It’s been four years since we had a Gran Turismo game which has left fans very eager for this new release. Adding to that is the fact that we have not had a GT game on the new generation platforms (PS4 / PS4 Pro) which is a gap that was even more apparent with the rise of Microsoft’s Forza series. As a long time Gran Turismo fan I was very excited to get behind the wheel of Gran Turismo Sport and see if it was worth the wait.
The first thing you notice when stepping into the Gran Turismo Sport world, is the beautiful visuals. The car models and tracks are impressive and looked gorgeous on the PS4 Pro. This is not surprising given Sony’s pedigree with the title but still very welcomed. This is very well demonstrated if you use the built-in photo mode that allows you to put those millions of pixels to good use and can produce some amazing images.
The only downside on presentation was the lack of dynamic weather which is something that competitor racing games are improving with each iteration. Still, the predefined weather effects are well executed and do provide some visual variation.
Gameplay has always been the hallmark of a great Gran Turismo game and Gran Turismo Sport version is no different. By going through the driving school you get to learn the mechanics of racing in minute detail. Although I have done every driving school in GT to date and have driven countless other racers, I still found the driving school challenging and appreciated the difference the correct braking, throttle application and racing line can make to your times. Gran Turismo Sport feels great to drive and really does provide a superior simulator experience but wasn’t too difficult to get to grips with.
On the content front, Gran Turismo Sport really falls short. With only 19 tracks and 177 cars, it’s far from extensive. The problem is that there are racing versions of many of the cars that make the 177 seem bigger than it actually is in-game. This is exasperated by the fact that the cars are arranged by manufacturer, so when you go into Audi, for example, only seeing 3 cars is disappointing. The cars and tracks that they do have are varied and provide a good cross-section of racing styles. It feels that for the premium price of Gran Turismo Sport, you are getting far less content than other games.
There is a new online game mode “Sport Mode” which works very well and gives us a very reliable online racing experience. I particularly liked the introduction of the Sportsmanship rating that penalizes bad or unsportsmanlike driving behavior. In the real world, aggressive driving is not tolerated and its great to see this manifest itself in the game’s online mode too, making it more fair and fun for everyone.
If you are a long time fan of the series or a big racing fan then Gran Turismo Sport is a great game to pick up. You won’t find a more tightly executed racing game anywhere else, providing a fantastic driving experience. If you are looking for something more casual or with a wider range of vehicles then rather look elsewhere.