Community Expectations of Gran Turismo Sport May Not Be Met
A couple of weeks ago Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of Gran Turismo racing video game series, announced that the beta-testing for the new installment, titled Gran Turismo Sport, had to be cancelled. Otherwise, the game would have been pushed to 2017 -- which neither Yamauchi nor the fans of the series wanted.
As a result, Gran Turismo Sport will be released, as scheduled, on November 15, 2016 exclusively on PS4. In order to please the fans after the announcement, Sony showed the possibilities of the new game during a special presentation (watch it here).
The community was finally able to make up its mind on the upcoming game -- and here are the conclusions.
Graphics got slightly better
According to the presentation, Gran Turismo Sport improved the graphics to a certain extent. However, there will be no dynamic weather conditions or fancy special effects that you might see in other racing simulators, such as DriveClub or Forza. The environments actually look better now, which you probably won't notice anyway -- if you’re focused on the driving.
Polyphony Digital, the game’s developer, never had an intention to make the graphics of Gran Turismo its main selling point. What they always targeted was the technical side of cars and their mechanics. On the other hand, the photo mode works very well and can make for some amazing in-game shots.
Concerning the tracks, all 19 of them will have a perfect geometry, as has always been the case in Gran Turismo series. Today the developers achieved incredible precision with new scanning technologies, so you really have the sense of driving through the actual locales.
Sound design received no improvements
Aside from graphics one of the most crucial points in any racing sim is the characteristic sound of each vehicle’s engine. Unfortunately, fans never liked the sound design in the series, which even prompted the developers to hire a sound engineer from the rival studio – Microsoft.
Mike Caviezel, the former Forza audio designer, was brought to Polyphony a year ago to improve the engine sounds of the Gran Turismo cars. However, during the presentation the community didn't notice any changes to the sound at all.
Probably this aspect of the game is still in the works and the final product will have significant improvements, otherwise the acquisition of Mike Caviezel makes no sense.
Online multiplayer is the future
The Gran Turismo series is known primarily for its precise control mechanics, which can distract new players and make them lose their way during the race. So, with this is mind the developers had to come up with a solution that would allow the new players to learn the basics of driving as quickly as possible, since Gran Turismo Sport is focused entirely on the multiplayer racing competitions.
For this reason, all competitive racing modes in the game will offer whole training courses that should prepare newcomers for the actual races with real players. Fans were more than happy with this decision, and it looks like the regional and eventually worldwide championships are closer than we may think.
Single player doesn’t offer too much
Despite being mainly a multiplayer game, GT Sport does offer a few single player modes:
- Beginner’s School will teach new players how to properly control the vehicles.
- Circuit Experience offers all the necessary information about the tracks including detailed training sessions.
- Mission Challenge brings you closer to the competitive nature of the game with a whole slew of various challenges.
- Racing Etiquette teaches you how to win in the multiplayer championships.
As you see, the game doesn’t include a typical career mode, which was a bit surprising for fans who’ve been anticipating this game since the very first announcement. However, Sony stated many times that GT Sport is not Gran Turismo 7, but a spin-off dedicated solely to online competitions.
Sony really wants to push the GT series into the global eSports arena and they want to do it as quickly as they can. It is completely understandable, as the amount of young people desiring to win big prizes by playing their favorite video games grows every day.
This is the reason for the beta cancellation and other underwhelming news from the production side of the game. Hopefully, Polyphony Digital will turn GT Sport into a complete game in the next five months, otherwise the dream of being a worldwide eSports discipline may vanish really quickly.
What is your stance on the current development status of Gran Turismo Sport? Do you think Sony will manage to deliver a well-polished final product by the official release date? Share your thoughts in the comments section.