7 Things I Learned After A Long Weekend With Gran Turismo Sport

Here's what we discovered during our first taste of the latest game in the Gran Turismo franchise
7 Things I Learned After A Long Weekend With Gran Turismo Sport

The plan was to have a weekend-long binge on everything that Gran Turismo Sport has to offer, but it didn’t quite pan out that way.

You might have read about GT Sport requiring an Internet connection when it comes to saving, but it actually goes further than that: the vast majority of the game is locked out unless you and the server is online. And for most of the weekend, the server wasn’t.

With the game now officially launched in North America, thankfully all is now working for us to review. And after playing what we could with the game offline and putting in as much time as possible when the server finally woke up, we can bring you our first impressions:

There's proper progression to enjoy

7 Things I Learned After A Long Weekend With Gran Turismo Sport

When trying out Forza 7 for the first time, I was a little taken aback to find that in no time at all I’d ‘accidentally’ earned half a million credits and had a garage stuffed full of gifted cars. But GT Sport does things a little differently.

In-game credits arrive at a gentler rate, and cars are gifted much less frequently. What’s more, you can’t just drive any car on any track as soon as you fire the game up. You have to put the time in to gradually unlock things, which will be a pain if you’re impatient, but for me, the satisfying progression is half the motivation for turning on the console in the first place.

The handling is incredibly satisfying

7 Things I Learned After A Long Weekend With Gran Turismo Sport

Of the handling models from the three racing games that have come out over the last few weeks, Project Cars 2’s is unrealistically twitchy, Forza 7’s is perhaps a little too forgiving, and Gran Turismo Sport’s is just right.

There’s a real sense of the designers thinking properly about things like body roll, steering response, balance and what a car is supposed to do on the limit. All the cars I’ve tried thus far are wholly satisfying to drive, but it’s arguably the slower, softer stuff where the developers’ understanding of car physics really shines.

The only real blight is with the front-wheel drive cars - they’re a little more two-dimensional. Like many driving games, GT Sport isn’t brilliant at replicating lift-off oversteer, nor the operation of a limited-slip differential in a FWD application.

Special mention has to go to the traction control settings. It operates on a sliding scale from 0 - 5, so you can wean yourself off as your driving improves, rather than having to go cold turkey and switch it off entirely when you want to up the challenge.

The standard graphics are nothing special

7 Things I Learned After A Long Weekend With Gran Turismo Sport

So long as you have the right gear, there is an HDR mode for Gran Turismo Sport. I don’t, and without it swiched on, the graphics are just a bit meh. There’s nothing strictly wrong with what you’re seeing, it’s just that nothing pops out and dazzles you. The scenery all seems a little flat, and a little underwhelming.

Remote video URL

While Sport takes the win for handling out of the trio of most recent racing games, it comes stone dead last when it comes to the all important noise test. Sure, it’s better than Gran Turismo games of old that often featured cars that sounded like vacuum cleaners, but they’re still disappointingly hit and miss here.

Cars packing big engines with many cylinders are just OK rather than scintillating as they should be, and there’s not much distinction between the ‘lesser’ machines powered by inline-fours and the like. The game does claw it back with some fantastic transmission whine in the race cars, though.

You have to be sold on the online experience

7 Things I Learned After A Long Weekend With Gran Turismo Sport

The whole point of GT Sport is online gaming: if you’re not going to partake, it’s simply not worth buying the thing. There is a limited arcade mode with decent AI (albeit AI that’s hamstrung in a weirdly artificial way on lower difficulty settings), but that’s not what you buy the game for.

The online stuff is good, though: ‘official’ races are happening all the time, and you’re given the opportunity to practice and qualify while you wait for the start. There are even FIA-endorsed championships to work up to if you’re feeling especially serious.

I’m not a massive fan of racing online - unless it’s with people I know - but GT Sport has a knack of drawing you in and getting you hooked from the off. After watching the ‘Racing Etiquette’ videos (which are like those videos you watch before going karting which explain how not to be a douchebag), I entered my first race, span out, and came second to last, beating someone whose driving was so bad they must have been either blind drunk or a toddler.

That wasn’t good enough, of course, and before I knew it, I was already in my second race, bagging a better grid slot and finishing in a (slightly) more respectable position. I’m now an online racing convert, and it’s all thanks to this game.

It's endearingly cheesy at points

7 Things I Learned After A Long Weekend With Gran Turismo Sport

From the applause/booing you get during the Drift Trial challenges to the guitar shred music that plays when you set a ‘gold’ time in Circuit Experience, GT Sport feels like a game from another era.

The initial opening trailer (which changed after the first update was installed) featured orchestral music that sounded like it was from the film Independence Day, and yes, the usual Gran Turismo menu bings and bongs are still present.

I’m quite fond of all of the above…

The lack of 'stuff' is a bit dissappointing

7 Things I Learned After A Long Weekend With Gran Turismo Sport

Sadly, Gran Turismo Sport is one of those games that leaves you with a sinking feeling of ‘is that it?’ as you navigate around its slick menus and find out that it doesn’t actually have masses to offer.

First up, the cars: in a gaming world where the latest Forza installment offers 700 cars, 162 seems pathetic, particularly when the cosmetic damage to each model is so shockingly limited. There’s a heavy focus toward racing machinery and there are myriad Vision concepts, leaving many manufacturer line-ups with just one or two road cars. This would be just about acceptable if the Gran Turismo Gods picked out one or two of a manufacturer’s latest and greatest machines, but often they don’t.

Take the Ford garage for instance. A Focus RS and a Mustang GT350R would be great, right? Certainly, but GT Sport instead gives you a 2015 Focus ST and a Mustang GT. Then over at Aston Martin, there’s just one road car, and it’s the ancient, soon-to-be-replaced V8 Vantage. Right.

