PREVIEW – On the PS2 and the PS3, the first Gran Turismo titles available for them (GT3, GT5, respectively) were not as good as their direct sequels (GT4, GT6). GT3 launched fairly early in the PS2’s life cycle in the summer of 2001, but GT5 dropped in the second half of the PS3’s life, at the end of 2010, after multiple delays. Will we see another „weaker” game before the big bomb? Will this trend continue?
Kazunori Yamauchi, the „father” of Gran Turismo, and head of Polyphony Digital says that Gran Turismo Sport will be the most realistic installment regarding physics, graphics, and audio. I’d point out the last point, though – it may be one of the weaker points of the upcoming game. In past episodes, we have heard many „repeats” with engine sounds.
The name isn’t random: Gran Turismo Sport is not meant to be GT7, and there will also be two FIA championships running in the game. One of them will be a Nations Cup, where we will run for our country to see which state ends up victorious. The other one is a Manufacturers’ Cup, where we can race for our favorite car maker.
At the end of each year, the winners will be awarded trophies at the FIA gala, where we can even meet the F1 World Champion of that season! (These will be under the game’s Sport Mode. The professional races will get broadcasted under GT Sport Live, almost as it was a TV broadcast.)
Gran Turismo Sport will also support the PlayStation VR, which is set to launch in October. As the game hits the shelves after the VR headset, we can immediately put the Blu-ray disc into our PS4s (or just download the game from the Store) and just prepare the headset to play, in case you already end up owning one by November.
This move is somewhat necessary: GTS will be beaten to the release flag by Forza Horizon 3, which is set to launch on Windows 10 and Xbox One in September. However, that game isn’t as serious; it doesn’t have FIA-support either.
The game will be one of those titles that give extras for pre-ordering: you can even drive one of the Le Mans cars if you pay early for the next Polyphony dose of driving. Another worry of mine would be the Limited Edition, netting you an entire million of in-game credits for paying ten extra bucks (LE will cost 70, not 60.).
The devs promise new tracks, including the famous Tokyo Expressway. There will also be classics, such as the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Another improvement is going to be the Livery Editor: you will be able to make custom paint/livery schemes for your favorite car, so if you ever wanted say, a Formula-1 livery on your preferred vehicle, Gran Turismo Sport will allow you to do so.
This idea is great! With Scapes, you can take pictures of your car, similar to Travel, although in a much more developed fashion. Polyphony thinks this mode will change the way of car photography. Big words from them.
Gran Turismo Sport doesn’t seem to have a longer future outside the FIA championships. One of my questions is that how long can it keep the attention of regular Sunday drivers? How will they keep playing this game? Because from what we have seen of this PS4-exclusive so far is awfully reminding me of No Man’s Sky.
It looks good; it feels promising, but it lacks extras. If there’s no well thought out career mode, then only VR can keep GT Sport in the PlayStation 4 for those who only use a DualShock 4 to drive, not a steering wheel. Also, will the first curse attack? GT3 and GT5 weren’t as good as GT4 and GT6. Who knows what Yamauchi is planning for GT7?
Another question: in audio, what will Polyphony be able to provide? We already know that the soundtrack isn’t a weak point of the devs, but the car audio will be another issue altogether. If these things, as well as damage, can be performed beautifully, then Project CARS and Assetto Corsa will lose their thrones against Gran Turismo Sport.
Yamauchi and co need to keep only one thing on the road: the release date. If the game launches in November, then Sony will have one of their flagship titles to sell the PS4 (let’s face it, the holiday season is important for all console companies, although Nintendo might be exempt because they seem to be focusing on the NX). Exclusives are needed to make the PS4 sell more. Gran Turismo is almost 20 years old; it turns better as it gets older. Kaz Yamauchi‘s child is now an adult, and it’s Sporty…
These can make it good:
+ FIA Championship
+ Beautiful visuals
+ Livery Editor, Scapes
These might make it disappointing:
– What will keep attention on this game in a longer term?
– Pre-ordering, buying the Limited Edition might get a too big advantage
– Is it going to be another weaker title before the big bomb, GT7?
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment, SCEA, SCE Australia
Developer: Polyphony Digital
Genre: Driving/Racing, Simulation
Relase date: Dec 31, 2016