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Gran Turismo Sport – In Depth Review

Gran Turismo Sport – In Depth Review

I like cars. It's not a secret. I enjoy driving cars that perform above and beyond your mom and dads Prius, so it's only natural that I would like racing games too.

I remember in the early 90's playing TestDrive 2 on the Sega Genesis and then the first GranTurismo on the Playstation 1. After a few year hiatus I purchased Granturismo 5, and subsequently Granturismo 6 on the Playstation 3. I built an entire racing Rig using PVC Pipe, a car seat out of my MR2 Spyder Parts car, and the Logitech G27. I spent hours racing around the Nurburgring in a Z4 GT3 in Granturismo 6. So much time was spent in the digital cockpit honing my racing abilities, even if it were in an aging game. Once the PS4 was announced and GranTurismo 7, or Sport, or whatever they were calling it at the time, I was ecstatic! Sadly, it was pushed back by more than two years.... Classic Polyphony Digital(Check out the delays with GT5..)
Finally, though, we have been blessed with GranTurismo Sport, the 7th full installation of a GranTurismo game on the Sony consoles. So, how does it stack up to the previous? Read below to find out!

Cars

The car selection in GranTurismo Sport is drastically slimmed down compared to GT6. I was originally upset by this fact, but when I thought about it a bit more, the frustration and sadness quickly subsided. I remembered that after extensive online racing in GT6, I only ended up using a handful of cars that quickly became my favorites and had the best setups for me. The only thing that I will say is that when my friends and I would play, we would each purchase our car and spec them out to our real life varients, and race each other until the Wee hours of the night. Sadly, all of our cars aren't available in GT6, which is suprising given their pedigrees(Honda S2000, Acura RSX-S, Toyota MR2 Spyder, BMW 135i, Ford Focus SVT).  I hope in the future some of the upgraded cars from GT6 are transferred to GTSport.

With all of that being said, GTSport is more of a pure racing game, and less arcade like, so I welcome the higher quality cars, even if there are fewer. The slimmed down options also help when you have races built around car types(GT3, LeMans, Etc). I think it actually makes races more even and fair.

Tuning

It's not GT6, but the Suspension, LSD, Transmission gearing, braking, and down force can all be customized. All of this was available in GT5/6, and the implementation of it all isn't any better or worse. It is there and it just works the way it should. What I will say is that while I was driving the Toyota SF-R, I modified the suspension, and to my surprise it handled  MUCH better and actually handled like I expected it to. One of my biggest faults with GT6 is that I'd modify the suspension with a similar setup and it would be uncontrollable. I'll chalk this one up to better physics and a better handling model with better realism, but it frustrated the hell out of me in GT6. 

A perfect example is that I would use an alignment similar to what I would use in real life; In GT6 this alignment was uncontrollable with excessive amounts of snap overstear and understear under any breaking. In GTSport, the same alignment works very well and exactly as expected. If I want better turn in, I increase the toe in on the front wheels; better stability, slight toe out on the back wheels. Finally a true/real life alignment that works, and  the results of slight tweaks are exactly as expected. GTSport took the guess work out of tuning the suspension.

Performance Upgrades

In Granturismo 5 & 6 you had to buy everything with the in game currency. I mean wheels, suspension, tramsmission, LSD, etc. In GT Sport you have most of it from the start. Most cars you can still purchase weight saving and increased power, but nothing like GT5/6. If you haven't played them, you had the ability to purchase items like intake, headers, exhaust, catless down/mid pipe, turbo, etc. One welcome change in GTSport is that all wheels and tires are available for every car from the start. In GT6 you had to purchase each type/set of tire separately; This wasn't to big of a deal because i'd just purchase racing soft for every car and be done. Having all tires available from the start means for driving in single player events, I can use whatever I want, whenever I want and don't have to save up to purchase the exact tire I want.. THANK YOU!




Track Selection

It's not GT6, but there is plenty to choose from. There is a total of 17 tracks and 40+ variations at Launch. With that said, I always find my favorite(normally the Nürburgring) and drive it anyways so I don't mind the slimmed down track count. The tracks that are here are good ones and I think they made a good selection overall. 

