Growing Up Gran Turismo: Part 7

It was only three short years between the release of Gran Turismo 5 (GT5) and the release of Gran Turismo 6 (GT6). I say short for two reasons. First, the gap between Gran Turismo 4 (GT4) and Gran Turismo 5 was six years, so the time frame here was cut in half. The other reason is that Gran Turismo 5 still had downloadable content being released in the beginning of 2013.

It’s no real surprise then that Gran Turismo 6 felt more like Gran Turismo 5+ than an entirely new game. Being on the same generation console platform meant there wasn’t a huge breakthrough in graphic quality and the game itself didn’t have many groundbreaking new features.

Full Menu

Shadow Racing

Although the total car count was over 1200, many of these cars were still standard which were basically holdovers from Gran Turismo 4. This meant the interiors were still just shadowy outlines and the exteriors were not as graphically detailed as the premium cars. In fairness, GT6 did have more premium cars than its predecessors and some of the standard cars did have upgraded looks to bridge the gap between premium and standard.

There were some fun new cars added with GT6 like the 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, 2013 Pagani Huayra, and 1984 Ferrari GTO. Later download packs would include new machinery like Mario Andretti’s 1948 Hudson race car and the BMW M4.

The car modifications were more involved, including some vehicle-specific aero parts. It was still not as advanced or inclusive as a Need for Speed game when it came to car customization, but it was better than previous Gran Turismo titles.

Tracking the New and the Old

The track count for the game was around 30 total with various layouts topping 100 configurations. Diehard fans like myself were ecstatic to see Apricot Hill and Midfield Raceway return. I was always a huge fan of Midfield, so I was pumped to get to race it again. Aside form fantasy tracks, plenty of real-world tracks made their debut in GT6 including Mt. Panorama (Bathurst), Brands Hatch, Willow Springs and Silverstone.

Around 2015, a much-hyped feature was finally available that allowed users to create their own tracks via a special mobile app. It allowed players to log a route on road, racetrack, or wherever, using GPS tracking and then convert it into a racetrack in game. People were immediately adding homemade versions of other popular real-world tracks.

Vision Gran Turismo

Perhaps the most memorable addition to Gran Turismo 6 was the introduction of the Vision Gran Turismo program. Nearly every manufacturer in the game created a special concept car for GT6. Some GT Vision cars were completely outlandish fantasies while others were actually turned into real life concept cars. Notable vehicles included the Mazda LM55 and the Chevrolet-Chaparral 2X.

The Chevy was a futuristic car, worn almost like a suit of mechanical armor. It was driven down the road using light beam propulsion. The Mazda LM55 was rooted closer to reality, inspired as a modern-day successor to the legendary 787B Le Mans Gourp C car. It even featured a modern rotary engine of course.

Special Modes

GT6 featured the usual career mode, but with a minor twist. Instead earning trophies to advance a player’s progress, they were rewarded with stars. Three stars cleared a race, but one star could still help advance a player’s career to a lesser degree.

Many special modes were available, some catering to racing fanatics while others were downright bizarre. The Ayrton Senna tribute was terrific, following the superstars storied career and allowing players to drive a few of his cars throughout various points of his life.

The world-renowned Goodwood Festival of Speed was also available, complete with a replica of the hill climb course. I loved this mode. I would conduct mini Goodwood Festivals and run cars up the course to see which achieved the best times. Like, what’s faster; Andretti’s classic Hudson or a Toyota Yaris? Only one way to find out…

And then there was the crazy, crazy, Lunar Exploration mode. Basically, players drove the lunar rover on the moon. It was quite interesting, because driving too fast would break the rover into pieces. So, speed plus cation was needed to complete this challenge.

Pour One Out for My Homies

For all the fun new cars, tracks, and modes added, Gran Turismo 6 did lack two items I grew to love with GT5. First, there was no more online Shuffle Mode, which was a shame. It was a great social racing format for those that wanted a quick pick up and play racing mode.

My other minor gripe was with the B-Spec mode. Although I appreciated that players could use B-Spec in any career race (a great way to grind money on the endurance races), the stable of B-Spec drivers was gone. No more player-controlled racing team with unintentionally ridiculous names. No more racing your team against your friend’s.

But seriously, other than these two gripes and the fact so many cars still had the shadowy interiors, Gran Turismo 6 was a great game. It just wasn’t fantastic like Gran Turismo 4 or Gran Turismo 5. I can’t wait to see what Gran Turismo 7 is like.

*- Photos Courtesy of Gran Turismo

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