The GT series has always been the premier track racing simulator since the first iteration on the original Playstation and GT6 keeps that reputation firmly in place. It’s been kept to task by Xbox’s Forza series but Gran Turismo has a depth that is still difficult to replicate. It’s attention to detail is so high that anyone who loves the sport of racing is still enamored with it even now. GT5 is still one of the best selling games on PS3 and is hardly ever lacking in online players to jump into a race with. The start up is effortless and the introduction tutorial is built into an actual race to allow you to get going straight away.
GT6 keeps up that lineage by taking what was there before and pushing it on to the next logical step. The vehicle’s handle almost exactly as they would in the real world. From sensible, slow hatchbacks to skid inducing sport replicas each car has a personality that’s as individual as the players themselves. Upgrading a vehicle is still a little daunting to the new-comer but if you stick with it the options screens become far easier to navigate and are more finely tuned that it’s predecessor. The start screen is separated into vertical columns and it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to navigate it comfortably. Each section is separated with campaign, multiplayer and system upgrading standing proudly next to each other on one screen.
Each vehicle reacts differently depending on the modifications you make and you can completely change your gameplay style with even the smallest tweaks. From suspension to tyres the cars really do feel different to control. Racing and progressing through the ranks is just as addictive as it’s always been. From racing in Mini Coopers to Nascar performance cars, there’s content for every kind of speed junkie out there. Upgrading is also a requirement for certain tracks and choosing your specs can be almost as important as the race itself.
Graphically, the game has been pulled back a little in comparison to the sublime looking Gran Turismo 5. Polyphony Digital pushed the PS3 cell GPU to it’s absolute maximum when it released Gran Turismo 5 in 2010. So it’s no surprise that 6 keeps that level on a par for the most point. Small effects have been taken away as well as some environment objects on certain tracks. This has caused a mild level of anger amongst some of the hard-core race fans but the very minor sacrifice in graphical prowess has allowed Polyphony Digital to stuff in way more content than both GT5 and the prologue put together. More tracks, deeper upgrade system and detailed modifications is absolutely worth the tiny sacrifices in fidelity (it still looks amazing by the way). Putting you in many different scenarios there is even some room for the ridiculous in the way of being able to race space buggies on the moon. Although to me it feels like the design team were a little desperate to add more content it’s still an option if you feel inclined to break out of all the intensely serious simulator racing and go for a more fun option (go-karts return too). The tracks have been lovingly recreated with teams going all over the world to scan and photograph each track so that they are extremely close to the real thing. This has already been done in previous GT games but it’s good to know they aren’t phoning it in and just generating tracks based on birdseye view scans of each circuit.
Damage has also been scaled back a little but is still there so you can judge how good/bad a driver you are by assessing the scratches at the end. Night racing as well as full environmental effects have returned to also keep you coming back for different styles of racing. One of the great side effects of the GT series is the community at large that share specs and racing tips with other players. It’s a series you can sink your teeth into and provides great rewards for all who stick with it.
Online multiplayer is just as good as it’s been on GT5 but obviously limited by the PS3 hardware and servers. The lack of team speak is always prevalent when compared to the Forza series and set up is fairly simple but still has a few hurdles to get over. Luckily there is little to no lag when playing over an average 10Mb service over home wifi. This will ensure the majority of race fans will be able to take their best spec cars out into the world and allow them to stand proudly next to other peoples suped up vehicles without too much worry that their service provider will piss into their gas tanks.
The main reason to play this is for the content. It’s by no means a full on generational progression from GT5 but is a strong improvement on the core game that lies beneath it. If you like simplistic arcade racing then you may find more satisfaction elsewhere but for those who love the rev of an engine and the smell of combustible fuel in the morning they will find everything they need all in one tightly designed package here.
Gran Turismo 6 is a deep and sophisticated race simulator. It’s eye for detail as well as it’s extensive amount of content will keep most race fans busy for a very long time to come.
MLG Rating: 9/10 Format: PlayStation 3 Release Date: 6/12/13
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Gran Turismo 6 for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of five days on a PlayStation 3. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.