Gran Turismo 6 Revi...
 
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Gran Turismo 6 Review

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Ben-Dutka
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Graphics:
9.0
Gameplay:
8.9
Sound:
8.5
Control:
9.1
Replay Value:
10.0
Online Gameplay:
8.8
Overall Rating:
9.0
Publisher:
SCE
Developer:
Polyphony Digital
Number Of Players:
1-16
Genre:
Racing
Release Date:
December 6, 2013


For a myriad of social and psychological reasons, some franchises become popular prey for critics. En masse, the entire reviewing populace decides that instead of issuing a fair, accurate analysis of a new title in the targeted franchise, they will pick out every tiny flaw and turn it into a critical failing. Gran Turismo has become the trendy whipping boy of critics. Occasionally, that treatment is warranted but this time, there’s only one logical explanation and you can quote me—

The response is nothing more than video game critics attempting to lend their expertise to a game that requires a driving and racing expert .

Now, graphically, Gran Turismo 6 excels. That’s expected, of course, but it’s always amazing to see just how much effort developer Polyphony Digital expends on the technical aspects. Detractors will point to a few low-res textures somewhere in the backgrounds of certain tracks, along with the absence of livery. How that affects the driving in any way is beyond me. The cars are beautiful; the tracks are exquisitely designed, and let’s not forget that overhauled presentation. It’s much smoother to navigate in comparison to GT5, but I do miss the slickness of the previous interface. Oh, and the dynamic weather and day/night effects take these visuals to yet another level.

Sound is a sticking point for many critics and to some extent, I do agree that the audio isn’t a big highlight. The balancing remains a little off (as it has always been throughout this franchise in my estimation), and such effects as the squealing of tires is way overdone. However, the complaint about cars not emitting accurate engine noises doesn’t seem founded. Big V8s have big V8 growls, supercars have a distinct high-tech power that speaks to futuristic engine design, and little four-bangers sound like…well, little 4-cylinder cars. I’ve never been a big fan of any GT soundtrack and GT6 doesn’t make me change my mind, but this game has it where it counts. The authenticity of the gameplay audio is what ultimately matters.

I will freely admit where Gran Turismo can improve. Being a fan of cars and racing, I only want Polyphony to deliver the most realistic experience possible. What hardcore simulator fans desire is a game that is challenging, that teaches and rewards at the same time, that features mind-bending depth that demands a firm knowledge – and implementation of that knowledge – of the subject at hand. When the sound is a tad off, I notice it and acknowledge it. I don’t make a federal case out of it because the only legitimate drawbacks are barely significant, but I notice. I also notice when a game that calls itself a “simulator” hasn’t progressed enough.

One could make that argument about GT6. The entire argument will have to hinge upon two important factors, though— lack of vehicle damage and questionable AI. Before I go any further, as these are sticking points for a lot of critics and gamers, let me address the damage and AI arguments. First, the AI could indeed be better. Opponents don’t always seem to be aware of your track position, and they’re extremely determined to stick to the same driving line. One could call this approach robotic and unrealistic and at least in some ways, they’d be right. But those who know and understand racing won’t be anywhere near as annoyed.

This is because, A. Racers do take the same driving line 99% of the time. There’s usually only one proper way to enter a turn. And if a professional racer is thrown off that line, he’ll usually try like hell to get back into it ASAP. The longer you’re out of that line, the longer you’re out of position, and the more likely you are to fall back in the pack. B. If your driving is subpar or if you’ve got a vehicle that doesn’t cut the mustard, it is not the responsibility of the other racers to constantly make room for you. You’re the slow car; you have to be aware of them . C. The only litmus test for this is as follows— when you drive as you should, the AI suddenly seems right, doesn’t it? That should tell you something.

