EB Games Expo 2013: Gran Turismo 6 Impressions

Being primarily an Xbox gamer, I have never played a Gran Turismo game before. Therefore, I was excited to see what made the series such a high seller by playing the soon to be released Gran Turismo 6. Unfortunately, I did not come away impressed.

The first thing I noticed about Gran Turismo 6 (GT6) was how dated it looked. Games coming out on the PlayStation 3 still look amazing, even on aging hardware, but GT6 looked like it could have been made early on in the PlayStation 3’s life cycle. The environment looked jagged and the cars did not have that finished and shiny look that most racing games are able to produce now. I am surprised that I have to write this because the trailers for the game have looked stunning. It’s quite possible the build we were playing had not been optimised visually yet.

The track we raced on was the newly announced Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit, which is located at Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. Mount Panorama is a difficult track, but very fitting considering the demo was at an Australian Expo. The track was laser scanned, providing racers with a replica of the track to race on – including various sponsor signs placed on corners around the map. It’s a nice touch that shows the support for Australian fans.

This was not what my play session looked liked.
Much like the Forza Motorsport 5 demo, I choose a McLaren P1, because why choose a slow car? The control method we had to use was probably not the best for novice racing fans like myself and many others there. We were forced to use a proper steering wheel and pedal configuration, which turned out to be more of a burden than anything. The steering wheel was extremely sensitive at some points, and barely sensitive in others. On corners you would have to turn the wheel almost until it was locked to one side or you would just hit the wall. However, on straights just the slightest touch would send the car spinning out of control and onto the sand.

Gran Turismo 6 does look like it will be a great simulation for hardcore racing fans. When picking up speed down Conrod Straight, my car started to shake and it wanted to move from side to side, much like what would happen if a car was actually going at those high speeds. I have never experienced that in a racing game before. It shows that Polyphony Digital are dedicated to providing an accurate experience for those who love the sport. Similarly, I saw someone who was driving well around the top of the mountain lose it on the straight because he could not control the high speeds either.

I feel my dislike of my Gran Turismo 6 experience was due to external factors rather than the game itself – mainly the steering wheel and pedals. However, there is potential for Gran Turismo 6 to be a fabulous game for hardcore racing fans – it’s just not my kind of game.

Gran Turismo 6 is being developed by Polyphony Digital and will be out on PlayStation 3 on December 6, 2013.

Stay tuned for more Sony coverage from the EB Games Expo, including PlayStation 4 impressions.