Screenshot of Gran Turismo Sport Game Cover

What is Gran Turismo Sport?

Gran Turismo Sport is the flagship racing video game simulator developed by Polyphony Digital. The game was published by Sony in 2017 and it can be played exclusively on PlayStation 4. It took two years for the game to be developed after it was announced in 2015 at the Paris Games Week. This is the 13th installment in the series and it received positive reviews from critics in the wake of its release.

Key facts about Gran Turismo Sport

  • Gran Turismo Sport is the most difficult game in the franchise and also the most authentic.
  • It runs on a new game engine and features stellar graphics compared to previous titles.
  • Gran Turismo Sport shines the brightest in the multiplayer with its unique racing games.
  • In single player the game lacks from insufficient content and its replayability is moderate.
  • Gran Turismo Sport can only be played online, so an Internet connection is needed.

Gameplay of Gran Turismo Sport

The Gran Turismo Sport gameplay hasn’t changed much since the previous game in the series. However, it includes two game modes, so players can switch between “Sports Mode" and "Arcade Mode". While the game mechanics have only changed mildly, the new game doesn’t have the dynamic weather system. This means that players won’t be able to race during the day and night, unless they modify the settings before starting a race.

Gran Turismo Sport has more cars and configurations than any other game in the series, with players racing in 19 locations. The developers have secured a licensing deal with Porsche, which explains why this brand of cards is featured here for the first time. While it doesn’t affect the gameplay, it represents a major milestone, after Electronic Arts lost the exclusive rights.

Players can put their skill to the test and get familiar with core gameplay mechanics in single races. However, the most challenging competitions are the ones played in the FIA Gran Turismo Online Championship. This is another agreement signed by the game developers with FIA to make the multiplayer more exciting. This is where the gameplay of Gran Turismo Sport really comes into the light and the most successful players will be honored in Paris.

Compared to the previous game in the series, this one also promises to be far more accurate. That is because TAG Heuer now serves as the official timekeeper and will monitor the performance of players. This feature is far more important in multiplayer, where the differences between players weigh heavier in the balance. The gameplay of Gran Turismo Sport is further enhanced by the fact that virtual reality is available in the special VR Tour Mode.

Screenshot of Gran Turismo Sport Porche

Plot of Gran Turismo Sport

Gran Turismo Sport is just like all racing simulators game essentially created for multiplayer. This explains why the developers didn’t bother with creating a single player with a proper storage. The campaign is actually a compendium of races giving players just enough time to learn the game mechanics. There are various challenges to complete, to give participants a sense of purpose, but otherwise the impact on the gameplay is minimal.

Players can choose one of the many cars available and then participate in season-long tournaments. Based on their performance in individual events as well as overall, they will rank lower or higher in the final standings. In the absence of any Gran Turismo Sport plot, players can still enjoy a lot of freedom in choosing the races they attend and the locations.

Development of Gran Turismo Sport

Gran Turismo Sport development began in 2013 after the previous game was officially released. The team working on it wanted to make sure that the game is available no later than 2017. Initially, the deadline was set one year before, yet the numerous changes made it impossible to meet. The decision to also make the game compatible in virtual reality further delayed development. Eventually, in the basic format, the game can only be played on PlayStation 4.

Screenshot of Gran Turismo Sport Weather Comparison

For the team working on the new installment, the goal was to create a game that was different from its predecessors. Most of the effort was invested in signing agreements with major partners, to make the game more authentic. There were also discussions regarding the possibility of making Gran Turismo Sport a stand-alone game. In the end it was decided to make it the main entry in the franchise.

Polyphony Digital used the new game engine for this title and as a result the gameplay was changed and largely improved. The advancements of technology are self evident when comparing the graphics and visual effects as well as the sounds. A beta season was scheduled for 2016 and delayed for mid-2017, with players from Europe and the US testing the game. Many of the issues that beta testers complained about were resolved before the official release.

Where can I download Gran Turismo Sport?

Polyphony Digital is the developer of Gran Turismo Sport so its website is a good place to download the game. Sony Entertainment features it as its publisher and there are dozens of other games to be found there. As of the biggest publishers in the world, Sony has released games belonging to all genres and the best titles can be found here. The list even includes a few of the earlier game in this series, for those who want to purchase a bundle.

Racing fans don’t necessarily have to stick to this publisher or developer for what that matters. That’s because some of the best games belonging to this genre were produced by other companies. Grand Theft Auto V, The Crew, Need for Speed 2015 and Forza Horizon 3 are guaranteed to keep them at the edge of their seats. These are slightly different genres and the upside is that they also have a strong narrative. Those who only own PlayStation 4 consoles should know that none of these games are available exclusively on this device.

Screenshot of Gran Turismo Sport High Speed

What are others saying about Gran Turismo Sport?

Gran Turismo Sport reviews are positive and the ratings in line with what the previous games got. Polyphony Digital was praised for its original take on the popular franchise and the manner in which the gameplay has changed. Even though the modifications were not extraordinary, they were just as numerous and significant to keep the game fresh. At the same time, the developers didn’t stray too far from the essence of the franchise, with the new installment appeasing veterans as well as newcomers.

Most of the praise was in regard to the visuals and the animations as well as the cut scenes. The fact that confirmation between day and night is no longer available by default was mentioned by some reviewers. Savvy players have also notice the fact that the game is more difficult than most other titles in the series. Compared to other racing simulators, Gran Turismo Sport has a reasonable learning curve.

My Rating of Gran Turismo Sport

Gran Turismo Sport is a beautiful game and I think that it is at least on par with what other racing simulators have to offer these days. It follows the general pattern of the previous game in the franchise, but the changes made are for the better. Polyphony Digital has extracted an astonishing amount from a genre that drastically limits the freedom of developers. The learning curve is a bit steep and the campaign is just an excuse for preparing players for multiplayer.

Gran Turismo Sport is sadly available only on PlayStation 4, which makes it beyond the reach of other console owners. I think it captures the essence of the competitive spirit that defines the fans of the genre. I was impressed by the incredible details, the responsiveness of the cars and the really charming surroundings. Racing fans won’t regret giving this game a chance as it fully deserves a review score of 7.5 out of 10.