In Review

The Grand Tour Game: mixed reviews for Jeremy Clarkson’s video game debut

Amazon’s first title for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One leaves critics torn

Amazon Prime has released a racing game based on The Grand Tour to coincide with the release of the third season of Jeremy Clarkson’s hit motoring. 

The former Top Gear presenter joins co-stars Richard Hammond and James May as playable characters, and each provides unique dialogue for the new title.

Fans can expect The Grand Tour Game to be crammed with stunts, exotic cars and the obscure machines created by the presenting trio for the various challenges they face in the online show. 

Game developer Amazon Game Studios also plans to offer a series of free updates inspired by events that take place in season three.  

Here’s everything you need to know about The Grand Tour Game

When can you order The Grand Tour Game? 

As soon as you like. Fans can purchase a download key for the game on either the PS4 or Xbox One through Amazon for £11.99.  

Users will be sent a code that can be typed into the PlayStation or Xbox online storefronts. Once activated, the game will begin to download onto the player’s console. 

What do the critics make of it?

The game has received a lukewarm reception. Critics claim The Grand Tour Game is fun for fans of casual racing games but doesn’t live up to the likes of the Forza and Gran Turismo franchises. 

The Grand Tour Game is something entirely different and in no way comparable to these genre-defining giants”, says Metro. Instead of racing cars across vast open worlds, players re-enact some of the scenes in the original TV show. The spectacular hypercar shootout that appeared in the first TV series is one such scene.

The game shows players a clip from the TV show before transitioning into gameplay and this provides some context for each mission. “The transition is surprisingly smooth, though it’s very clear when you’re expected to pick up a controller”, the news site says.

The tech news site Push Square says the The Grand Tour Game’s vehicle handling is “decent enough” and feels similar to more casual racing titles such as the Need for Speed series

But the gaming site claims there’s “not a whole lot of differentiation” between most of the cars. This can be frustrating as players are sometimes required to repeat sections of the game as all three presenters. 

Given its modest price tag of just £12 – significantly less than the £50 needed for a digital copy of Forza Horizon 4 – The Grand Tour Game is a fun companion to the Amazon Prime motoring show that blends the lines between video game and TV, says Eurogamer

But if the game is to be taken as a “statement of intent from a massive company” seemingly invested in gaming, The Grand Tour Game is a “disappointing” racer that barely classifies as a game, the website says.   

Still, The Sunday Times says the game will no doubt make fans of Clarkson and co. chuckle throughout, which is “testament to the appeal” of the show’s three presenters and its scriptwriters.

What can players expect?

Unsurprisingly, cars and stunts take centre stage in The Grand Tour Game

The most recent trailer shows hi-tech vehicles including the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 racing around Portugal’s Portimao circuit, which featured in the motoring show’s debut episode back in November 2016. 

But supercars aren’t the only mega-machines on offer to players. Racing game news site GT Planet says fans who pre-order the game also get the opportunity to drive three special creations from the first two series: Hammond’s eco-friendly plant car, Clarkson’s beach buggy and May’s Lada fire engine.

Four-player split screen will be available, too, a game mode that is almost none-existent on modern racing games such as Gran Turismo Sport and Forza Motorsport 7

And players new to racing games can use “cheeky power-ups” to get one over on the competition, says US-based magazine Road and Track. These include the “High Tea” power-up, which spills “tire-shredding cups and saucers” across the road to slow down unsuspecting opponents. 

What will the updates offer?

According to tech business news site MCV, the game will be updated on a weekly basis to take in new cars and stunts featured on series three of the Amazon Prime show. 

“I think I’m justified in saying that we’re the first video game team in history to make a game that launches day-and-date with a weekly live airing TV show,” Amazon Game Studios creative director Craig Sullivan told the site. 

“We really wanted to embrace the idea of ‘play the show’. So as you will have seen there’s no traditional static screens in the game. When you start playing an episode we really embraced the idea of perpetual motion.”

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