WeView: Gran Turismo 6

Polyphony Digital like to take their time with a game. Gran Turismo 5, as flawed and brilliant as it was, took what felt like forever to hit the shelves, so maybe it was inevitable that Gran Turismo 6 would arrive days after the PlayStation 4. But was it worth the wait?

To some extent, the first thing that Gran Turismo 6 needed to do was to create a more cohesive and logical menu system, and that it did with style. Where GT5 was a mess, GT6 restored order and ease of use.

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Thankfully, the changes went a lot deeper than that, with a new physics model and more realistic tyre and suspension behaviour that took what was already good and created new foundations on which Polyphony can build future games. They also added a further selection of cars and brought us new and exciting tracks race on, with more extensive use of some wonderful day-night cycles that really push the PS3 to its limit.

But for all of the changes, it still held onto some of the same core flaws. The “Standard” cars are still everywhere to be seen, even though the worst have been improved and there are more “Premium” cars to choose from, while the dull AI made the single player racing more a tedious chore than a challenge. There was also comparatively less content at launch, though with plans in place to add more bespoke challenges and events over time, and some questionable changes to the amount of money you can earn from racing that added a degree of grinding to the game.

Just as with its predecessor, though, I felt the positives outweighed the negatives, as I summed up my review:

Gran Turismo 6, at its simplest, takes the foundations of GT5 and improves upon them. Some areas have seen bigger shifts than others, with the AI and career difficulty the main sticking points for me. However, when there is so much content on offer, with a host of new cars and tracks, major changes to the physics and graphics, and it only promises more, it easily outweighs the existing flaws.

But with the PS4 arriving just ahead of GT6, it’s a game that many will have missed out on. Some would have felt let down by GT5 and not tried it, while others will have found themselves selling their PS3 to fund the next generation. For those that did buy it, what did you think of GT6? Did it do enough to improve upon GT5 and to hold your attention in a shifting market?

As per usual, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Simply leave a paragraph or so with your general opinion, and then end it with a Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It or Avoid It rating on the end. Get your comments in by Sunday, and we’ll try to include them in next week’s verdict round-up.

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16 Comments

  1. GT6 is the reason I didn’t mind the lack of big launch titles for PS4. In hindsight I should have waited and picked up a Second Son bundle as I’ve been largely ignoring the PS4 in favour of GT6 for weeks. The menus are much better, the variety of events like the moon missions, Goodwood, and the Red Bull series keep things mixed up and the new tracks are fantastic, especially Brand Hatch and Silverstone.
    The AI is still dodgy though and starting you at the back of a rolling start all the time is annoying, a good start is a big part of racing. You often have to build your own challenge by choosing a car that isn’t too much of an advantage but, even then, the other cars are just annoying rolling roadblocks and if the best AI car starts at the front, it has an unfair advantage while you fight through the pack.
    The only real challenges are the time trials but, fortunately, there are lots of those and quite a wide variety with missions, licenses, and seasonals.

    The physics is where this game shines though and that is sublime. Playing this with a wheel and pedals is bliss and shows why Gran Turismo really is peerless.

    • Doh! Always forget to say this bit: BUY IT!

  2. I’m not going to rate it since I haven’t actually played it but wanted to say one thing. For some reason I’ve never quite been able to fathom, I never actually felt like this was a proper GT release. Always felt more like it was a gap filler. Anyone else feel that way?

    • I’m with you there, ever since talk of a next gen version started (pretty much immediately after GT6 was announced) I’ve rightly or wrongly written this off as a filler. It’s totally unreasonable to do so I admit, but I have all the same.

  3. Well, having about 80% of the trophies I think I can give a valid review – well, a few comments, anyway.

    First, there is – at times – iincredible rubber banding going on. The leader heads off into the wide blue yonder for the first few laps, then inexplicably slows down for the last lap or so, suddenly lapping about 30% slower. The only challenge in such races is beating your own lap time, as the leader’s sudden intake of lead – or alcohol – destroys a fair challenge.

    Some of the cones challenges – such as the one for the International A Licence – is just too hard for me; I’ve got gold in everything else for this licence but I just can’t get through the cones fast enough.

    Two more thoughts…
    Moon driving: great fun! Goodwood racing – mind them walls!

    Buy it – possibly more of a bargain bin deal, especially if the rubber banding will alloy you!

    • It’s not really rubber banding. That technique speeds you up if you are lagging, this game doesn’t do that. The AI is poor though. If you are in the same model as them, you will annihilate them. They seem to get round that but starting you at the back which feels like a bodge really.

  4. I’ve not played this, I played the first 4 games and enjoyed them, the licences always frustrated me a bit though, would of liked an option to skip those but they were needed to unlock the tougher races. I wonder how Driveclub will compare when that releases.

  5. It has a lot of improvements over GT5 not least the points mentioned by tef in the article, although we have to remember that GT6 is still evolving and development is only really at around 75% release.

    I’m sold on any Gran Turismo game without even seeing any review or preview ever since being mesmerised by the original and stunning Gran Turismo 1 playing on my PS1, was totally hooked from the off!