GT Sport's limited garage focuses heavily on racing machinery
GT Sport's limited garage focuses heavily on racing machinery

Thankfully, more are apparently on the way. There’s a decent selection of tracks too, and the Circuit Experience section will take some time to work through. But at the moment the ‘Sport’ online section doesn’t have a huge amount to offer right now, and while FIA-approved championships will be kicking off in a few days, it’s a curious decision to do away with offline championships against AI entirely.

What Gran Turismo feels like is the bones of a great racing game that hasn’t quite been fleshed out, which is a shame given how long we’ve been waiting for it. That may change over time to some extent as more things are added, and the good stuff here is generally very good, but at the moment it leaves you wanting more.



GT Sport or FM7 or PC2?
I know which one I will choose.

10/17/2017 - 08:38 |
66 | 4

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Have PC2, great game but annoying bugs. About to get FM7, will see how it is..

10/17/2017 - 09:52 |
8 | 2

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Oddly enough I’m gonna get GT sport. I’m bored of Forza now after playing it religiously since 3, and PC left me disappointed with the first so much I don’t want to risk it again

10/17/2017 - 11:30 |
20 | 2
Rotary Fanboy

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)


10/17/2017 - 11:44 |
0 | 0
Ian MacDonald

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I have only played the demo of FM7 but I can say that PC2 has changed the most of any game this year. It is such an improvement over the last game that I never want to even touch the previous one. I was a big Forza fan until I became gradually more and more disappointed at how little the game changes with each year. While FM7 does have 700 cars, I can’t help but feel that the weather system and variation of weather is VERY lackluster compared to the immense amount of detail with PC2’s LiveTrack system.
Although like I said, I only played the demo of FM7 and I just heard that it has the E63 m6 and the e60 m5 so I think I will pick it up soon. As for GT Sport, I only have an XBone and a PC and not a PS4 so I can’t really play that at all.

10/17/2017 - 11:55 |
10 | 0
David 27

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

all three, can’t decide at all!

10/17/2017 - 13:35 |
0 | 0

Man GT4 may have ‘spit in your face’ AI and dodgy credits, but it runs circles around GTS with content.

10/17/2017 - 08:52 |
12 | 4

Agreed. GT4 is actually, the best Gran Turismo game I’ve ever played. Even later releases (GT5, GT6, never played GTS) can’t really match it.
Although GT2 is in a close second place.

10/17/2017 - 09:39 |
8 | 0
Max Schmalfuß

For me, Forza 7 is just perfect

10/17/2017 - 09:13 |
8 | 16

Same here, though I haven’t tried any of the other two so can’t be 100% sure.

10/17/2017 - 09:22 |
2 | 2

typical forza fanboys are just blind for forza

10/17/2017 - 09:41 |
8 | 18
3Fiddy (JDM Squad) (SAAB Squad) (S-Chassis squad)

In reply to by Max Schmalfuß

Wow, why is this downvoted it’s your opinion, anyways, the only two things ruining FM7 is the forgiving handling (it is much better than all Forza games) but it is still forgiving, and it’s still not that hard to progress which is disappointing, other than that it is fun to play online and single player and the Car Selection is amazing. 👌🏽

10/17/2017 - 11:52 |
0 | 0

FM5 ftw

10/17/2017 - 09:30 |
2 | 10
Macxyn (Simon)

I liked the demo very much. Enough to say, that I would buy the game.
And yes, I am one of those people, who love GT. I played nearly all of them. My favourite is GT6 (I played more GT6 than the other combined).
I also think, that graphics can (!) make a good game, but they aren’t the main point. Take Assetto Corsa an Project Cars (on PC). AC looks really not that good in comparison to Project Cars, but AC is the better game. It has the better physic engine, it has the better tracks, it has a better feeling to drive. I’ll be up to 1sec slower in Project Cars compared to AC, because I do not feel as connected to the car, as I am used to from AC.

10/17/2017 - 09:42 |
16 | 0

Assetto Corsa has got better tracks compared to Project Cars 2? Wut?

10/17/2017 - 21:41 |
2 | 0

I didn’t like it, i’ll stick to GT5 on the PS3, thinking about GT6 because the complete edition’s only about £15

10/17/2017 - 09:51 |
4 | 2

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I’ve got GT6, it’s a lot different, there is no more a market for Used cars, like it was in GT5, other than that, the community is still very strong :)

10/17/2017 - 12:07 |
6 | 0
Nishant Dash

Will definitely buy when more content is added. But as is, PCARS 2 is a much better value proposition.

10/17/2017 - 10:03 |
8 | 4

Can you modify cars like in the previous games? Those are the best memories I have with Gran Turismo (for example building a VW Bug Driftcar).

10/17/2017 - 10:18 |
0 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

There is a Slider for Power and Weight, you may increase the Power with those Mileage points your earn and decrease the Weight in the same way. You can’t swap engines, you can’t upgrade the Engine in any way from Stage 1,2 or 3, there is no Turbo/Supercharged Options, actually you may only Tune the Differential, Gearing and Suspension. So very limited Modifications.

10/17/2017 - 12:10 |
0 | 0
James Marshall

“Racing Etiquette Videos” before starting an online race…Turn 10, are you taking note? xD!

10/17/2017 - 10:54 |
24 | 2

ya really think people will listen ?
It is always hit and miss with idiots on the track in any racing game

10/17/2017 - 11:34 |
14 | 0

Using other players’ cars as brakes is a tradition in Forza’s online community

10/17/2017 - 12:02 |
4 | 2
H5SKB4RU (Returned to CT)

GT6 just beats it.

10/17/2017 - 11:33 |
4 | 2


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