Gran Turismo 6 review (PS3): a garage full of fun, but the opposition is sadly lacking
The latest in the series goes up against Forza 5 - but which is the better racer?
With 100 track layouts in 37 locations and more than 120 beautifully rendered new cars, taking the number of motors in the latest version of the PlayStation's 15-year-old racing franchise to some 1,200, Gran Turismo 6 could stand accused of driving a path of quantity rather than quality.
Were it not for the game's gorgeous visuals, a realistic physics engine and incredibly responsive steering, such an accusation would stick. But GT6 provides the blistering speed demanded of racing sims while drawing on years of research.
The developers have closely analysed the dynamics of the Chevolets, Mercs, Lamborghinis and assorted other inspiring vehicles and ensured they are perfectly replicated, even if balancing sometimes feels a little off.
One of the first things you notice is GT6's approachable and redesigned user interface which excels and makes the playing of quick races an effortlessly stab through the options. The game is also full of surprises (including, ridiculously enough, some moon racing).
At times it feels like there has been an attempt to pack in as much as possible, perhaps to distance it from other games such as Forza Motorsport 5, against which comparisons will inevitably be drawn. There is the promise of additional cars over the next year, mini-games in career mode, variable weather and a feature for the real life tracks called the Astronomical Simulation System which uses the longitude and latitude position and simulates how the sun sets, for instance.
Yet letting the game down very slightly is its AI which is woefully simplistic and should have benefited from greater attention. It was a similar issue with GT5 – something that so many fans and reviewers picked up on at the time. This is a game that needs more intelligent Artificial Intelligence and it is poorer without it.
Collisions are also lacking in satisfaction. They fail to dent your handling and cars do not suffer bodywork cracking damage. Then again, it doesn't want to be that kind of game. It wants gamers to feast their eyes on vehicles so realistic and well lit that you question this really is a swansong last-gen release rather than something that is striding confidently on the PS4. With an online mode that allows players to produce their own clubs and compete against each other, GT6 is one hell of a ride.
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