Friday 20 December 2013

Gran Turismo 6

It seems like only yesterday when I cracked open my CD case of Gran Turismo for the Playstation and marvelled at not only the superb graphics, but also at the realistic depiction of countless real world cars. That was 15 years ago. Now, after a number of sequels and spin-offs, Sony is openly trying to recapture the glory days of the original Gran Turismo, but does Gran Turismo 6 achieve this or is it just Gran Turismo 5 and a half? A bit of both, really.

Firstly, Gran Turismo 6 goes all out in the features and presentation department. It's really quite remarkable. The first noticeable selling point is the fact that there's an overall of 1200 cars to drive here. Yes, that's right - 1200 cars. Despite some of them almost being cheap carbon copies of each other, there's more than enough to keep even the most cynical gamer happy. From older sports cars like the Alpine A110 1600, to the more modern rides like the Pagani Zonda R '09 and everything in between, the amount of usable cars here is staggering. In fact, the action isn't entirely grounded to our planet either, as the player also has the ability to race the Lunar Rover on the Moon.

Even this track, despite being done for laughs, is actually quite enjoyable due to the time and effort put into the Lunar Rover's handling. In fact, the handling of every car in Gran Turismo 6 is expertly done too, as each one feels completely different to take control of. This general improvement on Gran Turismo 5 can especially be felt on tight turns, in which you can really feel your cars suspension take a beating. From slight bumps in the road to hard direct hits from other competitors, the car controls in Gran Turismo 6 are next to none. Fact.

The tracks themselves are pretty impressive as are the challenges and events. These range from typical races to more diverse options such as Kart racing and rally events to take part in. However, for the most part you've probably seen it all before, particularly in the Gran Turismo series itself. In this respect it can often feel like a rethread of Gran Turismo 5, rather than a completely new title. But I guess this has always been a problem with the franchise, as once it perfects the art of racing, it can't exactly do any better than that.

Gran Turismo 6's solution to this conundrum is throw as many championships, events and cars at the player that is humanly possible. And while that isn't exactly a bad thing, it doesn't do much better than Grand Turismo 5 outside of car handling. But with that said it's not a cheap cash-in. Instead, the developers have clearly tried to get back to basics, and have made a game accessible both to newcomers to the series as well as hardcore fans.

While it may not be a massive improvement over Gran Turismo 5, Gran Turismo 6 is an undoubtedly authentic and utterly impressive racing simulator. While it does have a sense of humour, this isn't an arcade racer, but instead a game that desperately tries to replicate the feel of being behind the wheel. And in that respect it succeeds in leaps and bounds. However, here's my advice: If you're a huge Gran Turismo fan you should buy it, because lets be honest, you were going to do that anyway, right? But if you're new to the series, be sure to dig into the demo first which is available on PSN. 

At the end of the PS3's life-cycle, Polyphony Digital have created the best Gran Turismo in years, but for regulars players of the series it might just be too similar to it’s predecessor to justify a full price purchase. 

Gran Turismo 6 is just about at full throttle with a 8/10.

Denis Murphy

Gran Turismo 6 at CeX

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