Regarding the lack of damage, I will agree that at this point in time, Gran Turismo is behind the times. Not because it has to keep up with the competition (no racer features truly realistic vehicle damage; the damage modeling in Forza , for example, is a joke ), but because it professes to be a simulator. If you are, you must penalize drivers for slamming into other drivers. If you’re not going to do damage, institute a mandatory time penalty. GT has done that in the past, by the way, but it was basically only for specialized hardcore events. That’s the way it needs to be throughout if you’re going to be a simulator .

However, that all being said, I refer you to the AI argument above. I said that if you drive correctly , the issue almost becomes a moot point. This holds true for the crashing bit; although it’s still ridiculous that you can bump a car out of the way on a turn and gain a spot, it’s still not the recommended method. There are all kinds of problems with that plan, which are reflected accurately. You lose a ton of momentum, for instance, or you could power slide, which – as a brief education for all you novices out there – is a mistake . The reason you don’t see pro racers pulling off power slides during road races is because it’s stupid ; it’s erratic, unreliable and ultimately, it isn’t proper driving form. It's flash for the sake of flash.

I will also add this about the damage: If you want truly authentic damage modeling, the game would be borderline unplayable for the vast majority of gamers. If you want real damage physics, and not that comically lenient damage seen in other racers, you’re in for a rough ride. Even scraping a wall or bumping another car can result in damage to your wheel, which effectively ends the race. If they were going to do this, and make it right, it would have to remain an option. Gamers would have to be able to turn it on and off. Still, it needs to happen in the next generation in some form, just because of what GT has – and will always – claim to be.

The rest of the analysis is simple. Gran Turismo 6 is a game for those who love cars and love to race. It’s a game for the passionate hardcore. It’s a game that rewards the informed and dedicated. There are more cars and tracks than ever; I find it annoying that all other racers are commended for such additions, while GT is attacked for having some low-res textures on the older tracks. Those who say the assortment of low-end cars is pointless don’t care about real driving. They only care about flashy Need for Speed action; if so, go right ahead and play NFS. Lovers of the sport enjoy experimenting with all types of vehicles.

The control is borderline perfect. The physics have once again been refined, to the point where we once again feel as if we are indeed driving a real car on a real track. Altering the car’s settings and changing things such as ABS, skid control, gear ratios, and suspensions have the appropriate impact on the car. This is where GT always shines and where only racing experts – and not necessarily gaming experts – recognize the franchise’s superiority: GT remains the only franchise that continually implements each mechanical upgrade and alteration in a way that most closely resembles reality. Even simple weight reductions can be noticed by the astute driver.

Gearheads can spend hours fiddling with the settings until their favorite car feels exactly right. Changing those settings based on the course is another challenge and another thrill. Then there’s dealing with the dynamic weather conditions and the day/night cycles, which have never been implemented quite so flawlessly. The effects weather has on a vehicle are huge and immediate, as is night’s impact on visibility. All of this is wonderfully captured by the extremely talented and driven individuals at Polyphony Digital. There’s also just about every form of road racing imaginable, and tons of different events. Love the challenging Mission races!

No other franchise offers this level of diversity and variety when it comes to driving challenges. I mean, it’s not even close. People can complain about the license tests all they want; they can call them outdated and boring. That’s fine. Just because you’ve done them before (and they’re hardly the exact same tests) doesn’t mean someone else has. A driving simulator teaches and rewards. It starts you off slow and shows you the fundamentals. It opens your eyes to the nuts and bolts and then lets you experiment. GT6 only holds your hand for an hour or so; it gives you the foundation and then lets you off the chain to do as you please. But you still need those fundamentals and that’s where the license tests come in.

If they weren’t there, I’m sure critics would find a way to bash the game for not having some authentic driving test. There are plenty of other attractions as well, such as humorous events that test different aspects of your driving skill, go-kart racing, and photography. As for online racing, getting on the track with as many as 15 other racers is a heady experience and it works beautifully (at least thus far). I haven’t experienced much in the way of lag and because you’re typically playing with avid fans, you play with dedicated, relatively well-mannered individuals. The options are vast and the mechanical and cosmetic possibilities will keep you busy for hours and hours. Is that not enough? What more do you want?

