The passion of Kazunori Yamauchi knows no bounds, unless you count the supposed limitations of technology and his racing career pursuits. So it’s actually a surprise to know that Gran Turismo Sport, the latest in Polyphony Digital’s celebrated Gran Turismo franchise, will be arriving this November and beautifully rendered.
On some level, it’s hard to believe that Gran Turismo Sport even exists, but here it is in playable form at E3. The automotive eye candy is decadently luscious; from the Mercedes-AMG GT S to the Bugatti Chiron making an appearance, to the usual locales of Nurburgring looking quite stunning. But, this is not Gran Turismo 7.
Then there’s a sense of atmosphere as voice commentators and cameras bring the racing action live. And Polyphony Digital finally brings the long-awaited livery editor to the table, and no longer a bragging right that rival Forza Motorsport has retained for years, it’s amazingly detailed and looks more than technically proficient, but is not GT7.
But how does the GT Sport actually play? As I sat in the mock-cockpit equipped with a Thrustmaster wheel the level of immersion is enhanced, but probably not indicative of how many people will experience on a DualShock 4 controller. Taking out the physical feedback that attract hordes of show-goers out of the equation, I will say that the game has taken a huge step in the right direction.
First off, the output of 60 frames-per-second now feels legitimate and buttery smooth, largely because the bumper rubbing method at higher speeds is less effective than before and consequently more realistic. Accidents from competitors is nearly guaranteed instead of the CPU just following a dictating line like mindless drones.
It’s refreshing and tries hard to break from its prior foundations, especially now that the control response is tightened up and feels more natural, rather than robotic and simulated like the AutoCAD references Polyphony relied on before.
Oh, there’s also an extensive “Scapes” photo mode that takes the joy car glamor shots to the next technological level, and being able to acquire a FIA motorsport license digitally.
My time was very limited, but this probably the competitive racer we all deserve when Sport hits the PlayStation 4 right before Thanksgiving (hopefully) this year. But just remember no matter how much you want it to be, Gran Turismo Sport is not Gran Turismo 7.
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