Feature Article

Gran Turismo Sport Is A Strange Game Tuned For A Very Particular Type Of Racing Fan

You've changed, Gran Turismo.

By the time you're reading this, Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo Sport is available to download on PSN, but due to the game's always-online nature I haven't been able to test everything it has to offer. Servers were taken down for maintenance over the weekend, leaving me with only the arcade mode to play. And though I do enjoy GT Sport's driving model, it's difficult to feel motivated by one-off arcade races when all currency and experience earned is voided once I shut off my PlayStation 4. Things aren't off to a great start.

GT Sport is in many ways a departure for Gran Turismo, aimed squarely at people interested in rising through the ranks of a professionally governed online racing league. As a result, developer Polyphony Digital and the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile have taken strict control over player progress, car purchases, and even the in-game photo mode for some mysterious reason. You aren't given a choice to either opt in or out of this system, and must contend with its limitations even if you have zero interest in the FIA.

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This attitude is indicative of a larger problem: catering almost exclusively to the tastes of racing's elite upper-crust. GT Sport lives in the world of exotic supercars and tightly tuned variants of racing-grade consumer rides. Gone are the days of experimenting with cars from decades past that offer more charm than horsepower. If that's what you're after, you should probably keep playing Gran Turismo 6, or look to a modern alternative like Forza Motorsport 7 to get your fix. GT Sport's official car count hovers right around 160, but the more realistic number, when you take difficult-to-discern variants out of the picture, is closer to 90 distinct designs. Most manufacturer's feel woefully underrepresented, with only two or three unique models to choose from.

Gran Turismo games are always little offbeat, but bewildering trysts with non-racing subjects in GT Sport feel like misguided attempts to create the country club of racing games. It's amusing at first when the game's menu backdrop fades from an interesting event in racing history to, say, the date that Celine Dion won her first grammy, or the discovery of the neutrino, but over time these flourishes start to leave a bad taste in your mouth as you discover how little racing content there is to explore--even when servers are up and running. Don't get me started on the inclusion of fashion label (and GT Sport sponsor) Tag Heuer next to car manufacturers in "Brand Central," the place you go to buy cars and explore the history behind them. Seeing a watchmaker get the same treatment as a car designer in a racing game isn't harmful, but it makes you question where its priorities lie.

I can say that when I'm not shaking my head at strange limitations and designs, I genuinely enjoy driving in GT Sport--that's one thing Polyphony Digital hasn't lost sight of. Whether or not the amount of missions and cars is enough to keep me engaged in the long-run is the real question. Check back in the coming days for my full review, but it's safe to say that you should approach GT Sport with trepidation if you had hopes for a relatable or typical Gran Turismo experience.

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Peter Brown

Peter is Managing Editor at GameSpot, and when he's not covering the latest games, he's desperately trying to recapture his youth by playing the classics that made him happy as a kid.
Gran Turismo Sport

Gran Turismo Sport

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Avatar image for barnold81

At what point is the review score so untimely that nobody cares anymore? Just saying...

Avatar image for Norm01

I've been a gran turismo player from the beginning, I was really disappointed with the lack of customization. In the past, we could upgrade the exhaust, tires, and other things. Not with sport, and it's why I won't be picking this title up. Sorry Sony.

Avatar image for slypher9

Get this GT Sport has around 160-170 cars including variants... GT 6 has 1200 including Variants...

I'll stand by my saying This is essentially GT Online, they just didn't want to call it that because of the fear once person see Online in the title they probably get the feeling that its MMO like where it can't be enjoyed off-line...

Well played to Sony and PD your market team did its job and tricked the fans... You spend 5yrs drawing less than 170 cars and perfecting online feel which i don't think should be that hard seeing how talented you guys are..

BUT 5yrs for not even half the game GT6 was... no wonder Forza has stolen your fans.

GT normally sells on Brand recognition and word of mouth... In this outing i'm sure as hell the word of mouth wont be good

The guys over at EGMNOW said it best..."GT Sport isn’t a racing game folks—it’s a super-advanced Driver’s Ed program"

PD has gotten lazy and complacent and Sony and GT director is to blame...

