Just a few days ago, Polyphony Digital released a new downloadable title, called Nissan GT Academy 2013. The game is "powered by" Gran Turismo 6, meaning that the short demo is really our first look (at least outside of the E3 show floor) at the real driving simulator before the full game goes on sale this coming winter.

With a long holiday weekend on my hands, and access to the first taste of this chapter of the storied franchise just a one-gig download away, I knew I'd have to write up a quick report of GT Academy. Here goes.

Play Notes
  • As the title suggests, Nissan GT Academy is one part Gran Turismo demo, and one part Nissan promotional vehicle. The only cars involved all wear Nissan badges and there are only three of them: a Leaf, a standard 370Z and a race-tuned version of the 370Z.
  • It's that last car – also the fastest one and the trickiest to drive – that you'll pilot through the GT Academy qualifying race. Now in its third year, the Academy will chose the very fastest time-setters and give them a chance to go through a racing school at Silverstone in the UK. Based on my performance so far, I'm in no danger of being selected.
  • Two beginner events – a Sunday Cup race featuring the Leaf and a Clubman Cup with the 370Z – each offer two races and precious little competition from the AI. If you've played any GT at all you'll no doubt win out in all four without having to practice much, as the computer drivers seem to take intentionally slow lines around the course. I threw together a couple of videos of me sloppily hosing the competition, to show you what I mean. (The all-Leaf race has got to be amongst the most hilarious I've yet participated in, especially with the in-game music turned off.)
  • Conversely, the actual qualifying race is super challenging, as it should be. A much stronger representation of the GT6 physics engine seems to be on display here, with extremely realistic handling and touchy inputs on offer with the tuned 370Z. Granted, I was playing with a PS3 controller and not a wheel/pedal setup, which is less than ideal, but the learning curve here is steep and entertaining.
  • Tracks, cars and environments look really nice. I've been playing Grid 2 recently, so the sort of stark reality of the GT landscapes offered a big departure from Grid's light-filled scenes. Overall though, the graphics are really impressive. On the other hand, the score is the same weird sugar pop stuff that I've come to expect (and immediately disable) from the series, and the car audio still sounds a little wonky. The standard 370Z exhaust is hardly audible, while the tuned car roars like a NASCAR whip. Let's hope that all gets sorted before its time for me to buy myself a Christmas present.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      Lachmund
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think the new handling is almost perfect! It's amazing how the new tire and suspension model makes it such a more realistic drive. you can really sense the rubber! When I played it yesterday with my G27 it felt almost spooky. I didn't expect much, just a slightly updated game i guess. But now I can't wait for the game!
      Scott Kemp
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kazunori Yamauchi (the main guy at Polyphony Digital) said during an interview that the sounds in this demo are from GT5 and are placeholders, not representative of the sounds in GT6.
      Scott Kemp
      • 1 Year Ago
      The guy behind GT6 said the sounds in this demo are merely placeholders from GT5 and not representative of the sound in GT6.
      malgu
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can't find it in the playstation store when I searched gran turismo 6?!? Can anyone help?
      Kuro Houou
      • 1 Year Ago
      The worst part about GT is the engine sounds, they are never the real engine sounds. I don't know how they can call themselves a true racing simulator without proper engine noise! If every other car game can do it, GT should!!!! When will they ever get this right!!!
        Dwight Bynum Jr.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        Actually, a lot of the sounds are EXACTLY what they should be. However, the second you change the exhaust from stock, the sound goes to sh*t. Haha! Try this. Drive any STOCK premium Corvette besides the C7. Listen to the exhaust. Now, change to the "Racing" exhaust and watch how the sound goes to crap. This applies to just about every car in the game and I don't get it. I KNOW they know what a V8 or a V6 or even an I4 or V10 are supposed to sound like, because they all sound just about right when they're in stock form. But the second they stray from that, not so much. Sometimes it stays good though. Take the Ford GT (a past cover car) for example. Sounds pretty damn good stock AND with racing exhaust.
      Default
      • 1 Year Ago
      LOL! i find it hilarious that these are demo sounds. There are 3 cars, and 1 is an electric vehicle and they used sounds from their old game??? sounds to me like the GT crew likes cutting corners!
        Lachmund
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Default
        these are said to be placeholder sounds. the still work on the new sound system.
      Lachmund
      • 1 Year Ago
      @ malgu i stangely can't comment on your question directly, but it is a little bit confusing. it should be directly advertised and is simply called NISSAN GT ACADEMY 2013
      sp33dklz
      • 1 Year Ago
      GranTurismo has got to be the worst franchise when it comes to vehicle sounds. Almost everything sounds like a hairdryer, and nothing sounds like the actual vehicles.
        Lachmund
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        strangely the sounds from the outside match much better than the sounds from the inside. that definately sucks and i really hope they change it for GT6
        Jarod Forney
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        If you look at nurburgring videos, which i'm sure you probably do, you will notice alot of actual cars sounds are muffled with a good mix of the environment, This is basically the same for GT5, it's not loud and over dramatic in "sports to econo cars", it's actually what you would hear from a car on a video of a stock car driving, It's not going to be loud and racey, more sporty but silent almost. it People want GT to be loud and dramatic, but in reality, if you hear most cars on the road, it is very muffle due to stock mufflers and the mix of air, it sounds pretty close to GT, but people don't want that, they wont loud and dirty, But, the majority of real cars aren't like that, As for super cars on GT5, they all sound pretty good, 458 and LFA to name a few. they are loud, with a good mix of wind noise. This is my opion though,
        superchan7
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        The Ferraris sounded pretty good, until you put on a "Racing Exhaust".......yuck.
        Dwight Bynum Jr.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        Except... no. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ8yKL-lu6g
      ROLO
      • 1 Year Ago
      it looks so boring...
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ROLO
        [blocked]
      Default
      • 1 Year Ago
      I sometimes wonder about the GT series. I wonder if they really understand what gets people excited. Yeah physics are great and one of the most important parts of a Sim racing game, but one of the greatest aspects of cars and racing is the sounds. They still sound terrible! Even the electric Leaf!. It sounds like the exact same sound clips as the 370z (which definitely sound like they're digitally composed from a vacuum sound clip) except the pitch is turned way up! And no menu music? still the old ps1 menu sound effects? I really find nothing fun/exciting about this series any more... its sad really.
        Jarod Forney
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Default
        It has been confirmed that the sounds in the demo, are place holders, they do not represent the final sounds. http://www.gtplanet.net/gran-turismo-6-engine-sounds/ Just a heads up.
      mbukukanyau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nissan still sells this fat little pig?
      Alex Ingram
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Now in its third year"... In the US maybe, but GT Academy has been running since 2008. Describing the prize as a "racing school" undersells the competition rather, when two of the GT Academy graduates got a LMP2 podium at Le Mans this year.
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