Twenty years ... Who would have thought, Gran Turismo. You were part of much of my childhood and adolescence, you even say that we grew up together. I owe much of my liking for racing games to you, which now returns for the seventh time in my life. It's been a while since we last saw each other - four years, to be more exact. You've changed, GT. Changed a lot.
I think it's funny that you have adopted that nickname "Gran Turismo Sport". It sounds serious, but did not that just happen to hide something? I must say that after that time we spent together last week, you are inconsistent: at times it is very nice to be with you, but in others it is just a pain.
That stupid mania of wanting me to be constantly connected to the internet, this extremely shallow and repetitive offline experience, completely random and unnecessary content like the "Museum" ... I do not know. The impression I have is that you are suffering from a personality conflict in which, knowing that you need to reinvent yourself, you also can not detach yourself from the past so you do not lose your captive fan base.
In fact, sir "Gran Turismo Sport", after 20 years our relationship is by a thread - and now I'll explain why.
Beauty is not enough, Gran Turismo
One of the things I always knew about you is that you would come back more beautiful than ever. The team responsible for its visual side continues to be one of the best in the genre, without any doubt, for rebuilding vehicles on an obscene level of detail.
The clues, both the virtual replicas of real locations and the original creations, are also beautiful and with a wealth of detail just spectacular. During the gameplay, it must be said, you even look normal with one or another serrilhadinho, but just take some time to appreciate the details that you really show your beauty.
Where you really surprise, however, is in the replays. Post-processing and heavier use of anti-aliasing makes the experience of reviewing my races simply unbelievable, blurring the line between the virtual and the real, the photorealism achieved by combining great graphics , good lighting effects (though fickle, but I'm already talking about it) and the use of motion blur in the right measure - it was the least I expected of you and I must admit it was one of the greatest hits.
Of course, as I said, you're a bit of a skitter: the jabbering already mentioned during gameplay and inconstancy in the application of lighting effects, neon signs that do not reflect and things like that, catch your eye once in a while. The external camera also needs adjustments to become more fluid, since the standard setting leaves everything very square with regard to movement.
Still, you're back as the most beautiful racing game of the day - in a fierce contest with its main competitor, Forza Motorsport 7, which presents a much more cinematic experience, but that does not make me doubt more than mine Eyes are watching (for very little, say).
This performance, however, charges its price on the regular PS4: Although you can keep 60 frames per second in 1080p most of the time, there are times when the drops are noticeable. In Pro, on the other hand, the experience is more stable - and more beautiful too, since there is the option to prioritize the graphics and this eliminates a bit of the most noticeable markings during the gameplay.
''Still, Gran Turismo ... Beauty is not everything: it is necessary to have content''
Although it is possible to define the period in which races will take place in some modes, there is no dynamic climate and no progression of time. The rain has not gone away, with the closest being the wet surface on some mission challenges.
Other details, however, draw a lot of attention and contribute to a more enjoyable visual experience: the test prosecutors at the edge of the track, the teams celebrating the pit wall at the end of some races and the animations in the pits were very cool.
You do not sound more like a blender (at least not always)
If there was one thing I could not help but notice, GT, is that you're sounding a lot better than the last time we met. The scandalized and gruesome grunt gave way to more consistent engine sounds in most of the vehicles you brought, but like the overall experience, you're still inconsistent.
While the sound of the Miata still makes me wring my nose and doubt its intentions, the roar of the Corvette V8 engine and Jaguar F-Type, for example, made me smile a sincere smile several times. The effects that accompany the sound of the engines, with the shuffling in the reduced and also the changes of gear, help a lot to have a better perception.
While the advancement of its sound compared to previous titles has been evident, you still suffer to reach the level of your main competitors, GT. Trying to improve is commendable, but you have to try harder to get there.
''While the advancement of its sound compared to previous titles has been evident, you still suffer to reach the level of your main competitors''
The other effects, such as the screaming tires looking for grip in the corners or the suspension working when passing the zebras, are good and accompany the quality level of the rest of the work.
One of the things that caught my attention, however, was the lack of spatial orientation of these sounds all. Switching from the external camera to the internal camera in cars prepared for competition, for example, only means winning the pronounced whistling of the gears of the direct transmission and its sequential shift, with the sound of the engine being practically the same from outside - which shows that, despite the good intentions, you still hesitate in the practical application of the changes.
