Gran Turismo Sport review: GT is back – but not as we know it
A focus on e-sports ‘breathes new life’ into the 20-year-old franchise
Gran Turismo Sport has faced numerous setbacks that put the kibosh on the game’s intended 2015 release, but Polyphony Digital’s highly anticipated racer has finally arrived.
The game will be the first Gran Turismo title to launch on the PS4 and is slightly different to previous entries in the series.
To see how GT Sport differs from its predecessor, here’s everything you need to know about the new motor sport simulator:
Price and release date
Gran Turismo Sport is available to order now, and is exclusively for the PS4 and PS4 Pro.
Amazon is selling the standard version of the game at £46.99. Above that sits the steelbook edition at £49.99, which comes with an exclusive set of in-game stickers and a chrome helmet for your avatar.
The most expensive version is the £104.99 Collector’s Edition, which features a Mercedes-AMG GT scale model and an art book.
The Week reviews GT Sport
Many of you will be aware that Gran Turismo Sport isn’t the direct sequel to 2013’s feature-packed GT6 that die-hard fans were hoping for.
The legendary racing game franchise has moved away from the car collecting gameplay of previous instalments in the series. The focus is now on players competing in online events that fall under the e-sports banner.
The series has partnered with motor sport’s governing body, the FIA, to host virtual events that grant players their own official racing licence. The first race doesn’t kick off until 4 November, but there’s a host of online races every day to help fans improve their skills.
These online races replace the smattering of single-player championships that featured on older GT titles. But fans can still take part in an array of licence tests and trials to earn money for new cars.
While GT Sport’s predecessor, GT6, boasted a car list of over 1,100 cars, the new game comes with just 162 vehicles. Many of these are tweaked versions of the same model of car.
Players can purchase the 2017 Nissan GT-R, for example, along with a race-spec Gr. 4 version of the car and an even faster Gr. 3 variant. This makes the already slim car list look even more bare, particularly as the game has been in development for four years.
Gran Turismo titles are some of the best-looking games on their respective PlayStation systems – and GT Sport is no exception on the PS4.
The level of detail in each car is second to none. LED tail lights sport the same piercing glare as their real life counterparts and the paintwork realistically changes colour depending on the time of day your race is in.
Vehicle sounds are equally impressive. Racing cars emit a high-pitch gearbox whine that can also be heard on real-world competition cars. Exhausts crackle when you drop down through the gears, making you feel as though you’re really inside the cockpit of the car.
The driving physics are also an improvement on the GT6. Road cars are a particular highlight thanks to the game’s accurate feeling of weight transfer.
Racing cars – in particular the faster Gr. 3 cars – are planted through high speed corners yet they are arguably too skittish when taking first and second gear bends. Even seasoned racing gamers will want to turn driver assistance, such as traction control, on.
While GT Sport moves in a new direction to its predecessors, it’s one of the most intricate racing games to arrive this year, breathing new life into a formula that’s remained relatively unchanged for two decades.
What the critics say
Polyphony Digital has finally launched first PS4 racing game on the PS4 and according to most reviews, it was worth the wait.
The game is also more accessible to car fans than hardcore racing sims such as Project Cars 2 and the recent offerings from Codemasters, says the website, while still managing to accurately replicate the sensation of “weight and balance” that you would experience in a real-life vehicle.
The reduction of the car list to just 162 vehicles, compared with 1,197 in GT6, hasn't fazed most critics. Top Gear says every model in the new game is “a joy to drive” and that they are designed to compete closely with one another.
However, GT fans may miss “hoarding” and “heavily modifying” old cars in the now non-existent career mode, as the primary focus of the game is online racing and improving your driving ability.
One of the few criticisms of the game relates to its always online functionality- which means, as Games Radar points out, that an internet connection is always needed to track your progress.
If you were to lose your internet connection - or if GT Sport’s servers went down - you can only play in Arcade mode. This allows you to run races against the AI, but you won’t be able to earn credits to buy new cars.
Some reviewers are holding off from delivering their final thoughts until the game’s partnership with motor sport’s governing body, the FIA, comes into effect in early November.
Plus, the online racing aspect on which GT Sport is built is not yet fully functional, says GameSpot.
Although you can still play online races and level up, the website says, FIA-held events - which will serve as the basis for GT Sport’s e-sports championships - don’t open until 3 November.
