Gran Turismo 6 Review: one of the final swansongs for PS3
- Posted December 10th, 2013 at 13:22 EDT by Paul Kelly
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Gran Turismo 6 is the best in the series, but it's not perfect. It's as good as it gets in terms of racing games on the PlayStation 3; no game comes close in terms of car count, track variety, or handling physics, even if the vehicle sounds are still off.
- Excellent car handling
- Improved Career Mode
- Much faster menus
- Car still sound terrible
- Noticeable graphical problems
- Too many car duplicates
Moving from event to event is much faster in GT6 than in GT5 thanks to the redesigned menus and shorter loading times, which make navigating the game much less of an irritating experience. One other change for the better is that License Tests are once again mandatory to progress in the game unlike in GT5. However, instead of ten tests, there are only five, making them less of a pain.
The race events themselves are various and are based around different types of cars, from front-wheel drive cars to turbocharged ones and even go-karts. Yes, go-karts. Performance points, an indicator for a car's general performance, are a requirement for every race event in GT6, and you have to make sure that your car is within the limit in order to be able to race. If your car can't match the opposition, then you can go and upgrade it in the Tuning Parts store or by pressing the Start button and hitting Car Settings. Here, you can buy upgrades which will alter your car in different ways, from improving its handling to making it quicker in a straight line to making it easier or more difficult to drive. This system works the same as it has through the history of Gran Turismo.
Also in this section is where you can buy different wheels or spoilers for your car, wash, clean or rebuild the engine. You can also re-paint your car a different colour if you so wish. You can also buy different race gear here, too, to give your driver a more distinctive look. The prices of these vary, where the cheapest are the helmet and overalls of Top Gear's enigmatic 'tamed racing driver' The Stig. Whether or not that's a jab at their coziness with a certain other racing series or not is unknown. On the other end of the price spectrum is a special outfit added in the 1.01 update, which is that of F1 legend Ayrton Senna from his 1988 championship winning year at McLaren. It’s yours for 500,000 credits. Sadly, there’s no sign of the MP4/4 car that he won with in the game as of yet.
Being on a track in Gran Turismo is where the heart of the game is and is where GT6 is at its best--and worse. The best of GT6 is the new handling physics, which make the cars feel more lively and exciting to control. Cars will now oversteer when lifting off the accelerator when going too fast into a bend and the curbs and bumps are felt more severely than before, making getting the cars onto two wheels or even rolling it that much easier to do. Keeping the default driving aids on makes the feeling of cars neutral and switching them off is advised if you want the most from the game.
Unfortunately, the sounds that the cars make are still the Achilles heel. They are just awful and sound a lot like vacuum cleaners most of the time. It's mind boggling how Polyphony has yet to address this since it has been a problem for some time. Another problem is related to the hardware the game runs on: the PS3; the anticipation for a PlayStation 4 version is high.