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'Gran Turismo Sport' Review: The Good, The Bad, The Bottom Line

October 19,2017 22:11

The much-anticipated Gran Turismo Sport pulled up to the starting line on Oct. 17. It's been four years since Polyphony Digital and Sony have released a Gran Turismo title. Credit: Brian Mazique (GT Sport). Gran Turismo Sport is attractive, but a bit ...


The much-anticipated Gran Turismo Sport pulled up to the starting line on Oct. 17. It's been four years since Polyphony Digital and Sony have released a Gran Turismo title.

Credit: Brian Mazique (GT Sport)

Gran Turismo Sport is attractive, but a bit shallow.

Beauty and realistic driving have long been the calling card of the series, but depth hasn't always been present. Is Gran Turismo Sport attractive but shallow? Here are the positives, negatives, and score for the newest version in the iconic series.
The Good
Few Games Are Prettier Than This

Credit: Brian Mazique (GT Sport)

Visually stunning is GTS.

If you've followed the Gran Turismo series, it should come as no surprise that GTS is visually stunning.
The opening movie is captivating and it shows off the power of the PS4 Pro about as well as any game I've seen on the console. The beauty isn't restricted to cinematic scenes. The in-game action is just as attractive and the car renders are as shiny and polished as any game within the genre.

It'll be hard for any game to deliver more eye candy on this generation of consoles.
The Driving Feels Spectacular
I look for noticeable variations in the handling of the vehicles included in driving games. I like to see differences that go beyond the cosmetic. GTS delivers this in a major way. It's challenging, but also very rewarding when you master the nuances of driving the cars in the game.
Driving is fun, and that ensures GTS delivers the basic requirements fans of the genre want.
The Sound Effects Are Expertly Done
Tires, car engines, breaking, and collisions sound authentic. It's nothing over the top, but it meshes well with the visual appeal GTS delivers.
Multi-Player Races Are Intense And Fun

The best aspect of GTS' gameplay options is its multi-player setup. Whether it's in arcade mode or the all-new Sport feature, racing online is as smooth as you'll find this side of F1 2017. The races can be very competitive and little visual fidelity is lost during the matches.
The Bad
The Single-Player Campaign Is A Drag
This is one of the least-entertaining single-player experiences I can remember. It plays more like a huge demo than a full retail release. You're almost forced to go to Driving School to complete a huge selection of tests. They aren't a great deal of fun and they're a little too challenging considering it's not really a major part of the competitive aspect of the mode.
Once you start the challenges and missions, you begin to feel a bit of a letdown because they aren't as in-depth or compelling as you'd expect after having been sent through such an elaborate tutorial. You can earn some really cool cars from completing all 48 lessons, but the process should be more fun.
Car Selection Is Thin

GTS delivers some beautiful cars, but there are only about 175 or so of them in the game. When compared to Forza 7's 700-plus vehicles, the GTS selection is laughable.
Where Is The Customization?
Customization is very important in racing games and GTS stalls in this area as well. It would be nice to have the option to alter color schemes and other parts of the vehicles you acquire, but the livery editor pales in comparison to what you can do and share in Forza 7 and some other racing titles.
Limited Weather Effects
I'm being kind referring to GTS as having "limited weather effects." There is no dynamic weather, but you can change the time of day. Unfortunately, we don't see the time change during races at dusk, etc. For a game this beautiful to offer so little in the way of weather and time change is perplexing.
VR Experience Is Less Than Exhilarating

Virtual Reality has largely been nothing more than a gimmick to date in gaming. That's clearly the case with GTS. There's nothing with any real replay value in the VR experience in the game. Once you put on the headset, you'll be briefly interested in what you see and the way the camera reacts to your movements, but it's not a selling point for the game or the apparatus.
I'm still waiting on the VR experience that changes the way I view the tech.
The Bottom Line
GTS lacks overall depth, but it is saved from being a complete failure by its stellar visuals, fun and realistic driving experience. I know how much work goes into producing a major-budget title like GTS, so I would never use the word lazy when describing the effort of the development team.
However, this game comes off as an underdeveloped title that is being made to look more legitimate by the history of the series.
Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer: Polyphony Digital
Publisher: Sony
Release Date: Oct. 17, 2017
Price: $59.99
Score: 7.1 out of 10
(Review code provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment, PS4 version reviewed)

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