Avatar image for phbz

Going to an interesting review to read. How will this game score when it offers only a fraction of the content of its competitors for the same price? Is the online alone head and shoulders above the online in other racing games? Because even the online seems to have more limitations than Forza.

Avatar image for chubby170

@phbz: What makes you think it offers only a fraction of what other games offer? I dont think you and others realize what the online thing means. You have to be connected to the internet to use all its features, thats all... which includes its single player campaign with thousands of challenges and other things, and then the Sport mode which is online competitive racing. I wouldnt be surprised if they keep adding onto the game..

Perhaps I am not aware of what other games are offering that is so different?

Avatar image for phbz

@chubby170: well for starters all the other games let you have access to a full offline mode.

Avatar image for chubby170

@phbz: I can agree with that but at this point of time, who isnt connected to the internet? Granted, if they have issues with their servers, then its a big issue..

Avatar image for phbz

@chubby170: Not only that but if I understand correctly it's not just about having internet but playing PS+ monthly subscription.

Avatar image for chubby170

@phbz: I havent read that but I dont think so. Perhaps to play the "Sport" mode, then yes since thats where you are racing others online. But for Campaign, you only have to be connected online. Its a good question though and id be curious to know myself.

Avatar image for chubby170

Not sure why so many people are saying there is no campaign mode, because there is. It may be different than the past but there is one... Now if their servers would work so that I could access it and give it a go, I could comment more...

Avatar image for slypher9

To whoever review this game... if this get more than a 7.. thats poor... the always online no progression without it... is just wrong.

whats worse, they are stressing always online and i'm sure the servers isn't always gonna be up..

Maybe poly want to create a Grand Tursimo Online, which is fine as its there product... But the day that comes around (which this could be the start of it) is the day i walk away from GT...

GT is a product it isn't essential to my survival and i'm a fan of this series, but when a relationship goes bad its best to walk away

Avatar image for chubby170

@slypher9: Thats not a reason to give it a low score. A review should be about gameplay.

I do agree with you though, always online to play is really dumb. Like last night, i couldnt play my first time becuase it was not online..

Avatar image for slypher9


if they bash Need for Speed for the always online thing which is a critical part of the gameplay experience, GT should get docked also, no corners cut...

I've put 20hr in GT so and that because i'm a fan, it will get style point on graphics, presentation and gameplay aspect where on track driving is concern...

BUT at $60 & and lacking (not missing) on features of the last GT it begs to ask the question.. WHAT THE HELL where they doing for the past 5 yrs.. They can't say they've been drawing cars etc, when there is LESS cars in this outing..

Avatar image for Guimengo1

"Racing elite uppercrust" are not interested in this either.

Avatar image for freeryu

8/10 lowest

9/10 highest

Avatar image for slypher9

@freeryu: more like 6 lowest 8 highest.. Im a GT fan and while this game is down right a beauty... the always online BS should hurt its score dramatically

Avatar image for twztid13

@slypher9: I don't see how it gets higher than a 7. Peter is a great reviewer, & you can read this statement & see how frustrated he is. A big disappointment for all racing game fans, for sure. Now I can see why Sony limits the funds to polyphony, as Kaz always tried to pull stunts for what he sees as the future of driving games, but cutting off the majority of an already niche audience is absurd. Surely he went after this avenue as the only way they felt they could stay relevant in racing games, with the amazing choices gamers today have. As many can see, if GT just held their ground & did what they do best, they can compete. Unlike last release, their console has a bigger install base worldwide, so that, along with brand recognition saw them start off at an advantage. They didn't know all this when they began development, of course, which is why they have to believe in their product & not try all of these Nintendo like squirly gimmicks to get ahead. A shame, truly.

Avatar image for twztid13

@twztid13: When I say, as many can see, I'm referring to forza 7 being a step back from forza 6. Maybe not much, but it's easy to see how just the tiny change in direction from the devs can hurt a game, much less ripping a series from ground up, especially when the foundation was good. If they just incrementally improved with each iteration, they'd have sales & ratings to prove they were on top again, eventually. Now, they practically made certain they can't get to the top, on pure audience participation rate alone (made for smaller audience than before, and always online each would hurt it, but together they ruin it).

Avatar image for deadpeasant

The Gran turismo series is now officially dead. In its place is yet another "me to" always online esports focused husk of a game with vastly less content and heart than the games that came before it.

