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Gran Turismo 6 Review

Nintendo has Mario, Xbox has Halo and without a doubt, PlayStation has Gran Turismo. Sony and Polypony Digital's racer is a flagship title that wouldn’t really fit on any other console, with each game in the series being a sure-fire sign of a quality that has long been associated with Sony consoles. 

The Gran Turismo series has been hugely popular over the years and rightly so, a concept that had not really been done before to such a high degree of polish, offering gamers the chance to not only win races in their favourite cars without having to shell out millions of real cash but also bask in the amount of detail put into being a real driving simulator; even down to a scratch and sniff disc that was supposed to smell like a pit lane (to me it smelt like a CD). The game also became one of the few in which it was mandatory to own a steering wheel accessory. Even though critically loved, I found that just as with most good things, it started to get a bit stale, maybe Polyphony Digital's vision was just too big, but with every release it started to get a bit repetitive; the layout was the same, the cars, though adding more were still the same and even the tracks felt like they were repeating across the series, albeit with serious graphical updates, making this previously must have title become just another racer in an overly bulging pile, with the last title, Gran Turismo 5 really putting the nail in the coffin for my own tastes with far too many assumptions being made on the gamer, requiring a deep knowledge of the cars, plus a confusing menu system and some agonisingly long load times for tracks. So with Gran Turismo 6 about to roll out, just what does it have behind those garage doors?

For starters, things do seem to be a bit more like they were way back when, ditching the classical life of a car intro and opting for the more favoured rock tune with lots of snappy camera shots of cars whizzing by. First time players are then taken through the ropes, plonked behind the wheel of a Renault Sprint Clio at Brands Hatch and taking it though it’s nippy, but rather unsatisfying paces and then you are awarded a few credits to purchase your first car, the Honda FIT RS. With your new Honda you are then introduced to the Novice events in the Career Mode and your first taste of real racing. With options aplenty, you have a huge selection of drivers aids on offer from automatic and manual gears, racing and braking assistance and even a rather cool blind spot indicator that blinks when you have a rival car nearby. With the first few races being quite easy and more of a lesson of overtaking and keeping the lead under pressure it does not take long before the game really starts to open up and you get your itch to purchase something with a little more grunt. To progress through the career there are two types of currency; the first being credits which you can use to purchase your new cars and accessories and then secondly there are stars; with up to three stars being added for each race, as you accrue them even more tracks and events open up. I found the career mode perfectly pitched, offering you the best Gran Turismo experience across the full length of the car selections and races, from 90's Japanese cars, 4 wheel drive, turbo sports, karts, hot hatches, muscle cars and even a selection of electric cars, there is something for everyone here.

It is not just racing the cars but also getting under the hood as with each car there is a huge selection of little tweaks that you can make to get the best performance, from changing tyres to adjusting the intake, with frequent visits to the shop to purchase even more items and mods for your motors, with each car also having the ability to create three separate pre-sets, perfect if you like to switch often. Every little change you make will alter the handling and performance in some way or another, replicating what occurs in the real world and somehow transferring that to a simple joypad with rumble in it.

Even with the game being very in depth it is quite easy to follow thanks to constant quick tips and all of the tinkering and alterations made to the cars are simple to carry out; the game however does yet again assume far too much of the player, my biggest gripe is choosing the right cars for events, with it listing the cars but not the company, so when you are purchasing your car it is a bit overwhelming. To make it a little easier there is a PP rating on each car; these Performance Points dictate whether certain cars are able to join in events, making it a little easier to organise your garage, it’s just the filling up the garage that is not straight forward, with the concern that you may be purchasing the wrong car and lots of flicking through the menus to double check.

As you amass stars, more and more modes unlock in the career including the return of the dreaded license tests, making sure you are able to pull quick breaks and navigate chicanes before letting you loose on the next tier of events. Running alongside the main career are also a selection of racing based mini games and challenges like running over cones, everyone racing in the same car and time trials and sector challenges.

Away from the career there is still a shockingly large amount of content to get through, like the arcade mode where you can use your own cars from your career or a courtesy car to try out on the huge amount of tacks readily available, or maybe take up on an invite to participate on the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the famous Goodwood Hillclimb in an assortment of classic cars, or if things are getting a little too realistic, how a about a trip to the Moon, jumping in a moon buggy and experience driving in less gravity than on Earth. With a local two player and also plenty of online options and hopefully more support for the game with the inclusion of Seasonal Events created by the team, it is clear that the old PS3 is not ready for retirement quite just yet.

