GRAN Turismo – or GT – shares it’s entire history with the PlayStation brand. Initially releasing in December 1997 on the PS1, GT became an instant hit. Worldwide sales have topped 72.6 million, making it PlayStation’s biggest franchise. Polyphony Digital are responsible for the success thanks to their fanatic attention to detail.
Gran Turismo has an iconic history of stunning graphics and solid game play. Polyphony worked for years on each game, perfecting environments and car physics. In fact they are so obsessive that the wait between installments has become famously lengthy.
Six full games are released among many prologues – pre release unfinished versions – and a fully fledged outing on the old PSP. The games are notoriously long, with some featuring full 24hr races for the few enthusiasts crazy enough to try them.
One of my vivid memories is trying to pass a licence test on GT4 on the PlayStation two. It was the final test for the licence and by far the most difficult challenge I had ever faced.
A full lap of the Nurburgring without going off the track at all.
In a VERY, VERY drifty Mercedes 190E.
Whilst in a non-contact race in which you must finish 1st.
This literally took years off my lifespan trying to complete it. So I think it is about time Polyphony stepped up and made a game that tests me as hard as GT4 did.
Lately the releases have been neither good or bad. Polyphony seemed to be blissfully plodding on, ignoring their fans and the rise of games such as Forza, Project Cars and Assetto Corsa. Between the unrealistic hoover-like engine notes and a general lack of excitement, Gran Turismo began falling flat on it’s face.
GT6 is then released on the PS3 just as the PS4 launches. A crazy move that backfired even more when DriveClub – PS4’s new racing game – missed the release by a mile. Stumbling the PS4 launch and leaving GT6 with disappointing sales and mediocre reviews. Fast forward a couple of years and GT Sport is announced. Described as an E-Sports game it seems Polyphony have finally taken a step into the new and unknown. Fast forward again and we reach today. It’s January 2017 and unsurprisingly GT Sport has been delayed. Initially slated for November last year, now all we know is that it’s releasing ‘in 2017’.
However, it isn’t all bad news.
We have these beautiful new screenshots showing off the PS4’s capabilities along with a new trailer:
We now know GT Sport is essentially a massive online racing championship. Everyone starts as a beginner and once competitive, you can try your skills to represent your country online. You also have the opportunity to win an real FIA Motorsport licence after completing in-game challenges. As of now it’s unknown what this entails.
A first of it’s kind spectating mode offers weekend coverage in game. These events will focus on live professional races with full commentary and TV style footage.
The game also bring Gran Turismo into the present with features like a livery editor. Something that has been glaringly absent for a long time.
There is also support for PS:VR on ‘some cars and tracks’. Hopefully enough to make it a worthwhile method of playing.
Featuring new tracks, cars and features, Gran Turismo Sport looks like it could be an incredible game that is perfect for this blog.