Gran Turismo 6 Review
Gran Turismo 6 is the PS3’s swansong, and while that might sound terribly clichéd it’s true. But not for the reason you might think.
A swan doesn’t sing when it dies, it doesn’t blare out a mystical and glorious tune that brings tears to all who might witness it. Instead, it simply dies. And everyone forgets it ever existed.
And so it is that Gran Turismo 6 is the PS3’s swansong, a final chudder across the finish line. No God Of War or Shadow Of The Colossus here, sorry, just a reworking of a game most have already played.
Is Gran Turismo 6 A Worthy Upgrade?
If you didn’t get it from the needless aggressive opener, Gran Turismo 6 is a pretty good game.
No, seriously, it is.
But while it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience, it’s also uncannily similar to Gran Turismo 5 – the game that famously took years upon years of development time to produce.
Visually there’s little difference between the two – though we haven’t had them side-by-side to properly test the theory – and has only a handful of new tracks.
The upgrades come with a simplified UI experience, improved physics and a few extra side events to break up the traditional track racing.
The UI is surprisingly important, though. Where Gran Turismo 5 was an obtuse mesh of options, GT6 looks to simplify everything. It’s all kept on one menu, and from there you can quickly and easily see what is available to you.
This is especially important since this is a more tailored experience. Things are introduced, rather than handed to you in full. Features new and old are explained – you’re even forced into buying a Honda as your first car.
This might sound like sacrilege for expert Gran Turismo players, but the benefit is a streamlined and much less fiddly game. Initially you’re told what to do, yes, but for the most part things are a little freer.
Gran Turismo 6’s New Physics
A big deal has been made about the fancy new physics built into Gran Turismo 6, and for good reason. It might not seem like an obvious change, but it’s important all the same.
You likely wouldn’t notice it in lower tier cars, admittedly, but later on you’ll be able to drift a lot more than you could before as the weight of the car drags it around a bend.
It’s important in faster cars to maintain that realistic level of control, and in this sense Gran Turismo 6 has succeeded.
It’s not a hugely noticeable change, however. It’s not been long since the release of GT5 and in that regard Gran Turismo 6 does feel like it’s retreading itself a bit.
Even the events are the same, and while most would scoff at the idea of removing the Sunday Cup it is time that the setup was tweaked, even slightly.
The inclusion of Stars – one for finishing the race, one for coming third and one for coming first – helps tailor that experience, and in line with the streamlined approach to the race events this helps you get what you want from the game.
Maybe you just want to tick the races off, that’s fine. Maybe you want to get three stars in every single race, also possible. And then there are the mini-games.
From Coffee Breaks (small, unusual challenges) to Race Missions (short race challenges to beat) and Onetypes (traditional races with a single make and model of car), there’s plenty to be going at in-between race events.
Gran Turismo 6’s Extras
It’s these mini-games that actually provide a little more variety to proceedings. Unlocked as you progress through each tier of race, these provide a short little objectives to beat.
It’s an aside, nothing more than a passing concern. But they’re tough, and getting gold will take hours of practice.
And, truth be told, even then you’d probably not be good enough to get it.
But they don’t feel important. They’re not marked as part of the starring system, so it’s a set of fun tasks – such as seeing how far you can get on a litre of fuel – which you can choose to excel at or not.
Most likely not.
Gran Turismo 6 still suffers from the same problem of its predecessors in that some races – even mini-games – require particular cars, sometimes awkwardly so, before you can even enter.
This in itself isn’t a negative, but it does mean you’ll likely buy – even tune up – a car for the sole purpose of a single race, likely never to use it again.
This has been handily improved when considering that there is no Used Car Dealership now – every car is available to purchase from the start if you have the case.
It’s down to individuals as to whether or not being forced to drive a variety of cars or instead only use your favourite make or model, but it can still feel like a waste of credit.
Especially if you win a car that matches the entry requirements for a race that you’ll never complete again.
Gran Turismo 6 Microtransactions
It’s worth drawing attention to this since the concept of tiny purchases in their games make players panic. Rightly so, of course, but in Gran Turismo 6’s case it’s not so evil.
You’ll earn as many credits as ever – and that scales across event tiers – so you’re always buying within your means. Maximising the benefit of a purchase (i.e. ensuring it fits multiple race event requirements) is still as important as ever.
At no point during play did it feel like GT6 was somehow tailored to restrict those not willing to pay out, though it is interesting that fewer race events handed out shiny new cars as a reward.
But for what it’s worth, Gran Turismo 6’s inclusion of microtransactions doesn’t seem unfair at all, especially when compared to Forza 5’s XP-boost-focused nickel-and-diming.
In other words, Gran Turismo 6 can be ‘finished’ (not sure you can actually finish Gran Turismo, to be honest) without ever having to shell out more than the initial cost of the game.
Gran Turismo 6 Review
Gran Turismo 6 is – much like its franchise brothers – the perfect Sunday game. It feels safe, but it is all as enjoyable as ever.
It’s the familiarity that causes the biggest criticism; though Gran Turismo 5 was, in many ways, the same as the games that came before it, enough time had passed that it felt relevant again.
GT6 doesn’t benefit from the same nostalgic effect; it hasn’t been all that long since we last took on the Sunday Cup.
It’s thoroughly enjoyable all the same and the new improvements here really are worthwhile, better even. But nothing about the game feels new, not really.