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back to article Gran Turismo 6: Another glossy, gorgeous Mario Kart on steroids

I must admit to being rather surprised when Gran Turismo 6 was first announced. Not because yet another entry into Polyphony Digital’s driving series was a shock, but rather because it was announced for the PS3, not the the PlayStation 4. Gran Turismo 6 GT6: Revved not revised GT6 for PS4 makes rather a lot of sense, you see …

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GT3

Personally I thought that the Gran Turismo series peaked at GT3.

For them to have STILL not fixed the AI of the other drivers is IMO unforgivable.

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Re: GT3

I contend that it was GT2. At least that was the most fun for me. Not overly realistic, but I was far more attached to my cars and setting them up just right than I have been in any subsequent GT. I used to tweak my gear ratios and suspension for every circuit - can't be bothered doing that now.

But yes, as the series goes on, the AI has become a glaring problem. Every review notes it each time but it never seems to be addressed.

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Anonymous Coward

"Out-breaking them on corners"...

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An oblique reference to the classic Gran Turismo tactic of bouncing off your opponents to get round corners?

Admittedly it's been years since I played one. Do they model car damage yet?

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Nope still no damage modelling so you can use your opponents to slow you for the corner while sending them for a spin with no penalty.

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No penalty?

I seem to remember very harsh penalties in GT5. In fact when you pull off that perfect late braking move (not the bounce off to slow down braking) the AI dumbly turns into you and you get the penalty meaning you miss the Bronze / Silver / Gold trophy you were aiming for with that move.

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"out-breaking"

Zombie Al driver outbreak?

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There have always been 2 GT releases per platform (GT and GT2 on PS1, GT3 and GT4 on PS2 and now GT5 and GT6 on PS3)

As for the AI cars they have pissed me off since GT1, making no allowance for player cars at all.

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Sad developments...

When I got GT5 2 years ago (IIRC) it was to get me a game which would get me through the holiday season. My gf was on holiday with her parents during that time, so I wanted some distraction. I bought it mid December and it left the PS3 around the end of February next year.

I used to enjoy it a lot. A spec, B spec, it was awesome. Until they started changing things. Ever since they decided to replace all grid starts with rolling starts I lost the fun in playing. I did run some B-spec races every once in a while (so you let a virtual driver race for you), but that was about it.

But the experience was something I enjoyed a LOT. And when reading this review I think they've made even more changes for the worst. For example; a mandatory first car? What's up with that? What I really liked lot about GT5 was that at the beginning you had no idea what car you should get. That's what made it exciting, that's what made winning the first race a thrill. -Your- first victory in -your- handpicked car. And to me it also gave the game a little bit of a professional feeling. You actually needed to know what you were dealing with.

So yeah, it sounds as if they're simply trying to squeeze more money out of it. I still recall reading those famous words; GT5 would be a "complete" game without DLC :-)

Which is in my opinion the most important reason to wonder if you should get this game now or in a few months (maybe prices have also dropped some more by then): There is no guarantee that the game you buy now will behave exactly the same in 4 - 6 months or so. It could even implement changes which you actually dislike.

So if I would want to buy this I'd definitely wait a few months.

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Sounds

Do the cars still sound like they've been lovingly recorded in 24bit high bandwidth audio, then sampled through a C64 SIDplay mastering suite?

Seriously, the car sounds in every GT game (acceptable in GT1/2, less so onwards) have been pretty awful to anyone who knows cars, or has played a proper hardcore sim like GTR where they manage to get it rather closer to 'right'.

A V12 Vantage shouldn't sound like an SLS AMG - ever - for so, so many reasons.

Steven R

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Re: Sounds

hey what wrong with the SID chip!!! haha best videogame music ever!

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Re: Sounds

Oh indeed. I have the intro/loading music to TurboCharge (track 2 on the SID file) and the image of the Countach in the garage engrained in my skull for life.

