Friday release dates are pretty odd, but in the case of Gran Turismo 6, it makes sense; that way, employers only lose one day to the franchise. But the last major game of the year has a few surprises in store, at least in the details.
Holy Crap, It’s Pretty
Racing games, lacking people, are generally technological showcases, and this go-round is no exception. This seems to push the PS3 pretty far, although I’d argue The Last Of Us is still the prettiest PS3 game. But there’s no denying that this is an amazingly visual game, even if it needs the day-one patch to fix a few issues.
The First Hour Or So Of That Is Wasted On the Honda Fit
I have nothing against the Honda Fit. It is a modest and noble automobile. I just don’t want to spend an hour-plus driving one in a video game. But, as usual, the Gran Turismo team has decided you have to eat your digital vegetables before you can actually play their game. After all, you might not know how to drive a car, or play a video game, so it’s very important you play a realistically handling version of a low-budget hatchback to get familiar with the basics.
But don’t worry, an hour of play gifts you with a new car… a go-kart! Just to make things worse, the game opens with a proper lap in a proper racing machine. You might be thinking “Ugh, they want us to buy cars!”, but actually…”
It’s Hard To See How Those Much-Griped-About Microtransactions Will Fit In
It’s pretty clear Gran Turismo 6 is more or less Sony’s swan song for the PS3 and a test to see what they might be able to get away with on the PS4 in terms of microtransactions. But the game sticks very close to the plot arc, I suppose you’d call it, of previous GT games: You start with slower, crappier cars and build up the credits to buy newer, faster, neater cars. After the game jerks your chain, it rapidly opens up with more credits and courses. The game is not built around microtransactions and it’s hard to see how using them is going to be anything other than a joyless affair.
New Tracks Come First
If you were hoping to start the game off with some of the classic tracks the team has kept, nope! The game’s got a whole bunch of real tracks precisely rendered in polygons it wants you to try out, although it must be said there are some tracks that GT5 had to lose that Gran Turismo 6 restores.
The Controls Are Top-Notch
I generally find car sims an unbelievable trudge, because precise, accurate simulation of driving is often at odds with pick-up-and-play fun. But it has to be said that Gran Turismo 6 has some absolutely killer controls. Even using the DualShock 3, you’ve got a real feel for the handling and you can start to sense when something is about to go wrong in time to correct it. Even the “street” cars just feel a lot better and handle more interestingly; it’s really something to experience.
The Racers Are Still Morons, Though
That said, GT6 is still a rather stolid affair more about driving the car than racing it. As it’s a sim, the cars act like racers, meaning they tend to get into a line and stay there, waiting for their moment. With more…dynamic racing titles out there, it’s kind of a drag.
In short, it’s a Gran Turismo game; if you didn’t like the series back in the day, very little has changed and this won’t do anything for you. But if you are a fan of the series, there’s some genuine upgrades that make this worth a look.