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Gran Turismo 6 demo impressions

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From a distance, Gran Turismo 6 looks familiar to its predecessor. Throw in the assumption of the newer version inheriting the cars and tracks as well, and the idea is starting to push some people away. The GT6 demo was released Tuesday that provides a good scope as to what to expect in November. It's not until delving into the actual game where difference and enhancements will be noticeable.

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The GT Academy has released a tryout for the past few years. Players can post lap times to advance on and potentially win a spot on the team. This is incorporated at the end of this demo. Initially starting the demo, there is a tutorial where a former winner of the contest guides you through a lap around Silverstone National Circuit in a Nissan 370Z. During this lap, you will notice the changes in lighting along with the feel of the new physics engines.

Once complete with the tutorial, the game takes you to the overhauled menu. It's quick, responsive, and has fast access to the options menu by way of hitting the Start button. There are two cups that can be participated in that feature four tracks. The first cup will take you to the Autumn Ring Mini Circuit and the short Suzuka circuit. You will race a Nissan Leaf, and this is where a big difference is noticed. The sense of speed is so greatly improved that I had to double check what I was driving and what the speedometer said. Doing 70 truly felt like doing 70.

Moving on to the second cup, players will drive a Nissan 370Z on the Grand Valley East and full Autumn Ring circuits. High speed cornering feels great as the car will bring players to the brink of breaking the rear end loose. The car leans in and out of corners, and is shown off well in replays. Breaking and shifting have to be done appropriately, or the car will get loose.

There are clearly things that remain the same, however. Engine sounds are still the same, even though it was revealed at E3 that this is looking to be addressed by release. The A.I. is more or less still there. It maintains the racing line and bumping off the cars still exists. The demo featured no damage, but the final version will feature the same damage model as GT5.

More notable enhancements in the demo includes quicker load times and a more detailed HUD. The load times are so improved that you will be scared to go back and play GT5. The HUD is much more legible and has little nooks such as tire degradation level.

Polyphony clearly had a base model to work with this time as compared to GT5 being built from the ground up. For a demo, this is a pretty hefty demo that helps give a solid idea of what to expect in November. Improved visuals and game-changing physics will look to help in separating Gran Turismo 6 from its predecessor.