It's not really suitable for rendering complex car drivetrain noises, though ;)

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Re: Sounds

"hey what wrong with the SID chip!!!"

Think it was a specific reference to the quality of *sampled* sound (which most sound chips on 8-bit home computers- SID included- were never designed for, and it's clever that they got it to work at all).

The technique apparently used was virtually the same as that I used on my Atari 800XL, and in both cases only gave 4-bit audio. I can tell you now that unfiltered 4-bit samples on my Atari were *very* coarse, grungey and noisy, even compared to 8-bit Amiga samples, and moreso compared to 16-bit CD audio!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bf/Pcm.svg/250px-Pcm.svg.png

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waltz-win in first car: a Honda (yes, really)

Eh, what model of Honda? I wouldn't be surprised if any of the type R family waltzed to a win in the early races.

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Re: waltz-win in first car: a Honda (yes, really)

I once had an old Accord coupe VTec auto that cruised about like an old Merc, but when you put the foot down it is one of the only cars I've ever owned that was proper push-to-the-back-of-the-seat, it saw off many challenges from unaware boy racers in lesser Corsas.

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GT, Forza. Fantastic technical feats but defeated by their own in game aids designed to ensure you can always succeed. For me, nothing has matched the visceral adrenaline rush of Ferrari F355 Challenge on the Sega Dreamcast. Its a shame so few get to know the pleasure of having to play and improve for hours, just to be able to hang on to the rear of the field. The fact there was only one car and the physics modelled so obsessively meant you really got to know, feel and finally master driving the car. The physics so accurate that after much focussed practice you could actually learn how the gyroscopic effect of a spinning engine could be used so you hold a line in through a corner and steer with the accelerator and the fact the physics made it feel intuitively so right, so true to what you expect of the real word. The fact you simply couldn't win on the difficult setting without customising the car set-up for each course and they way Sega provided just the right tools and level of analysis to be able to do so but remain focussed on the main task - racing.

There is nothing you can do in F355 that you can't do or find in GT or Forza, but the framework the sound, the unforgiving nature of the simulation, the way the game improves with the driving aids off. The subtle yet brutal shift in the car chassis relative to the road as you change gear (an effect which GT and Forza unforgivably failed to emulate for years and one which contributed so much to making you feel like you were actually there in the action. GT and Forza always felt sanitised annoyingly smooth after F355). When you can finally overhaul the field and place first, the sense of achievement is unparalleled and provides so much more satisfaction than I have felt playing any graphically or more sophisticated racing game since. The only flaw (and it was a damned annoying one) was a drift bug (at a guess, for performance reasons, the result of simplified bezier trigonometric calculation) which meant that if you deliberately put the car in a drift and caught the right angle, it could be made to unrealistically accelerate around the corner. The angle of drift required to make this happen was unrealistic and unnatural enough that I was able to ignore the presence of the bug and play the game as thought the cheat was not available, but it meant the online leaderboards were, for the purist, entirely pointless (and unfortunately the Dreamcast wasn't powerful enough to support head-to-head online play).

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PC

You should try some of the current crop of PC racing sims. Have a look into iRacing, Assetto Corsa and maybe rFactor 2. They all share a heavy emphasis on realistic physics, and make no excuses concerning the difficulty of mastering them. In fact, a few of those mentioned above can be found (in customized form) running on the simulators for various Formula 1 teams.

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Re: PC

Great tip, thanks. I've been looking for something approaching F355 challenge for a while now. I've never been engaged by the desire to master a game as much as that one. As said, technically Forza and GT have all the ingredients, but somehow the cake they bake is too sanitised and anodyne. Its really frustrating to see it all there on the screen but just not get into it and feel it in the same way as with F355.

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For me, the pinnacle of racing sims was Toca2. I really enjoyed it, the AI seemed believable, and it was great to get a balance between proper racing, not being left behind but not zooming off into the distance either.

