One of the last AAA exclusives comes to the PS3 and its a shame to many that it has not yet made its way to the PS4. Despite the rise of Forza, it is clear that Gran Turismo is the king of realistic driving games, a crown which it looks to retain.
Gran Turismo is sometimes seen as a racing game. I think this is a mistake. Gran Turismo is not and I stress about racing. The game is about driving and a journey through various cycles in a Driver’s career. From driving in an Amateur League to racing in the Le Mans, the journey is worth it. Each Gran Turismo has captured this essence perfectly and it has this over its competitors. For my money, Gran Turismo 6 is a measured improvement over GT5 yet still has some niggling faults.
Lets begin with presentation and GT6 is beautiful. It is measurably far better looking than GT5. It has little-to no pop in and the textures stay solid throughout. The game is also in 1080i which is really impressive considering some next-gen games have not even hit that yet. There is no longer the obvious noticeable differences between premium and standard cars-the cars all look lovely and I have to say the lighting is stunning throughout. The only flaw graphically that anyone could take notice of is the crowds and character modelling which borderline laughable.
The handling model in GT6 is well documented and received to be the best of its kind. I agree with this. In every racing/driving game I have ever played, the handling model and attention to detail in GT6 is astonishing. It has been light years ahead and is still better than every other game out there. I felt with Forza that the handling system is flawed at high speeds. In GT6, the game manages to be consistent and realistic with its handling.
GT6 is also best played with a steering wheel for good measure. Every driving option can be customised in any car to help gain key advantages on the track. Its a wonderful system and is near enough flawless. The same cannot be said about the a.i in the game. Many times I would overtake a car only for that car to fishtail me resulting in me being disqualified. It has improved slightly since GT5 but it is still flawed and annoying.
There are interesting additions to the game such as the Moon driving segments. This is hit and miss mostly but I enjoyed it. I would be interested in how GT6 replicated the handling of lunar modules. Also making its way into GT6 is the Goodwill Festival. This is also very enjoyable and easy to pick up type of event. In fact, most of the extra tasks and races are enjoyable. There is one event in which you have to drive over 2 miles on the Nurburgring with only 1 litre of petrol.
There is online and seasonal events. The online is okayish-plagued by connections to hosts and the randomness of lag. I for one think Gran Turismo should not support online. It is always about the one driver rather than about competitiveness or racing. Seasonal events are a welcome addition. They rewards players with plenty of credits and can be challenging to boot also.
Gran Turismo 6 is a very enjoyable seamless driving game. Its racing is mostly substandard fare. However, its driving is still phenomenal and near enough close to the real driving experience. Forza has made gains in recent years to catch Gran Turismo but there have been 4 Forza games in the past 7 years while there have only been two Gran Turismo games (excluding GT PSP). When I look at the two, I see Gran Turismo as the love letter to driving enthusiasts. Think of GT as Top Gear and Forza as Formula 1.
While one has the flashier tone and aesthetic, the other has a passion for its field and extreme attention to detail. Gran Turismo despite its flaws still has the edge of Forza as well as other games of its kind.
What is good?
+Lovely lighting and graphics especially for a PS3 game.
+The driving handling is the best in any game ever.
+So much content and things to do. Will serve a gamer for months at least.
+Improved in nearly every way since GT5.
What is Bad?
-Poor a.i at worst and mediocre at best.
-Online is somewhat misguided.
-Bad character modelling and crowd presentations.
-Lacks some of the features in GT5 such as Track Editor, GT TV, special events.
Gran Turismo 6 is a love letter to driving enthusiasts. It is not perfect but is a careful measured improvement over Gran Turismo 5 in nearly every way. The release of the PS4 and Xbox One has diminished the appeal of GT6. I can assure you and any fan of Gran Turismo to stick with your PS3 a little while longer-Gran Turismo is back and it delivers.
Depending on how you look at Gran Turismo, you could either very well love its passion or loathe its racing essence. Despite its racing focus, the game does far better in making driving a reality. With effort and attention to detail found throughout the game, I found myself enjoying this game so much. It is one of the best games of its kind perhaps only bettered by earlier instalments of Gran Turismo. The damaging flaws aside, the game excels in the face of its flaws and delivers a robust driving experience. 9/10