Review – Gran Turismo Sport
I’m no gear head. The thought of writing a Gran Turismo Sport, GT Sport, review was daunting. Very daunting.
It’s been a long time since a Gran Turismo title was released and expectations are high. Proper racing fans will want to know everything and I just don’t know if I’m equipped to properly explain. Who am I to tell people if they should or shouldn’t play the most detailed racing game there is?
That’s what I initially thought. Then I started playing GT Sport and everything started to come together. Sure, my car knowledge is still woeful, but my GT Sport knowledge is getting up there. Thankfully, despite a pretty archaic UI, GT Sport is wonderful at ushering in new and old fans alike.
Unlike the Gran Turismo of old, GT Sport embraces those players who don’t necessarily understand everything about the way a sports car works. Tutorials, Driving School, Driving Assists and a range of handy hints and tips will have anyone and everyone driving like a pro.
Learning how to drive is half the fun.
My name is Revolio Clockberg Junior
When I first booted up GT Sport I was a paralysed by choice. There are so many options and menu items. Each one leads to more options and eventually, I found myself down a long rabbit hole. The best place to start is the Driving School. Located in the Campaign Menu, Driving School teaches players every aspect of racing in bite-size chunks.
I learned how to take off from a stopped position, how to brake, corner, drift, oversteer and so on. Once you’ve completed Driving School or learned enough to get a feel for how the cars handle, it’s time to move onto Mission Challenges and Circuit Experiences. The former requires players to complete short challenges like overtaking, knocking down cones, reaching top speeds or besting a time.
Circuit Experience is GT Sport’s best teaching tool. It takes you through each circuit in the game, step-by-step. It breaks down every corner, every section and teaches you how to race it.
Amazingly, none of these modes became tedious. It was easy to understand and I really saw my driving skills increase fairly rapidly. The loading times between selecting a mission and it actually starting can be a little much, though it’s fairly infrequent.
No Help Required
By default, the driving assists are turned on. Though a little patronising, it’s for good reason. Without a feel for how these cars drive, new players would be absolutely bamboozled and spend most of their time off the track. The lessons and guidance that GT Sport gives the player mean that you should find yourself turning them off pretty quickly.
After a while, the driving assists even start to feel like a hindrance. In one mission, I was required to race two-laps and place either 1st, 2nd or 3rd to progress. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get better than 4th place. It felt like I was fighting my car all the way. It would brake too aggressively and stick far too rigidly to the driving line.
After turning the assists off, I was flying solo. Don’t get me wrong, without the assists, it’s a lot more demanding, but it’s also a lot more rewarding. On my first attempt with the driving assists turned off, I managed to finish and place 3rd. My advice, use the assists until they stop helping you, then turn them off. Or at least, lower their settings.
With some practice under my belt, it was time to take my cars for a proper spin.
I feel the need, the need for…ahem…wrong franchise
GT Sport’s titular Sport mode is where a lot of players are going to spend their time. It’s GT Sport’s competitive online mode. It operates in seasons, races require players to qualify and you move up and down the ranks. Not to be confused with the online lobbies.
The online lobbies are where players can set up a room, invite their friends and race around tracks of their choosing. Sport mode is real racing. Players have the option to choose between Daily Races or join one of the seasons. Races are time specific, meaning they only go live at certain times during the day. Not to worry though, they seem to run around every 20-minutes or so.
Competitive Seasons are the real deal and will be where hardcore racing fans live. I certainly don’t have the skills to make much of a splash there, but I think GT Sport’s diehard players will put in the hours to rise up the ranks. A nice addition to the ranking system is the SR along with the DR, Driving Rank.
SR is Sportsmanship Rank and is based on how you perform. If you drive aggressively, bash into other cars, ram people off the track and otherwise drive like a lunatic, your SR will do down. It’s a neat system for keeping players respectful and to create clean racing.
I’d almost be tempted myself, just for how good the driving feels. With or without driving assists on, GT Sport is easily the best and most realistic driving sim I’ve ever played.
Beauty and Charisma
Though I’m very much a fan of arcade racing games of sims, GT Sport has made me come around. Sure, it demands a lot more from the player, but it gives a lot more back. The feeling of weight as you accelerate from the starting line or drift around a corner. That sense of hitting the brakes at just the right time to perfectly take a hairpin bend and speed off in front of your opponents. GT Sport takes real cars, makes them feel exactly as they do (or I assume they do) in real-life and let everyone take them for a spin.
If you’re super keen, you can even tinker with all manner of your cars’ settings. You’re able to finetune almost everything you can think of. For the suspension alone you’re able to change seven settings; Ride Height, Natural Frequency, Anti-Roll Bar, Damping Ratio (compression), Damping Ratio (Rebound), Camber Angle and Tow Angle. I’m not even going to pretend I know what more than two of these are, but I’m sure the revheads out there are stoked.
It’s not just how the cars feel to drive in GT Sport either. It’s how they look. Even back on PSX, Gran Turismo was a visual powerhouse. Every iteration has pushed the envelope and been a demonstration of the power of the respective PlayStation console. GT Sport is no exception.
It is visually breathtaking. It’s honestly difficult to tell apart from footage of real racing. While I was playing I had friends walk in and ask me what race I was watching. When I told them I was playing Gran Turismo Sport, they were stunned. Then they wanted a go.
You got them Myerhoff Lifters?
There are volumes that could be written about how gorgeous GT Sport is. How detailed every aspect if. The way the light reflects perfectly off every surface. How the vehicle models are flawless and how the circuits, spectators and backgrounds all look as though they’re photos.
The best way to experience its visuals though is simply to play it. GT Sport is a game that deserves, nay, demands to be played. There is so much content on offer and there really is something for everyone, diehard car fan or not. You can almost treat it like an arcade racer if you really want, though you’d be missing out on the real thrill of learning how to take a supercar for a flawless lap around the Nürburgring.
Whether you want to race against the AI, do some challenges, take-on a friend in split-screen, spend hours getting the perfect shot in the photo mode, drive around the tracks in VR, participate in a season or race your mates online, GT Sport has you covered. If you have even a tiny bit of interest in racing or racing games, GT Sport is the only game you’ll need this year.
Gran Turismo Sport was reveiwed on PS4 using a digital promotional code provided to PowerUp! by PlayStation Australia.
Game title: Gran Turismo Sport
Game description: The Real Driving Simulator
These cars are real, right? - 9/10
Like, this is just footage of real-life races yeah? - 9.5/10
There's no way that this is not real footage GTFO - 10/10