Avatar image for slypher9

@deadpeasant: I'm a GT fan and i give this a 7.. it feels like a test bed for GT 7 and they are trying to perfect the online section of it.. This should have cost 40 and named Grand Turismo Prologue 2...

With no deep offline career mode that was there in past titles, i take away 1.5 points and always online another 1.5 points..

The presentation and graphics is there... but this game is the most incomplete feeling GT EVER... even worse than GT prologue

Avatar image for chubby170

@deadpeasant: How do you figure?? Perhaps they will keep adding onto this entry and make it the best its ever been...

Avatar image for slypher9

@chubby170: keep adding sure, as they have done in the past with the last other GT.. BUT person don't buy a game on "WHAT'S TO COME"...

GT happens once maybe every 3-5yrs... and in that time person are expecting the norm+more... not a experiment that cost the same

Avatar image for chubby170

@slypher9: Well i do agree with you on that but unfortunately most games are not 100% out of the box. And there is a career mode for single player. But you do have to be connected to the internet to access it. That is stupid, i must say...

Avatar image for deviltaz35

The this time in history part is brilliantly done. i especially love the car history popups.

Avatar image for beantownsean

Nope...I don't support "always-online".

Connecting to authenticate is one thing, I can appreciate the piracy concerns. Having features locked and progress discarded due to connectivity restrictions is not something I'll pay for.

Avatar image for HenrySix

I'm sorry but I still think it's unacceptable to spend years developing a game with no career, no weather system, no day/night cycle, no visual damage system etc. I've been playing GT over 20 years, but won't be buying this. I'm done with it.

Avatar image for chubby170

@HenrySix: There is a career mode, there is damage. You have played this game for 20 years but past games with no damage didnt bother you, no day/night cycle previously either but now its a problem?

Have you even read about this new game?

Avatar image for ch2423

@chubby170: I'm glad you started with "there is a career mode". Was easy to see right off the bat that you don't know what you're talking about and I could skip the rest.

Avatar image for chubby170

@ch2423: Oh really? So that Campaign mode on my screen is there just for show?? lol


Avatar image for roycruz

I was a big GT fan in the PS2 Era, and even the PSP version.

Then, the PS3 entries dissaponted me... and now, after playing the GT Sport demo, this is the demise...

Now I changed my mind and will buy an Xbox one X to play Forza 7.

Much better in every aspect, from quality and size of content, customization,

level of graphic detail, tighter controls, and most importantly: a proper career mode...

putting the 2 games for the same price: the choose is clear.

Avatar image for deviltaz35

@roycruz: Yet the driving model in Forza 7 is vastly inferior just read the reviews online

GT sits in between Forza 7 and Project cars 2 for realism .

All just depends what you want from a game. To me Forza is too American where as I just like the quirky way GT always is. Not to mention the incredibly realistic drivebys against various vistas .

Avatar image for roycruz

@deviltaz35: So the reviews online says Forza is inferior??

Let's see:

- Forza Motorsport 7 Metascore: 87% (37 scores above 90%)

- Gran Turismo Sport Metascore: 77% (1 score above 90%)

Playstation Universe: 75%

Playstation Lifestile : 70%

(both Playstation dedicated gaming sites)

- 700 cars vs 150

- 32 tracks vs 17, Real life tracks 26 vs 6

- Full career mode vs. drive school and online only

- Dynamic weather vs daytime only

Do we need to say more?

Ok, let's see what they say:


""Forza Motorsport has now firmly set the bar by which all other racing games will be judged"

- GamesRadar -

"It’s hard to overstate just how gorgeous Forza Motorsport 7 is. From the moment you jump into your first race, you’ll be in awe of the sheer beauty of everything the game does."

- Trusted Reviews -

"you can tell that Turn 10 Studios did extensive work on polishing every little detail within the game to make Forza Motorsport 7 as photo-realistic as possible. The engine bays (as well as the vehicular interiors) are beautiful, and the talent behind Turn 10 Studios was not wasted there."

- DualShockers -

"Forza Motorsport 7 can lay claim to being the prettiest driving game there is right now... as ever, this is the driving game for everyone, and when it comes to approachability, consistency and polish, nothing else comes close."

