A recent Gran Turismo 6 trailer focuses on the time transition and astronomy effects in the game.
While the footage certainly looks pretty, and has some very cool effects, surely these are the wrong priorities for a racing game.
Will racing enthusiasts really care about night accurately transitioning to day and vice versa? Unless players are interested in taking part in the 24-hour Le Mans, I don’t think they will get a chance to see the full effect of this graphical addition.
This is equally true of the astronomy effects, why are these features important in a game about driving faster than your competitors?
In another trailer, Sony teased the ability for racers to drive a Lunar Rover on the moon. Can I race the Rover across the moon against fellow astronauts? No? Not interested.
All of these effects occurring above the track have little impact to the events on it, and that’s my problem. Polyphony has lost sight of what makes racing games fun. Gran Turismo 5 was a soulless and tedious game. It was incredibly boring and offered no reason to play it for prolonged periods. The AI of Gran Turismo 5 was lethargic and pedestrian. The fact that you had to wait hours for the game and its updates to install and eat away at your hard drive was just another point in the list of complaints.
We have seen very little in the way of trailers showing how intense the action will be on the track to keep us entertained playing GT6, one month before the game is due to come out. Kaunori Yamauchi is one of the most passionate game developers there is. He is an extraordinary car enthusiast and studies them to obsessive-compulsive levels of detail. The problem is, his level of appreciation for these cars borders on worship, meaning the thrill of driving is removed because any negativity achieved through crashes, aggressive AI or risk-taking is removed.
Take Forza, for instance. For a long time the Forza series has captured the essence of the thrill of a race, the sense of speed. Every second on track is a thrill because at any moment you could be the cause or victim of a spectacular incident. I haven’t felt this way about Gran Turismo for a long time.
My concerns are born out of the fact I am such a huge fan of the series, and am very concerned by the shift in focus to all things except racing. Hopefully, my fears will be put to rest come December 6, and all the stars align.