It's not a direct successor to GT6
Unlike the traditional line of Gran Turismo games, which aims to provide the biggest and most diverse car list of its competitors, GT Sport is a spin-off title that is setting its sights on the world of esports.
Developer Polyphony Digital has designed GT Sport to allow drivers to hone their skills behind the wheel, rather than hand them a host of championships to complete for unlockable cars. Players will be able to watch videos on how to improve their driving through the game's campaign mode, which they can then take online to compete in official esport championships.
You can get an FIA-certified racing licence
To enter these official championships, Polyphony Digital has partnered with the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) to hand players digital racing licences approved by motorsport’s world governing body.
It's not yet known how players can get their hands on one, says Top Gear, but the digital licence will be recognised by "25 motorsport clubs around the world including the MSA in the UK, ADAC in Germany and the Rwanda Automobile Club".
GT Academy is just around the corner
Along with these FIA-approved esport championships, the Gran Turismo Academy will return on GT Sport to give gamers the opportunity to become a real-world racing driver.
While this year's running of GT Academy has yet to be confirmed, GTPlanet says the gamer-to-racer competition could be revamped for GT Sport to make use of the new FIA-approved racing licences.
GT Academy has already spawned several racing stars. Jann Mardenborough, the winner of the 2011 competition, has since gone on to race in the now-named F2 championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Car liveries can now be customised
Gran Turismo fans have been calling for a livery editor similar to the one on Forza Motorsport for years, says IGN, but they are "about to have their patience rewarded".
The game's creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, told the website that the feature "is complex enough to be a whole app of its own" and functions like a "Photoshop" for cars.
Players will be able to "choose from pre-made decals and shapes" or make their own from scratch, says IGN, which can then be shared online.
It's optimised for the PS4 Pro
Polyphony Digital says GT Sport will be capable of 4K graphics at 60fps on the PS4 Pro. The game will also support HDR (high dynamic range) on the high-powered console, which bolsters contrast ratios for more realistic lighting effects.
The firm says players can experience these benefits only with a PS4 Pro and a 4K HDR-enabled television, but those on a regular 1080p TV will still see the benefits of an improved lighting model compared with those playing on a standard PS4.
There are more than 160 cars…
The car list has shrunk from more than 1,100 vehicles to 162, but the unique vehicles in GT Sport come with more detail and better engine sounds than those in previous titles.
The car list is split into four classes, beginning with Gr.4 and rising in performance to Gr.1, says Alphr. Not all of these cars can be found in the real world. Polyphony Digital will "supplement the real cars with virtual concept ones”.
Here’s what you can look forward to:
Alfa Romeo 4C Gr.3
Alfa Romeo 4C Gr.4
Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition
Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 T Sport
Alfa Romeo 4C Gr.3 Road Car
Alpine Vision Gran Turismo
Alpine Vision Gran Turismo 2017
Alpine Vision Gran Turismo Race Mode
Aston Martin DP-100 Vision Gran Turismo
Aston Martin Vulcan
Aston Martin One-77
Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3
Aston Martin V8 Vantage S
Aston Martin Vantage Gr.4
Audi R18 TDI 2011 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
Audi R8 LMS (Audi Sport Team WRT)
Audi Sport quattro S1 Pikes Peak
Audi TT cup
Audi TTS Coupe
BMW M4 Coupe
BMW M4 Coupe Gr.4
BMW M4 Coupe Safety Car
BMW M6 GT3 (Walkenhorst Motorsport)
BMW M6 GT3 M Power Livery
BMW Vision Gran Turismo
BMW Z4 GT3
Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo
Bugatti Veyron 16.4
Bugatti Veyron Gr.4
Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo
Chevrolet Camaro SS
Chevrolet Corvette C7 Gr.3
Chevrolet Corvette C7 Gr.4
Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray
Chevrolet Corvette C7 Gr.3 Road Car