Another note; When you first start playing the single player mode, most of the tracks are locked. You have to play the game and rank up in order to unlock the tracks. This gives you another item to work towards which I like and acts like a portion of the local career mode on it's own.

Career/Campaign mode

Contrary to what so many people have been bitching about, there IS hours of content. I've played the various modes for a few hours and I have barely made a dent in it all. There is three primary modes, all based more around learning the sport and the skills needed to be any good. I appreciate this, although I could see why others wouldn't. There is still races to be won.

One huge factor to consider, and the Key to everything; In GT5/GT6 the only way you could accrue in game money and experience was by competing in career mode races and events. In GranTurismo Sport you are able to accrue money, experience, mileage (money?), and mileage towards your daily/total from any race or event you are apart of. It doesn't matter if it's multi player, single player time attack, career mode events, etc. You receive something for everything you do, albeit it all varies based on length of races, difficulty, etc. So, realistically, you could setup your own races and get just as much money and experience as a race in GT6, except it would be exactly what you want to do. NO MORE racing a Miata around an over track for two hours. YESS!

Online

I haven't played online yet, mainly because I don't want to risk my reputation using only a controller while I wait for my wheel to arrive. With that said, before you are able to even access the online portal, you're required to watch two videos that talk about sportsmanship and proper driving/racing etiquette. I welcome this and think it promotes a better racing experience. Once you watch the videos you're free to race. You only have to watch them once, but they are accessible if you want to watch them again. 

Graphics

It's a racing game so it won't be crazy, and IMO doesn't need to look like the jungles in Uncharted. With that said, each and every car looks stunning, both with and without HDR turned on. With HDR turned on, it's absolutely incredible. Race tracks look decent, but so many tracks are in cities or deserts, so not much to look at anyways. The extra crap on the sides of the tracks, to me, is unneeded, but then again, so many people are worried about the grass in the wind, the leaves on the trees moving, and your fart killing everything in it's path.  on a serious note, there are a few special cases, an example being Dragon Trail - Seaside, where the Sky and Ocean look incredible, but TBH I'm not so much worried about how the extra stuff looks around the track, rather how it drives.

Graphics Pt. 2 Livery Editor & Scapes

Scapes. OMG. It's complex mess if you don't know much about photography, and the interface is a bit clunky, but it creates incredible pictures. You have complete control of the camera angle, zoom, focus, aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, etc. So many effects and ways to create unique and beautiful pictures of your cars. Hands down this is one of my favorite "Extra" features of the game. 

Audio

The game supports up to 7.1 surround Sound, and let me tell you, it sounds GOOD. Compared to GT5/6, when you would drive  a V8 muscle car, it sounded like you were driving a clogged vacuum cleaner. If you drove a V12, it sounded like you were driving a vacuum cleaner about to burn out from sucking to fast. Thankfully, In GTSport, it sounds realistic for the first time in GT History. FINALLY.

User Interface

Coming from GT5/6 I was expecting somethign a bit more familiar. The interface is super clean and very easy to navigate, but some of the short cuts I got used to are no longer there(the start button on the home page to access a menu and change cars, etc.). In GTSport everything has a strategic menu and place, but it is completely different that GT6. I think I will miss the simple XMB like bat in GT6 where everything is layed out in front instead of in menus or other pages. It's not that it's any more difficult, just something to get used to.




Final Thoughts

I love the game thus far. It is everything I was looking for. The single player is great and does exactly what I want it to. The updates, although some incremental rather than leaps and bounds, are appreciated. The omission of cars and tracks are unfortunate, but I don't have much to complain about, even with what some would call missing components.

The bottom line is that I wanted a racing game that I could play with my friends from the comfort of the couch(or racing Sim) while getting better at a sport that I love. For that, this game delivers over and over again. Some may want and need more, but for them, I say, go by DriveClub because it's obvious you don't want a game for serious racing with others online.

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