Reviews// Gran Turismo 6

Posted 9 Dec 2013 15:05 by
When Gran Turismo 6 was announced to be coming to PS3 only, I'm sure you were as surprised as I was. The release was very bad timing for early adopters of the PS4 but I reckon it will serve as a decent last hurrah for the PS3.

There have been some big changes to the menu system since GT5. Instead of each menu having its own completely separate style they are more consistent, split into more coherent tiles that make it more simple to understand. Jumping back and forth between them is a bit faster but when it comes to entering and exiting a race it gets confusing.

Upon entering a race, first the track loads and the race menu appears with options to tune your car etc. From this menu, every time I select "Start Race" it has to load even further! For what? I can already see the track, it has been loaded. Is it the cars? I don't know or care. When it says it's ready, it has to be ready. They should give you a free SSD with every copy of the game to alleviate loading times.

It's been three years since GT5 and the graphics have hardly noticeably improved at all. I've only noticed some minor improvements on that front. The awful extremely jagged shadow edges are now only slightly less jagged. Still pretty awful.

Also there is no mention of ‘Standard' or ‘Premium' cars. Once upon a time in GT5 they simply couldn't model the internals of all of the vehicles in time. Thus the ones they finished became premium and the rest fell into the standard category with their opaque windows and low res textures.

It was a bit of a pain having the entire catalog of cars split into two parts for no good reason. Now it seems so far that they're all or mostly finished and there are no separate categories to this effect, thankfully.

Racing licenses are back in order to dictate which races you can and can't enter and they've also been quite simplified. Ranging from 'Novice' to 'Super' there are 6 sections. Inside each of which there is an Angry Birds-style 3-Star rating for each race, which is simple so it works for me. Bronze, silver and gold trophies will earn 1, 2 or 3 stars. Once you gain a certain number of stars within one section you can then take the licence tests to unlock the next one.

Once I gain a Bronze or Silver trophy in a race I don't see much motivation for me to try again and again for a Gold. Obviously there are more credits to be had, but if I can't get a gold and I want credits, I'll go back to a race that I know I can get gold on every time.

There are some fun distractions thrown in there too, like the 'Coffee Break' Challenges which have you either knocking over 300 cones as fast as you can or drive as much of Nürburgring as possible on one litre of fuel.

These can be quite a laugh but there are some proper special events that a bit more serious. One of these I was really looking forward to trying is the Lunar Exploration. Driving the lunar buggy with the moon's low gravity is just like driving in slow motion. Not as exciting as I originally hoped but it's still fun.

The simple act of trying to hurl my car around the track the quickest way possible is probably the most fun factor for me, no matter which car I'm driving or what position I'm in; not the car collecting or the trophy winning.

I don't even have a licence in real life (quite embarrassing at 25 years of age) so it doesn't take much to convince me that a driving game is realistic. I mostly manage to believe it with Gran Turismo games, until collision enters the equation and makes me feel like I'm driving a virtual bumper car on ice.
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