Citroen DS3 Racing
Citroen GT by Citroen Gr.4
Citroen GT by Citroen Race Car Gr.3
Citroen GT by Citroen Road Car
Daihatsu Copen RJ Vision Gran Turismo
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Dodge SRT Tomahawk GTS-R Vision Gran Turismo
Dodge SRT Tomahawk S Vision Gran Turismo
Dodge SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo Gr.1
Dodge SRT Tomahawk X Vision Gran Turismo
Dodge Viper Gr.4
Dodge Viper GTS
Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R
Ferrari 458 Italia
Ferrari 458 Italia Gr.4
Ferrari 458 Italia GT3
Fittipaldi Motors Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo by Pininfarina
Ford Focus Gr.B Rally Car
Ford Focus ST
Ford Mustang Gr.3
Ford Mustang Gr.4
Ford Mustang Gr.B Rally Car
Ford Mustang GT Premium Fastback
Ford Mustang Gr.3 Road Car
Gran Turismo Racing Kart 125 Shifter
Honda Civic Type R (FK2)
Honda Project 2&4 powered by RC213V
Honda Sports Vision Gran Turismo
Honda NSX Gr.3
Honda NSX Gr.4
Honda NSX Gr.B Rally Car
Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track
Hyundai Genesis Gr.3
Hyundai Genesis Gr.4
Hyundai Genesis Gr.B Rally Car
Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo
Infiniti Concept Vision Gran Turismo
Jaguar F-type Gr.3
Jaguar F-type Gr.4
Jaguar F-type R Coupe
Lamborghini Huracan GT3
Lamborghini Huracan Gr.4
Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4
Lexus LF-LC GT Vision Gran Turismo
Lexus RC F
Lexus RC F Gr.4
Lexus RC F GT3 prototype (Emil Frey Racing)
Mazda Atenza Gr.3
Mazda Atenza Sedan XD L Package
Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo
Mazda Roadster S (ND)
Mazda Atenza Gr.4
Mazda Atenza Gr.3 Road Car
McLaren 650S Coupe
McLaren 650S Gr.4
McLaren 650S GT3
McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo
Mercedes-AMG A 45 4Matic
Mercedes-AMG GT S
Mercedes-AMG GT Safety Car
Mercedes-AMG GT3 (AMG-Team HTP-Motorsport)
Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo
Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo Racing Series
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gr.4
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
Mini Clubman Vision Gran Turismo
Mitsubishi Concept XR-Phev Evolution Vision Gran Turismo
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.3
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.4
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.B Rally Car
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.B Road Car
Nissan GT-R Gr.4
Nissan GT-R Gr.B Rally Car
Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 N24 Schulze Motorsport
Nissan GT-R Premium edition
Nissan GT-R Safety Car
Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo
Nissan Nissan GT-R LM Nismo
Peugeot 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport
Peugeot 908 HDi FAP – Team Peugeot Total
Peugeot L500R Hybrid Vision Gran Turismo, 2017
Peugeot L750R Hybrid Vision Gran Turismo, 2017
Peugeot Vision Gran Turismo
Peugeot Vision Gran Turismo Gr.3
Peugeot RCZ Gr.3
Peugeot RCZ Gr.4
Peugeot RCZ Gr.B Rally Car
Peugeot RCZ GT Line
Peugeot RCZ Gr.3 Road Car
Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991)
Porsche 911 RSR (991)
Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Porsche Porsche 919 Hybrid (Porsche Team)
Renault Sport Clio R.S. 220 EDC Trophy
Renault Sport Megane Gr.4
Renault Sport Megane R.S. Trophy
Renault Sport R.S.01
Renault Sport R.S.01 GT3
Subaru Viziv GT Vision Gran Turismo
Subaru WRX Gr.3
Subaru WRX Gr.4
Subaru WRX Gr.B Rally Car
Subaru WRX STI Type S
Subaru WRX Gr.B Road Car
Toyota 86 Grmn
Toyota 86 Gr.4
Toyota 86 Gr.B Rally Car
Toyota 86 GT
Toyota FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo
Toyota FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo Gr.3
Toyota S-FR Racing Concept
Toyota TS050 Hybrid (Toyota Gazoo Racing)
Toyota TS030 Hybrid
Volkswagen Golf VII GTI
Volkswagen GTI Roadster Vision Gran Turismo
Volkswagen GTI Supersport Vision Gran Turismo
Volkswagen GTI Vision Gran Turismo Gr.3
Volkswagen Scirocco Gr.4
Volkswagen Beetle Gr.3
… On 27 different circuits
Players can drive on 27 circuits, across 19 locations, says Alphr, with events held on both tarmac and gravel surfaces.
Circuits spotted in trailers and screenshots include the 12.9-mile Nordschleife at the Nurburgring in Germany, Brands Hatch in the UK and several new fantasy courses dreamed up by Polyphony Digital.