Gran Turismo Sport review: GT is back – but not as we know it

A focus on e-sports ‘breathes new life’ into the 20-year-old franchise

Gran Turismo Sport has faced numerous setbacks that put the kibosh on the game’s intended 2015 release, but Polyphony Digital’s highly anticipated racer has finally arrived.

The game will be the first Gran Turismo title to launch on the PS4 and is slightly different to previous entries in the series.

To see how GT Sport differs from its predecessor, here’s everything you need to know about the new motor sport simulator:

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Price and release date

Gran Turismo Sport is available to order now, and is exclusively for the PS4 and PS4 Pro.

Amazon is selling the standard version of the game at £46.99. Above that sits the steelbook edition at £49.99, which comes with an exclusive set of in-game stickers and a chrome helmet for your avatar.

The most expensive version is the £104.99 Collector’s Edition, which features a Mercedes-AMG GT scale model and an art book.

The Week reviews GT Sport

Many of you will be aware that Gran Turismo Sport isn’t the direct sequel to 2013’s feature-packed GT6 that die-hard fans were hoping for.

The legendary racing game franchise has moved away from the car collecting gameplay of previous instalments in the series. The focus is now on players competing in online events that fall under the e-sports banner.

The series has partnered with motor sport’s governing body, the FIA, to host virtual events that grant players their own official racing licence. The first race doesn’t kick off until 4 November, but there’s a host of online races every day to help fans improve their skills.

These online races replace the smattering of single-player championships that featured on older GT titles. But fans can still take part in an array of licence tests and trials to earn money for new cars.

While GT Sport’s predecessor, GT6, boasted a car list of over 1,100 cars, the new game comes with just 162 vehicles. Many of these are tweaked versions of the same model of car.

Players can purchase the 2017 Nissan GT-R, for example, along with a race-spec Gr. 4 version of the car and an even faster Gr. 3 variant. This makes the already slim car list look even more bare, particularly as the game has been in development for four years.

Gran Turismo titles are some of the best-looking games on their respective PlayStation systems – and GT Sport is no exception on the PS4.

The level of detail in each car is second to none. LED tail lights sport the same piercing glare as their real life counterparts and the paintwork realistically changes colour depending on the time of day your race is in.

Vehicle sounds are equally impressive. Racing cars emit a high-pitch gearbox whine that can also be heard on real-world competition cars. Exhausts crackle when you drop down through the gears, making you feel as though you’re really inside the cockpit of the car.

The driving physics are also an improvement on the GT6. Road cars are a particular highlight thanks to the game’s accurate feeling of weight transfer.

Racing cars – in particular the faster Gr. 3 cars – are planted through high speed corners yet they are arguably too skittish when taking first and second gear bends. Even seasoned racing gamers will want to turn driver assistance, such as traction control, on.

While GT Sport moves in a new direction to its predecessors, it’s one of the most intricate racing games to arrive this year, breathing new life into a formula that’s remained relatively unchanged for two decades.

What the critics say

Polyphony Digital has finally launched first PS4 racing game on the PS4 and according to most reviews, it was worth the wait.

Metro says Gran Turismo Sport’s driving model is “the best in the business” - especially compared to its major rival, Forza Motorsport 7.

The game is also more accessible to car fans than hardcore racing sims such as Project Cars 2 and the recent offerings from Codemasters, says the website, while still managing to accurately replicate the sensation of “weight and balance” that you would experience in a real-life vehicle.

The reduction of the car list to just 162 vehicles, compared with 1,197 in GT6, hasn't fazed most critics. Top Gear says every model in the new game is “a joy to drive” and that they are designed to compete closely with one another.

However, GT fans may miss “hoarding” and “heavily modifying” old cars in the now non-existent career mode, as the primary focus of the game is online racing and improving your driving ability.

One of the few criticisms of the game relates to its always online functionality- which means, as Games Radar points out, that an internet connection is always needed to track your progress.

If you were to lose your internet connection - or if GT Sport’s servers went down - you can only play in Arcade mode. This allows you to run races against the AI, but you won’t be able to earn credits to buy new cars.

Some reviewers are holding off from delivering their final thoughts until the game’s partnership with motor sport’s governing body, the FIA, comes into effect in early November.

Plus, the online racing aspect on which GT Sport is built is not yet fully functional, says GameSpot.

Although you can still play online races and level up, the website says, FIA-held events - which will serve as the basis for GT Sport’s e-sports championships - don’t open until 3 November.

