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Review: Gran Turismo 6 – The Franchise is Aging But Still Has Plenty of Fight Left

by on December 27, 2013 4:22 PM 14

The Gran Turismo franchise was once king of realistic racing sims. However, in recent years its illustrious shine has since dimmed to a faint glimmer in comparison to even stronger competition–mainly the Forza series.

Can Gran Turismo 6 reclaim their number one spot with their latest outing into the genre on the aging PS3 hardware?

When you first start the game, you’re treated to an unskippable tutorial. While this was perfect for me since I’m a bit out of practice, the start of this game’s constant hand holding will soon wear thin on the more advanced players’ souls. What made me angry was being forced to buy a terrible Honda FIT RS ’10 that I had to upgrade to be remotely decent before I could afford another car.

Let me stress that. The game forces you to purchase a car. Not give. Purchase. For over 30,000 credits. Keep in mind that when you advance through the classes, the game bestows upon you free cars for winning so there’s no excuse for taking precious credits from you right at the beginning of the game.

Gran Turismo 6 (58)

Moving along, 6‘s gameplay is surprisingly deep and addictive, with plenty of variety in the tracks and challenges. Not only is the game’s Career mode filled with many kinds of races (such as five-minute races, championships and even Kart racing) but there are also a large batch of separate and optional types of races. Between the Coffee Break challenges, One-Make Races races, seasonal events, special events and more, you’ll always have something interesting and fun to do.

The user interface has also been overhauled and made to be much more streamlined, making it far easier to navigate through the various modes here than in Gran Turismo 5.

Gran Turismo 6 (45)

Now let’s break down the the gameplay during a race. Track loading times are faster than the previous installment but still lags a bit. Once you get into the actual racing the fun truly begins, with an improved physics engine and very smooth controls.

There’s a bunch of boring rock music playing in the background of each race but you won’t even notice, or rather won’t hear it because the roaring engines drown out everything. Honestly, the tracks playing in the menu screens are much better composed and you can actually listen to them.

The cars are gorgeous and being able to customize anything from the engine to the suspensions to the body weight, tires, brakes, transmission, clutch, flywheel, etc. can become a near obsession. 6 has plenty of car purchasing options as well, with over a thousand different models. Best of all, the game lets expert players dive right into these options unaided while newbies can use the recommended feature that gives you the best cars to choose from, depending on the racing class.

Gran Turismo 6 (57)

From a distant the environments look as beautiful and well-detailed as the cars themselves. However, when paying close attention screen tearing, pop-ins and frame rate drops become readily apparent and, as this article points out (rather hilariously), the people look absolutely terrible, with gems such as this:

Gran Turismo 6

To go even further, every single engine sounded exactly the same–that generic grumbling sound instead of an unique engine roar unique to the different types of vehicles. For instance, sports cars should sound distinct from compacts and convertibles from racing, among others.

Also, there’s suppose to be real-time damage to the cars at play as you race and crash–ahem–lightly tap other cars. I never noticed so much as a scratch. I use the word “lightly” because at the most you can only love-tap your opponents and stage barriers, causing crashes on the level of bumper cars.

In other words, the overall visuals and technical hiccups are compatible to an early PS3 game and are not what should have been an incredibly polished last go on PS3 before hitting what is now the the current gen.

You do have to keep up maintenance on your car, like changing the oil and upkeeping the engine, through the use of the Pit Stop, which I felt was a nice feature that really made you pay attention to the state of your vehicle. I also found myself enjoying the day/night time effects and the way such conditions affected the racing. Polyphony Digital really showed a lot of love in the level of detail they put into these effects and it paid off greatly.

Gran Turismo 6 (66)

The online mode is simple yet deep and drives home the idea of a “racing community.” Anyone can create a room in the lobby or join an already made one. Each lobby has a certain category attached to it, which makes it extremely easy to discern which room would be best suited to your racing skills and preferences. And while your AI opponents in the single player are brain dead and blind fools that never react to your own driving, the real human beings you’ll race online are where veterans will get their challenge.

A warning: you’d better make sure you have a top class car Super Car or else racers will leave you in the dust. The only way to avoid this discrepancy is to join or make One-Make rooms which will ensure that every player uses the same kind of car.

