Gran Turismo 6 Review

Posted: December 6, 2013 by Areeb Fazli in Games
Tags: , , ,

Gran Turismo 6 is nearly upon us, and I’ve been racing around classic tracks like High Speed Ring and new additions. Even after a day one patch that brings in multiplayer. Gran Turismo 6 is far from complete.I still want to give keen racers out there some idea of my experience so far with Polyphony Digital’s latest simulation.

GT6 makes a highly polarizing first impression, offering excitement with one hand and taking it away again with the other. For now, the foreseeable future of Gran Turismo 6, angry collisions are met with a thud more fitting of a gentle disagreement between two row-boats on the Serpentine. Damage has been pared back from its already slim implementation in Gran Turismo 5 – a 180mph impact met with a visual effect that looks no more severe than the aftermath of someone spilling a pint of milk over your car. Gran Turismo 6 is, by most measures, a remarkable racing game. the handling is spectacular, and the sheer variety of track and driving content it boasts is nothing short of show-stopping.

After a positive start, GT6 immediately falls back into the series’ bad habits by forcing you to drive the incredibly slow, incredibly dull Honda Fit for over an hour. You aren’t given any choice over your first Career mode car, and credits are handed out dreadfully slowly at the beginning of the game. That means you can’t afford to replace the Fit for some time, so you have to wait until the game gifts you a new car at the end of the first set of Career events–and when you are given the car, it’s only a go-kart. This whole sequence leaves you crying out for better machinery and is only going to make newcomers to GT wonder what all the fuss is about when other racing games put you behind the wheel of a sports car within minutes.

You can drive on the moon. Gran Turismo has never been short of eccentricities, but a problem prior to Gran Turismo 6 is how readily they were ferreted away, presenting at face value a game that appeared, unfairly, clinical and soulless. That’s not so much of a problem this time. The single-player progression, for the first time in the series’ recent history, plots a meaningful, varied course through the wealth of content, offering up countless distractions and diversions to complement the core grind.

Performance customisation is largely familiar turf, but I found the quick, drop-down menu that allows you to buy parts and adjust tuning on the fly a nice touch that reduced my menu-hopping. Brake customisation has returned from its GT5 absence, but we’re still not able to swap out engines or carry out drive-type conversions. Visual customisation remains well behind the curve. There’s no livery editor and, infuriatingly, GT5’s ridiculous paint chips have returned.

There are many, many amazing cars here and the 1,200-car milestone is a neat bullet point, but there are also plenty of inclusions that are gratuitous padding at best. Do you know the difference between a 2002 Daihatsu Copen Active Top and a 2002 Daihatsu Copen Detachable Top? Because I don’t know that I do. Do we really continue to need both? And just because Nissan painted a Skyline Midnight Purple doesn’t mean you get to count it twice, Polyphony.

GT6 no longer separates these cars in dealerships, and it doesn’t distinctly label them. Though the developer has argued that there is no longer a visual difference between standard and premium cars, you can spend credits on a cool-looking ride only to get it on the track and discover that it looks jagged and blurry beside the other pristine machines. Many of the cars still sound like lawnmowers as well, but the day-one patch is supposedly going to sort this out.

THE VERDICT

And so, 15 years since its inception, Gran Turismo carries on its pursuit much as it always has, delivering a driving simulator that’s as exhausting as it is exhaustive, as infuriating as it is intoxicating. As a foundation, it’s certainly more stable than its predecessor – and as a way to explore the thrill of four wheels it is, despite its many faults, exceptional, brilliant and pretty much peerless. It’s not finished yet, but Polyphony likely never will be – and in Gran Turismo 6 it’s just delivered the broadest, most complete iteration of its epic vision.

Gran Turismo 6’s problems are baggage the series has been carrying since 1997; the second you thunk into a wall at 200 kilometres per hour and drive off scot-free, or hop into a belching V8 that sounds more like a wheezing milkshake maker, the glass shatters and the illusion breaks with it. But when you’re on one of Gran Turismo 6’s absolutely gorgeous tracks, fused with the car you’re controlling, attacking apexes with confidence and devouring sectors with steely precision, it’s not hard to see why this series is deservedly regarded as one of the best of its kind, and this one is no exception.

 

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