Sports as eSports.
Gran Turismo e Sony, two brands that have lived through every videogame era in unison. Since its inception twenty years ago, Gran Turismo and PlayStation have grown together. PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and now also on PlayStation 4 with GT Sport, a constant evolution (and in some situations involution) of a driving simulator capable of selling almost 80 million copies to date. Although the development of the GT Sport was not super simple, carrying Polyphony Digital to postpone the game several times, we finally managed to get our hands on GT Sport.
Never before has there been such a large offer of driving games as in the last year. Forza Motorsport 7, Project Cars 2, without considering the more distant Assetto Corsa, have competed for the scepter of the best driving simulator in existence. Each of them has peculiar and unique characteristics and personally I think it is quite difficult, also considering the arrival of GT Sport, to draw up a definitive ranking. The only thing we are sure of is that the Gran Turismo series in the last ten years has achieved mixed results by no longer representing the definitive driving simulator, but unfortunately having to chase the competition.
Before going into our review, a premise is essential. If you do not have your console permanently connected to the internet, it is better to forget about GT Sport, as it requires a constant connection, without which many functions will not be available. We know well that this decision, to tell the truth even to the writer, is not totally shared, but the choice of Kazunori Yamauchi and Polyphony Digital is clear, GT Sport is a driving simulator designed for eSports, so if you don't also like to compete with other people, scattered all over the world, the advice is to go elsewhere.
Are you ready for the competition?
What do Gran Turismo Sport and iRacing have in common? Competition, this word, keep it clearly in mind. Feel privileged, because you have the best driving school in the world in your hands. Hard training, constant preparation to be able to compete in the best possible way. These are the rules you will have to follow if you want to excel in GT Sport. It is useless to remind you that everything you do will be necessary to compete online. Players ready to do anything to bring home a good result in the race. You will constantly find yourself in tussle, overtaking, counter-overtaking, off the track, maneuvers to the limit and penalties. For the more "nostalgic" there is an arcade mode, with three difficulty levels and 19 opponents. You will then choose the car and track to tackle, with an artificial intelligence certainly more challenging than in the past but far from that of a real player.
In the arcade mode we will be able to face different categories: Single Race, Time Trial, Drift Trial, Local Shared Screen, Custom Race and VR tour with PSVR. In short, the Tour VR is not new. The career mode? Yes, there is also a career mode, but it's not what you imagine. Or at least as you have been used to from other productions. Requirements required, with increasingly demanding competitions and objectives / I. GT Sport offers nothing of the sort. The career is divided into three macro categories: Driving Academy, Mission Challenge and Track Experience. The three categories, we can consider them as preparatory to the online competition, nothing more. By facing them, it will be possible to acquire the right practice to compete. The will of the developers was to abandon a classic career, therefore offline, in favor of a very pushed online component, in which, through a calendar, we will be able to select single races and championships. Driving Academy, replaces driving licenses by providing 48 tests that provide us with the driving basics. To help you there will be a video for each individual test.
Challenges Missions, includes 8 phases and 64 challenges. Maybe that's all the offline career mode, as the available tests are varied. They range from having to start at the bottom of the starting gray, to having to complete specific races, perhaps at the wheel of a car from a specific manufacturer. We will face different surfaces and endurance tests designed over several laps in which we will put tire and fuel wear to the test. Finally, the Experience on the Circuit: on different sections of the circuit, we will have to tackle small challenges aimed at making us understand what the trajectories, braking points and braking are. In fact, there is no real trajectory as in other titles of the genre, but a message will appear on the screen, brake, to tell the truth also quite annoying. To complete the three sections and the relative tests, reaching the bronze as a minimum goal, the time required is about 10/12 hours. If, on the other hand, you want to reach absolute perfection (gold), it goes without saying that the time required is much greater.
Lewis Hamilton loves GT Sport.