Later Codemasters offerings have been more about drifting around some X-Games stadium rather than raking a Peugeot saloon car around Knockhill and Croft.

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Racing Games

You might also want to look at "Game Stock Car 2013".

It's essentially rFactor with a load of mods put together in one nice, tidy package which is being lauded as one of the best sim racing games ever made by a lot of people in the sim racing community.

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Anonymous Coward

Is that the original TOCA 2 you mean or TOCA Race Driver 2? RD 2 was the last great one I'd say, although as a sim, the 2nd BTCC one was the best. RD 2 was lacking in BTCC, but made up for it with the DTM/V8s and more ages of F1 than you could shake a stick at, all very different. Always preferred those ones to GT as you got a proper race, based on a proper race series!

Then Grid came out and I was sickened. Top Gear wankfest, the ridiculous rewindy thing and drifting *spit*. I did quite like Dirt though, they were always good at rallying games.

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Toca2 - Bravo

Well played that man. Toca2 was fabulous.

Angry AI and tricky handling. Not seen the like since.

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Ahh, many misty-eyed memories of belting around that double apex corner at Oulton Park, flat out on a car with minimum downforce. That game didn't _need_ force feedback gubbins to let you know the car was on right on the limit...

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Toca 2!

I absolutely loved Toca 2. It was a real challenge and the damage made it interesting as well. I spent a lot of time learning the courses just so I could tear around fast enough to win and I remember some races coming down to the last lap or two because of rain related mishaps.

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"For me, the pinnacle of racing sims was Toca2"

100%. Still got my PS1 copy and hanging on to my PS2 to play it on. You know, back when Sony gave a shit about backward compatibility and not having to choose between chucking your games or having two consoles under the TV.

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Anonymous Coward

Already blows Forza 5 out the water.

Proper physics, better draw distances, proper 1080p 60FS without needing to revert back to Forza3 style cardboard people and plastic trees.

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JDX
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Negative is positive?

All the negative comments are basically "it's not much better than GT5". But GT5 was/is very well regarded isn't it?

I don't have any GT game other than GT5 prologue so on that basis it seems like GT6 is wonderful... as long as you don't already have GT5?

Or should I use this as an opportunity to buy GT5 cheap?

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Re: Negative is positive?

GT6 physics have been improved after they worked with tyre suppliers and a suspension specialist. Some regard this as a big step forward, others say it makes the game too difficult My experience so far is that it is a step forward.

They've also added a load of new real life tracks with weather and time of day cycles.

It does lack standing starts, the AI has changed but not always for the better and the sounds are still not good (although they say that'll be fixed in a later update).

Personally I quite like it and don't feel I've wasted the money, despite owning all the other GT series games.

It may be worth waiting a couple of months if you're not sure as there are supposed to be a number of major new features being added, like better sounds and a course maker.

I've played the PC simulators and they do add more realism for a race weekend as you get practices, qualifying etc. but the actual physics are neck and neck and the PC sims tend to concentrate on racing cars whereas I like racing cars I might actually buy, or have indeed owned over the years.

Anyway, that's my tuppence worth......

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Re: Negative is positive?

"But GT5 was/is very well regarded isn't it"

GT5 was slammed pretty hard by some reviewers on release, due mainly to the poor UI, long loading times (if playing from disk instead of HDD, and before patches), and its inferior graphics compared to other next gen racers. In fact, El Reg's own Andrew Baily was very critical in his review, although (somewhat confusingly) still gave it a score of 80%:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/03/games_review_gran_turismo_5/

I loved 5, and played it to death. I suppose it depends on how big a fan you are of the series though. If you don't already have 5, you're probably not that arsed so should get it cheap in a week or two when the online retailers drop the price considerably. Or wait until 7 comes out in a year or two and pick up 6 cheaply ;-)

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So, do I buy?

Like JDX, I am a little confused.

The overall "rating" of 70% isn't good, but most everything being said seems to be "it's as good as GT5 or better" in every regard and yet GT5 scored 80% on its review (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/03/games_review_gran_turismo_5/).