It goes without saying, visually the game is a corker, every metallic curve and joint looking fantastic on the screen, with the game even letting you travel to Spain and take some arty photographs of your prized possessions. Even though the majority of the time you are concentrating on the road directly ahead, just letting your eyes wander around for a second will take in all manner of beautiful vistas, each one taking into consideration time of day and even the weather, with the best being driving around Matterhorn course, the beautiful mountain piercing through the dusky night sky. Even though every car has clearly been poured over when creating their digital versions there are a few occasions when something just does not go right, with some cars not having any internal graphics, so when driving from first person viewpoint the dashboard and surrounding car is just completely black as opposed to most other cars that have all of the dial and digits in place, hopefully just a graphical glitch that will be pickup up on later in the games lifecycle.

A current hot potato of a topic is that of microtransations and like them of loathe them, they are also here, but whatever your opinion is, I will point out that not at any point are these advertised, all it is an additional way to get to the higher end cars quicker; you can still do it via regular old gameplay, however if you want to bypass all of that great gameplay then it is entirely up to you.

Gran Turismo 6 has been respectively reworked in such a way that the core gameplay mechanics and ideals are pretty much what they have always been, but the overall experience is one that is a lot more friendly and accessible, even down to the loading times which, even without a mandatory install the game is able to throw up courses nice and quickly. What with all of the new generation talk, many PS3 owners may have felt a little left out, but fear not as Gran Turismo 6 shows that Sony was saving the best till last.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS3)


+ Hundreds of cars to drool over.
+ A good variety of tracks.
+ The PS3 can still churn out some amazing graphics.


- Gotta race em all

Edited On 06 Dec, 2013

( 18 )
JoeToots's avatar
JoeToots 3 years ago
will always be better than forza.
csrogue's avatar
csrogue 3 years ago
Like forza too, but this will always be the best console racing sim.
JoeToots's avatar
JoeToots 3 years ago
The thing with GT you know it's going to be ace.
JoeToots's avatar
JoeToots 3 years ago
when i was on the 360 i use to enjoy project gotham racing more than forza.
Anonymous user's avatar
Oliver 3 years ago
Forza is amazing on the new xbox. When project CARS comes out it will blow them all out the water
JoeToots's avatar
JoeToots 3 years ago
that's your opinion anthony.
JoeToots's avatar
JoeToots 3 years ago
nice to know.
superniceguy's avatar
superniceguy 3 years ago
I like the cloud feature of Forza 5 where you are racing against other people, and other people are racing against you when not even playing. Plus the individual rumbles in the triggers. If GT6 does not have these things, then Forza 5 is the better of the two
DynamiteWhyte's avatar
DynamiteWhyte 3 years ago
That's like saying if Forza doesn't have camper vans then GT6 is the better of the two...
DynamiteWhyte's avatar
DynamiteWhyte 3 years ago
Okay Anthony you just continue then. And Forza isn't even the best in it's franchise.
Robichoico's avatar
Robichoico 3 years ago
Forza? Granny Turismo? Pah. PAH I say. Mario Kart will always be the racing king.
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 3 years ago
"Da best" is & always will be Diddy Kong Racing
Ash Buchanan's avatar
Ash Buchanan 3 years ago
Anthony, not only are you offensive but also your grammar. Play nice or please leave.
iMerle iDixon's avatar
iMerle iDixon 3 years ago
Sonic and Sega Racing (The first one) is by far the greatest thing ever in the history of everything.
The Boss's avatar
The Boss 3 years ago
Hi, Gloria and Anthony are at the same address.. maybe Gloria could help us ?
Joe2120's avatar
Joe2120 3 years ago
Yeah Gloria, please sort Anthony out and stop this abusive language.
Anonymous user's avatar
sam 3 years ago
Xbox one: "hi im forza i only have 200 cars and 15 tracks." PS3: "hi im still old gen and i have 1200 cars and over 30 tracks" whoever says forza is better needs a grand daddy slap to the face with the force of a neutron star.
superniceguy's avatar
superniceguy 3 years ago
Maybe Forza 5s cloud system prevented it from having many cars and tracks? Personally I think Forza 5 is advancement in the racing genre, as the AI in racers is just predictable, either they bunch up together or they lag behind when you are behind but race ahead when you are ahead, but mostly they keep to perfect lines - not the case with Forza 5 for the first time, with the cloud technology. Forza Horizon touched on it with Xbox 360 but no where near as much as Forza 5

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