Gran Turismo Sport – Beyond Eye Candy?

So now that there is finally a release date for Gran Turismo Sport – GTS – (Nov. 15 U.S. and Nov 16 Europe), we can turn our attention to other aspects of the game …

In no particular order …

Will the physics be improved?  It is my opinion that GT6 was a nice evolution from previous games in the series, but the developers remained focused on accessibility, with a hard lean towards a more casual audience.  I appreciate that there has to be a nice blend, a common ground if you will, between casual games (what is the hype about), arcade gamers (the Need for Speed fans of the world) and simulation racing fans. I get that the GT series may never be truly on par with iRacing, but why not?  These days, when I have time to play, Project CARS is my cup of tea. Why?  It is accessible, a nice hybrid racing simulation, that lets me fully customize my racing (game play) experience.  I may want my race to be monkey balls hard or beer in one hand easy.  Let’s hope GTS leans in that direction.

What about I quit the racing AI?  Let’s be honest; the GT series has never been about providing quality AI racers.  Who wants cars that run the same patterns around a circuit, lap after lap, or AI cars that try to re-take the line no matter what (excuse me while I bump the &^*% out of you)?  With the power of the PS4, how hard would it be to make the cars offer a variety of challenges, with some degree of variation instead of the mundane predictability found in previous incarnations in the series?

Damage – beyond cosmetic.  I want to see a GT game where you can cut a wheel and things go downhill afterwards.  Or you drop a bumper or fender, and watch (and feel) your aerodynamics go to hell in a hand-basket.  Or bump a wall at 230+ MPH (Indy Car) and watch your car spin and utterly disintegrate.  All from the safety of my living room.  In other words, GT needs to be introduced into the real world.

Lots of cars.  Seriously, back in the heyday of my videogamedom, back when I had time to write 2000+ word diatribe reviews, LeMans 24 Hours for the PlayStation 2 actually had 20+ cars on the track.  We need some of that on a modern console.

Online is great, but who needs another Drive Club experience.  Besides, random online racers (sorry if this happens to be you) are a-holes.  Let’s please be sure that GTS offers an excellent offline experience, because seriously, others besides me are not ready to be f’ed over with online only GT racing.

Project CARS configurability.  I’m almost going back to my accessibility comments.  Maybe I’m having a bummer of a day.  Maybe I do not want that cut wheel to cause me a race.  Maybe, just maybe, I want the AI to predictably suck … or at least not challenge me.  Maybe I have had one of those days and need to take it out, lap after unchallenged lap.  Then again, maybe I just want to see why I am a software development manager and not a professional racer.  I hope GTS gives me that sort of freedom.  Is that too much to ask?

In summary, Polyphony Digital needs to capitalize on the best aspects of the GT series; all that is pure and holy about the game.  After that, the developers need to focus on the shortcomings from previous versions of the game.  Let’s push things forward, over and beyond the graphics … eye candy is great, but let’s get on with the racing!

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