This brings me to my next point–the micro-transactions. Gran Turismo 6 is the first in the series to use this feature–allowing racers to bypass the rather steep credit costs of the top cars by simply buying credit in the PSN store. This has the unfortunate effect of allowing racers a way to acquire the best cars without grinding them naturally and then use them online without consequence (Career Mode has limits depending on the race so this isn’t possible there until later on.)

It’s a shame that a franchise with such a great history must resort to this level of nickel and diming, but it does. Even though the game never explicitly talks about the purchasing of credits, it often has the feeling of being specifically designed to make the greatest rewards so unobtainable that players would rather resort to simply buying the credits instead.

GranTurismo6BMW (4)

Gran Turismo 6 offers an amazing breath of features, modes, challenges, cars, customization options and more. With over 1,200 cars and more than 70 circuits, fans of the genre will always have new cars to acquires and new tracks to race on, each with their own challenge.

Make no mistake–this is a flawed but incredibly fun game. It definitely shows its age with Polyphony Digital’s refusal to address consistent issues hampering the franchise for years but their attention to detail, lovely cars, improved physics and extensive track variety make this game a solid, if not amazing, console racing game.

rated rating-7.0
Review: Gran Turismo 6 – The Franchise is Aging But Still Has Plenty of Fight Left
  • Gran Turismo 6
  • PlayStation 3
  • Polyphony Digital
  • Sony Computer Entertainment
  • December 6, 2013
  • $59.99
  • Review copy provided by the publisher.

Join the Discussion

  • brianc6234

    I don’t agree at all that GT is losing to other racing games. It’s still the best out there. The other games are more game. Not real racing.

    • ipwnerz

      No, it sucks. Mario Kart beats all of these by 300 kilometers.

    • Allisa James

      The experience you get in GT is one thing, but if that game’s unique experience doesn’t translate into sales then it’s losing. Right now, GT is losing to Forza and other racing games in sales, big time.

      • Frank Bailey

        Gran Turismo 5 has out sold the entire Forza franchise. I don’t call that losing. If you only consider sales numbers. The “Need for Speed” franchise and Mario Cart are killing both of them. I don’t feel you were put into a position to succeed when you were asked to review this game. The audio of the cars and “lack” of a roar was one of the biggest complaints from GT Fans. P.S. In every Gran Turismo game you have to buy your first car.

        • Allisa James

          I’ll relent on that one, but to be fair I said now it’s losing on sales, not back when GT5 was released. However I’ll stand with my main point that Gran Turismo isn’t a relevant series anymore. It used to be in the top but now it’s an aging dinosaur that had has the same issues for years.

          And what does that even mean? When one reviews a game, it’s not about success or failure, it’s about opinion and the experience taken from the game. In my opinion, playing this game was fun but had too many issues, including the terrible audio and car engines (a big problem for me in a realistic racing-sim). You clearly love this franchise and everything it has to offer and my review can never take that away from you. That’s your experience.

          And just because every game in the franchise does it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea. Having to buy your first car, especially an awful hunk of junk that barely works unless you upgrade like crazy, instead of it just being given is very counter-intuitive to me.

          • Frank Bailey

            I don’t normally do this. I try not to feed the Trolls. But I feel an obligation to my franchise when I feel “Olivia Munn” is reviewing it. If you don’t get that joke you are further proving my point. I ended up on your sight via a facebook post. I saw there was a review of GT 6. I thought to myself “Cool another place to get PS news.” I will use this as a barometer to see how good they are. You should have never reviewed this game. This is obviously the first GT game you have ever played.That is what I meant by my comment about having to purchase a car in every GT game. I was honestly trying not to expose you as a novice. I seriously doubt you even play racing games. You failed to mention in your review the absence of the B-Spec mode, a huge component of the other iterations. You also failed to mention the Adaptive Tessellation. The newest technology in the games animation. Further advertising your ignorance to this franchise. Polyphony has made it apparently clear that there will be a GT game coming soon to the next generation of consoles. You will be even be able to race at night or in the rain, unlike Forza. Forza is the only cookie in the jar for next-gen racing sims. I hope they spelled your name right on the check. If you would like to read a comprehensive review of the game you glossed over give this a look. http://www.psnation.com/2013/12/06/review-gran-turismo-6-ps3/. Like I said before, you were not put into a position to succeed when you were asked to review this game. You are a self proclaimed JRPG fan, what is your take on Dark Souls 2.

