Monday, January 13, 2014

The problem with GT6

First, let me say that I absolutely love this game. The friend ghosts, driving dynamics and physics, the graphics- all excellent. Car selection is pretty good. Car upgrades could be better, but that's OK. And the fact that it provides transmissions according to the factory setup, such as the CVT when you're racing a Prius (I know, right? Racing a Prius?!) instead of artificially giving it a manual transmission that it isn't able to be equipped with from the factory, another point in the realism realm.

So, what's not to love? The racing setup. Given that (so far, as I'm not all that far into the game) the races are a rolling start, with no qualifying runs and it starts you at the back of the pack, the races essentially become a game of chase down (through traffic) the guy they gave a ten second head start. With the relatively short races, two or three laps each in the first part (like I said, I'm not that far into the game, only up to the third tier of races), that equates to having to run four seconds faster per lap, through traffic, than the leader, who gets to run ahead without traffic.

Fun for a while, but the game becomes a game of fixing up your chosen car to the point that it's way better than the competition. You can't run races with equal competitors since you'd be unable to catch them, and you'd always lose. That's the problem with GT6, and something it's lost along the way with the GT franchise (I've owned them all, from the original Gran Turismo on the original Playstation to the latest, but only on a PS3, as I don't own a PS4; I also was an early adopter of the Test Drive series, playing it on a PC AT clone with a CGA monitor- while that was a fantastic game for its time, driving simulations have come a long way since then!). You can't have a challenge due to a driver and cat who matches you; the challenge is to be so much better that you can win a three lap race when the other guy gets a ten second head start.

All that said, I still love the game. In fact, it's paused as I write this blog post on my phone, and I'm going to get back to it now.

And just in case you haven't seen it yet, check out my ACA song video, which I had a ton of fun doing with my boys.