Gran Turismo 6 Review

Main: The thrill of Gran Turismo 6

The game is not yet fully ready. Even after the first patch, which appeared on the very first day and added multiplayer, seasonal and new special events, Gran Turismo 6 is far from completion. And even considering that in the coming months custom tracks and related GPS data recording should be added, as well as – which sounds quite doubtful – improved sound effects, which are also mentioned in the plans of Polyphony Digital, the game is unlikely to seem like a finished product.

In the foreseeable future, the same picture will be observed in Gran Turismo 6: fierce collisions reminiscent of a careful touch of two boats in a quiet backwater, and a pack of roaring GT3 engines resembling a herd of wheezing vacuum cleaners. And the already limited damage system of Gran Turismo 5 has been further reduced – the visual consequences of a crash at a speed of 300 km/h are no scarier than a spilled glass of milk on the car, and in offline races, collisions do not affect the behavior of the car.

The vinyl sticker editor has disappeared, and although the overall variety of car modifications has increased, most of the changes are hidden under the hood and bodywork. Moreover, the game does not have a mode built on dynamic user leaderboards, and this is three years after this component became mandatory for games like GT6.

Racing through the tracks

Choose the right angle and Gran Turismo 6 will look phenomenal.

But there is a lot of other things. Gran Turismo 6 is an extensive, ambitious automotive reference book, a desperate hymn to driving and a encyclopedia of the automotive world. Sometimes, its scale is simply overwhelming.

Within one short hour, you will storm the Goodwood Hill in a luxurious leather steering wheel of a Renault Alpine A110, chase around the Silverstone lake on a nimble map, and visit the Moon, crossing the crater of St. George and heading towards the Hadley Rill canyon on a lightweight lunar rover.

Yes, you can drive on the Moon. The series has never suffered from a lack of eccentricity, but the problem with Gran Turismo 6 is that these quirks are too aggressively noticeable, creating an unfair impression of a soulless game. However, the problem is not significant. The single-player mode, for the first time in the recent history of the series, follows an expressive and diverse course through a solid layer of content, often offering distractions and relaxation from the main routine.

The AI in Gran Turismo 6 noticeably differs from the previous games in the series, but whether it is better or worse is hard to say. The drivers will behave aggressively, holding their trajectory or seeking a more advantageous position. Now, more often, you will have to patiently drive behind, waiting for the right moment to overtake, rather than simply crashing into the opponent on a turn.

But there is another side to the coin – the comical effect of rubber-banding, created for the illusion of competition. And this illusion works, but you will too often find yourself in a situation where, losing 6-7 seconds on the last lap, miraculously catch up with the opponent and be able to claim the lead. It is nice to feel like a racing hero, but it quickly becomes tiresome.

The main essence of the gameplay has not changed much – a group of events scattered across several leisurely unlockable classes. Players are rewarded with stars for their achievements – finally, the ideas of mobile games are used correctly – and they help unlock new championships and new classes. And in Gran Turismo, the license tests have returned, they will be the final obstacle to transitioning to a new class – although now they are more lenient trials.

But what really changes everything is what is added on top of the basics. Coffee Break – small, one-time events: throw the X-Bow into a pile of cones or stretch the remaining two liters of fuel as long as possible on the Nordschleife. But there are also more substantial modes. In Mission Races, you are given a car and the task to overtake the same car on a section of the track, there are events that recreate the Apollo 15 mission or provide the most prestigious cars for a short thrilling trip through the possessions of Count Mark in Goodwood House.

A high-speed competition

Reverse gear is not tied to the triangle for the first time and can be engaged by the gear lever. A small but significant victory.

From West Sussex to the Moon and almost everywhere in between – the list of tracks in Gran Turismo 6 is astonishing in its scale and is perhaps the most comprehensive collection among racing games. Alongside popular tracks like Bathurst and Brands Hatch, there are also pleasant surprises, such as the little-known private track of Ascari, whose infinitely diverse technical route runs along the Ronda mountain range.

Of all the tracks, Brands Hatch is my favorite, and not just because of our close acquaintance in real life. The slopes and inclines of the narrow track serve as the perfect testing ground for the new control system of Gran Turismo 6. At the foot of Paddock Hill Bend, you will feel how the suspension compresses under the load before ascending to the pinnacle of Druids, and the descent to Graham Hill Bend will become a master class on “How to calm down a disturbed car.” Through the Kent forest, to the bumps of Hawthorn, Westfield, and Dingle Dell – a trio of right turns that are best taken in one smooth motion – the track inspires you to perform complex maneuvers, reproduced with the help of springs, shock absorbers, and skillful pedal control.

