Gran Turismo 6 is a superb racing simulator with swoon-worthy visuals and a fitting end to the PlayStation 3's year. We took it for a spin...
Gran Turismo 6 is probably the last big exclusive for Sony's current gen – or should that be 'last gen' – platform, the PS3, before the Sony PS4 takes over, but you wouldn't know it from looking at it.
Designed by the developer Polyphony Digital, Sony's flagship racing simulator looks as good – if not better – than some of the launch titles for the brand new consoles in the market. Since one of those titles is Forza Motorsport 5, that's really saying something.
Gran Turismo 6: Visuals
This is to be expected, really, as Polyphony Digital's meticulous attention to detail borders on obsessive. Aside from making sure every panel, tyre tread and underside of each car is as close the real thing as possible, every reflection, every shaft of light and every feature in the environment works to immerse the player in a world that feels real.
It's a testament to how hard the Grand Turismo 6 pushes the PS3's hardware that loading up a race takes about 30 seconds.
Gran Turismo 6: Gameplay
Once you're on the track, Gran Turismo 6 plays its second strongest card; every car feels unique. Once you've piloted a couple of the 1,200 cars available for purchase, you'll notice how each one feels different in terms of its weight, agility and pure raw power.
The fact that this is all conveyed through the DualShock 3 is impressive enough before players start tinkering with features like suspension, tyre types and tune ups, which unveil how deep the gameplay really runs.
Gran Turismo 6: Features
That having been said, the on-track experience isn't exactly flawless. Collision sounds are uniform and visual damage to the cars is still kept to a minimum. The AI is still as undercooked as ever and earning enough in-game credits to purchase some of the most desired dream machines is still something of a grind.
There's also the inclusion of microtransactions, which allow players to pay real-world money for cars. We don't know about you, but the thought of opening our wallet and plonking down cash for content in a game we just paid about 40 quid for grates quite a bit.
That having been said, if you're prepared to grind – and what petrolhead isn't in this game? – Gran Turismo 6 rewards with content that's both varied and fun. Aside from main racing missions, players have coffee break challenges where they can smash through lines of traffic cones or see how far they're able to take a car on just a litre of fuel.
They can head to the Goodwood Festival of Speed to try out vintage and rare cars without having to pay for them. They can even take a spin across the surface of the moon in a lunar vehicle. Yes, you read that correctly: you can go to the moon in Gran Turismo 6.
Gran Turismo 6: Verdict
Like its predecessor, Gran Turismo 6 feels like it's within striking distance of perfection but still needs a little bit of time to get there. That shouldn't take anything away from the fact that GT 6 is arguably the best racing simulator on the PS3 and the only worthy title challenger to Forza 5 in its genre.
Given how good it looks, how well it plays and how much content is on offer, players should feel quite satisfied with this game – and they should also be giddily excited at this series' next instalment.
Gran Turismo 6 release date: Out now
Gran Turismo 6 price: £39.99