gThe release of Turismo 5 on PS3 was an important event for the console. It brought true next-gen racing to the console and a deep experience that many sports racing fans were salivating for. In many ways, the GT series helped set the tone for racing games on consoles, that is, until Xbox came into the picture with Forza. Suddenly, Polyphony Entertainment got behind the eight ball and played a bit of catch-up.
The release of Gran Turismo 6 is right around the corner and they’ve done a lot more to keep up. The improvements to the series go far beyond just adding to the racing franchise. There are real improvements in the series, and it will be great to get your hands on all the changes to the franchise.
“Gran Turismo 5’s tedious load times have been reduced and the graphics have been improved several notches. While Polyphony is certainly following its standard development schedule of two games per console generation, GT6 is certainly not just filler in this franchise just to keep up with their release schedule.”
The Gran Turismo series has always strived to create the most realistic racing game possible, and with each iteration released, Polyphony seems to come one step closer. The Polyphony team has been collecting track and car data since the release of GT5 and it looks like it will really pay off for them. According to the developers, they rebuilt the physics engine as well as a complex aerodynamic and suspension system. This brings a much more realistic weight shift as players run around corners and up hills. For example, it’s clear to see how the vehicle transfers its weight from one wheel to the other in the trailers, when the player breaks hard and swings into a corner. This is a much more realistic addition to the game that may not be immediately noticeable, but would be if you went back to playing the older ones on the PlayStation 2.
The developers have done a good job improving the franchise from the ground up. Gran Turismo 5’s annoying loading times have been reduced, and the graphics have been improved several notches. While Polyphony is certainly following its standard development schedule of two games per console generation, GT6 is certainly not just filler in this franchise to keep up with its release schedule. Lead developer Kazunori Yamauchi is probably one of the franchise’s biggest critics. He knows what’s wrong with every game and what he wants to fix in the future. It’s this honesty with himself and his development team that allows for great improvements from game to game.
Not only did Polyphony make changes to the physics, but they also made extensive overhauls to the in-game audio. While that doesn’t sound like a stretch, it’s extremely important. Good audio queues can tell the player how they are approaching a turn, whether they are too fast, too slow, just perfect, or completely over the limit. The developers try incredibly hard to make this game feel like you’re really racing and with a steering wheel and pedals they very well were able to find the formula for the ultimate simulator.
“Polyphony is launching GT6 with full 1080p and 60fps support, giving the feeling of a much faster and more snappy experience. This is a big improvement over GT5. the game, it definitely seems to suffer from a lack of hardware boost on the PS3.”
The polyphony has also done its best to retain things that have worked in the past, while changing many aspects of the game. The driver’s view is something they have improved. With a static camera, they were able to capture the sensation of acceleration and deceleration. While many racing games use various visual and physical effects to control this feeling, making it a radical shift between braking and accelerating, GT6 seeks to make it as realistic as possible. The feeling of deceleration takes time and the player can almost feel the weight of the car as players move through the turns.
Polyphony Digital and lead designer Kazunori Yamauchi are certainly ready to change anything they think needs a facelift. Previous games are just a reference to get things done. They decided what worked and what didn’t. Remember that sluggish control that took some getting used to in GT5? Yeah, Yamauchi and his team admitted that was a problem, without even batting an eyelid either. Changes to cornering weight distribution and more precise physics make it all a lot smoother and a lot more precise.
Polyphony is launching GT6 with full 1080p and 60fps support, giving the feeling of a much faster and snappier experience. It’s a big improvement over GT5. While this is a great move overall for the game, it definitely seems to suffer from a lack of hardware boost on the PS3. The current GT6 demo is working fine so far but there are some issues with it, the game tends to skip or feel jittery at times, especially when leaning around corners with quite a lot of vehicles around him. Although this is relatively rare, players may be annoyed if it is not fixed before release. The good news is that this game doesn’t need to be played at 1080p, and playing at a lower HD resolution seems to resolve frame drop issues.
There really is a lot to look forward to in Gran Turismo 6. Polyphony continues to push the boundaries with every release. Unfortunately, as with every new entry, we may be waiting a bit to see what’s next in the Gran Turismo series on PlayStation 4, but it’ll be worth the wait as there are plenty of differences between Gran Turismo 5 already. and 6.
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