The sense of weight and center of gravity – this is where Gran Turismo 6 excels, and what is impressive is that this feeling is preserved in each of the more than 1200 cars. Behind the wheel of a Nissan GT-R, you will feel how quickly the car brakes with its insignificant mass, but when the center of gravity shifts to the side, you can only hope for the best and hold onto the steering wheel tighter. And on the soft springs of a Lotus Europa, you can easily shift the weight in different directions, like a cat lazily playing with a ball of yarn.

The fact that this model works in all cases – whether you want to cut laps in a RUF Yellow Bird or take a ride on the Deltawing at dawn – turns Gran Turismo 6 into an exciting, all-encompassing perspective for anyone with even a drop of gasoline running through their veins.

The game with a solid steering wheel – of which there is a decent amount and various models from Fanatec, Logitech, and Thrustmaster have proven themselves quite worthy in our tests – puts the control model from Polyphony on par with serious computer simulators like iRacing and rFactor. On the gamepad, the situation is not the same – the old DualShock 3 justifies itself quite well, but the control cannot be compared to what Turn 10 has achieved with the new Xbox One controller.The main thing that the first 1.2-gigabyte patch added was multiplayer. Strangely enough, it seems like it was cut right from the release. The preliminary version 1.00 was supposed to have quick matches, but they were no longer available in 1.01. There are still lobbies created by players from all over the world and accessible for viewing through a browser, which, like everything else in Gran Turismo 6, is pleasant and easy to navigate.

Good job, because there are many settings here that you can delve into for a long time. Events can be customized across multiple disciplines – from drifting to free driving and from fun rides to serious races – in rooms that can accommodate up to 16 players. The system is friendly and undemanding, although it puts a lot of work on the players themselves. They have to set parameters for the participating cars, and there is still no simple way to know what exactly you will encounter when entering a room.

When everything is up and running, the mode works stably and reliably, with no hint of the problems that were present at the launch of the online service in Gran Turismo 5. So, good foundations have been laid, but – like in the whole game – this is only a small part of what is planned for the future. Soon they promise to make a faster way to get into an online race, as well as a community section, which is currently completely absent – we are waiting for the January update.

But the Polyphony engine can be compared in many ways to what we see in next-generation games. The series has always been known for attention to detail, but in Gran Turismo 6, the studio has put its heart and soul into working with lighting. The reflections on the car, illuminating the forests of the Nürburgring with the rays of the midday sun, create a frighteningly realistic scene that is beautiful in its own way. Maybe it is far from Naughty Dog’s cinematic fantasies, but it is equally impressive for the capabilities of the aging Sony console. As the swan song of the PlayStation 3, it is a wonderful tribute to the departing generation.

But in this lies the shortcomings as well, considering the diverse history of the console. The quality is not constant, and although the authenticity of some standard cars – whose legacy dates back to Gran Turismo 4 – has been improved, the game still reminds you as many times of the PlayStation 2 level as you deceptively put it on par with the PlayStation 4.

Exploring the world of GT6

At the end of each race, a checkered flag is waved in front of you. Here, this guy does it – my favorite flagman since the time of the supermoon-walking superstar from OutRun 2.

The echoes of the next-gen are manifested in Gran Turismo 6, and in a different way – in microtransactions. Polyphony at least had the foresight to separate them from the game itself – if you didn’t know anything about microtransactions in advance, you might not even notice them. The economy is mostly identical to Gran Turismo 5 – prize cars are not given out as generously, but the profit has accordingly increased, and the prices for cars have remained at the same level.

However, this does not mean that there are no problems here. The economy of Gran Turismo 5 already worked poorly, which Polyphony admitted late with the implementation of seasonal events with increased income, which quickly became the main source of credit acquisition. Seasonal events have returned, but now the profit from them is meager, which means that players will have to take a very long time to reach the final stages of Gran Turismo 6. This time there was an opportunity to plan the balance in advance. The problem is acknowledged, judging by the introduction of fast tracks for real currency, but the solution is not the most attractive.

Gran Turismo 6 is both beautiful and spoiled at the same time, but it seems to be the fate of the entire series. This gives it a special charm: if Forza, with its impeccable shine and talent for drama, imitates the world of Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson, then Gran Turismo is more like Denis Jenkinson, a correspondent for MotorSport, who slept with a Rolls-Royce engine at his feet in his dilapidated cottage in Hampshire. He was glowing with enthusiasm, which flowed haphazardly through his scruffy, dirty beard. And I know for sure who I would prefer to spend a Sunday with.

After 15 years, Gran Turismo continues on its path, remaining a simulator, as exhausting as it is grand, as frustrating as it is intoxicating. Its main elements are an order of magnitude more stable than its predecessor, and in terms of the sense of excitement that four wheels bring, despite its flaws, it is magnificent, exceptional, and practically incomparable. It is not complete, and it will not be – Gran Turismo 6 will only remain a game where Polyphony will try to express its epic ideas as widely as possible.

Gran Turismo 6
Racing, Multiplayer
Sony Computer Entertainment
Polyphony Digital
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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