It’s been a long wait but Gran Turismo is finally on the PS4, and while there definitely are a few scratches and dents to the otherwise shiny veneer, it’s nice to see the stalwart series settle into a home with more hardware.
Passion has always been at the core of any Gran Turismo experience, and it’s here that Sport truly flexes its muscles. The feel of every car is different, the sound of every roaring engine perfectly captured, and every real-life track lovingly created down to the cracks in the tarmac. The developers clearly love every aspect of driving, and for petrolheads this is still THE go to simulator.
It’s a slight shame therefore that there seems to be less content in this entry than in GT6, with many cars and tracks being dropped. One might assume that this is because the studio wanted to double down on the other features of the game, yet if this was the case then I think many fans would have been inclined to wait even longer for the same amount of features, if not even more.
However, that’s not to say there’s not stuff to do, as GT Sport presents players with two very different play modes. A bevvy of offline challenges that comprise a single player campaign, and an online mode where you will compete against the world in different cups, challenges, and cars.
The single player isn’t as deep or connective as some of its competitors, but GT Sport presents enough variance to really make it feel worthwhile to delve in and push your reactions and cornering. There’s also an arcade mode to race against the AI, which leads me to another point of praise: they have finally made computer controlled cars feel normal. Not all the time, but racing against them feels so natural and competitive that you’d be forgiven for forgetting that it’s the devious PS4 pulling their strings every now and again.
Yet it’s “sport mode” which is the real meat of this game; something that the series approaches at speed, and just about pulls off.
The way that race events occur every 20 minutes preceded by a qualifying race makes for content that feels important, and there’s a real sense of achievement every time you manage to get into a good starting position. These Daily Races will then give way to officially sanctioned FIA series and Polyphony championships as the game gains more traction with players.
The presentation of this mode is as close to the real life thing as you can get, with a great deal of effort going into mirroring TV broadcast styles. However, while the looks might be spot on there are a few annoying issues.
First, the collision system needs work, as every crash will see both cars penalised even if it’s not your fault. There’s also a tendency for multi-car pile-ups on the smaller tracks, which will ruin the ratings of many drivers no matter their best efforts to avoid the chaos.
That said, if you can get a match going on one of the 17 courses available it’s a drivers' paradise with enough inch perfect turns, straight line gunning, and shredded nerves to see you coming back time and time again. There needs to be more content for this to maintain longevity, but as it stands the developers should be proud of how they’ve portrayed esports style online racing.
In short, it’s a hugely enjoyable title which stalls only a few times, however it’s the lack of new content which will be the real test on this game's long-distance driving.