, when it comes to gameplay, Gran Turismo 6 is most probably one of the best racing experiences available on the PlayStation 3.
The audio experience of Gran Turismo 6 is pretty decent, although it does have its flaws. Firstly, a little more musical variety would have been nice when navigating the menus. Secondly, it becomes rather tiresome when you hear the same musical track played over and over again when starting a series of races. Apart from that, the actual in-game track list – which plays once races have commenced – is phenomenal and caters for a wide variety of musical tastes.
As always, the hard work and dedication from the team at Polyphony Digital has truly paid off. Gran Turismo 6 officially rights some of the many wrongs that have plagued previous games in the series, and with over 1,200 different cars (120 of which are new for GT6), 37 locations, 100 different track layouts and even more than 70 types of wheel designs per car – what more could you ask for when it comes to a racing simulator?
If you have never experienced the world of Gran Turismo, now is the time to check it out.
Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Just as a side note, Gran Turismo 6 features micro-transactions; however, they have been intended to be used for gamers to speed up the gameplay process. From what I have experienced, they don’t entirely impact gamers who are not looking to speed up the gameplay process.