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Feature Article

Our Gran Turismo Sport Review Won't Hit Until November. Here's Why.

Rolling start.

I published a short preview a couple of days ago to highlight some of Gran Turismo Sport's unusual touches, but more importantly, to point out that PVP is everything in this game. I can't recommend GT Sport if you're looking for a rich single-player experience as it's incredibly light at launch. The day may come when the campaign consists of more than bite-sized challenges, but for now, those are all you have when playing solo, and they're better viewed as very specific training missions for the big show: online cups and championships.

It's never been a secret that GT Sport is built with online races in mind, but it wasn't until we booted it up in a retail environment that we could see how dominant this commitment is, and that it will take weeks to see if it even works out as planned. For reasons I'll explain, we will review GT Sport when we're confident that we've measured the success of the systems it imposes on you, and how they ultimately feed into the game's upcoming tournaments.

Starting November 3, Polyphony Digital and the FIA will hold the first of three events to kick off GT Sport's Test Season. The next two follow on November 5 and November 7. Beyond that, it's not clear when these events will return.

The reason that these are so important to GT Sport is that everything outside of training challenges is fed into your racer profile. This consists of two key stats that determine who you race against today, and what pools you're placed into come November. Your Driver Rating is a straightforward reflection of your race times against other players in the game's Daily Races, which are races you should try every day, not races that change on a daily basis.

Your Sportsmanship Rating is a bit more complicated, determined not only by how courteous and responsible you are on the track, but unfortunately also by how lucky you are at avoiding chaotic opponents. Presently, if you're struck by another driver, it seems that you will also be penalized, practically without fail. And it's not always easy to avoid mishaps given that only some camera angles provide a glimpse of rear- or side-view mirrors. Particularly rambunctious players will become a ghost on the track for a short amount of time, but this can instill a false sense of security as you still run the risk of being hit as they transition back to normal.

If it can pull off its attempt to create a professional online racing league governed by a leading, real-world racing organization, that's cause for celebration.

As frustrating as being docked points for others' mistakes can be, there's hope that GT Sport's organic grouping system will recognize the burden of responsibility in some fashion and ultimately find a special place for messy drivers. Only time will tell.

Delaying a review is never ideal, but GT Sport deserves a chance to show us what it's made of. Polyphony Digital has created something quite ambitious and risky. If it can pull off its attempt to create a professional online racing league governed by a leading, real-world racing organization, that's cause for celebration. It's simply too early to say one way or the other. Check back with us when we have an answer in early November, and be sure to watch the video at the top of this page for an extended discussion of the game in its current state.

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    Peter Brown

    Peter is a Senior Editor at GameSpot who's passionate about gaming hardware and game preservation.
    Gran Turismo Sport

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