            P.S. I will never visit your site again unless it is to respond to this thread. I can read every “News” item you have on IGN.com

          • Guest

            This review is mad garbage. Plain and simple.You don’t know ish about Gran Turismo at all. Unlike Flopza (and nearly all Western games) this game doesn’t hold your hand. In real life when you fail, you fail (just like this review). There’s no rewind, which teaches you to get better. Also you don’t have to purchase credits. Ironically (like Flopza) its optional.

            Flopza always had been this obsession with Western media simply because factually most of you actually suck at playing games period. Its always about graphics, but never detailed gameplay, which GT destroys Flopza in both. Features? Forget about it. Sales? You can FOR-GET about that. Gran Tursimo 6 is the best looking PS3 game period and with being said, you all best be very worried that if it can compare to “next gen” Flopza 5, then Gran Turismo 7?! Forget about it. Leave the analysis to people who actually play the game i.e. GT Planet.

          • Antonio C. R. Murray

            This review is mad garbage. Plain and simple.You don’t know ish about Gran Turismo at all. Gran Turismo is a 70 milion plus billion dollar franchise that has outsold every Microsoft exclusive combined.

            Unlike Flopza (and nearly all Western games) this game doesn’t hold your hand. In real life when you fail, you fail (just like this review). There’s no rewind, which teaches you to get better. Also you don’t have to purchase credits. Ironically (like Flopza 5) its optional.

            Flopza always had been this obsession with Western media simply because factually most of you actually suck at playing games period. Its always about graphics, but never detailed gameplay, which GT destroys Flopza in both. Features? Forget about it. Sales? You can FOR-GET about that. Gran Tursimo 6 is the best looking PS3 game period and with being said, you all best be very worried that if it can compare to “next gen” Flopza 5, then Gran Turismo 7?! Forget about it. Leave the analysis to people who actually play the game i.e. GT Planet.

          • Antonio C. R. Murray

            This review is mad garbage. Plain and simple.You don’t know ish about Gran Turismo at all. Gran Turismo is a 70 milion plus billion dollar franchise that has outsold every Microsoft exclusive combined.

            Unlike Flopza (and nearly all Western games) this game doesn’t hold your hand. In real life when you fail, you fail (just like this review). There’s no rewind, which teaches you to get better. Also you don’t have to purchase credits with real money. Ironically (like Flopza 5) its optional.

            Flopza always had been this obsession with Western media (especially since Flopza 3) simply because factually most of you actually suck at playing games period. Its always about graphics, but never detailed gameplay, which GT destroys Flopza in both. Features? Forget about it. Sales? You can FOR-GET about that. Gran Tursimo 6 is the best looking PS3 game period and with being said, you all best be very worried that if it can compare to “next gen” Flopza 5, then Gran Turismo 7?! Forget about it. Leave the analysis to people who actually play the game i.e. GT Planet.

    • RIPgaming

      Where did you get that from? Forza has been besting GT for years now. And to top it off Forza uses new car models not last gen ones.

      • brianc6234

        Yawn. Forza is boring crap.

      • Frank Bailey

        Just in case you missed it GT 5 outsold the entire FORZA franchise!

  • PatcherStation

    I’m astonished that people still rate Turismo. Both games on the PS just didn’t do it. Turismo 3 on the PS2 is what started the series. Turismo 4 was decent, but it looked unfinished, but played decent (not as good as Turismo 3 though). On the PSP, it was a disaster. All them years waiting for Turismo 5, it turned out to be a mixed bag, more so the shocking graphics. Hardly any sense of speed and terrible AI, not forgetting terrible control. Turismo 6 is what Turismo 5 should’ve been. But still, Turismo 6 fell well short. Sony needs to go back to the drawing board with Turismo 7 on the PS4. All new tracks, amazing graphics, loads of cars and don’t take the p**s with DLC. But most importantly, a game that is fast and raw. Fingers crossed that Turismo 6 doesn’t make it to the PS4, as that’d be taking the p**s. Fans don’t want an update. Forza is far from perfect, but at least it’s more playable. Horizon was decent. Looking forward to Horizon 2. But Forza 5 was a joke with just 12 tracks, looking like Forza 4. When you consider that there’s not many racing games releases, taking the p**s with Turismo 5, 6 and Forza 5, is pushing it too far.

    • bazzatits999

      obvious troll is obvious. yawn….

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