Well the Gran Turismo 6 demo is out and this time it’s giving every gamer a chance to battle in the GT Academy 13 Tournament straight away, we have played the game and we were happy with it but not too impressed either.
The demo starts you off with a cool introduction video into Gran Turismo 6 and the GT Academy and then you are instantly put into the Silverstone circuit where you witness the pit crew checking out your Nissan 350Z. At a first glance of the games aesthetics you notice the graphics of the crew and the pit stop it self are pretty poor and seems extremely out of place from not only current racing games but also Gran Turismo’s usual super high polish, their is absolutely no excuses here in my opinion, Polyphony could have easily added more detail and poly’s to the pit crew to increase the sense of immersion. Before your race you get little popups which appear on the bottom of your screen with messages from past GT Acadeny winner Lucas Ordoñez, it’s implemented well in a way where it doesn’t become too bothersome and will give brief help to newcomers of the game, however some serious GT fans might find it rather annoying.
After a casual lap of Silverstone you are brought to the main screen where everything takes place, you have your garage, gallery, dealerships, beginner events and finally the important Special event GT Academy to choose from. Before you can race in the Academy event you are asked to buy a Nissan Leaf which you will race in the Sunday Cup event at the Suzuka Circuit for a total of 2 races, I found these races extremely boring and a really bad way of showcasing Gran Turismo. No one wants to race a 60mph electric car around a track in a video game, its dull, also it just seemed like rather rash product placement to me. Before a race begins you get your usual settings where you can adjust your traction control, ASM, ABS, steering sensitivity, driving aids etc, it’s all really similar to Gran Turismo 5 which isn’t a bad thing really as it works well and is super easy to understand. You then have your clock, track distance, weather and more to glimpse at before you begin.
Once you’re done with the extremely boring Leaf race’s you are asked to buy the hugely superior Nissan 350Z from the dealership and are then put in the Clubman Cup at the Grand Valley circuit, this is when it get’s a little more fun and challenging but sadly still stays kind of easy for even the mildest Gran Turismo veterans.
After both of these events you can finally enter the GT Academy which takes place back in the Silverstone circuit. You have 5 sessions to choose from, 4 sessions are short runs of certain points of the track and the final session gives you a chance to race unlimited timed laps around the circuit to compete in the world tournament. Each session also has the usual gold, silver and bronze cup awards for your times which we see in every Gran Turismo game. The initial 4 sessions are definitely recommended as it gives you a good way of learning the turns on the track and the fact that the GT cup element is in place as well makes you really push each turn to eventually get gold thus making you proficiently learn the track for your final full lap timed session. This is not only smart by Polyphony but also brilliant for the gamer to get more confident at racing around the track and then finally hitting the timed laps feeling skilled and ready to compete.
Now, the most important element which is the actual racing, sadly Gran Turismo 6 plays very similar to its predecessor as it just doesn’t feel like that much of a step forward and some fans definitely will be disappointed just like they were with 5 but a few elements are in place that make it the best Gran Turismo game yet. The first is sense of speed, if you’re doing 60mph while racing you are really blown away when you eventually hit 120mph in your vehicle, this new game has definitely achieved what a lot of other racing games struggle to, the difference from one speed to another is brilliantly noticeable which really gives the player that sense of immersion into the racing experience which makes this version of Gran Turismo already better than 5. Steering also is absolutely spot on this time, going through chicanes just feels like slicing through butter thanks to the excellent analogue sensitivity, it’s literally perfect. Finally tinkering with the traction control and ABS settings is joyous as usual, no other racing game provides the authenticity and pure fun as much as having TCS set to 0 than in this game.
The cockpit view is also present again in Gran Turismo 6 with more detail than before but it’s still a little too dark for my liking however if you want the best out of realism this is your number one view choice when playing the game. The demo overall is short and fun, the lap times recorded on the online ranks are already pretty insane but trying to get even a 10th of a second closer to them is a blast.
So in conclusion is Gran Turismo 6 a huge step forward from the last game? The short answer is NO, yes some changes have absolutely perfected certain racing elements but in my eyes this game at the moment feels like GT 51/2 not 6, also at the moment the graphics are just bland, I am hoping the full game proves me wrong!
What’s your verdict guys, we would love to hear your thoughts of the demo, especially from fellow GT fans.