Did you know that the game will continue to receive new content on a monthly basis through 2014? The team is also working on the sound and livery issues. However, I will say I’m not a fan of that, and I’m not saying it’s okay to release an incomplete product. I will never support that idea. At the same time, what fool views a game like GT6 as “incomplete?” What’s missing? Rather than focusing on where it lags, which doesn’t take long, why not emphasize the fact that GT6 is a hardcore racer’s dream? Perhaps critics are prisoners to the more trivial flaws simply because, as I’ve said many times before, they don’t have the chops to fully understand and evaluate a driving simulator. They're overmatched in more ways than one.

Gran Turismo 6 is still a beast of a game. You can attempt to break it down ten ways from Tuesday, you can attempt to disparage at every turn. And I will even go along with particular arguments, especially in regards to the lack of penalizing aggressive bumping. The sound isn’t quite right, either. GT6 is not the full-on mind-boggling masterpiece it could’ve been. But it remains a mammoth achievement because fans can tell, within seconds, just how much TLC has been put into this production. Into every GT production, in truth. That’s what separates this franchise from any other and if you know cars and racing, you’ve been saying this for years. And I’ve got your back.

The Good: Beautiful detail and weather effects. Lots of great tracks and tons of awesome cars. Excellent control throughout. Realistic physics that accurately reflect mechanical alterations. Plenty of distinct events. Smoother, streamlined presentation. A love note to hardcore racing fans.

The Bad: Minor sound balancing and accuracy issues. AI can use a little improving. There needs to be some penalty for hitting cars.

The Ugly: “If you’re a confirmed car and racing junkie, ‘ugly’ is nowhere to be found.”

 
Posted : 10/12/2013 12:00 am
Temjin001
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I look forward to this. I just need to find a way to get it.
I do have a few questions. Is Nascar still included? I really liked it from GT5 and it actually increased my respect for that particular type of motorsport. However, the AI could be so unbelievable stupid it nearly broke the experience for me. Has this NASCAR feature been abandoned entirely for GT6?

and does the rear bumper cam still strictly lock itself to the direction the front of the car is pointing? This has always annoyed me be about GT and I'm hoping they've implemented a camera that allows for some tolerance before shifting the viewpoint.

I do absolutely agree about the power sliding thing. That's one thing GT taught me many years ago. Breaking traction is near always a bad thing in street racing. And to contrast this to GRID2 and many arcade style racers, the power drift is usually a glamorized aspect of play. Dayeeeetonaa!!!! USA made me love this though heheh

and hurrah for mustard! =p


Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/10/2013 10:49:00 PM

 
Posted : 10/12/2013 12:00 am
Ben Dutka PSXE
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I actually don't know if NASCAR is in it...the game is so massive; I might not have seen it yet. And I think the rear bumper cam still does the same thing, although I don't really use it.

 
Posted : 10/12/2013 12:00 am
WorldEndsWithMe
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Stop that, you're making me want to bring out the old wheel and play some Daytona.

 
Posted : 10/12/2013 12:00 am
maxpontiac
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If it's Daytona you are after GT6 has the track with 2013 Nascar vehicles available.

Oh, I forgot to say Daytona is now at night. 😉

 
Posted : 10/12/2013 12:00 am
WorldEndsWithMe
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In depth; glad a car guy can weigh in amongst the knuckleheads.

 
Posted : 10/12/2013 12:00 am
maxpontiac
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Pretty much where I expected your score to be with everything taken into consideration. My only question/suggestion to you is to revisit this game in May 2014. Kaz said that one to two major updates are planned every month and I have a feeling GT6 will be a different beast then.

Nice review... as always!

 
Posted : 10/12/2013 12:00 am
daus26
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Night races, or evening/dusk are absolutely stunning in GT6. Everything is dynamic. I can't believe they can pull of such things with a hardware release in 2006 with only 256 or RAM.

