And so draws the end of a generation that has given us so many memories, laughs, cry’s and enjoyment all around. The next generation has come. Yet the PS3 still holds strong with current gen games. The release of the latest instalment of Polyphony Digitals Gran Turismo franchise marks the 15th anniversary since the first game was released back in 1997 on the first PlayStation. Quite fitting that the release coincides with the release of the PlayStation 4 20 years after the release of the original console which started it all off.
It’s been 3 years since Gran Turismo 5, the main relevant and ever lingering question is, what has changed. Are there improvements, are the graphics better, have things have been taken out or is there added content? Well lets take a look.
First we’ll compare the two games in terms of the gameplay. So lets talk handling.
Over the years and through many instalments handling in racing games has always been the highlighted topic. The better the handling is, the more realistic the experience feels. GT 5s handling was great. Turning through corners, clipping the apex as you raced around the track felt fluid with an easy and likable sense of motion. However a problem that I personally found with GT5 was the cars seemed to under steer a lot. Roll onto GT6 and the handling is flawless, the under steer is now a thing of the past. The cars handle without fault, it feels realistic, you feel you are actually driving the car and you have the power. Turning around corners never felt so smooth and fluid, there’s no sense of the car feeling sluggish and being underpowered.
However the realism is slightly taken away from the lack of vehicle damage. To give an example, in Forza Motorsports 4 if you hit your car into the racing wall or into another racer, there is a substantial visual damage to the car i.e. the bumper (rear and front) falling off, scrapes to the paint work etc. In GT6 there little damage to the vehicles. If you ram into another car a quiet thud can be heard. Now this is a disappointing fact, the game is made to be a Real Driving experience and by having little to no visual damage it detracts away from the realism.
The Menu layout has improved majorly from the previous game, it’s laid out in a simpler way and is easy to navigate around, showing the features available to you e.g. online mode, arcade, career mode, here you can start your game like always by completing GT most enjoyable licenses before starting off your professional racing career. This time around there are half the tests of previous incarnations and the licenses have gotten easier to complete, accommodating for the first time player. Cars: here you can view different dealerships with over 1200 cars available to you. Vision GT is a great new feature where different manufacturers make concept designs of their cars accessible for you to use in the game. Tuning and services allow you to modify your car setup, improve the engine to give you more speed. You have the option to change your personal cars appearance to suit your look. Finally Pit Service. Here is where the experience bridges the gap between game and realism, from here you can Wash your car, change the oil, improve the rigidity of the body and overhaul the engine. Now even though there is the downside to the lack of visual damage, this feature really lends itself to the motto of GT, which is a Real Driving Experience and with the ability to have this control over your car it makes up for it.
Graphics wise the game has improved upon its predecessor, giving a more smooth and polished look to everything. The tracks and locations look stunning and the cars glisten under the ray of the sun. Your car alone has the love of attention to detail to make it look like the real thing. Yet the A.I.s textures aren’t as polished as the rest. Which is a shame, the A.I. suffers greatly for veteran and experienced players of the series, there is not a sense of difficulty or challenge to them when on the track, you can easily overtake and once you are in the lead it feels like there is no effort being made to take it from you.
The sound design for the game is top gear. The authentic sounds of the cars (even if a little quiet at times) adds to that realism and puts you even further into the driver’s seat. The menu sounds are reminiscent of those used in the first Gran Turismo keeping it true to the series for fans. Even the music gives a sense of nostalgia reminding you of the 90s with the techno, Jazz vibe, which veteran players will be caught up in the moment of memories.
Overall Gran Turismo 6 has improved upon its previous game in the series and has taken fundamental steps that has sent it full speed into the true racing experience in which the first GT started all those years ago. To celebrate Polyphony has released two versions of the game, the standard and the 15th anniversary special edition featuring 20 more cars to add onto the long list and 1 million credits.
Even though there are still parts of the game to improve on in the gameplay and graphical side, it still lives up to its reputation and ranks itself high above any other racing game to restore its honour. With this in mind my rating of Gran Turismo 6 is a 4 out of 5. A definite must have for die-hard fans of the Gran Turismo franchise.
Gran Turismo 6 is available now in stores and via digital download on the PlayStation store.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.