Gran Turismo Sport review, a track of excellence

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Steven L. Ken
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Gran Turismo Sport returns to PlayStation 4 after a prolonged absence, and it does it great, with a title that is easy to learn, challenging to master, full of love for the world of automotive sports simulation. Ready to get back on track?

To the many fans of virtual motoring or not, Gran Turismo is a series that has so many things to say. Gran Turismo Sport represents the latest incarnation of the famous driving simulator, ready for new heights. Since it was published for the first time in the distant years of the PlayStation 1, a lot of water has passed under the bridge, and between a few slips and a few takes, taking note of the superiority now unfortunately discussed (at least in certain aspects) of Forza Motorsport on consoles, the title is ready to give its best even on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro.

Testing for you Gran Turismo Sport was not an easy task, either for some initial problems in starting the application on PS4 Standard, or for problems with the game servers in the first days preceding the launch. Nothing to pull our hair out naturally, but enough to slow down our work. Anyway, now we are ready to tell you what the brand new Polyphony Digital title has to offer, where its strengths are and where, instead, it appears less convincing. Take a comfortable position in the cockpit, we are about to engage fifth.

No career, but progressive growth

The more attentive will have already noticed that the wording "Sport" in the subtitle of Gran Turismo Sport is certainly an indication of a new direction taken. The series is trying to avoid the confrontation - direct clash against Microsoft's Forza Motorsport, the latter title that can count on a greater number of cars, impressive, as well as on dynamic weather, two details of which, inevitably, we hear at least a minimum lack in the triple-A from Sony. It will be necessary to see if we will continue on the Sport line or instead decide to take paths already beaten, later on. But for the moment, one of this year's novelties even more worthy of attention is the absence of a proper Career mode.

When we talk about Career mode, of course, we are referring to progressive mechanisms that propose objectives and races to be tackled one after the other, with increasingly higher requirements, or with a real story linked to the driver (which honestly would not be displeased). None of this, however, is present on Gran Turismo Sport, where the concept of progression is entrusted to the player's profile. Each event or activity that we will carry out on the track increases the credits, the accumulated mileage points, the experience gained, making us level up, and in turn by leveling up we will unlock bonuses and above all new tracks, up to the Nurburgring in GP version, 24 hours and Nordschleife.

The accumulated miles are a sort of currency with which you can unlock new helmets and suits, but also accessories and cars not available elsewhere, special colors, poses for our pilot and upgrades, in such a way as to be able to increase the spectrum of weight and power available and use them when there are restrictions related to these two factors. And in the world of social media, perhaps one could be missing list of goals? A separate list from that of the game's trophies, which are also present however. In plain sight there is a section with objectives to be unlocked that flows into your personal page, within which the photos taken, the replays, the liveries, the feed of your friends are collected, with a system of followers in style Twitter.

The game modes of Gran Turismo Sport

The heart of Gran Turismo Sport lies in the friendly or competitive online competition, but this does not mean that without an internet connection you cannot play, even if the annoying banners will continually remind us to have to connect in order to take advantage of all the features. More than anything else, the offline single player is designed as training in view of the matches on the network, in such a way as to already know the functioning of the mechanics of the title and above all the tracks, almost by heart.

The Campaign mode, which somehow remedies the absence of the Career, is divided into three sub-modes designed for both beginners and experts. The first is theDriving Academy, that replaces driving licenses with 48 tests or lessons. The latter are nothing more than the pretext to illustrate the basics of the title and the automotive simulation, such as cornering, oversteer and understeer, driving on dirt. Each test is accompanied by a video that explains not only in detail how to deal with it, but also what we are talking about in the "real world". In this way you really learn something, Gran Turismo Sport takes on a real didactic function, beyond the need to obtain the bronze trophy to continue.

The mode Missions, on the other hand, it is perhaps the one closest to the classic career, as it offers 64 challenges ranging from complete races to single-make ones; all on dirt, with regard to resistance over 15 or 30 laps with a lot of consumption of tires and gasoline, up to an entire strip dedicated to the Nurburgring Nordschleife, or the wonderful "green hell". Last, but not least, the modality Circuit Experience: for each of the tracks it is possible to tackle specific sections up to the complete lap, with a view to obtaining at least the bronze medal and acquiring maximum knowledge of the track. An interesting way to continue to level up and tackle all the available circuits, giving importance to an aspect that usually does not have that much.

Gran Turismo Sport, the final verdict: an experience for everyone

Gran Turismo Sport marks an important step in the genre of sports driving simulators, for a very simple reason: without falling into the simplicity of a real arcade game, it manages to offer a pleasant and satisfying experience even for newcomers. The mechanics are not simplified, but simply made more accessible: veterans of the genre will be able to find the necessary amount of effort required to achieve important results, but newcomers do not have to feel frustrated by a difficult approach to a multitude of different machines. , guidance systems, tracks, dirt roads and crowded modes. Gran Turismo Sport is a title for everyone, and for everyone capable of being satisfying. If you are a lover of the genre or want to approach it for the first time, don't miss it.

9 An exceptional driving experience

Points in favor

  • Graphically incredible
  • Good growth mechanism
  • Online it gives its best

Points against

  • Absent Career mode
  • Offline loses almost all functionality
  • An improvement of the servers would not hurt
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