Here it is! One of the staples of Playstation on it’s latest console: Gran Turismo Sport! After the best introduction to a game EVER, I was pumped!
However, when I opened the game without an internet connection, I was greeted with the message that the game would not save. Nor would any progress be made while I was offline. This meant access to every feature in the game was closed off to me. Except the Arcade. But if you haven’t participated in the campaign or any online matches, there aren’t going to be very many tracks available to you.
Anyway, once I rebooted with an internet connection, the full splendour the game had to offer came to light. A dramatic video plays, splicing real, historical footage from Grands Prix past with exciting montages of gameplay.
Then you’re taken to the menu screen. When I first saw the menu, I thought it was just a loading screen because the menus themselves are so beautifully minimalist. Serene music accompanies exquisite shots of cars and environments. Each image either shows off the incredible game engine or transports you to real places in the world. If your eyes linger long enough on the imagery and you forget what you’re doing, the menu bars disappear entirely, allowing full screen artistry. If you have a 4K TV, it is really nice to just have going in the background while you make lunch.
Alright, we get it, it looks nice. Now, to gameplay. Which, by the way, there is a crapton of, so don’t think I talk about all of it!
The campaign is made up of the Driving School, a bunch of missions to complete, and lessons on how to make each corner on every track the game has to offer. It’s really just a master course for when you finally hit the road in the online races.
And that’s it. That’s all it is. It’s there so that you can race politely and well in Sport.
This is the Mode where you participate in online races. But before you can enter, you are required to watch one video on the meaning of sportsmanship. There is also a second optional video on racing etiquette, which I found informative since I’ve never raced online before. As someone who loves Overwatch, I appreciate the extra effort from the development team to keep lobbies from being toxic and to help the game feel fun for everyone. Well done, Polyphony!
Once you’ve watched both videos, you’re awarded a certificate in sportsmanship. You also get what is arguably the best car in the game: the Gran Turismo Racing Kart!
Now that you’ve taken a masterclass in driving and sportsmanship, it’s time to jump into some races! To help with matchmaking, there is a race set at certain times through the day. Probably one every five to fifteen minutes. Once you put your name down for one of the races, you’re allowed to drive around and get a feel for the track.
When the timer hits zero, you’re taken to the players’ screen. You can see everyone you’re up against, their Driver Rating, and their Sportsmanship Rating. Next to everyone’s names is a little flag, telling you where everyone’s from, which I thought was an awesome touch.
Now, Driver Rating (DR) depends on how fast you go and your Sportsmanship Rating (SR) depends on how well you drive. Your SR will go down if you hit anyone, and it will go up if you make it through cleanly. I really like this system as it really drives the “racing is a non-contact sport” message. It also makes the game more fun if you’re not being pushed off the track by some lunatic every corner.
Also, side note – there are only male models in Gran Turismo Sport. This somewhat upsets me. I noticed Forza Motorsport 7 has female models. Where’s my female model?
Arcade is where you do all the non-onliney stuff. You can choose a track and verse AI. There’s 2-player splitscreen. There’s even a VR mode. Gran Turismo is “VR compatible,” meaning that you don’t have to buy a separate game for a VR driving experience, it’s right here in your full GT game.
Something you’d be happy to find out is that the VR experience is way better and much less sickening than DriveClub VR. Don’t expect the graphics to be as good as on your 4K TV (the comparison is a little disappointing). But I stand by what I said when the PSVR first came out: VR was made for racing games.
Hey, did you see a car and think: “that’s instagram worthy”? Well, GT knew you were going to think that and has given you the opportunity to pose your favourite car in front of a breathtaking backdrop. They’ve got all sorts of options, filters and effects for you to apply to your shot as well, including making the aspect 16:9 or Instagram’s 1:1.
Now, I’m not the biggest fan of racing games. But I do tend to like them. I don’t think I would come back much to Gran Turismo. There was no RPG element or sense of moving forward. There are championships with multiple races, but they’re on certain dates against actual people, and I’m not the kind of person to remember a date like that. So I didn’t enter.
What the game wants is for you to be the champion, rather than role-playing as one. I’m not serious enough about racing to set aside certain times to play. I’m fickle about gaming. I wanna play when I wanna play. Somehow it seems less fun to me if I’m expected to play at this. specific. date. This is probably why I don’t have friends.
However, if you are hardcore into racing and want to test yourself against the world, you’ll really enjoy Gran Turismo! Gran Turismo is all about the love of cars and taking a bit of pride in your driving. I enjoyed the races I participated in, and I learned a thing or two. Hey, being in seventeenth place is kinda alright. It’s not about winning, it’s about becoming a better driver and sportsman. I know now to brake in the straight, and if you do it at the right time you can take a corner really slowly but in a short amount of time.
But I would go back to DriveClub or Need for Speed (or even take Forza 7 for a spin) if you’re looking for that that sense of in-game progression. I sort of miss that in Gran Turismo Sport.