Its soundtrack, nevertheless, continues impeccable and dictates very well the climate of the experience, with a good combination of songs of different genres. This helps a lot to complement what can be seen on the screen.
Overall, it is undeniable that you have evolved and this should be acknowledged and admired - even if it lags behind when compared to your competitors.
In control, you are still a Gran Turismo
Do not get me wrong, Gran Turismo Sport, but to say that you are still a GT for its gameplay is not necessarily a compliment. This is because with the appearance of so many other good racing titles in the subgenre simcade and simulators in general, the impression one has is that their physics is, in the absence of a better, strange word.
I explain: the feeling is that all cars, especially those of competition (which are the focus here), even with stability control and other things off, suffer with a permanent "solo effect".
It is as if there is a magical force that keeps them attached to the asphalt and that does not necessarily come from an aerodynamic pressure or as a result of the friction between the tires and the track. By the way, the notion of "grip" you pass is almost negligible: setting the boundary between being gripped and having absolutely no control is tenuous at the level of becoming almost impeditive turning off the traction control.
''Setting the limit between being gripped and having absolutely no control is tenuous at the level of becoming almost impeditive turning off the traction control''
Of course, it's not all your fault: the absence of vibration in the triggers, a physical indicator that helps a lot to have control over this aspect, is a hardware limitation that you are not to blame.
Still, the impression you have is that cars, except when using soft compounds, are on plastic wheels and that the only thing keeping them on the track is this supernatural force. It is as if "tire modeling" is something non-existent in its development.
It is worth mentioning that this also continues to cause strangeness in the way cars behave. With the exception of street vehicles in some cases, there is the feeling that every move is too hard, there is no such thing as a twist of body twisting and suspension work.
''Walking on low-grip surfaces is a constant exercise of patience''
One of my most critical points about you, however, GT, is about the behavior of rally cars: it's as if you had gone to physics classes at school and only learned about centrifugal force and inertia and lacked everything that exists on friction and friction. It's another taste of how the experience with you is inconstant.
Walking on surfaces of poor adherence is a constant exercise of patience - and look how even I insisted and got gold in all the evidence you put before me in this situation.
The balance on its gameplay in the end is that it's not bad, it's just different - and of course, after spending some time together, everything was more natural and I even enjoyed it at different times (like in the old days ), but I was also angry. I did not have the opportunity to test you with a steering wheel, but I imagine the feeling is much better - I can not say for sure.
Now the really bad part
So Gran Turismo ... Sit down. Now we're going to get into the foggy part of this conversation. If you can hold the tips with the graphics, with the improvement in sound and with the gameplay that goes well most of the time, it's like I said up there: you need to have content - and that's where you step on the ball. Ugly.
This is where your mental confusion about what you want to be becomes clearer: although you want to repaginate and present yourself as a competitive-looking game, you can not detach yourself from your past.
That would not be bad if you chose the cool part of your past that made you become, you know, Gran Turismo. But you preferred to take the boring and useless part - which is kind of revolting.
Beginning with the part of the single player content: it is possible to participate in the "Piloting School", the "Mission Challenges" and the "Circuit Experiences" as part of the campaign itself. The problem is that when content (which is little) is not very similar among the three, it is simply unnecessary.
''The first lessons, which consist of only accelerate straight or deviate from an object, are absolutely disposable''
A clear example of this is most of what is available at the driving school. The first lessons, which consist of only accelerating straight or deviate from an object, are absolutely disposable because it is the most basic concept of any racing game and in no way contribute to what could effectively contribute to the main pillar of the game which is competitive online race.
By the way, if only Mission Challenges and Circuit Experiences existed, that would make a lot more sense. The challenges by offering some kind of objective gameplay and general races and circuit experiences by teaching what contributed 80% to make the player faster: to know the track.
The tips that are given for each sector, from braking references to the way curves are to be made, are extremely valuable and can contribute in an effective way - unlike what happens with the driving school, which teaches what should be intuitive in games of the genre, such as accelerating and braking.
More than that, you have to decide: is the game made for someone who is extremely casual or for those who are already accustomed to racing games in some way? Because nothing makes sense: the person who needs to learn to push a button to accelerate will not be able to take advantage of the competitive part, while those who are already prepared for the "Sport" part will not take advantage of anything so primitive, repetitive and tiring.
