A few weeks ago, Polyphony Digital celebrated the 15th anniversary of Gran Turismo by announcing the next game in the series – Gran Turismo 6. My initial reaction was one of confusion – “why so soon?”. When I realized that it was being made for the PS3 and not the PS4, I was even more baffled. After going hands-on with the demo that hit the PSN Store in the EU a couple of days ago under the flashy title of “GT Academy 2013″, I proved myself right. This is no next-gen racing game or advancement for the series; it might as well be an expansion pack to GT5.
When you boot the demo up, you’ll notice that the menus still don’t seem right. Gamers complained about the menus in Gran Turismo 5 – they were too busy and slow to use. Polyphony told us that this would change in GT6. Not so. The design of the menus still feel like they’re hanging around in the PS2 era, and the way that you scroll through the options with some sort of mouse makes it appear as though it was designed solely for the PC, yet it’s a PlayStation exclusive. So then, first impressions on the out-dated presentation were poor, but we can look past that if the gameplay itself is top-notch.
Unfortunately, this is where you’ll notice that nothing has really changed at all. GT5 is by no means a bad racing game, but it’s fair to say that it didn’t live up to the hype surrounding it. GT6 feels exactly the same. Of course, this is only the demo so there’s time for changes to be made, but I noticed absolutely nothing new about the gameplay whatsoever. Also, what’s happened to the graphics? The game looks the same if not worse than it’s predecessor and does not run as smooth. GT5 was a fairly pretty game, but if you compare GT6 with the likes of Forza Motorsport 4, it really doesn’t stand a chance.
If you’re not sure if you want to download the demo or not – don’t. Go play GT5 instead – it’s arguably better. I feel like Polyphony Digital are only developing Gran Turismo 6 simply because they had to celebrate 15 years of Gran Turismo somehow, but no-ones going to be dancing at this party. What they should be doing is looking at the possibilities of next-gen consoles, seeing how they can develop their series into something bigger and better, like Turn 10 are doing with Forza 5 on the Xbox One.
I wanted to enjoy the Gran Turismo 6 demo – I want the series to get back on track, but with plenty of tracks re-used from Gran Turismo 5 as well as other racing games, and technical hiccups that somehow make the game look worse than the previous installment, I really can’t see any hope for Gran Turismo 6. As we all know, SONY have done a lot of things right lately, making Microsoft look like fools thanks to E3 2013, but if it’s the best racing simulator you want, the PlayStation is not the place to look.