It's not a direct successor to GT6

Unlike the traditional line of Gran Turismo games, which aims to provide the biggest and most diverse car list of its competitors, GT Sport is a spin-off title that is setting its sights on the world of esports.

Developer Polyphony Digital has designed GT Sport to allow drivers to hone their skills behind the wheel, rather than hand them a host of championships to complete for unlockable cars. Players will be able to watch videos on how to improve their driving through the game's campaign mode, which they can then take online to compete in official esport championships.

You can get an FIA-certified racing licence

To enter these official championships, Polyphony Digital has partnered with the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) to hand players digital racing licences approved by motorsport’s world governing body.

It's not yet known how players can get their hands on one, says Top Gear, but the digital licence will be recognised by "25 motorsport clubs around the world including the MSA in the UK, ADAC in Germany and the Rwanda Automobile Club".

GT Academy is just around the corner

Along with these FIA-approved esport championships, the Gran Turismo Academy will return on GT Sport to give gamers the opportunity to become a real-world racing driver.

While this year's running of GT Academy has yet to be confirmed, GTPlanet says the gamer-to-racer competition could be revamped for GT Sport to make use of the new FIA-approved racing licences.

GT Academy has already spawned several racing stars. Jann Mardenborough, the winner of the 2011 competition, has since gone on to race in the now-named F2 championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Car liveries can now be customised

Gran Turismo fans have been calling for a livery editor similar to the one on Forza Motorsport for years, says IGN, but they are "about to have their patience rewarded".

The game's creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, told the website that the feature "is complex enough to be a whole app of its own" and functions like a "Photoshop" for cars.

Players will be able to "choose from pre-made decals and shapes" or make their own from scratch, says IGN, which can then be shared online.

It's optimised for the PS4 Pro

Polyphony Digital says GT Sport will be capable of 4K graphics at 60fps on the PS4 Pro. The game will also support HDR (high dynamic range) on the high-powered console, which bolsters contrast ratios for more realistic lighting effects.

The firm says players can experience these benefits only with a PS4 Pro and a 4K HDR-enabled television, but those on a regular 1080p TV will still see the benefits of an improved lighting model compared with those playing on a standard PS4.

There are more than 160 cars…

The car list has shrunk from more than 1,100 vehicles to 162, but the unique vehicles in GT Sport come with more detail and better engine sounds than those in previous titles.

The car list is split into four classes, beginning with Gr.4 and rising in performance to Gr.1, says Alphr. Not all of these cars can be found in the real world. Polyphony Digital will "supplement the real cars with virtual concept ones”.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

Alfa Romeo 4C Gr.3

Alfa Romeo 4C Gr.4

Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition

Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 T Sport

Alfa Romeo 4C Gr.3 Road Car

Alpine Vision Gran Turismo

Alpine Vision Gran Turismo 2017

Alpine Vision Gran Turismo Race Mode

Aston Martin DP-100 Vision Gran Turismo

Aston Martin Vulcan

Aston Martin One-77

Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3

Aston Martin V8 Vantage S

Aston Martin Vantage Gr.4

Audi R18 TDI 2011 (Audi Sport Team Joest)

Audi R8 LMS (Audi Sport Team WRT)

Audi Sport quattro S1 Pikes Peak

Audi TT cup

Audi TTS Coupe

BMW i3

BMW M4 Coupe

BMW M4 Coupe Gr.4

BMW M4 Coupe Safety Car

BMW M6 GT3 (Walkenhorst Motorsport)

BMW M6 GT3 M Power Livery

BMW Vision Gran Turismo


Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo

Bugatti Veyron 16.4

Bugatti Veyron Gr.4

Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo

Chevrolet Camaro SS

Chevrolet Corvette C7 Gr.3

Chevrolet Corvette C7 Gr.4

Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray

Chevrolet Corvette C7 Gr.3 Road Car

Citroen DS3 Racing

Citroen GT by Citroen Gr.4

Citroen GT by Citroen Race Car Gr.3

Citroen GT by Citroen Road Car

Daihatsu Copen RJ Vision Gran Turismo

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Dodge SRT Tomahawk GTS-R Vision Gran Turismo

Dodge SRT Tomahawk S Vision Gran Turismo

Dodge SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo Gr.1

Dodge SRT Tomahawk X Vision Gran Turismo

Dodge Viper Gr.4

Dodge Viper GTS

Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R

Ferrari 458 Italia

Ferrari 458 Italia Gr.4

Ferrari 458 Italia GT3

Ferrari LaFerrari

Fittipaldi Motors Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo by Pininfarina

