The Gran Turismo series has been gracing it’s presences on three generations of Sony consoles for 15 years and what better way to celebrate than to release a brand new iteration of the game in the form of Gran Turismo 6. The series has always been an acquired taste for audiences as it’s mostly for the car enthusiasts who know what they are doing with cars and have an understanding of how they work, that being said, I’m not a car person but I found a lot of enjoyment out of this title because it was not as overwhelming as Gran Turismo 5.
Compared to its competition, Forza Motorsport 5, Gran Turismo 6 is over flowing with content. Let’s start off with how many cars the game has from the start: 1200. That’s an insane amount of cars compared to Forza’s minuscule 200, what’s more, this game isn’t even a next gen title. Also you’ll be racing around over 30 tracks from around the world to keep you occupied and keeping the game fresh so you don’t see the same tracks too often.
Like GT 5 you are going to have to install the game, but it doesn’t take as long at all compared to the previous game, the only problem I found, and this might have just been me, but when I installed the game it crashed on me and I tested this out on two separate machines and it crashed both times. So I had to restore the system and restart the game, but luckily I did not have to install it again, hopefully they will patch this in the near future.
So, why is this not as daunting? Because when you first start it up it has a user friendly UI, it no longer has the massive mess that was GT 5 where it was all squeezed into one screen. In this game you have different sections, such as races, that are split up into different licences, you start of on N (novice) which gives you a taste of the racing before you dive in.
What especially helps the player to ease into the game is the quick tutorial that allows you to get to grips with the controls and the overall handling of the cars, all of this is before you head into the main menu too so this really is a great way to help new players to get a scope of the game. It seems that they’re also trying to appeal to a wider audience because they no longer have the used car market which had the requirement of maintaining your vehicle, which is a shame because I used to like buying an old car and fixing it up in previous games.
Following the tradition of Gran Turismo, GT 6 also includes driving tests which are a staple in the series, but they don’t feel as dragged out this time and they are less frustrating, it’s a great and quick feature to let you get use to different cars in that class of licences and helps you with different tactics that you can use for that class of car to give you an edge in all races that await.
You have several sections that you have to race you have N which the beginner, B which is an intermediate class, A where things get a bit more challenging and then you get IB (International B) and IA which basically means you use the same type of cars from A and B classes, but the races take place all over the world. Finally you get the S class racing which are the hardest because you take control of super cars.
If you get a bit bored of the main racing events you can partake in challenges or coffee break challenges which can involve doing a time trial in a rally car or the more bizarre and out of the ordinary lunar moon buggy challenge. You can get involved in side events such as the Red Bull X events where Sebastian Vettel will take you through the steps of F-1 driving, which will take you from the go karts to high performance machines that go over 200 miles per hour.
Multiplayer makes a great return, but you can’t access it until you have at least completed the class A driving tests. I think this aspect is brilliant because it lets you get use to the game before you head online and get destroyed and trust me, that will happen because players have a habit of ramming you off the road all the time.
If you are worrying that the visuals are being held back with the PS3 hardware you would be wrong, what I love about Sony exclusives they always try and push the hardware to limit. The attention to detail is fantastic in true Gran Turismo fashion with every inch of the tracks put in the subtle details such as slight scuffs on the barriers to the cracks on the road it’s a beautiful sight to look at. One track in particular that is set in a desert landscape stands out the most to me. Set the weather to dawn and take look at the awe inspiring landscape of the empty desert.
Each car is also expertly modelled to its real life counterpart everything detailed straight down to the badge displayed on the bonnet to reflections on the paint work, you can really see that they have taken pride and effort when they modelled these cars.
Sound design is lacking and bland in this game and what I mean is for instance when I crash full speed into the back of another car or go flying into a barrier you don’t really get a sense of impact it just sounds like a slight tap. You also don’t get a sense of atmosphere on the course you don’t really hear anything else but car engines and you can only just about hear the crowd. Even the cars themselves sound a bit bland and yes I understand the fact that it’s a driving simulator and the cars have a more realistic sound and aren’t exaggerated compared to, let’s say, Need For Speed, but they seem to be a background noise more than the main focus.
Overall this is a fantastic game and will keep you going for a few months with the amount of content that it has to offer. Besides the bland sound design and the graphics looking a bit murky and aging sometimes it’s still worth your time if you are racing fan or veteran of the series.