Gaming

Gran Turismo Sport stalled by too few cars and tracks

Gran Turismo Sport has only 163 cars and 40 tracks (with six real-world tracks), but the graphics continue to be top-notch and worthy of a GT game. The surroundings and tracks look equally gorgeous, with realistic lighting effects. Each car also hand
Gran Turismo Sport has only 163 cars and 40 tracks (with six real-world tracks), but the graphics continue to be top-notch and worthy of a GT game. The surroundings and tracks look equally gorgeous, with realistic lighting effects. Each car also handles differently when you drive it.PHOTO: SONY INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT

But superb graphics and realism make GT franchise's 7th primary version its best-looking game

Next month marks the 20th anniversary of the long-running racing game series Gran Turismo (GT).

The latest and seventh primary version of the franchise is not called Gran Turismo 7. Instead, it is called Gran Turismo Sport (GTS).

I had high hopes, but was instead disappointed that developer Polyphony Digital seems to have held back with this version.

For starters, GTS lacks the content that the franchise is famed for.

In GT6, there are over 1,200 cars and around 100 tracks. GTS has only a pitiful pool of 163 cars and 40 tracks (with six real-world tracks) for you to drive and race on.

This also pales in comparison with its competitors, such as Forza Motorsport 7, with its over 700 cars and more than 200 tracks.

Even Project Cars 2, with its 180 cars and 53 tracks, has more for gamers to choose from.

  • 7/10

  • RATING

    PRICE: From $74.90 (PlayStation 4 only)

    GENRE: Racing

Often, when I went to each car brand to try a car, I was offered only a few models. For example, I could only choose an Audi TT, a rally version of TT or a souped-up version of Audi R8. For a GT game, this is seriously close to blasphemy.

Thankfully, the graphics continue to be top-notch and worthy of a GT game. In fact, GTS is probably the best-looking GT game ever.

Whether it is the exterior or interior of the car, the textures are smooth and the details intricate.

The surroundings and tracks look equally gorgeous, with realistic lighting effects. You will wonder if you are looking at a picture or driving in a video game. On the downside, there are no dynamic weather effects or day-to-night transitions that are found in its competitors.

Racing realism has been the forte of the series and GTS is no exception. Each car handles really differently when you drive it.

For example, the agile Subaru Impreza WRX will give you better handling when navigating hairpin bends compared with the monstrous Ford Mustang.

There are three main modes in GTS - Arcade, Campaign and Sport.

The Arcade mode is the only offline mode of this game, while the other modes require an Internet connection. Here, you can set up single races against the game's artificial intelligence, as well as time trials and custom races.

The Campaign mode is a single-player mode with a boring series of racing scenarios, endurance tests and hot lap challenges.

The Sport mode is essentially an e-Sports or multiplayer mode. There are three types of daily races in Sport mode - one every 20 minutes, one every hour and scheduled championships.

There are two tutorials about sportsmanship that you must watch before you get the certificate to be able to participate in the online races. You are judged not only by your race placing, but also your sportsmanship.

You might not be able to enter some races if your sportsmanship ratings are too low. So, exercise restraint and do not just charge like a bull in these online races.

• Verdict: Gran Turismo Sport has superb graphics and realism, but its acutely small pool of cars and tracks compared with its predecessors and peers makes it feel like a teaser for Gran Turismo 7 (if it ever happens).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2017, with the headline 'Gran Turismo Sport stalled by too few cars and tracks'. Print Edition | Subscribe