    Have to agree with people though that after GT4 the AI seems to have been dumbed down to daft levels and I, like most seasoned racers, had to create our own challenge by going in underpowered.

    All round though it is a cracking game and being the behemoth virtual simulation racer that it is has to merit a very deserved BUY IT from me!

  6. It’s a BUY it from me, but you knew that already, right?

    Here’s why:

    It is the best Gran Turismo by far in one key area. The driving. The car handling is way, way ahead of any other console driving game. It strikes a lovely balance between hardcore sim and yet still playable for most people. A leap forward.

    In nearly every other aspect, there are improvements for the series, but it still lags behind many other games in the smaller details. Despite an much cleaner interface, there are times where it still feels like an Excel spreadsheet to navigate.

    The main problem with GT6 however, is a lack of racing events. This combined with silly AI means you will breeze through the main game faster than an Enzo does 0-60. However, you know that Polyphony have a stream of content coming in the next months, so part of the problem will be eradicated. As for the AI, the vast online options mean you can continue playing with far more intelligent racers!

    Flawed, yes, but brimming with character.

  7. I got this on release, a week after I picked up my PS4 & it still bugs me it wasn’t on PS4 but I digress.
    From the opening movie which really sets the tone in my opinion, to the first look at the new, vastly improved menu’s, you know this is both GT & a huge improvement over 5. The first few races are really easy and you can really feel the new engine and physics work, as a driver, you can tell it’s a vastly different beast to how 5 performs.
    I still play this nearly every day & with just the longest distance driven to get for platinum, I’ve had my monies worth already. I know there are some that consistently complain that updates & dlc are taking too long but with so many great tracks and over a 1000 cars (ok less if you discount the myriad Miatas & GTR’s) it’s hard to get bored. As others have said, Goodwood & the Moon sections are a nice addition and in the case of Goodwood, a real challenge too.
    For me, it’s a buy it but already it’s available for £20 or less so also fits into the bargain bin category, either way, if you like a driving/racing game every now and then & you still have your faithful PS3 connected, do yourself a favour, get this & enjoy the experience, it’s the pinnacle of PS3 racing games.

  8. Great game! Buy! I am going to buy 2 extra copies, so I can go multiscreen again.

  9. I’ve loved Gran Turismo since I first played it so it was a given that I was gonna get this one. I pre-ordered from GameStop and got the 15th anniversary edition. That came with 25 cars all with the 15th anniversary livery. And it was a wide array of cars so I didn’t have to waste money buying grocery getters to compete in the novice and national B series, which was nice.
    As for the game I love it. The new physics engine is great. The new courses are awesome and, like others said, the special events are a nice touch. I also like the coffee breaks and mission races. Unfortunately, those and the license tests provide the only real challenges as the AI is really bad.
    I got the Platinum on this pretty easy. In fact, it’s by far the easiest platinum I’ve ever come across.
    There is one major ccomplaint I have and that’s the kart races. While they’re a novelty that I’m sure some people enjoy, I absolutely HATED the races in the GT Arena. I could not, for the life of me, keep that infernal thing from spinning out. I’m not exaggerating when I say I took me 15 hours to beat that one race. I really don’t think they should be mandatory to complete the game.
    But, all in all I loved it. And even though I got the Platinum I still play every day or so. The seasonal events provide new challenges and I still like to get out there and trade paint!

  10. As has already been said by freezebug I will buy any GT game regardless of review or comment by another source. GT6 added to my desire to hold off on a PS4 purchase and even though there is still very few games that I want on the PS4, I know if GT6 had have been a PS4 release I would be a PS4 owner by now.

    This however was my first real disappointment of a GT game. As Tom said the driving is much improved, the cars feel more responsive and accurate to handle but aren’t too easy to master. You can push to the limit but easily step over it with a lack of concentration. However this is where the game stopped being an improvement over GT5. Yes the menu is better but using a torch to navigate through a swimming pool of treacle at night would be an improvement over the GT5 menu.

    The AI is GT6’s (and pretty much every GT game so far) major flaw, the opposition might as well be on rails. They still ram you out of the way if you make a late (but fair) move, out breaking them and then suddenly BANG!! As I don’t get chance to attend (m)any of the TGMEMs, I have to race offline a lot and sadly the poor AI has meant I haven’t played GT6 for about a month, possibly more.

    The licenses are fun but still not as engaging or as challenging as previous iterations of the game. I like the comparison to your friends, but still I don’t know if they were trying to get the best time or just ticking a box to move on through the game at the fastest pace possible.

    I would say BARGAIN BIN IT as it is around £20 new… so does that count as a bargain bin choice?! I wouldn’t pay £45 for it… thankfully I didn’t.

    • Oh and also I’m hoping/expecting MASSIVE improvements in GT7 (especially the AI) otherwise I might be a DriveClub convert (if and when it comes out).

      • At the moment Drive Club is already winning… in the competition to be the most delayed.

      • Ha, yup!

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