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‘Gran Turismo’ will get you all revved up

Campus Correspondent

Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 22:12

Ever since “Gran Turismo” debuted for the first of the Playstation consoles in the late 1990s, it has become one of the biggest racing game franchises ever made. Its popularity spread awareness of various sports cars around the world, and is said to be responsible for the Subaru Impreza WRX STi and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution coming to American markets. It continues to collaborate closely with the auto industry itself; its creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, designed the instrument display in the new Nissan GT-R, and Gran Turismo’s developer, Polyphony Digital, collaborated with famed French manufacturer Citroën to make the “GT by Citroën” supercar for “Gran Turismo 5.” Without a doubt, “Gran Turismo’s” impact is almost immeasurable.

However, despite its accomplishments, the series has room for improvement. This is especially so since it continues to compete with Turn 10’s Forza Motorsport series for the title of being the best console-exclusive racing game. Gran Turismo’s latest installment, “Gran Turismo 6,” is due for release this winter on Dec. 6 for the Playstation 3. I can only hope that in the three years since the release of “Gran Turismo 5,” Polyphony Digital has had time to learn what the Playstation 3 can and cannot do, as well as what features should be added.

So far, “Gran Turismo 6’s” development has had a good turn, as the game is planned to remove the experience system “Gran Turismo 5.” The controversial system limited players to being able to buy certain cars even if they had enough credits. “Gran Turismo 6” is also reported to have re-combined the “A-Spec” mode where you drive the car like any other racing game, and the “B-Spec” mode in which you train a computer-controlled driver. Now, much like in “Gran Turismo 4,” you will be able to choose between either mode for an event, rather than being forced to go through an event twice: once for A-Spec and another time for B-Spec.

The car list seems to have some very good additions. Some cars from “Gran Turismo 5” have been thoroughly updated, such as the Bugatti Veyron and Lamborghini Countach. Meanwhile, more long-awaited vehicles finally come to Gran Turismo, like the Aston Martin One-77 and the Ferrari FXX. Racecars will also be having a healthy representation, with the addition of the BMW Z4 GT3, the Subaru BRZ modified for Super GT300, and the Audi Sport Quattro S1 Rally Car. However, it seems unusual that it took Polyphony Digital three years to integrate cars like the new Shelby GT500 or the Aston Martin One-77 when “Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit” had them in 2010. Then again, Polyphony Digital pays immaculate detail to their car modeling, and “Need for Speed” has seldom had interior views available for its vehicles. Some hypercar fans will also be miffed when they see that cars like the all-new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta or the McLaren P1 are also not included, though these cars are new enough that it’s unlikely Polyphony Digital had time to render them to a presentable extent of detail. But some relatively older cars that are unusually absent include the cars of Konigsegg, a Swedish hypercar maker, or the iconic BMW M3 E30. The official car list on “Gran Turismo 6” website claims it is subject to change, so it’s possible the list is a mere sampler; more cars could remain unrevealed until the game is released. It is notable that earlier this year, the official Gran Turismo Facebook page posted photos of Polyphony Digital staff taking photos of a Lancia Delta rally car, an Alfa Romeo 155 modified for the German Touring Car Masters, and a P4/5 Competizione, likely for modeling reference. All these cars were likely from the private collection of stock exchange magnate James Glickenhaus. Conspicuously, the photos were hastily removed, rousing suspicion the former two cars will be updated from their “Gran Turismo 5” incarnations for “Gran Turismo 6,” and the latter one being a newcomer to the series. But none of these vehicles appear on the list, puzzling car enthusiasts the world over; only when the game is released this December can we be sure.

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