Gran Turismo Sport Review
Gran Turismo Sport is Polyphony’s latest iteration of their Gran Turismo series, incorporating a variety of race modes, locations, and cars to form the ultimate racing simulation.
The GT series has always gone head to head with the Forza franchise ever since Forza came on to the scene. Both always try to push their respective platforms to the limit with the titles. While Forza Motorsport rewards you for nailing those perfect corners, cool drifts and perfect race lines, Gran Turismo rewards you for racing clean and being an all-round gentleman like driver.
Gran Turismo sport handles like you would come to expect from the series, beautifully and responsive. The cars while on the track feel like they have some real weight to them than other racers in the genre and it’s probably easier than some of the racing sims out there at the moment like the Project Cars or DiRT Rally series. It does however, punish you quicker than other titles as well. The cars react to how you hit the kerbs or how hard you hit the brakes or even when you slide off on to the gravel. As you would expect each car handles differently, but sadly a lot of them do seem to suffer from too much oversteer and sometimes the balance is just not as right as you would expect from the GT series.
Gran Turismo Sport is still a bit reluctant to give the cars a good thrashing in terms of its damage modelling. It’s extremely weak and when impacts happen with other cars and barriers its really poor, which if you compare it to Forza 7s deep-sinking tyre walls, it makes GT Sports barriers feel like a last gen title. It’s nothing game changing, but it’s very noticeably in many areas. This is not to say that Gran Turismo Sport is not a great racing game, but it does feel out of place, especially when you see how gorgeous the cars look, the amazing tracks with time-of-day variations.
The first thing you notice on Gran Turismo Sport is that there is not much in the way of a proper Single Player Career mode and it seems to heavily focus on the online and multiplayer aspect of the game. The Multiplayer mode ranks you on your final position you finish in each race, but also ranks you on how well you drive when racing. If you are more of a bump and run racer you will get punished by being grouped with other like-minded racers in the matchmaking lobbies. This leaves everyone else play as these games are intended and doesn’t ruin it for everyone else either.
Also, the multiplayer format is based on reoccurring events rather than one-off races with every five minutes, you’ll be able to enter a mini-Grand Prix, in which you set a qualification time before being matched up against other players. It’s a fun feature that adds a sense of a real Grand Prix, albeit a short one. The only drawback to this at present is that Polyphony Digital doesn’t appear to be updating these daily races. I feel like if they were updated more and give more of a variety than what’s on offer it would be very welcomed and prolong your enjoyment.]
While racing online it’s not the easiest to earn any real progression of this mode without access to the various multi-stage tournaments that the studio has planned – that’s all scheduled to get underway next month, and I again have a sinking feel that this may not be something that would appear when promised, but hopefully I am wrong.
With most of GT Sport focusing on the online content, it should come as no surprise that the Single Player would have to suffer for it. The Campaign mode basically revolves around a series of challenges that are basically designed to help you improve your driving and performance in the multiplayer mode. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing if you got a bucket load of cars to mess about in and get to grips with to make you feel like you are getting your worth, but alas no.
The car selection is a little sparse with GT Sport giving you just 162 vehicles to choose from, which is a HUGE drop in what previous titles gave you. While the cars have been modelled with an almost OCD level of obsessive attention to detail, it does feel that this is the major cause of not having the massive catalogue that most GT fans will be accustomed to. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as the game does have some top-quality engine audio and has taken big leaps compared to the hair-dryers of the past titles. You are also offered a livery editor, but it does need more additions to it and maybe more customisation options.
While GT Sport does show a lot of advancement from previous iterations, you can’t help but feel that there is a let-down waiting to grab you at the next corner. For such a title to be inspired by the world of real motorsports racing, it really leans heavily on too many fictional tracks. While they are all presented to you in beautiful detail and are well designed, you do wish that there were more authentic race tracks to burn rubber across. This is not to say there are no authentic tracks on offer, but with just six locales at your disposal, it’s not completely out of reason to be wanting more than what is offered to you.
Gran Turismo Sport represents something of a new shift in the beloved franchise. Whether this is a good thing or bad, we will have to wait and see. Forgoing a proper Career mode is probably not the best idea in the world, but it’s a bold move by Polyphony Digital as they try to set a new standard for online simulation racing on consoles. Though, do I feel they could have had both, and that would have probably made up for the lack of authentic race tracks and cars on offer.
Guardian Rating: 7/10