If this were not enough, this content is short, lasting for a maximum of 20 hours. To make matters worse, if I'm offline, you're just not going to let me play unless it's the arcade mode. The problem here is that if all this were removed, the player would have even fewer things to do.
The rewards for completing what is available come in the form of credits, for vehicle purchases, and miles, which can be exchanged for clothing items, stickers, wheels and even rare cars. Still, you are generous in yielding cars with certain ease - even if in Sport mode, you do not really need to use them.
To close one of the most frustrating aspects of what you offer, Gran Turismo Sport, is the fact that in offline mode I have to deal with an artificial intelligence that has evolved ant steps since its first title.
AI-controlled cars still hang in line most of the time and offer little or no resistance to overtaking. It's nothing organic, and after a while everything becomes a mechanical and repetitive exercise of passing cars on the track that seem more like obstacles than opponents. But, hey, your focus is on online, right?
What do you want to be, Gran Turismo?
As I said earlier, you suffer from a serious identity crisis, Gran Turismo. While you may want to rethink your focus on online competitiveness, you can not detach yourself from your past, whether for priceless or for whatever reason.
''While you may want to repaginate with a focus on online competitiveness, you can not detach yourself from your past, whether by priceless or for whatever reason''
The biggest evidence of this is the "Museum", which consists of nothing more than a set of slides that has been dubbed "PowerPoint mode". While there is a part that does offer information about the brands, there is an area devoted to random historical facts, such as the Spiky Girl's "Wannabe" release, Bjork's first album, the cloning of Dolly the sheep or Donald Trump assuming the US presidency.
Seriously, who had THE BRIGHT IDEA to direct effort to consciously develop this instead of producing, I do not know, a few more modes of running offline !? Or maybe create more clues? Or cars, maybe? Or a place to use these vehicles, since in the main mode of the game, most of the time, am I forced to use a "borrowed" vehicle and not one I have in the garage?
I would trade the history of Porsche or any brand in the game for more ways to play it, since that's what a game is for. If I want to learn about brands, there is something on the internet (the one that you think is mandatory so I can access some of your content) called Wikipedia and Google, which can teach more efficiently and better - and, more importantly, when I'm not eager to entertain myself with a title that seems to want to be more of an encyclopedia than a game.
It's that kind of thing that makes me lose my temper with you, GT. It is to see that those responsible for its development have FOUR YEARS to do a good job and appear with a limited, repetitive content player and other things useless and completely unnecessary.
Closing the package of things that could have been left aside to increase the filling, is the Scapes mode: although the photographers on call can rejoice with 4K photos in which it is possible to put your car and take photos with false bottom in the most diverse world, once again it is difficult to accept that there has been a development effort in a function that in no way aggregates the core of the game.
Yet you say you want to be a benchmark in online competition, with FIA-sanctioned championships and everything else, but you do not have the guts to leave all that useless baggage aside and focus on what really matters.
What really matters: cars and tracks
You know, Gran Turismo, one thing I must admit: Polyphony Digital's ability to create its own quality leads is superior to that of competitors. Running on Lake Maggiori brings to mind the Algarve track, while Dragon Tail has a nice combination of bends and altitude variation.
Still, 17 total locations and only 6 of them being real circuits is very little, even if you are the only racing game currently offered by Interlagos on the consoles - which is certainly good for averaging with your Brazilian fans, but is far from enough.
It's great to have the opportunity to see several cars brilliantly converted to existing category specifications, such as GT3, even if they do not actually participate in them
His list of cars, despite the regrets, is not totally bad: there are 163 vehicles available and some of them did not even need to be there (I'm talking about you, Daihatsu Copen). But I will not be unfair too: it's great to have the opportunity to see several cars brilliantly converted to existing category specifications, such as GT3, even if they do not actually participate in them.
Of course this serves to inflate the total number of vehicles a bit, since many are just variants of the same car for different categories. However, taking into account his claim that his focus is on competition (though much to the contrary), this is even understandable.
What can not be understood is that its creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, has already stated that he wants to bring more old cars. See how you can not decide if you want to be a new game or a poorer and more rotten version than you already were?
In fact, this is a good time to talk about the "new you" that you have been hitting.
