The first vehicle you unlock without having to spend any of your hard-earned credits is only a go-kart.

Gran Turismo purists will probably be expecting this kind of grind, but newcomers will quickly be alienated by GT6 when other racing games are happy to put you behind the wheel of a kickass sports car within minutes.

The suspension modeling is the most immediately noticeable change.

Progress through your career is gated by a new star system and by the traditional GT license tests.

There are six categories of races, each requiring a certain number of stars to unlock.

Night racing, on the other hand, is spectacular, with gorgeous lighting and detailed star-filled skies.

There is, however, an unfortunate side effect to the entire simulation: the frame rate.

Everything that's good about Gran Turismo is here, and so too, unfortunately, is the bad. GT6 gets you straight into the action with a Trackday lap--a first for the series--by putting you at the wheel of a Renault Clio RS at the new Brands Hatch circuit.

There, you're taught driving basics, such as how to use a racing line and zip around the track.

For the most part, cars are stunning, both inside and out, but on the track, you can definitely tell which of them are updated versions of GT5's standard models.

These cars have lower-resolution textures and significantly fewer polygons in addition to their featureless black cockpits.

GT6 is all about small, incremental changes over grand reinventions.

While it is--in my mind at least--the best true racing simulation available on consoles, so much of the game feels antiquated and quaint when compared to its rivals.

It's stable most of the time, but it suffers on some of the more detailed courses, and load times are inconsistent too. The hotly debated issue of premium versus standard cars that was a big problem with GT5 was supposed to have been solved for GT6.