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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Gran Turismo SPORT: Unveil Impressions

John Marine | 11:44 PM | | |
The Gran Turismo Sport Unveiling Event in London recently shown off the progress of Gran Turismo Sport. With little in the way of news previously, we now have plenty of ideas on how GT Sport has progressed in its development. We also can speculate on what could be with Gran Turismo Sport and what it has to offer. This blog post offers my thoughts on GT Sport based on what this Unveil event has shown.

NOTE: This blog post pertains to thoughts and impressions on Gran Turismo Sport after the recent unveiling ceremony. This is NOT any kind of review.

Gran Turismo Sport: Unveiling Event Impressions

It was May 19-20, 2016 that Gran Turismo Sport was unveiled in London, England, UK. To identify this post, I'll use this image (or find another one in case this one doesn't show):

Gran Turismo Sport
^ from: (YouTube) - Are you ready for a ride like this in the Gran Turismo universe?

Those bestowed with a PlayStation 4 will have themselves a Gran Turismo to look forward to. After many feel Gran Turismo 6 was completely boring and basically righted the wrongs of Gran Turismo 5, a number of fans feel the series is fading in appeal and in fun. Along comes Gran Turismo Sport to maybe bring back any lost fans and welcome new ones. The Gran Turismo Sport atmosphere features some influence from the FIA (Federacion International d' Automobile). In fact, there is even a Gran Turismo championship sanctioned by the FIA. This may end up being one of the true e-Sports today.

So before I go any further, I want you to view this video (or click on the link below the video):

^ "Gran Turismo Sport Gameplay Trailer Captured on PS4"

If Polyphony Digital feels they have lost a good amount of their audience for as long as Gran Turismo 6 has been around, then I feel a huge chunk of their fan base is going to return with GT Sport. A lot of what has been featured in this trailer is good indication Gran Turismo is anything but dead. I do love the TV-style presentation. You can surely complain about the same style sounds, but the look and feel of this title seems to be quite impressive. Some may even say this is what at least the racing aspect of Gran Turismo should have been from the very start.

This game looks to be a real evolution of the GT series even outside of the racing. A sad bit for some of us is that the game will feature some 130 or so cars, but some new machines will be featured. Among one of the newer cars featured? How about the ugly Ferrari LaFerrari (sorry- I don't like this car's looks all that much)? The game will incorporate a lot of different kinds of racing on tarmac and off-road. It is also said to have many different environments for taking pictures including various locales worldwide and various scenes. You could take fancy pictures with scenes such as Mt. Fuji in the background or even photograph your car with the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

If there is one thing I noted from the trailer, it was the inclusion of a livery editor. I felt like Gran Turismo 5 started something that would slowly get better. You could re-paint certain cars in GT5 by collecting paint colors. Gran Turismo 6 had it much better by allowing you to paint any car almost any color based on whatever colors you picked up. GT Sport has itself a livery editor. To some GT veterans, this is a feature we've long been looking for.

More detailed opinions of mine will be featured later in this blog post. For now, let's go to some talking points.

GT Sport: Talking Points

Now for some talking points.

Northern Isle Raceway?

When Gran Turismo 5 featured NASCAR, it was a sign that stock car racing was to be embraced in the GT series. Looking at this fantasy oval makes me wonder if maybe Polyphony Digital is a little more serious on trying to expand upon the oval racing appeal. Northern Isle Raceway is kind of like a fantasy Bristol Motor Speedway, only with less severe banking. It is like a Bristol that almost rides like Martinsville or Dover. Or maybe it's just Bristol but without the Bristol Motor Speedway licensing. This would complete the stock car racing package as the series doesn't have a proper short oval. Now, we seem to have that short oval with the inclusion of Northern Isle Raceway. Then too, you stock car fans can probably argue Gran Turismo could also use a one-mile oval in addition to what is already offered.

Tokyo Expressway.

I can already sense this course could be popular among online gamers and the highway battle set. Of course, this has to be at night to really be fun. I'm pretty sure you won't be battling the Thirteen Devils, 12 Zodiac, or even Kingdom Twelve though. I almost want to imagine racing this course kind of like racing the classic Ridge Racer games. I like it.

National Pride.

Individual success is always admirable, but there is NOTHING like playing for your country. I always feel you can gauge your performance best when you take on people from all over the world that specialize or compete in the same field that you do. What Gran Turismo Sport has to offer is a great platform for you to take on a world of opposition. I surely would represent the stars and stripes of the United States of America in my racing.

Only one thing concerns me here, mostly based on what I thought about with some people from the United Kingdom. Some folks from the United Kingdom don't want to affiliate themselves as competitors from the UK, but instead list themselves as racers from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and other places. This could be a problem with a few other places, but I've only seen this kind of problem with some United Kingdom folks.

More Cars?

