Gran Turismo Sport hits the track this November: everything you need to know
Martin Bigg On May 19, 2016
We knew it was coming. After being teased last week, Polyphony Digital took to the stage to reveal all about Gran Turismo Sport at a prestigeous event held today at the Olympic Stadium in London.
Polyphony are promising a "level of innovation that hasn't been seen since first Gran Turismo" with a "spirit of maximum quality." To everyone's surprise, they also confirmed the release date: Gran Turismo Sport will launch on PS4 on November 16th in Europe, November 16th in the UK and November 18th in the US. Unsurprisingly, Gran Turismo Sport will also support PlayStation VR at launch.
Unfortunately, it looks as if the promised open beta will no longer be happening. Kaz told TheSixthAxis it "Most likely will not be possible," citing that "you have to make a gold master of the beta test code, and for us it actually takes as much effort as to finish the real master code for the actual game."
You can see the new Gran Turismo Sport trailer comprised entirely of footage captured from the PS4, as well as a breakdown of everything you need to know about Gran Turismo Sport that's been announced so far.
FIA-approved Sport mode
At the center of Gran Turismo Sport is the new Sport mode as part of the series' new-found focus on eSports, an online competition officially sanctioned by the FIA. Players can compete in either the Nations Cup where players represent their country, or the Manufacturers Cup where players represent their favourite car manufacturer. There will be a focus on social integration, with a Twitter-esque timeline feed for events and a companion app available for mobiles.
Race behaviour will be analysed with a sportsmanship point system - players with the same level will be matched in online races for fair and equal racing. You'll also be able to spectate races in live TV-style broadcasts complete with commentary.
Champions from both series will be recognised by the FIA in an annual ceremony alongside real life motorsport champions. Yes, a racing game is now considered an official motorsport which is quite a feat.
Replacing the traditional GT mode will be Gran Turismo Sport's comprehensive Campaign mode. There will be 117 offline eents in total, ranging from ten introductory tutorials along with three other modes.
The Beginner's School will teach you the basics from "such as hitting the brakes and how to turn into a corner," ideal for players new to the series.
Mission Challenges will then act as short missions to develop your skills. You'll then progress to Circuit Experience which introduces you to high-performance driving on race courses. Finally, Race Etiquette will teach you "the rules of etiquette and sportsmanship that’s required in all player-vs-player races."
â€‹A traditional Arcade mode will also feature, with options for Single Race, Time Trial, Drift Trial and two player Split Screen.
137 cars at launch
Gran Turismo Sport will contain over 137 cars at launch. That may not sound like a lot, especially for a Gran Turismo game - GT6 famously included over 1000 cars. Bear in mind, though, that Polyphony has remodelled every single car from scratch since GT6. Every 'Super Premium' car will feature a fully modelled interior and there will be no recycled low-res PS2 models this time, much to the relief of long-time fans.
Gran Turismo Sport's car roster will be split between real and fantasy concept cars created by Polyphony. They will be split into four categories based on real-world motorsport categories. Group 3 cars, for example, will be based on the real life GT3 series, which includes FIA-approved machines such as the Audi R8 LMS, McLaren 650S and Renault Sport R.S. 01 GT3. Cars specifically modified for Gran Turismo Sport will also feature, such as the Toyota FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo, Subaru WRX and the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C7 to meet GT3 regulations.
Polyphony's concept GT Vision cars will also return and will be tuned to compete in Gran Turismo Sport. New Vision GT cars will also be added.
Confirmed road cars include the Ferrari LaFerrari '13, Mazda Roadster S (ND) '15, Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-AMG GT S '14 and the Ford Mustang GT Premium Fastback '15.
19 tracks, 27 variations
19 tracks will feature in Gran Turismo Sport. Fan favourites such as the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Brands Hatch and Willow Springs will return, while new locations Northern Isle Speedway, a half mile oval circuit, and Tokyo Expressway, a city circuit inspired by the highways of Japan, will make their debut in the series.
Dirt tracks will also return, including a track set in America's Midwest full of elevation changes, cactus fields and desert shrubbery.
For the first time in the series, Gran Turismo Sport will feature a livery editor, which allows players to edit the livery of their car or recreate existing racecar liveries. You'lll be able to customise the paint and add decals onto the car's body using multiple layers, as well as customise the side mirrors, rear wings, wheels and windscreen banner. Designs can then be shared online with other players.
Interestingly, Polyphony have adopted a similar approach to Gran Turismo Sport's driving physics as Kunos Simulazioni's Assetto Corsa. There's a common misconception that driving games need to be difficult in order to be realistic. Not so with Gran Turismo Sport: "We refined our physics to offer a better sense of control that honestly conveys the player’s input. In the same way you drive a real car, you will be able to control the vehicle represented in the game with increased depth to the controls," Polyphony explains.
"While it’s based on the principles of the very first Gran Turismo, the new physics engine has evolved significantly, making it suited for beginners and experts alike."
Scapes is the new Photo Mode
Scapes is Gran Turismo Sport's new Photo Mode, which focuses on travel. Polyphony say the technology "could change the world of car photography as we know." There will be over 1000 Scrape locations, allowing you to place your car in a specific spot and endlessly tweak the photograph until your heart's content with the ability to export photos at 4K resolution.
It's very pretty
Gran Turismo's pretty graphics is nothing new - the series has consistently set the benchmark when it comes to racing game graphics on PlayStation. Gran Turismo Sport will take this fidelity a step further: "If you study the car modeling carefully, you’ll notice that Gran Turismo’s quality goes so far as to measure the brightness of the car’s lights. We’ve also analyzed the paint layer structure with samples of real body paint to get the right hues, and even recreate the stitching of the fabric in the seats, all in order to reproduce the true character of a car."
A similar attention to detail has been applied to the landscapes: "See each and every leaf on a tree as it sways in the wind. Weather, time, and the age of the tree are considered when reproducing it in the game, right down to its bark. Even the asphalt possesses unique characters, regarding its size, grain and distribution of the asphalt surface. Thanks to advanced data capturing and the perceptional talents of the artists, Gran Turismo approaches landscape reproduction from every aspect."
Our man Alan is currently at the event, so expect plenty of Gran Turismo Sport content coming soon.