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
Gran Turismo 6 is a strain on the seven-year-old hardware, and as such, graphical issues have cropped up which detract from an otherwise gorgeous looking game. Shadows in the game tend to flicker and move or looked pixelated and a large amount of technical “jaggies” are present, which can ruin the look of some cars. There is also times when trackside objects suddenly pop into view when driving by, which is jarring to see. If these issues aren't present or don’t stick out like a sore thumb, then this a wonderful looking game that runs well for the most part with only minor framerate drops; some may be more sensitive to framerate issues than others.
The opponent AI is better than in previous games, but it’s not enough to say that they are a real challenge if you have a good enough car. They do move off the racing line and try to overtake more, but for the most part, they brake more often than necessary and don't seem to push as much as any real driver would. For any real challenge, you have to have a vastly inferior car to everyone else, which isn't good enough.
The number of tracks in GT6 is good and the variety of them is great also. All of the tracks in GT5 are here, including the added DLC tracks, with the exception of the Top Gear test track, due to a broken deal between Top Gear and Polyphony. There are new tracks too as well, such as the returning Apricot Hill, which debuted in GT2. Here, it has been made more undulating with higher rises and steeper drops. It also feels a bit wider than it did in the past. The best newcomer is definitely Brands Hatch, which is a fantastic showcase for the new handling physics. There are tracks that could still be included from previous games, particularly Midfield Raceway from Gran Turismo 1, that haven't which would be nice to see come back.
Other features from GT5 return as well. Photo Travel, which allows you to take pictures of your cars in various locations, has returned. Also back is the much loved feature which came in the 2.00 update from GT5: Seasonal Events. However, unlike in GT5, the payout is not anywhere near as generous. Though, that is surely because they don't want players getting too much money so quickly after starting the game.
GT6 also has online multiplayer which is largely the same as it appeared in GT5. There is now the option of qualifying before a race and saving your lobby settings so that they can be used later. The options themselves are quite vast, and they allow to select everything: tires, power, drivetrain, allowed tuning, to even specific cars, and many more options.
There is also local split-screen multiplayer for two players, but it’s rather basic. You can only pick tracks and cars that are unlocked on the account you're playing on or from a pre-selected choice of cars; these same options apply to single player arcade mode racing too.
For everything that included in GT6, there is also quite a bit that isn't. The GPS track maker isn't here, nor are the Sebastian Vettel Red Bull X2014 or the Ayrton Senna events. B-Spec mode has gone AWOL too. These will come over time, as the improvements to GT5 did but with the PS4 now here, you have to wonder if the updates will be as constant as they were for GT5. The same goes for patching support and DLC; Polyphony know that there can't be a long wait for a Gran Turismo game on PS4 like there was for the PS3.
Gran Turismo 6 is the best in the series to date. It improves on many areas that have held the series back, but it still has lingering problems that should have been a thing of the past, which isn’t a discredit to what Polyphony Digital has achieved here. For the PS3, this is the end of the line in terms of big first party games, and it’s a solid ending. GT6 is one of the PS3's final swansong.