GT Fansite Owner Talks GT6, PS4 & The Future Of Gran Turismo
The owner of the leading GT fansite GT Planet and all-round Gran Turismo expert Jordan Greer has spoken to NowGamer about what should be changed or included in GT6.
Touching on PS3, PS4, tracks, gameplay and PS Vita integration, we’ve grilled the expert on everything fans want to see in the next Gran Turismo:
What improvements would you like to see made in GT6? What area of the game needs the most tweaking?
Greer: “I think the engine sounds need to see the most improvement in the next iteration of the Gran Turismo series. Although more cars, tracks, and features will almost certainly be included in the next game, the sounds haven’t evolved at the same rate as the graphics and driving physics.
“It’s an area which many people are critical of, and I would have to agree with their complaints. Good engine sounds can make a racing game incredibly immersive, and this is an aspect that’s lacking in GT5.
In one of my recent interviews with Kazunori, I had a chance to ask him about this. His opinion was that GT’s engine sounds were “too real”, and said they could do more to “design” the sound and make it “sexier”.
“He was widely mocked for the “too real” comment, but I think most of the criticism was short-sighted, as he clearly acknowledged the issue and described how it can be fixed. I’m confident we’ll see (or hear) improvements in the next game.”
If GT6 is on PS3, what can the game do that GT5 hasn’t already? GT5 was already a huge and ambitious title when it released – where can it go on the same console?
“If GT6 is on the PS3, I don’t think we’ll see much improvement in graphics, and that’s fine. Instead, it gives Polyphony Digital a special opportunity to focus on offering a wider selection of content in terms of more cars, more tracks, and a refined single-player experience.
“These improvements would all be viewed positively by fans and critics, and wouldn’t require any additional power from the console.”
Do you think GT fans want to see lots more cars added, or just a conversion of standard models into premium models?
“There are a lot of popular “Standard” model cars which definitely need to be introduced as “Premium”, but I think it’s time to start introducing more new cars into the series.
When I first started playing Gran Turismo, I loved the fact that it contained so many “real” cars – sedans, hatchbacks, coupes, etc. – which I saw in the real world, on the road, every day.
“A lot of those cars, produced in the ’90s or early ’00s, are still in the game, but you don’t see them as often on the road.
“For newer generations to have that same experience, its very important for GT to contain a wide selection of contemporary, pedestrian automobiles – not just modern exotic cars.”
What kind of integration with PS Vita would you like to see?
“Trading and collecting cars in Gran Turismo 5 has endured as one of the game’s most popular features; GTPlanet’s own “GT5 Marketplace” forum remains one of the busiest on the site. I’d like to see Vita integration which makes it easier for players to buy, manage, and trade cars in their garage from anywhere.
“Polyphony Digital has also experimented with remote B-Spec racing, and I think they could implement a much more immersive remote racing experience with the Vita hardware.”
Do you want GT6 to be an evolution of GT5 or is it time to change the game’s core racing mechanics?
“I don’t think there needs to be any radical changes, I’d just like to see Gran Turismo get back to its roots, and take full advantage of all its content.
“In GT5, I often feel like I’m just collecting cars to be collecting them, not because I needed them to win a particular race. That should change in GT6.”
If the racing was changed, how should it be?
“I’d like to see more standing starts, and more competitive racing. In GT5, it often seems the challenge is to catch up with AI drivers who already have a big lead on you – this can often make it feel like hot-lapping instead of racing.
“Instead, I’d like to start out head-to-head with another driver who is very fast, and battle it out over the course of the race.
“I would also like to see more consequences for bad driving, with severe penalties for damaging your car or causing accidents. Other games like iRacing have really capitalized on the notion of consequences, and they completely change the way you feel about playing.
“If players knew they’d have to pay (with in-game credits, of course) to repair their car or if their on-track behavior would hurt their ability to earn a new license, buy faster cars, or access new tracks, it would help them learn and appreciate just how fun and exhilarating real racing can be.”
What can GT learn from racing games that have released since GT5, such as Forza 4, GRID 2, Shift 2 and so on?
“Players love to customize their cars in racing games, and I think other series have done well to capitalize on that.
“Forza’s livery editor is one prime and often-cited example of car customization that players miss when they come back to Gran Turismo.
Tuning parts, engine upgrades, everything – they are all very important things which let players feel like they really do have ownership of the cars.
“Few games in other genres can foster that sense of ownership, and I think it’s very important for Polyphony Digital to put more emphasis on that aspect of gameplay in the future.”
If GT6 released on PS4, what changes would you like to see? How might Sony’s new console benefit the game? Would it be better to launch on PS4 instead?
“Personally, yes, I would prefer to see Gran Turismo 6 released on the PlayStation 4.
“The new console’s extra horsepower should enable some breathtaking enhancements, like more cars on track at the same time, a more complex driving physics model, and more circuits which feature dynamic weather and daylight conditions.
“These features, combined with a renovated single-player mode, would combine to make one incredible game…and I’m sure the improved graphics wouldn’t hurt, either!”
Some people complained about B-Spec mode in GT5. How might it be improved and made more compelling?
“I’m probably not a good person to ask, as I’ve never personally been interested in B-Spec mode. If I’m spending time playing Gran Turismo, I want to be the one driving!”
Do you want to see the EXP model introduced in GT5 kept or scrapped?
“I’d prefer to see it scrapped. The experience points feel arbitrary and redundant in a game which has credits and driving licenses.
“Carefully managing your money (should you buy a new car or keep tuning your old one for that next tough race?) and working hard to earn licenses to enter new racing series (which in turn would offer more prize money) is what made the earlier games so much fun.”
Karting was brought in in GT5. Is there any other kind of racing mode you think fans want to see next?
“Without question, that would be drag racing. The quick nature of drag racing is perfectly suited to an online gaming environment – nobody is going to ram you off the track, and the races are short and sweet. It will be a very popular feature if it returns to the series.”