Gran Turismo Sport review - First impressions

Hands-on at last with GT Sport the latest game in the Gran Turismo series on the PS4

Gran Turismo is 20 years old this year, which seems like an appropriate time for one of the most important games in the series so far, GT Sport, to make its debut.

GT Sport is not like other Gran Turismo games. Well, in some ways, anyway - and if you’ve not previously been a fan of Gran Turismo, then GT Sport is similar enough in many ways that it’s unlikely to change your mind.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

> Best driving games on sale now

GT Sport introduction

Never before has Gran Turismo been focused so much on online racing, and so little on the amassment of weird and wonderful vehicles and completing hundreds of different single-player events.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The non-canonical title - GT Sport rather than Gran Turismo 7, as the next full title will be - is the first clue to this. The second is the relative lack of early-game content, with just a handful of arcade mode races, licence test events and similar practise-style tasks to teach you the basics of the game.

> Click here for our latest Subcription offers for Christmas

You can, of course, look through the in-game dealerships, but you won’t be buying a used vehicle this time around, and the car list is heavily weighted towards race cars, rather than road vehicles. That initial frisson of excitement from having 10,000 credits with which to buy your first vehicle? Gone - the game gifts you a car simply for booting it up, and your opening balance is 50,000 credits.

Both money and other vehicles are much easier to come by than they were in the early days of previous GT games. Work at the licence tests, achieving gold in every one, and you’ll already have a large amount of money and a handful high-end cars at your disposal by the end. After four or five hours of play and no more than about 200 in-game miles, we’d collected around 15 cars without spending a penny, and had more than 1 million credits to our name.

For some players at least, this will be a good thing, quickly glossing over the aspect that some considered a bit of a grind - buy cheap car, enter race, win a little money, tune it up, and repeat - with the quickest cars still well out of reach after days of play. But seasoned Gran Turismo players might feel a little short-changed at the removal of one of GT’s unique selling points.

Gran Turismo Sport gameplay

Thankfully, the gameplay goes some way to making up for it. First, the graphics are beautiful, and everything runs at breakneck speed. Sound design is a big step forward from previous games, and while the road cars can still sound a little thin at times, the race cars finally have the anger and intensity you’d expect of them, with gear whine, whipcrack gearshifts and bellicose exhaust notes replicated to an impressive degree.

Advertisement - Article continues below

And the handling is the best yet in a GT game, striking the right balance between realism and accessibility. Novices should be able to navigate most tracks unscathed and there are plenty of driving aids to help out, but more experienced players, having turned off all the assists, will quickly identify the fiery temperaments of some vehicles and have to keep on top of tyre slip and weight transfer.

Cars behave much as you’d expect from their real-life counterparts, and the same applies whether you’re driving merely briskly, or dancing over the limits of grip - or indeed, sailing way beyond those limits on some of GT Sport’s rally courses, which can be a lot of fun. Play the game with a wheel and pedals setup, as we do - a Logitech G29 - and the fun and interaction ramps up further.

A wheel and pedals should give you the best hope when competing online, too. We’re yet to delve into the online aspect that makes up the bulk of GT Sport - so expect more on that soon, including the official FIA-sanctioned events - but the game’s creators promise a matching system to put you among drivers of similar experience, and measures to reduce the potential for dirty drivers to infiltrate online lobbies.

For the time being, we’re excited to dip deeper into what GT Sport has to offer, but conclude this first look review with the caveat that those expecting a deep single-player experience probably won’t get the greatest value from GT Sport.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/features/202640/bmw-m4-competition-vs-mercedes-amg-c63-s-coupe-german-coupe-twin-test
Features

BMW M4 Competition vs Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe - German coupe twin test

The F82 BMW M4 is about to be put out to pasture, so does AMG’s recently fettled C63 S Coupe finally have its number?
18 May 2020
Visit/jaguar/202404/jaguar-project-8-evo-reader-experience
Advertisement Feature

Jaguar Project 8 evo reader experience

The Jaguar Project 8 is a 200mph marvel of engineering designed with one purpose in mind: to deliver the thrill of driving. We put some lucky evo read…
14 Apr 2020
Visit/features/18127/the-best-six-cylinder-engines-ever-we-pick-our-favourites
Features

The best six-cylinder engines ever – we pick our favourites

Six-cylinder engines can be found in cars of all kinds, good and bad. We collate the very best
13 May 2020
Visit/porsche/911/202636/porsche-911-carrera-to-be-turbo-only-as-manuals-stay
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 Carrera to be turbo only, as manuals stay

Porsche confirms the 911 Carrera won’t be available with a naturally aspirated engine again, but manuals stay. For now
17 May 2020