Ford Focus Gr.B Rally Car

Ford Focus ST

Ford Mustang Gr.3

Ford Mustang Gr.4

Ford Mustang Gr.B Rally Car

Ford Mustang GT Premium Fastback

Ford Mustang Gr.3 Road Car

Gran Turismo Racing Kart 125 Shifter

Honda Civic Type R (FK2)

Honda Project 2&4 powered by RC213V

Honda Sports Vision Gran Turismo

Honda NSX

Honda NSX Gr.3

Honda NSX Gr.4

Honda NSX Gr.B Rally Car

Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track

Hyundai Genesis Gr.3

Hyundai Genesis Gr.4

Hyundai Genesis Gr.B Rally Car

Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo

Infiniti Concept Vision Gran Turismo

Jaguar F-type Gr.3

Jaguar F-type Gr.4

Jaguar F-type R Coupe

Lamborghini Huracan GT3

Lamborghini Huracan Gr.4

Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4

Lamborghini Veneno

Lexus LC500

Lexus LF-LC GT Vision Gran Turismo

Lexus RC F

Lexus RC F Gr.4

Lexus RC F GT3 prototype (Emil Frey Racing)

Mazda Atenza Gr.3

Mazda Atenza Sedan XD L Package

Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo

Mazda Roadster S (ND)

Mazda Atenza Gr.4

Mazda Atenza Gr.3 Road Car

McLaren 650S Coupe

McLaren 650S Gr.4

McLaren 650S GT3

McLaren Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo

McLaren MP4-12C

Mercedes-AMG A 45 4Matic

Mercedes-AMG GT S

Mercedes-AMG GT Safety Car

Mercedes-AMG GT3 (AMG-Team HTP-Motorsport)

Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo

Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo Racing Series

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gr.4

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3

Mini Clubman Vision Gran Turismo

Mitsubishi Concept XR-Phev Evolution Vision Gran Turismo

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.3

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.4

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.B Rally Car

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition Gr.B Road Car

Nissan GT-R Gr.4

Nissan GT-R Gr.B Rally Car

Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 N24 Schulze Motorsport

Nissan GT-R Premium edition

Nissan GT-R Safety Car

Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo

Nissan Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

Peugeot 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport

Peugeot 908 HDi FAP – Team Peugeot Total

Peugeot L500R Hybrid Vision Gran Turismo, 2017

Peugeot L750R Hybrid Vision Gran Turismo, 2017

Peugeot Vision Gran Turismo

Peugeot Vision Gran Turismo Gr.3

Peugeot RCZ Gr.3

Peugeot RCZ Gr.4

Peugeot RCZ Gr.B Rally Car

Peugeot RCZ GT Line

Peugeot RCZ Gr.3 Road Car

Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991)

Porsche 911 RSR (991)

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport

Porsche Porsche 919 Hybrid (Porsche Team)

Renault Sport Clio R.S. 220 EDC Trophy

Renault Sport Megane Gr.4

Renault Sport Megane R.S. Trophy

Renault Sport R.S.01

Renault Sport R.S.01 GT3

Subaru Viziv GT Vision Gran Turismo

Subaru WRX Gr.3

Subaru WRX Gr.4

Subaru WRX Gr.B Rally Car

Subaru WRX STI Type S

Subaru WRX Gr.B Road Car

Toyota 86 Grmn

Toyota 86 Gr.4

Toyota 86 Gr.B Rally Car

Toyota 86 GT

Toyota FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo

Toyota FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo Gr.3

Toyota S-FR

Toyota S-FR Racing Concept

Toyota TS050 Hybrid (Toyota Gazoo Racing)

Toyota TS030 Hybrid

Volkswagen Golf VII GTI

Volkswagen GTI Roadster Vision Gran Turismo

Volkswagen GTI Supersport Vision Gran Turismo

Volkswagen GTI Vision Gran Turismo Gr.3

Volkswagen Scirocco Gr.4

Volkswagen Beetle Gr.3

… On 27 different circuits

Players can drive on 27 circuits, across 19 locations, says Alphr, with events held on both tarmac and gravel surfaces.

Circuits spotted in trailers and screenshots include the 12.9-mile Nordschleife at the Nurburgring in Germany, Brands Hatch in the UK and several new fantasy courses dreamed up by Polyphony Digital.

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