In light of its recent delay, Gran Turismo Sport presents some concerns.
It’s the best of times and probably the worst of times. The Fall season of gaming is about to begin and that means a plethora of new titles to enjoy. September was to kick things off in an interesting way with Forza Horizon 3 (out on September 27th) to compete with Gran Turismo Sport (originally scheduled for November 15th). Of course, Gran Turismo Sport was then delayed and now we can’t help but feel a little concerned about the game. This was already the case when it was first revealed and we’re even more worried. Don’t take this as an indictment of the game – it’s not out and I haven’t played it – but here are a few concerns given what we currently know.
Look, it’s entirely subjective as to whether you prefer 30 FPS (as with DriveClub and the upcoming Forza Horizon 3) or 60 FPS (like Forza Motorsport 6). They both lead to different experiences and allow for their own distinctive visual styles. When you want to deliver a certain kind of experience, certain compromises have to be made. However, before Gran Turismo Sport was delayed, it wasn’t looking all that impressive.
Environments came across as rather empty and while I didn’t expect dynamic weather – Forza Motorsport 6 didn’t have it either – it is weird to see a distinct lack of intriguing elements in the environments. Given that the game was announced as only 50 percent complete as of May 2016, it’s possible that more graphical improvements are added later but as it stands, for a series known for its graphical fidelity, it could look better.
Offline Career Mode
Polyphony Digital has already noted that Gran Turismo Sport may not have an offline Career mode. Again, this isn’t outright confirmed but it’s still a major concern. Remember the last racing game which was heavily dependent on online functionality? DriveClub launched to numerous issues in 2014 to the point where Challenges were available two months after release.
There’s also the part where most people simply couldn’t log in to play. DriveClub isn’t the only culprit though. Remember how maligned Need for Speed was for its online dependence? When servers go down for games like these, you simply can’t play them. It would behoove Polyphony to keep only Sports Mode online and hopefully, the recent delay will allow for other modes to have online variants.
Limited Car Selection
We’re not sure if the extra time will allow the developer to add more cars into the game though. Again, it’s a personal preference thing as to how many cars you like in your racing game. But in this case, it’s more about what the competition is offering. Forza Motorsport 6 had 460 cars available at launch. Forza Horizon 3 will have more than 350 cars when it’s available.
It’s not like having less than 200 cars is horrible – especially when DriveClub launched with 50 cars initially – but look back on the series’ legacy. Gran Turismo 5 had more than 1000 cars at launch and that was on a previous generation console. Same goes for Gran Turismo 6 which actually had 1200 cars at launch. Having this much for Gran Turismo Sport just feels like a step down even if more cars arrive after launch.
B-Spec mode was a rather interesting addition to the Gran Turismo series, allowing players to create drivers, level them up, compete in races and essentially manage your little team even when you weren’t home. Polyphony seems to be going in a different direction this time around because B-Spec isn’t likely to be in Gran Turismo Sport at launch. On the one hand, there is a similar feature in Arcade Mode with the current build of the game. On the other hand, B-Spec was an interesting new spin on the series and it’s a shame that it won’t be available on release.
B-Spec was available for Gran Turismo 6 after more than a year so it’s possible that Polyphony does the same for GT Sport down the line.
Beta Cancellation Shenanigans
Originally, Gran Turismo Sport was to have a beta test at this time but Polyphony cancelled it to allow the game to ship this year. Well, now the game has been delayed and there’s still no beta. It’s not like the developer is obliged to offer a free beta to consumers – and once again, it could change its mind down the line – but one would think that it would have been beneficial, especially when the delay was going to happen regardless.
What’s the plan now? Will there be a beta next year? Will Polyphony simply take its own internal feedback into account and release the game? How long will it take to release? We don’t want to be cynical but given the delays DriveClub suffered through – and its abject broken state at launch – we can’t help but be concerned.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.