Is the lower score because of the reviewers missed expectations, or is it genuinely WORSE than GT5?

Because I don't have GT5, so if I wanted to get one, should it be GT5 or GT6? The review wording seems to say GT6, the scores seem to say GT5.

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Re: So, do I buy?

Presumably the lower rating is because it's being compared to a game that's now 3 years old and doesn't seem to have improved on it in that time?

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JDX
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Re: So, do I buy?

Why would being 3 years old matter when it targets the same hardware? I wouldn't in general expect a new game now to be better than a new game 3 years ago.

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Re: So, do I buy?

"I wouldn't in general expect a new game now to be better than a new game 3 years ago"

I would! On all iterations of the Playstation, the games for the same hardware improve over time, as the developers find clever ways of exploiting more and more power, and find better ways to integrate the game engine with the hardware etc. Once they've squeezed every last bit of juice out of the machine, it's time for the new one.

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Re: So, do I buy?

It depends on what you like.. GT5 & GT6 in the single player game are now nothing at all to do with racing.

In GT6 in every career mode race you start from the back of a single file rolling start. You can't go full speed until you cross the line (15 - 30s after the pole sitter) You then have 2 or 3 laps to get past the entire field to win. Fortunately not only are the AI terribly bad, they also have extreme rubber banding. The will slow down by extreme amounts to make sure you can catch up by the last lap.

Basically PD's simulation philosophy only goes as far as the driving physics & even then there are some extremely odd behaviours exhibited, like cars doing nose stands under braking.

Single player mode is probably the worst racing game / sim ever actually made in terms of gameplay.

It's probably alright if you prefer to play online exclusively.

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FAIL

Snore...

... wake me up when a AAA studio makes something that isn't yet another boring sequel/spinoff, please...

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Re: Snore...

yet another boring sequel/spinoff

Racing game ... spin-off ... I see what you did there. Nice :)

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A joy for the motoring aesthete

It may play just like previous editions but it is just better. I started with the first Gran Turismo on the first Playstation and have queued outside the shop on day 1 for the next edition ever since. I have Forza 4 too on xbox 360 which is quite satisfying as a racing simulation but the graphics seemed rather clunky compared with the previous Gran Turismo 5. also the car physics seemed more simplistic. Gran Turismo is just so much more nuanced - more of an actual simulator - even if the intelligence of the virtual drivers is still questionable. Gran Turismo 6 is just more... beautiful - buy it for the views alone!

PS also worth it for the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb that you get invited to drive ever more exciting cars up as you progress in the game

PPS Was the Carrera RS Touring a boring spin off of the 911? - thought not

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PS4

They will have to be quick on PS4 lest Driveclub steals a march on them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: PS4

DriveClub is more akin to Forza 5 (BUT much better looking). Gran Turismo has always been a driving similator, the previous two arcade racers...

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The first GT (PS1) was on another level. The rest is just garbage cash in. It's not a real simulator as the cars don't get damaged. Even in the races the other cars look as if they are in procession. It's all just too clean. Can't be bothered any more. The one saving grace is the in game music.

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Which were quickly replaced by a selection of my favorite Mp3's....

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Devil

Re: The first GT (PS1) was on another level. The rest is just garbage cash in.

Have to agree there. The first one took racing to a previously unheard-of level of detail. It wasn't just that you could tweak fins and suspension; it was that it genuinely made a difference you could feel through the subtle analogue control, and gentle rumble in your hands as you started a drift. And that you had to pass tests and earn your racing licenses.

Then there was a second one, that just added stupid amounts of fanboi detail to the cars and didn't improve the gameplay one iota. I see it's still going on.