The production cars and race cars are nice, but I want to imagine more kinds of racing, namely formula racing series (not exactly F1). Many people immediately will think Formula 1, but think of other series like GP2, GP3, Formula 3 (which I love), and even the Formula E series. It may also be possible to have something like the FIA World Touring Car Championship. I surely wouldn't mind some proper touring car action in the GT realm. Since GT Sport will also feature off-road racing, you can't forget about the FIA World Rally Championship. We could also speculate on if we'll get something like FIA World Rallycross. For some people, why not? Most of the rally racing us GT gamers have done is mostly on closed courses. It probably wouldn't be too tough to include proper rallycross racing ranging from the heat races to running Joker Laps.

If you're going to feature the FIA, why not sweeten the offer with more kinds of racing? Why not offer more kinds of racing machines? Some real formula racing machines outside of the Red Bull prototypes would surely be nice. What would be an absolute long shot would be the Gran Turismo series having a kind of racing never before experienced in a GT game: supertruck (as in the big rig trucks) racing, like with the FIA European Truck Racing series. Imagine trying to wrestle those big trucks on a race track! The FIA also sanctions drag racing, so imagine proper drag racing in this game through FIA drag racing. The extreme would be either the aforementioned Formula 1 or perhaps even endurance racing with the FIA World Endurance Championship.

I do realize this is not a proper simulation of all things FIA. However, I do think it would be interesting to have many more kinds of cars and many more kinds of racing.

Rules and Race Types?

When I saw one of the videos of GT Sport in action, I noted moments like Full Course Cautions. In certain racing games, screwing up the races with certain flags and rules can make the racing less fun. Even incidents not your fault end up getting YOU in trouble. I even played some of the EA Sports NASCAR titles to where some random incident ends up bringing out the Full Course Caution. I surely remember this playing "ToCA Race Driver 3." Gran Turismo doesn't have thug AI like a lot of Codemasters racing games I've played, but I'm sure it won't be that bad in GT Sport.

With race types, it is possible full race weekends or certain race rules would apply. For instance, you could have a race weekend that consists of multiple races or even certain rules. A rules example would be that the finishing order of Race 1 of a two-race event will be reversed for Race 2. So if you finished 3rd out of 16 cars in Race 1, your starting position for Race 2 will be 14th. We may even have a sprint race followed by a feature race.

The Gran Turismo We've Been Waiting For?

If you saw the video, you may have noted a livery editor. You may have seen all the different motorsports rules and racing and such. Gran Turismo Sport really seems like the Gran Turismo many of us have long wanted. Maybe this isn't like a traditional Gran Turismo, but there is definite promise this title will blow away all of us. There will still be a Gran Turismo 7. On the other hand, it seems quite like GT Sport may be the best spinoff of the GT series. Whether or not this will be the Gran Turismo we've been waiting for will likely be determined once GT Sport is released proper.

This is NOT Gran Turismo 7. I do wish the more favorable elements of GT Sport will trickle down into GT7, though. What this game has to offer for real will have to be pondered upon for when GT Sport is released proper.

Are there any other talking points I maybe have missed? Feel free to share in a comment.

GT Sport: Final Thoughts

Please remember these Final Thoughts of mine are based on a game still in development.

Based on what I've seen and what I've read, "Gran Turismo Sport" is what the racing side of Gran Turismo should have been from the very start. That feel of real racing environment along with some competitive racing action is why I think GT Sport is worth at least a look-see. I've had no problem with the casual style races in Gran Turismo games. While I don't want the GT series to be like any of the Codemasters racing games or any of the SimBin racing titles, the Gran Turismo series could benefit more with a more proper racing style environment. GT Sport looks to offer this sort of edge along with a handful of facilities and features to make this package incredible. Just the idea of a livery editor makes me feel like I could actually construct my own racing team within the game. That alone will help me to feel intrigued and connected as a motorsports enthusiast. I don't have a PlayStation 4, but this is surely a title I will want to get my hands on once it is released.

Most importantly, whatever GT Sport brings, I want to see the finer elements of GT Sport to go into Gran Turismo 7. The combination of traditional Gran Turismo elements along with whatever GT Sport provides should make Gran Turismo 7 perhaps the best Gran Turismo ever.

In Case You're Interested...

This post shows my initial thoughts on Gran Turismo SPORT, before we knew about these details from the unveil ceremony: Gran Turismo SPORT Thoughts (John's Race Space).

Those are my thoughts on Gran Turismo Sport as of this unveil ceremony.

A Gran Turismo Confession (Bonus Section!)

I haven't mentioned too many Gran Turismo topics lately because I admittedly have not really played much Gran Turismo since the slow news of GT Sport and the somewhat slow buzz of Gran Turismo 6. I will sort of admit I have been hoping GT Sport will maybe re-ignite my GT interests. Of course, it isn't that I gave up on the Gran Turismo series or anything. Let's just say I've entered a lull as a Gran Turismo fan.

Again- I don't have a PlayStation 4. If I did have one, I surely will get GT Sport when I get a chance to get the game.

That's it for this post. Let's start a discussion, if you like...

Are you looking forward to Gran Turismo Sport? Or do you think the game needs a lot more for you to be convinced?

GT Sport is told to be released sometime in mid-November 2016. So let's be sure this baby comes in around that time for us racing fans to enjoy it to the fullest. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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