December 23, 2013

Gran Turismo 6

Lasting First Impressions

Sony’s premier driving simulator returns in Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo 6, exclusively for the PlayStation 3.  The previous game in this series wasn’t a highly respected title, so I’m sure Polyphony Digital is hoping this new version, not burdened by the endless delays of Gran Turismo 5, will win back their fanbase and get the series back on the road.  Can Gran Turismo 6 take back the reigns it once had in the real driving simulator arena?  We gave it our usual one hour play through to see if it could live up to its name.

At first glance, Gran Turismo 6 is definitely a beautiful looking racing game, considering it was made specifically for the aging hardware of the PS3.  It may not have all the immense details we find on the next generation platforms, but it is certainly pushing the boundaries of the PS3.  Looks isn’t everything in a game, however,  and that is where my impressions of this racing game began to wear down.  All of the beginning races were extremely simple to win and the game never gave me any kind of real challenge.  When I compare that to my attempts at Gran Turismo’s direct competition, the Forza Motorsport franchise, they are a stark contrast to one another.  In a Forza game, I am hard pressed to win any race in first place.  You would think that winning every race would make me love a game like this, and normally, you’d be right but in this case, it just didn’t “feel” real, or exciting.

GT6 Screen (6)

Gran Turismo 6 feels like an old game.  It feels like one that hasn’t truly grown up and found its place in the modern world that is now dominated by Forza.  The menu systems seem like something out of a Tiger Woods golfing game and the music is something I’d expect to hear in an elevator, instead of the modern rock centered soundtrack with upbeat riffs that have been the centerpiece of racing games for nearly a generation.  Key racing dynamics seems to be missing from Gran Turismo 6.  There is no realistic collision detection here.  As cars bump into each other they simply do just that. They bump. No damage, no resulting spinouts, just a mild little bump and then continue on their way.  As a title who’s moniker has always been “The Real Driving Simulator” this kind of omission feels wrong.  Environmental effects also seem to be missing from this game.  While the graphics looks great, they are very static.  There is no sunshine effects while driving or any kind of particle effects as cars skid around corners, nor are there any skid marks left as this occurs.

GT6 Screen (16)

Gran Turismo 6 may have a great deal more racing styles, more cars and more tracks than its competition, and it may have more options to customize your cars, but the overall look and feel of the game left me wanting. It left me feeling like I was playing an old game, not a brand new modern one.

Maybe I’m already spoiled by the next generation of consoles. Maybe the quality of games and graphics that have come to the PS3 over the last year have brought my expectations to an unrealistic high. With the highly polished and beautiful aesthetics of recent racing genre titles such as Forza 5 and Need for Speed: Rivals, I was expecting to find an equally stunning game in Gran Turismo 6. After all, this is the original driving simulator, the one that started it all, the one that came before and paved the road for other games to mimic it. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to Gran Turismo 6. While it may have been the premier racing simulator at one point, it seems this title was content to stay in the past.  Overall, Gran Turismo 6 just left me feeling flat and a little bored with the racing.  There was nothing here to excite me.
Polyphony Digital, I gave you an hour and I am NOT IMPRESSED.

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About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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