Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

A Grumpy Old Man’s Review of Gran Turismo 6 for PS3

GranTurismo6At 39 years of age, I am far too old to care about video games. I love cars, though, which I am much too poor to enjoy as much as I’d like.

Luckily for me, it’s cheap to drive the most exotic cars on the world’s most incredible tracks in video games, which is why I have been playing Gran Turismo since the very first version came out way back in 1997. Racing simulators have come a long way in those years.

As soon as I found out the latest title, Gran Turismo 6, was coming out I pre-ordered it on Amazon. I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival, and it is finally here.

Unfortunately, Polyphony Digital have shipped, instead of a brand new iteration of the game, a shiny round piece of excrement indistinguishable from a game disc until it is played.

Gran Turismo 6 is realistic. So is doing taxes. Neither is fun.

Part of what has made the previous titles so fun is that the driving is so forgiving, read: unrealistic. Grab a hugely overpowered ridicumobile, slap some super soft race tires on it, and go flog it around a track. If you head into a corner too hot, no big deal, the magical tires will save you.

Or, if you’re feeling a bit roguish, just time your turn properly and carom off a hapless computer opponents car, completing your turn at breakneck speed and rocketing ahead for the win.

That’s what was such great fun about GT5: the craziness. In GT6, the developers have made a massive push for realism, insisting that the first car purchase in game is a Honda Fit RS. Wait. They made a RS version of the Fit? …but why? Well, no, they haven’t yet. But they might.

The Hodgson Racing #69 Miata
The Hodgson Racing #69 Miata
I don’t want a Honda Fit RS. I want to buy a Miata just like I have in real life and see how far I can get with it, just like I did in GT5. Too bad. You’re gettin’ a Fit.

Gone also are the super fun and unrealistic magical soft tires. I have raced through nearly half of the game at this point and I’ve yet to get to drive on a single racing tire. Realistic? Sure. Fun? Nope.

Even the special events and license tests are performed on road tires. Cars slide all over the place, hit barriers, spin. Any of these means you have to try again.

Again, this is absolutely what would happen in real life, but I don’t want real life from my video games. I want fun.

Gran Turismo 6’s multiplayer is terrible

I have played through the game as far as I have because I wanted to try out the multiplayer. I thought maybe the game could be salvaged with some crazy fun racing against other people. Nope.

Choosing a game is just awful. Many of the choices in the list are only for cars you don’t own, or only for friends of the game host, which you aren’t. You don’t find this out until you’ve already joined the game and sat through long loading screens.

On top of that, the default audio settings have other people’s microphones turned up way higher than the sound of your car, so you get to listen to some idiot teenager burping and talking on the phone. At least one idiot will have a hot mic on, meaning it is transmitting his every rustle and racial slur, but you might get lucky. There could be two idiots.

I managed to join a race and I hated it

I joined a game called “Clean Street Racing for Fun,” and waited, irritated but trying to enjoy myself, through all the loading screens. I selected a car that would work with the host’s game requirements, my trusty Miata, and got ready to race.

I did a few practice laps and got some decently fast lap times, so I started fifth on the grid. Everyone else had exotic supercars, but this race was in the wet, so most of them spent all their practice laps sliding off course. The timer counted down to the start.

Five… four… three… two… one… GO!

I hit the gas, changed up to second gear, and was immediately drilled at locomotive speed from behind by one of my fellow players. My car flew off course and the entire field of 13 other cars drove merrily by as I rebounded off guard rails. Mad as hell, I regained control of my car and headed off to catch the field.

I caught them again at the end of the straight, intending to slam into the same car that had hit me, but instead I zipped straight through his car as if he were a ghost. I guess the game decided I was going too fast to be realistic. I shot off the track into the runoff area and finished second to last.

It makes sense that there’d be a rule that you can’t be going too fast and slam into people, but where was it when I was trying to honestly race?

If you want a realistic racing sim, try iRacing

iRacing is a realistic racing simulator for the PC. The graphics aren’t good, but that’s not the point. The point is to have a hyper-realistic racing simulator that appeals to racing drivers.

A console game should have excellent graphics and should have just enough realism to make it fun. Gran Turismo 6 is made for the aging PS3, so the graphics are okay if you don’t mind some performance hiccups and long loading screens. Those used to be worth it for the fun gameplay, but they got rid of that.

Don’t buy Gran Turismo 6.

One thought on “A Grumpy Old Man’s Review of Gran Turismo 6 for PS3”

  1. falkor

    the monetary system in this “game” stinks. It would take 950 hours of racing the initial payout races to earn enough for a 20mil car, and there’s too many crapy cars that NOBODY wants to bring to a track.

    if, when i buy a game, i am buying all its content. with gt6, i have spend hundreds or thousands of hours just to unlock a fraction of the cars available.. this is absurd.

    the tires: very good point.
    what track on this planet has “street tires only” as a rule ? the devs at gt6 are insane to leave that out,
    and really, they kept the “you gotta change the oil” crap in it too… comon, might as well ad tire wear, clutches going out, brake pads, coolant, gas (which never runs out), diff/tranny fluid, light bulbs from hitting a guard rail, etc…

    most of this game is a giant waste of time, and that will show in its sales, and i just wish the devs would wake the f*** up.

    i cannot get over that there isn’t a QUALIFYING lap at all….
    they might as well call this game a ‘qualifying simulator” b/c i just can’t stand having to start every race at the back.
    imagine how much more play time would be created to just have a single qualifying lap or two… at least i wouldn’t be blocked by 11 cars before every race, (some with only 1 lap) and the AI is not realistic.

    they slam into me, and i fly off the map… i ram them, and they dig into the tarmac and keep on going…. what about red-or black flags ?
    what about clipping corners ?
    there’s a few maps that i can easily cut huge corners and zero penalty.

    imo they need to
    -use qualifying laps to get a better starting position
    -allow any tires, and change them during the series events without having to “pit”
    -make the AI cars fly off the road when they ram me, or make them turn into a ghost
    -allow test drives prior to buying them
    -allow all cars to be attainable (i barely have 50 cars from gt5… there’s no way i will ever be able to afford a 20mil car here in gt6)
    -use the rule (if you want to earn a fortune in racing start with one ) and give all new players 1-5million credits
    -allow ANY car in the 1st race
    -remove all the stupid cars (you know them, seriously there’s 19HP cars in this game…what possible reason is there to drive a 19hp mazda, or some wwII VW ? the devs just wasted their time
    -remove all the lame crap in the begining…

    i just see so much waste in this game… sure there’s a thousands plus cars in the game, but really 200 miatas, or 30 prius’s is just completely stupid… grant us a few version and allow us to tune them into anything (like rally, hillclimb, or full race, ) then you get more time to work on the dynamics of the game, and not just cookie cutter crap.

    i will NEVER re-play 99% of this game, and only want to drive a few select cars in a few courses that i will eventually race on in real life… or wish i could (like nurburgring, in a few months) but mostly pike peaks, and a few local courses i will put into the game… that part might be good, but the rest of it… really, is just mind blowingly dumb. To think you could’ve had the best game with high replay value, and made it one of the worst i’ve ever played.

    this game was just about to be a dust collector when the 20mil glitch surfaced, and saved it a bit (but still not enough).

    Gran Turismo needs to get back to basics.