After completing the three sections relating to the atypical career, you will be ready to face the multiplayer mode. I hope you have read the message in which some recommendations are made: be sporty basically, do not tighten the trajectory too much and do not push the opponent out of the circuit. The multiplayer or better Sport mode it is therefore the backbone of Polyphony Digital production. You can then try your hand at three different single and repeatable races at a regular time interval. Furthermore, from next November 4th in collaboration with International Automobile Federation (FIA) the championships will begin, which will give access to various prizes, up to being able to compete live, as much praised in recent years by the GT Academy.
The Sport mode also provides that matchmaking takes place on the basis of two criteria: speed, that is, the same level of skill and sportiness, fairness on the track. The latter aspect is interesting as if you don't drive by the rules, you will then cut corners, throw your opponents off the track on purpose, etc. you will be "demoted" in races that have nothing politically correct. So you will be competing with people for whom throwing yourself off the track is normal. So watch what you do. To complete the mode we think about it a good qualification system which will remain valid, until the next update of usable races and cars. Starting from the front will give you obvious advantages, one of these is not to be entangled in the rear in possible collisions or off the track. It also comes without saying that if you don't like online mode, GT Sport has very little to offer, even the fleet, 165 cars present unlike Forza Motorsport 7 which has a much larger fleet of cars, makes a little turn up your nose. GT Sport should be taken as it is, an atypical driving simulator compared to others that focuses everything on online.
A permissive driving system
Premise, our "equipment" has allowed us to try GT Sport only pad in hand. The experience seemed very accessible to us compared to other such titles. The physics is not that of an arcade but of a simulator, certainly more permissive than Assetto Corsa and Project Cars 2 but still able to influence the behavior of the car on the track. We will therefore feel the different behaviors of the cars, changes of direction, curbs, oversteer and understeer and the tendency to end up on gravel if we miss the braking point, even slightly. Compared to what we saw in the previous chapters published on PlayStation 3, the behavior of cars it is therefore more realistic and manages to convey the right driving sensations.
The damage system instead it is to be reviewed. First of all from the sound point of view, when there will be a collision, a plastic noise will be heard and the body will also have very few signs of contact. So when compared to other motorsport titles, there is more than one criticism to make. There is also a lack of atmospheric phenomena, maybe the rain will arrive via update in some time, who knows, but at the current state of the art it is possible to compete only on dry asphalt. Among the great absentees, also the advance of time, the race starts and ends as it started. Lacks of a certain weight that we hope can be filled soon.
It turns out to be very interesting the penalty system. Although the system is not exactly balanced and most of the time it presents uncertainties, when we suffer a penalty, there will be added seconds that we will have to recover by reducing the speed. A system that in my opinion is not convincing. As previously mentioned, even the opposing AI turns out to have finally been improved after years and years. A bit like in other racing titles, we will no longer see the classic trains and almost frozen positions from the beginning to the end of the race. In fact, almost always correctly, the AI will look for overtaking and ideal trajectories, avoiding risky maneuvers but at the same time making mistakes under braking and ending up off the track. In terms of quantity, however, the tracks present are 17, with 40 configurations, not a few to tell the truth. The Nurburgring is the one that gave us the greatest sensations and a truly remarkable glance.
Polyphony Digital, with Gran Turismo Sport aimed at photorealism. Graphically the game is incredibly rich in detail on and off the track, with an enviable polygonal modeling. Dynamic lighting offers that extra touch while also managing to cover some small technical flaws, such as not very detailed textures on some circuits. The rays of light seem real, sometimes we would have really needed the darker visor to face at full speed a straight line hit by solar reflections. Furthermore, even the trees and the asphalt have a level of detail that is nothing short of amazing. Nothing to say about the fluidity of the game. The 60 fps are kept practically always. Great care has also been taken in the extra mode "views", Where the developers have created a real photographic application that will allow you to insert your car (up to a maximum of three) in suggestive photographs, over 1000, taken all over the world, giving life, thanks to the lighting system, to photorealistic and to say the least stunning results. Finally we close our review talking about the sound. True Achilles' heel in past productions and which has now finally been properly cared for. Even changing the view you will hear the roar of the engine and the horses attacking the asphalt.
- - Sport mode
- - Very accessible driving system
- - Graphically photorealistic
- - Compelling Artificial Intelligence
- - Virtually nonexistent damage system
- - Little content at launch