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Hands On: Gran Turismo 6

Once again into the driver's seat.

Gran Turismo 6′s current gen platform might have been a surprise when it was revealed a few months back, but after a couple of hours in the driver’s seat (literally, Sony had provided several dedicated cockpits with the best wheel and pedal setups you can buy) it all makes perfect sense.

Sure, it’s visually some way off the likes of Forza 5 (which is stunning to look at) but where it counts – the handling – nothing else comes close to replicating the feeling of driving so accurately. Not that GT6 looks poor, it doesn’t – it actually looks smoother and better lit than the last game in the series – but it’s clear that this is about as far as the PS3 can go.

The demo offered up a glimpse at the new game’s menu structure – still busy, but much clearer than GT5′s confusing mess – and a smattering of events. Most of which were locked down to GT Academy style track segments and a couple of entry level races in Nissan Leaf cars, but thankfully there was also a set of time trial courses and a good chunk of cars to try out.

Among the trio of Silverstone circuits were a couple of brand new tracks: a twisting mountain range called Matterhorn and an open, dusty desert environment housing the Willow Springs raceway. There were also some old favourites to drive around – Grand Valley East, Autumn Ring, Suzuka. I found the Silverstone track accurate but slightly soulless, the most impressive and challenging was Matterhorn, which seemed to click no matter what the type of car, offering up sweeping undulating curves and a few nice straights.

The cars were the usual mix of Nissan favourites (including the cool DeltaWing concept) but it was the addition of the X-Bow that provided the most thrills – incredible acceleration (the car is so light) and tight cornering meant you could throw the thing into almost any bend and it’d still come out straight. For some reason the dashboard cam halved the framerate in that car, but it was still fun to drive.

The physics definitely feel tighter. Whether it was the refinements to the suspension or the wheels I’m not entirely sure (and a limited time with the game, dotting between cars and tracks isn’t the best way to test it out) but you could definitely feel the back wheels losing grip more through the subtle (and something rather forceful) feedback on the wheel.

It’s never going to be possible to fully model the experience of driving without actual contact with the road, but Gran Turismo 6 certainly attempts to do so with some degree of success. Going from GT6 to DriveClub was a sobering experience – Polyphony know how to do simulation – but going back the other way was startling. You can just drive the way you normally drive, and in GT6 it just works.

So whilst Gran Turismo 5 might have disappointed some with its clunky menus and a good few patches needed to get the game running smoothly, at least GT6 can hit the ground running. If Sony have fixed the career structure and boosted the fidelity of the important cars (we’re still expecting plenty of ‘standard’ models even though there were obviously none on display at E3) then this version will definitely be the superior racer on the platform.

It’s got competition of a different sort now though – with at least two dedicated next-gen titles releasing at around the same time and a selection of third party cross-gen games like Need for Speed, but for enthusiasts there’s really only one choice, and that’s Polyphony’s all-encompassing behemoth. I had great fun with the game, going back to it repeatedly in Sony’s media room, and look forward to seeing more.

16 Comments
  1. teflon
    Community Team
    Since: May 2009

    This game gives me the Matterhorn.

    (sorry)

    Comment posted on 13/06/2013 at 18:05.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      User banned

      Comment posted on 13/06/2013 at 18:07.
    • freezebug2
      Member
      Since: Dec 2008

      Pre-order boner?

      Just guessing what BM might have said said before the ban :O

      Comment posted on 14/06/2013 at 09:43.
    • Sillyseason
      Member
      Since: Jan 2013

      Please don’t judge e3 footage.Microsoft faked it all. Pre renders, over spec 360s and high end gaming PCs running the Xbox one demos

      Comment posted on 15/06/2013 at 21:58.
  2. bunimomike
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Lovely article, Peter. Interesting to see what can justify GT6 in the first place and it appears they’re doing their best to bring something lovely to the ageing PlayStation. Saying that, I’m very happy to see stiff competition as it means PD have to concentrate on not just a simulator but a bloody awesome racing experience too.

    I’m desperately trying to stay quiet but I can’t. Wouldn’t it be “better lit” not “better lighted”? Don’t beat me, boss! :-)

    Comment posted on 13/06/2013 at 18:09.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Sorry, Al! I’ve read so much stuff with you and Peter at the top of the article… duh! :-)

      Comment posted on 13/06/2013 at 18:17.
  3. hol
    Member
    Since: Oct 2009

    The one game potentially stopping me getting a PS4 at launch! Been playing GT5 pretty much non stop since it launched & this’ll be the only game to stop that.

    Comment posted on 13/06/2013 at 18:16.
  4. cam the man
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    I wasn’t expecting any standard models cars in GT6 but if there are it won’t stop me getting a copy, graphics aren’t everything it’s the handling that counts.

    Comment posted on 13/06/2013 at 18:23.
  5. Germanos
    Member
    Since: May 2011

    Day one purchase for me ^^

    Comment posted on 13/06/2013 at 19:02.
  6. tonycawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    I really enjoyed gt5 but won’t be getting this. Can’t help but think they’ve made the wrong decision bringing it in ps3,all my gaming cash will be going towards ps4 then. If the ps4 had backwards compatibility then I’d probably get it.

    Comment posted on 13/06/2013 at 19:26.
  7. Broonba
    Member
    Since: Mar 2009

    Day one purchase for me also. This and GTA V will be the 2 games (this year) that’ll have me putting my PS4 to the side and plugging the PS3 back into my telly. Incidentally, has the release date been revealed for this title??

    Comment posted on 13/06/2013 at 20:39.
  8. JBoo
    Banned
    Since: Oct 2011

    This comment is hidden.

    Comment posted on 13/06/2013 at 21:01.
  9. JaffaMan24
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    Looks stunning! But then again so did GT5 in it’s trailers which sadly didn’t necessarily match with the gameplay (arrrghh the shadows!!).

    After spending sooo much time just grinding in GT5 I will be giving this a miss and skiping to the hopefully inevitable GT7 on PS4. GT5 needed a huge injection of fun. It was obvious they’d missed the fun point when you look at the Top Gear track. The track is there but that’s it! Where’s the reasonably priced car? where’s Beat the Stig? Where’s the challenge to match the real life lap time in the same car? Not exactly rocket science to come up with just a few fun things to do and that’s on one track!!

    Complete 80 billion laps in an mx-5 or finish first in 3 laps from the back of the grid on a rolling start in a badly tuned Lotus with greased tyres was not my idea of fun I’m afraid.

    As said above, GT6 so late in the PS3′s life is a mistake. The Last of Us will be the last game I buy and play on the PS3.

    Comment posted on 13/06/2013 at 22:45.
    • freezebug2
      Member
      Since: Dec 2008

      Don’t forget that GT6 is being developed on a brand new engine and from what’s been shown so far it looks almost next gen.
      Regarding the Top Gear test track v’s real life lap time, we did have that online academy Time Trial against David Coulthard at the track, although we did need more of this type of event.
      The MX-5 endurance race was a bit over the top with 4 hours at Tsukuba, but I only managed 75 billion laps so not so bad as your run :P

      Comment posted on 14/06/2013 at 09:41.
  10. Sillyseason
    Member
    Since: Jan 2013

    The menus and awkward navigation are my only complaints with gt5. It’s graphically better and physically superior in every w at top arcade racer forza.

    Comment posted on 15/06/2013 at 22:02.

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