Update: Extensive time with Gran Turismo Sport reveals the game to be one with a fragmented identity, an always-online game that separates you from other players unless you’re specifically in online lobbies.
The lack of a number in Sports’ title suggests Polyphony is tweaking the traditional Gran Turismo formula and trying something new; something a little less single-player without going too crazy. The experience is one that seems in flux; campaign isn’t a career mode and more of a sequence of small challenges to overcome. Daily races are rotated weekly (wut) and the time-gates that block them don’t encourage continuous attempts at improvement.
Nevertheless, myriad garaged or loaner cars alongside a continual stream of post-race rewards means that Gran Turismo Sport will scratch that racing itch for PlayStation die-hards. I can’t wait to see how Polyphony applies lessons learned from Sport to the inevitable Gran Turismo 7.
Original post: My experience with Gran Turismo Sport has sadly been short (and I didn’t mean for that to rhyme); a 13GB update on Sony’s notoriously slow servers combined with little lead time meant I couldn’t go hands-on with the game’s online modes, including the campaign.
What I did get to do, though, was drive in hours and hours of single-player races, so I can at least comment on the look and feel of Polyphony Digital’s latest.
Gran Turismo Sport is Sony’s answer to Microsoft’s Forza Motorsport 7. Lacking true 4K, the game goes out of its way to milk every ounce of beauty from your setup, taking you through configuration screen after screen, readying HDR, 4K upscaling and trying to get colouring just right. While it’s certainly tedious, said customisation pays off — Sport looks tremendous, in beauty shots ahead of races just like in the events themselves. On PS4 Pro, it stands toe-to-toe with Forza 7 upscaled to 4K thanks to an Xbox One S (and maybe even has the edge).
I’m not sure I’ll be able to say that after Forza 7 on Xbox One X, though.
Calling itself “The Real Racing Simulator”, Sport has many different driving options — I opted to turn motion control off and use the DualShock4’s thumbsticks to get around, though I’m sure you’d be better off with a racing wheel and pedals (though, when isn’t that the case in a racing title?). Auto-drive assists come in three main flavours, helping you brake and even steer if need be. The latter assist proved too heavy handed, thought I left braking on.
After spending so much time with Forza, I’ll admit that Sport took some getting used to. I’m no stranger to racing titles, but I’m by no means an enthusiast — I am not versed in proper racing lines or technique. As a result, trying to drive from solitary waypoint to waypoint proved a massive challenge; I must say, I prefer a straight-up racing line on the roadway, showing me what I should be doing. For those who don’t need that, there’s not much difference between each console’s powerhouse.
Gran Turismo Sport is a PS4 exclusive available from 18 October.
Gran Turismo Sport was reviewed using a promotional code on PS4 Pro, as provided by the publisher. Click here to learn more about Stevivor’s scoring scale.