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don't get me started about the euro music on all the GTs... one of the better examples is the GT5 intro demo with Castle over the Moon; at least 10x better than with the emo euro crap music behind it...

don't get scared off by the piano segment; fast forward to about 3mins into the movie if it is too much for you ;-)

Japanese opening: https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DRAAdtEN5hNQ&sa=U&ei=ABazUpqWDYm4yQGxyoD4BA&ved=0CAsQtwIwAA&usg=AFQjCNGA-4NRaNs89Y8tSk0VajYoJ2ovMQ

EU/NA opening: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kwZXleNd3bo&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DkwZXleNd3bo

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Geoff Crammond's GP4.

That is all.

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Let me race

The last GT I bought was 3 or 4, so forgive me if my memory is blurry...

I seem to remember the procedure to race was... select a race>watch the loading screen for ages, but do not stop paying attention, because once the race is ready it will start whether or not you got bored and went to fetch some tea>race, often using other cars to help you make fast corners>loading screen>the first few seconds of a replay>click to stop the replay>loading screen>select a race.

Do they still make you watch a replay after every race? I want to play a game, not perv over a fancy car.

I appreciate a lot of people *do* want to perv over a fancy car, by all means let them, but don't make me.

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Oooh - Ronda, eh?

There's a town I'd love to tear around in an Ariel Atom!

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Waiting for Multiplayer...

has been an irritation and cant agree with the reviewer. A group of us play the multiplayer weekly, which is still great; nice to have new handling physics and courses. Having to spend two hours + racing against the tragic AI when we were all trying ot get online so we can actually play against people did not add to the experience

I personally havent found any of the recent GT's without a wheel and pedals worth playing...

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Re: Waiting for Multiplayer...

I'm waiting for multi-monitor.

GT5 supports 1, 3 or 5 screens (given 1, 3 or 5 networked PS3s). I have 3 and the added feeling of wrap-around immersion it gives is well worth it.

Unfortunately, GT6 doesn't support the same multi-monitor functionality ... yet. :-(

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GT6 a disappointment

Big fan of the series but this release left me wondering why they bothered.

Here are my gripes

- Car cosmetic customisation is crap. Yes I know this is supposed to be a car "simulator" but its also a game. So many cars you cant do anything to them.

- Rolling starts. So far I havnt progressed far enough where any of the races are anything other than rolling starts. They ought to mix it up a bit and have some qualifiers and grid starts at the beginning of the game also. If you are number 8 on a rolling start line up with only 2 laps, its incredibly hard to win unless you start to customise you car so its better than the field.

- Moon racing - WTF? This is just stupid and breaks the notion that the game maker has spent a gizilion hours working on the simulator and comparing it to a real car on the track.

- AI can be really really bad. There is one challenge for a certification where the opponent will rear-end me more often than not. It could be a slight tap but at high speeds on a STRAIGHT its a nightmare. I swear this is worse than before.

- No more Second Hand Car Dealer - I used to like the ability to get an older and cheaper car. It might not be as good as a new one you got from the dealer but it was cool and it was random. I like the online dealership too that added another twist to this.

- 1200 cars - but actually not really. So many are derivatives eg, Nissan GTR, Nissan 350Z/Failady, Mazda MX5, etc all tens variation of the same car. Not even sure I'm asking for more actual cars, I just wish it was more honest.

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Bronze badge

Man how I LOVED Gran Turismo! The first one was what got me to purchase a PlayStation. The second one was on two discs IIRC and one of them you could actually scratch and sniff to get a smell of exhaust fumes!

I have GT, GT2, GT3 A-spec, GT Concept, GT4 Prologue, GT4, Gran Turismo 4 BMW 1 Series Virtual Drive and GT5 Prologue.

So GT5 came out and to be honest I was thoroughly bored with GT up till then - the AI is stupidly annoyingly unreactive and it doesn't feel like you're actually racing anyone. Hell, the AI in Daytona USA was far more lifelike! So I didn't bother getting it. Got Need For Speed Hot Pursuit instead, so so so much more fun.

GT6 isn't going to change my mind.

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