 
Posted : 11/12/2013 12:00 am
Temjin001
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okay, thanks guys. i look forward to it. the problem with Daytona in GT5 is that if you made a minor error, like sort of falling out of the strip stream, the car behind would not even notice you existed, and worse yet dropped in speed, and just plow right into your bumper. I'm not talking like I had a sudden drop in speed, or nothing, so the tailing car should have plenty of time to react, but instead it'll just slam into you usually causing a major wreck. It drove me nuts so I never finished the Daytona stuff in GT5.

yah, ben I prefer a 1st person view as well for the GT games, from cockpit even if it's not too limiting, but occasionally i like mixing things up and admire my car from 3rd person angles while driving.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/11/2013 12:56:54 AM

 
Posted : 11/12/2013 12:00 am
Temjin001
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you talking about the DC edition of Daytona, World?

 
Posted : 11/12/2013 12:00 am
Killa Tequilla
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@World, just after black friday , there was this wheel that was priced for $150. Normally $600. I was about to buy it but I just couldn't do it. I don't play racing games as much. I think it was the T500RS? I don't know. Sorry I didnt speak earlier if you would have bought it 🙂

I was busy at work. I was really close though. If only I didn't blow too much money on both consoles, a few games, and a new surround sound.

 
Posted : 11/12/2013 12:00 am
WorldEndsWithMe
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Of course the DC version 🙂 Though I don't remember if that one has the horse cheat, it'd be cool to drive the horse with a wheel.

@ Killa, I SAW THAT DEAL! I almost got it myself but I also am no racer gamer. I do want to try some open world driving games though. I decided against it as well since I'll need my bank account to support my PS4. But one day I'll go back and get one when PS3 becomes a classic system in my mind.

 
Posted : 11/12/2013 12:00 am
Temjin001
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Yah the DC version was real nice for it's time. Though I do prefer the current PS3 HD version of the original arcade game. It maintained the original look and music, instead of the DC's crappy remix, of the arcade classic. It has the greatest racing game sound track of all time 😉


Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/11/2013 10:30:42 AM

 
Posted : 11/12/2013 12:00 am
daus26
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I just have a few gripes with the game, but it's not a deal breaker.

1. Mechanical damage: In GT5, this was introduced through an update, but even then you can only use it on free runs and online. I was hoping they would return in GT6, improve upon it, and implement it to single player.

2. PP and login bonunes. I don't understand on why this was taken away.

3. Friend profiles, lounge, and sharing. One of my most favorite feature, gone. 🙁

4. Prize Cars - They're given more seldomly than previous GTs, but the payouts are at least fair.

5. Tuning Menu is cool, but when adjusting certain aspects, it's hard to see the adjustments being affected in certain areas. For example, when adjusting power, I can't see the PP change until I confirm it. This needs a lot of improvement because in GT5 it was easier for me to be honest. Also TCS settings doesn't carry over to all the cars, again.

6. This just a personal thing, but platinum trophy and the game's gold targets are now waaaaay easier than ever for hardcores like me.

7. A.I., and sound continues to be subpar, but looking at the strengths of what GT6 offers, I can easily overlook it. Ben makes a great point about A.I. and their driving line, but I also want to mention that the A.I. actually does get better towards the end of your career. Also, they're pretty aggressive on Aracde Mode. Most of the career, you'll encounter weak A.I. but if you're looking for a challenge try in Arcade Mode or run the later events.. fairly that is.

8. Last but not least in organization. There needs to be a better way to browse through the many paint chips and wheels.

That's pretty much it for now. It may sound like I have a lot of problem with the game, but if I start jotting down the positives, well I doubt anyone would want to go through and read everything. Brilliant game for me, and if I have to rate it, I'd say at least an 8.5, just to throw a number out there.

 
Posted : 11/12/2013 12:00 am
PlatformGamerNZ
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honestly i was expecting a 9 so thats not a surprise but yeah it'll be a great game.

happy gaming

 
Posted : 11/12/2013 12:00 am
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