Gran Turismo 6 is not far away, gearing up for launch on 6 December 2013. Sony Computer Entertainment Australia and developers Polyphony Digital are opening up about everything from game modes, to cars, to the interface and more.
President of Polyphony Digital, Kazunori Yamauchi says,
“With the release of GT6, we are celebrating 15 years of Gran Turismo. It has been a privilege to have seen so many advancements made over this period, with GT6 now continuing to set new standards that blur the line between virtual and reality racing. With GT6 we will make it even more flexible and expandable by continuing to develop and add new content throughout its life.”
GT6 will features more than 1,200 vehicles including race cars, supercars, classics and souped-up road cars such the Ford Focus ST ‘13. The creators have reproduced each one in staggering detail (as much as the PS3 engine allows), ensuring that each car looks, handles and sounds exactly like the metal equivalent.
GT6 will also include some interesting vehicles like the Nissan Zero RC (pictured below), as well as the Lamborghini Aventador and Tesla Model S. A ‘drive the future’ project has inspired a number of exclusive cars that will be released for the game periodically over the next year, so 1,200 isn’t the end of it.
The world’s leading car manufacturers such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, along with leading brands such as Nike have joined forces with PDI to create concept models that will give a unique insight into the future of the automotive sector. These cars can’t be driven anywhere else – not even in the real world… yet!
With 37 locations and 100 layouts, GT6 boasts more tracks now than ever before. With the introduction of new tracks such as Ascari, Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Mt. Panorama and Willow Springs, GT6 now has each track recreated to a precision of approximately 1cm from the real thing. PDI has even created a new Gran Turismo Arena, where players can set up their own series of hair-raising challenges and stunts.
New in GT6 is an environmental simulation based on the longitude/latitude position of the track reflects the conditions of real life locations, that’s pretty awesome. While you race the Le Mans 24 Hours, the night-time constellations match the sky from the 2013 race. The environmental changes that happen seamlessly according to the passage of time during gameplay is no longer just a recreation of a track, it’s the simulation of the earth itself.
An upgraded ‘Course Maker’ feature will allow players to create new tracks within the game when it is released through an update. An exciting addition to the functionality will be the inclusion of a new ‘GPS Logger’ mobile app for smart phone devices. Drivers will be able to record real GPS data from their own car and then recreate the route as a track in the game. The ‘GPS Visualizer’ also utilises GPS coordinate data from a real car on the real-life versions of the GT6 circuits. The data can then be imported into GT6 to create a ‘virtual’ replay image of your laps in the game.
For those players who really love to study the finer detail of their performance, the ‘Data Logger’ is something to look forward to. Available in a future update, this feature that will allow you to analyse the replay data that’s saved after driving in the game, with a graph showing speed, engine RPM, throttle input, gear position and steering angles. With all this data at your fingertips, you’ll be able to see where you’re losing time and improve your performance lap after lap.
A new physics simulator, new aerodynamics, suspension and tyre models, and incredibly high-definition rendering mean that the cars look better and react even more realistically with the track. Once you’ve experienced GT6, there will be no going back.
GT6 introduces a variety of game play modes. The ‘Arcade Mode’ allows you to race against virtual competitors, take part in a single player time trial or drift trial, or have two players racing battles on a split-screen format. As more gaming goes online, it’s great to see GT6 retain a local multiplayer mode.
In the fan-favourite ‘Career Mode’ (formerly GT Mode), the player begins at the entry level and works their way through to higher racing licenses, just like a racing driver would in the real world. This is managed by a new star system for GT6, with in-game credits awarded for winning races and, as you progress through the game, you’ll unlock special events, such as an invitation to the virtual Goodwood Festival of Speed.
When you don’t have time for a full race, but fancy sneaking a bit of GT6 into your day, ‘Coffee Break’ events are fun mini games, such as the pylon knockdown event inside a stadium, and the eco-challenge to see how far you can drive on just one litre of fuel.
A revised ‘B Spec Mode’ will be available through an update to give players the chance to show off their strategic wizardry by working to the strengths of their virtual drivers and masterminding the whole race tactics for their team.
The game cover in Australia looks pretty tame, almost boring, but there is one reason Aussie driving fans should get excited, That rectangle in the top left is a specific reference to the Mt Panorama track, also known as Bathurst. With the track being so famous, it’s smart to include it on the cover. So far we don’t see any inclusion of V8 Supercars in GT6 which is disappointing, but experiencing the best track in the country is the next best thing.
GT6 is further enhanced by the deepest online racing experience to date, where the community of players can create their own clubs, chat in forums and organise race events for their members. Groups can choose a closed private club, or an open club that can be joined by anyone. The ‘Open Lobby’ invites up to 16 drivers to race against each other online.
If you just want to start racing right away, ‘Quick Match’ will set you up for a race as soon as there are enough participants. ‘Seasonal events’ will be staged during limited periods of time, with the combination of official races, time trials and drift trials, where in-game credits are awarded to the top finishers.
While ‘Car Dealerships’ display the available vehicles by manufacturer, ‘Featured’ dealers will specialise in cars recommended for particular racing conditions. Once you’ve formed your perfect garage, it’s now even easier to organise and manage than ever before. You can start free runs and change racing gear directly from the garage, and there’s a stockyard for you to store your prized vehicles that you don’t normally use but can’t bear to part with. Meanwhile, the tuning shop allows you to purchase tyres, suspension kits, brake kits, and superchargers using in-game credits, as well as tuning engines and car bodies. The pit service allows you to wash and maintain your car and engine.
For the ultimate petrol head, you can use in-game credits to purchase aerodynamic parts and over 82 types of wheels with 188 variations. More custom parts will be added over time, so you’ll never get bored of the look of your vehicles. Special paint items will be distributed in online events, and wheels purchased in custom parts can be painted to make sure your car looks just how you want it to. There’s plenty of choice for your driver avatar, too. Racing gear can be purchased with in-game credits and 34 types of helmet in 952 colourways, plus 28 types of a racing suit in 852 colour variations, ensures you’ll stand out from the crowd. Special racing gear sets resembling those of famous drivers are also available to purchase for those who wish to emulate their racing hero.
As the Gran Turismo series celebrates its 15th anniversary, GT6 will blast into the shops on 6 December with more depth, astounding ultra-realistic and exhilarating racing action than ever seen before, making the last installment an impressive next step in the illustrious history of Gran Turismo.
More info about GT6 are available at www.gran-turismo.com and a new trailer “GT6 Concept Movie #6 – Start your Engines”.