- EuroGamer -

"Graphically speaking, Forza 7 sets a new bar for fidelity. This is one gorgeous game, practically photo realistic in its presentation.

You would be mistaken for believing this was a television broadcast of an actual event with how detailed it can be."

- Destructoid -


"he first thing you’ll likely notice is that GT Sport isn’t the best-looking title you’ve ever seen. It isn’t ugly – but, aside from when you’re watching a replay, the visuals are a tad uninspired. Car models themselves are great, as is the lighting, but the overall package is a bit drab. If you’re looking for bells and whistles, you won’t find them here"

- TrustedReviews -

"It’s also less spectacular than you might expect. Nothing major, but a few scrappy shadow edges, the occasional frame hitch, and some very diorama-like foliage make for an unconvincing world, especially when the colours are more gamey than lifelike. It’s still gorgeous at 60fps, and the glass effects are mouth-wateringly good, but the overall effect is not as photorealistic as its competitors."

- GamesRadar -

Avatar image for deviltaz35

@roycruz: lol do you have RSI yet mate? I was referring to the driving model as i actually stated , said nothing about reviews saying anything else was. To me the driving model as in the contact of the cars on the road surface etc which is the most important thing to me and Forza never gets it right as it sits slightly in the arcade side of things as in forgiving, but i guess that's what you get when you butt into someone else's conversation and don't clarify first what the person meant even though i clearly stated i was talking about the driving model.

PGR2 is still the best but probably a bit hard core for most when it comes to the driving model.

Plus i never said i wasn't getting Forza anyway just merely waiting for the Xbox one X as there is no sense playing it before that when i am getting that console and no i don't have a PC that would do it justice in 4k.

Avatar image for roycruz


That may be your personal taste,

I have been playing racing sims since many years.

(Gran Turismo 2 and gran prix legends were among the first ones)

Forza (motorsport) has very realistic handling (for what a videogame console has seen) and the best controls I have played when it comes to responsiveness.

When you make mistakes, is when the handling is more forgiving (for the sake of making the game less punishing and more enjoyable)

That is where Turn 10 decided to balance the game to be approachable to

the average gamer, while you can still turn off all the assists.

The most dedicated realistic simulators are not precisely the best (most enjoyable) videogames, and they are not even released on consoles.

They are meant to be driven with pro wheels, racing kit (seat, gearshift, etc)

for spending several hours practicing and correcting things . Something that appeals actual drivers and hardcore enthusiasts, but not practical for console gaming.

Avatar image for Salt_AU

@roycruz: Come on now Roy, you really need to try harder. You already own an xbox and Forza 7, you have not played GT Sport nor do you own a PS4 and are trolling for whatever reason I'm not sure. You're almost worse than me when it comes to trolling. Oh and it's the choice is clear, not the choose is clear.

Avatar image for roycruz

@Salt_AU: I don't remember you living with me to know what I have and what I play.

I own a PS4 and PC.

I do not own an Xbox one, and im still holding until Xbox one X.

And let me tell you something else:

I am Actually a Gran Turismo fanboy more than anyone...

Then, why I am advertising and defending Forza 7?

Because now Forza Motorsport is the real "Gran Turismo" that GT itself is not anymore...

Avatar image for effinjay

@Salt_AU: i will speak for Roy and say hes right,and i do own both systems,and have played both games. Case closed

Avatar image for Salt_AU

@effinjay: Please don't tell lies on the intranets. You don't own GT Sport nor have you played it outside of the demo.

Avatar image for topgun182

@Salt_AU: I was in the beta test. It bored me. I couldn't wait to get it and when I did, I spent a half hour driving, and never went back. I own every GT game made. Now I find out it's online only. I may buy it when it's $10. Maybe not.

Avatar image for Salt_AU

@topgun182: Each to their own, I have just spent 6 hours playing it and its great. Excellent online racing and the campaign is better than any other GT entry.

Avatar image for risingdawn

Sounds like a load of trash. Forza is great but I can help feel like that's been churning out the same game but slightly prettier for years now, although should say I've not played the most recent one.

For me Forza Horizon and Drive Club have been the best racing series/game for a while. Have started to drift more into alternative racers again like wipeout and Fast RMX