Sport mode: a certain shot in the dark
Let's ignore for a moment the total lack of focus of the development team of Polyphony Digital and speak a little of what should be their main pillar of support: Sport mode. The intent is cool: a competitive online mode that offers championships with well-defined specifications, timed sessions and a "good manners" rating system and rider performance.
For the first time you can see that you, Gran Turismo, left the bubble you live in and mirrored in a format that works very well in titles like iRacing, for example. It's nice to have the opportunity to do qualifying before entering the race track.
But here you are not spared from some details either: the experience, perhaps because we are in the beginning, is very shallow. The races are very short and, because there are only three lobbies at the beginning, everything can become cloying very fast. On the other hand, the idea of the Nations Cup, in which it will be possible to defend a country, or the Cup of Marks, that will allow to defend my favorite brand, are very legal - I confess that defending Porsche, even if virtually, is something that can be quite exciting.
There have not yet appeared more extensive races that make it mandatory to stop in the pits - something that would make a much better use of the excellent pitstop mechanics and the animations that were made for it.
A nice addition was the possibility of applying custom paints in vehicles, in line with what has already been seen for some time in its main competitor, and which helps to give personality to the online competition. This extends to your rider's helmet and overalls and everything can be shared online - a function that has taken a long time but is very welcome.
To close, the mechanics of classification can be abused: as it classifies if the player's sector was clean or dirty (if there is any contact or exit from the lane), nothing prevents you from playing a little friend there Goiás in a late brake, provided that you keep the rest of the back clean.
Overall, Sport mode, while still taking its first steps, has a lot of potential to become something big in terms of online competition in the racing genre.
It's a shame that it's a good thing wrapped up in a lot of nonsense: in order to participate in the competitions, it's mandatory to watch two videos, one with instructions on "sportmanship" and another with examples of what it's like to be a complete asshole on the track - and I kept asking myself how the "driving school" there in the campaign mode could have been better used, again, so I could play instead of looking at the screen.
Where is Lewis Hamilton, Gran Turismo Sport?
Before proceeding to the close of this letter-analysis on our relationship, GT Sport, I need to point out something serious: you lie. The most obvious case is about using Lewis Hamilton's name as "The Maestro," just to make it clear that the F1 driver appears in his infamous "Museum" mode and another isolated occasion in the campaign.
Now, let's finish ...
A giant in decadence.
Gran Turismo Sport fails not for what it is, but for what it could be. It's a good, beautiful game that sounds a lot better than your ancestors, but it's extremely limited and dependent on an uncertain future in the competitive online environment - as well as being inconsistent in many ways.
It's frustrating, annoying and sad to see what Gran Turismo has become. GT Sport would have been a great title for the beginning of the generation and possibly a very solid foundation for a Gran Turismo 7 still in this generation.
The game itself is not bad, but when you put it on the balance that was delivered after four years of development, the result is at the very least shameful - especially when developers say the content will be further improved with DLCs, as if they had not had enough time.
Polyphony Digital seems to have settled in a terrifying way because of the roaring success of the franchise's first four titles and simply stopped in time - and the small reactions outlined in Gran Turismo Sport seem too small to spark the belief that one day the series can be what it once was.
In the end, it seems that the whole pretext of focusing on online competition seemed more like an excuse to deliver an incomplete and unfocused game. It is a game that, despite surgically matching what it does well, errs in a much larger proportion and has these errors aggravated by the context of its development.
For those who own a PlayStation 4 today, there are not many choices but to readjust expectations, accept what you have and hope for the future to be more generous with one of the biggest franchises in video game history - and even then , the idea that upgrades will be needed to improve a game that took so long to get ready exacerbates the fact that there is a lot missing from its release.
"Wronging more than right, GT: Sport arrives very limited in the single player, but with potential in the competitive online"
-Graphics bring an impressive photorealism
-Evolution evident in the sound part, although with some exceptions
- "Circuit Experiences" mode helps the player to be faster
-Modo Sport has great potential, but needs to be more varied
-Low quantity of cars and tracks
-Experience single player extremely shallow and fairly limited
-Connection requirement for access to already limited offline content
-The "Museum" is completely unnecessary in the context of the game
"Scapes" mode is cool but adds little to the experience
-Lack of focus on defining what is the ultimate purpose of the game
7.5 / 10