5 Things Gran Turismo 6 Needs To Succeed
Posted on Saturday, May 18 @ 10:48:17 PST by Jonathan_Leack
Gran Turismo 6 is real. Unbelievably, it's going to make it out of Polyphony Digital's garage without a dreadful 5-year development cycle. As usual, it's a game that faces some extremely high—probably even unreasonable—standards, and will be scrutinized for every fault.
We're excited to see what the sixth game in what is the most impactful racing series in history will do to take the series to the next level. However, there's no getting around the fact that it's going to have to combat some skepticism following the most disappointing release in the series, Gran Turismo 5. It wasn't the award-winning game that fans have become accustomed to, and its faults, although small in number, were significant enough to lead to its 84% Metacritic score.
So what does GT6 need to succeed? There's the obvious stuff such as improved visuals (above you can see the game's new adaptive tesselation which provides realistic characteristics for objects such as leaves) and better menu articulation, which are certainly receiving attention from Polyphony Digital, but then there are the things that you may have forgotten about since last time you played GT5. They are critical details that mean the difference between GT6 being a great game and a phenomenal game. Below is our list.
Forget 1200 cars, we want premium
It's been announced that GT6 will feature over 1200 cars. That's cool, but many of us who played GT5 know better than to fall for the deceptive numbers game. After the first hour or two of being broke and forced to drive a lousy standard car that was nothing more than an upscaled PlayStation 2 car, many of us never looked back. Not only did they not have cockpit views, but they were very obviously ported from previous releases in the series. Furthermore, we were stuck with just over 100 premium cars while ignoring the other 900 except in extreme circumstances.
Polyphony Digital is addressing this by getting in as my premium cars as possible, but no number has been announced. All we know is there are 1200 cars, and there's no telling how many of those exist simply to pad the number of cars. I know I'm not driving anything but premium so as far as I'm concerned the true number count is unknown.
It's not broken, don't fix it
GT5's physics model was its greatest asset. Sure, games like Forza and Need for Speed have great new features and accessibilty that Gran Turismo hasn't provided, but if you're a car enthusiast then the simulation found in GT5 has remained unparalleled since its debut in 2010. Visually, the game goes above and beyond the call of duty with every car's interior and exterior impeccably modeled. The feeling of sitting in a Ferrari 458 and racing through Nürburgring is blissful, just as with its real-life equivalent. For someone like me who doesn't ever expect to make $1 million a year GT5 is the closest thing to driving a supercar every weekend. And don't pity me because with a racing wheel GT5 is an adrenaline-pumping blast.
Online without the headaches, please
GT5 was the first in the series to integrate an online mode, and it showed. Where to begin? Merely getting into an online game was a challenge due to a a clunky interface and lag issues. Early on in the game's lifespan there were significant problems with balance which were later remedied with the Performance Points system. Once in a game, managing the lobby was a hassle. I never thought it could be so annoying to communicate through text chat or change the track. You couldn't even hop into any car in your garage, you had to favorite the ones you want to use in advance.
Additionally, the entire experience was bare-bones. You didn't feel like you were progressing in any manner and modern qualities such as being able to display your individuality with personally-designed paint jobs or customizing how you compete weren't in the game at all. If GT6 wants to be a game that appeals to anything more than car enthusiasts in the long-run, it's going to need a sophisticated online mode.
Those Seasonal Events are a great idea
I still find myself coming back to GT5 years later for one thing and one thing only: Seasonal Events. Their unpredictable and rewarding nature makes them an absolute joy to engage in on a regular basis. For those who aren't familar, they're essentially custom races hand-designed by Polyphony Digital. Sometimes it'll tell you to race a stock Lamborghini Gallardo on a certain track, while other times it'll tell you to use an Infinity G37 to pull off the best drift possible. Each of these have a Gold, Silver, and Bronze goal which provide tons of credits if you can achieve a high score. Plus, there are leaderboards to keep you retrying the same event until you perfect it, something racing fans can become very addicted to. It's a lovely integration for the Gran Turismo universe and one that, if even more refined, can be a huge selling-point of GT6.
For the love of god use performance points to balance races
I smashed my way through 95% of the GT5 A-Spec Events by using a car that my opponents couldn't keep up with. It wasn't that I was a cheater, it was just that the amount of investment needed to get a car that's equally competitive in each race was more work than it was worth. As such, most of my enjoyment in GT5 came from the Special Events, which had defined rules, and custom races where I could enforce a fair race.
A Performance Points (PP) system was added in a patch months after the game's release, and it was exactly what the game needed. It added a way of balancing Seasonal Events, online races, and more. If GT6 wants to be a game that evokes the same thrill of racing in real life, the Performance Points system or an equivalent needs to be taken advantage of.
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