Gran Turismo Sport is certainly an appeal to active Gran Turismo fans. If you’ve played any games in the series, then there is little contest that Sport dabbles in the same formula. There is a big catch this year though as Gran Turismo Sport is basically online only, whether that be for good or worse. If you were looking for a more robust and personal single-player experience… its looks like we still have years of waiting (if you don’t go back to Gran Turismo 6 that is). But that isn’t to say Sport finds itself in a severely limited position… it just finds itself in an awkward release period alongside Forza 7 and Project Cars 2 and what they both collectively offer.
ONLINE ALL THE TIME
Lets get the elephant addressed right out of the box. This game is primarily meant to be an online-only title with a big focus on moderating the community and keeping a clean and fair experience for everyone across the board. Gran Turismo Sport does it right in this department and the online environment and multiplayer matches work leagues better than the debacle that was Drive Club. You could say they learned their lesson with those past mistakes but having such a tight-nit online mode results in a lot of trade-offs for the other parts of the game. We will start with the car selection.
DUDE, WHERE’S MY CARS?
Gran Turismo Sport only comes with a little over 150 cars at launch. With such a small roster, its almost a sin when some of the cars are just slight touch-ups of the one previous next to it (yikes!) and you will find this more often than you probably desired in the first place. What makes this a bummer for most is that alongside this is the big lack of any real retro or vintage offerings. You have a VERY RARE exception every now and then but for the most part, you are going to be hovering around 2005 and above for model year. So, obviously this is a new direction for Gran Turismo Sport but what effectively is the trade-off?
- Better Attention To Detail
While some of the cars in Gran Turismo 6 could have been accused of being straight Playstation 2 ports, this is apparently not so with Gran Turismo Sport. There are a lot of sharp details that comes with each car and its just as stunning as any of the offerings in the competing game’s. Take into account there is a nice “Photo Mode” within Sport that lets you drop these rides into cool backdrops… and you might swear they were the real thing.
- Better Balancing
This is a more obvious underlying reason as to why so few cars are included. With less cars (in theory) the devs are able to keep a more balanced online racing experience and address issues much quicker (since there should be less possible issues). But this and the above reason are equal parts speculation alongside some things that would be practical if approached as such.
SINGLE-PLAYER OR LACK THERE-OF
Prepare to go to driving school. Much like the driving school tutorial from DRIVER (anyone remember THAT game) its there partially for unnecessary filler and might be a little too much of a challenge (considering the focus of the game falls more on the online component); still, its a good idea in theory but not something someone would like to wade through. The following challenges you are given can be hit or miss depending on what kind of gamer you are. If you are a time trial kind of person, you can compete against your friend’s best completion time but the overall depth beyond that is kind of lack-luster. It would have been nice to have seen a proper campaign mode (something akin to Project Cars 2 maybe) but its just not there.
Note: You must be online to do almost anything in Gran Turismo Sport. This includes the likes of even “Photo Mode”. You can only play Arcade races if PSN happens to go down or your ISP kicks the bucket for the week. Keep this in mind before buying.
Customization is much less thrilling than Forza 7. It’s very bare bones and nothing really to speak of in this department.
Gran Turismo Sport will definitely come easier to play with when compared to Project Cars 2. Cars handle very well but the game also still respects what a high speed car can and cannot do around a sharp turn. It’s just about what you’d expect out of a Gran Turismo title. The differences in class speeds and handling are very noticeable and its great to feel that when playing the game. If you like a good feeling racing experience, Gran Turismo Sport does it right by all means.
AUDIO AND GRAPHICAL FIDELITY
The cars sound really good in Gran Turismo Sport. As we know, that is not always a given. There is just enough variation of engine rumble and growls during acceleration that it will impress any racing or car enthusiast. As for graphics, they are mostly what you’d expect for this generation. The cars look great (as mentioned above) but that is the best part about it. Some tracks look really good but others kind of feel like they are stuck in a Playstation 3 generation (this might could be said about some Forza 7 tracks too but that is digressing).
Weather effects are pretty last generation too when looking at the competition this year. You can choose different types of day/night for races as well as varied weather effects but these are very much static and robotic in nature. THERE IS NO DYNAMIC WEATHER; which is a shame really since its practically become a feature that we expect in racing titles now-a-days. Polyphony Digital has gone on record saying that they omitted this for frame-rate reasons and to provide a more stable experience.
Note: There is a VR mode built exclusively into this game for PSVR but we do not have the equipment to provide a review of this portion of the game. However, keep in mind if you do own the peripherals that this is so.