Gran Turismo Sport is great, but there’s no denying that it’s not perfect. Where it does really well to push online and competitive racing to the front, it takes a step back from the scope and sheer variety that has been on offer in previous Gran Turismo games.
This will be a game that evolves over time, as is so often the case these days, but there’s a number of key improvements and features that we have in mind. There’s no pie in the sky request for them to open up Campaign to offline play or to implement dynamic time and weather – sadly, those technical decisions are almost certainly never going to change – but suggestions for added features and ways to broaden the variety of what the game currently offers.
Make Daily Races Run Daily
Something I didn’t properly realise during our window while reviewing – largely thanks to the way that the limited time demo panned out – was that GT Sport’s “daily” races are anything but daily. Instead they last for a week, and clearly someone needs to throw a dictionary at whoever was responsible for this definition.
Now, there are benefits to this, as players can really hone in on their car’s set up and handling, learn every little intricate detail of a track and eke out every tenth, hundreth and thousandth of a second in this time span. For the most ardent of fans, that would be great, but for most people, seeing the same three tracks to play each day gets tired fast.
There’s a middle ground here that I think makes a lot of sense, and it’s something that other racing games do. Firstly, we keep weekly races and label them as such, but then alongside this we have actual races and events that last just 24 hours, giving the kinds of variety that will keep people coming back day in, day out.
Thankfully, where Polyphony previously stated that the races would switch every Tuesday, they actually changed overnight, bringing the racer count down from 24 to 12, showcasing the game’s original tracks, and allowing for players to use cars from their own garage. We’ll have to wait and see if this is a sign of things to come, but I’m hopeful.
Add More Variables
Gran Turismo has traditionally offered a great deal of variety, from short three lap races to 24 hour endurance marathons, and even the weird and wonderful, such as letting you drive a moon buggy around on the Moon. Straight up racing in this game is great, but Polyphony can embrace that variety in a similar way to Overwatch’s arcade mode and seasonal events.
Just looking at the tools put in players’ hands in the custom lobbies, there’s plenty of scope for them to be more playful with the pre-made events offered to players. The kinds of chaos seen with 24 players on a tiny oval last week wasn’t a great fit for a repeating “daily” event, but can be a fun diversion, as could putting players in the more esoteric vehicles and concepts in the game or sticking everyone onto Comfort: Soft tyres for a giggle.
At the other end of the scale, races showcased in Sport mode have hewn to the accessible and shorter form, but there’s great potential to make races longer, turn on tyre degradation and fuel management, and take the game that step closer to real motorsports.
Again, Polyphony need to be aware of trying to engage players with these races, perhaps having them run on weekends but being featured in the menus for several days beforehand, or giving players a bonus reward for participation.
Improve the Sportsmanship Rating and Penalties
We’ve all been there, when someone you’ve barely even met has pushed you up against a wall or rammed into your rear end without any warning. Try as they might, those two token videos on sportsmanship and not wanting to look like a bad driver don’t go far enough to stop this kind of thing happening, whether it’s through malice or by mistake.
However, while the Sportsmanship rating does try to be evenhanded, ensuring that even if you’re involved in a crash that your rating over the course of a race can actually improve, the way that time penalties are doled feels unfair, forcing you to back off for 10 seconds when it was you that was shunted from behind.
Automated penalties are, of course, nigh on impossible to get right, but this is an area where Polyphony need to really analyse and improve on the system they currently have in place.
Keep Race Entries in the Background
Something that Driveclub promised prior to its release was the ability to enter a scheduled race and then go and do other things while waiting for it to get underway. GT Sport works in a similar way, as you can set a qualifying time at any point and have your best time carry forward through a day/week with a particular race event, but you have to manually enter each time a race comes around, and then sit and wait or continue to run a time trial around that track.
Instead, it would be great to essentially put yourself forward and enter a race, then be able to go away and mess around in Arcade mode, join free practice session in Lobbies or whatever, and simply have a countdown to the Sport race in the corner of the screen, notifying you when there’s 5 minutes, 2 minutes and 1 minute left, so that you can wrap up what you’re doing and head back over to that race.
Wet Weather Races
We know that GT Sport has support for wet weather racing hidden somewhere within its code, even if it’s not the kinds of dynamic weather conditions that its rival racing games feature, but it’s not something that’s been exposed to players outside of one or two fleeting glimpses.
Given the way that picking a track works, with you then selecting a particular time of day which has bespoke, pre-calculated conditions for you to race in – there’s some lovely misting on some tracks early in the morning – it’s entirely possible that the necessary assets simply aren’t in the game right now, but here’s hoping it doesn’t take too long for them to add an integral facet of real world motorsports.
Add Time Trials to VR Tour
VR Tour, as we wrote early last week, is a real missed opportunity for PlayStation VR, and makes the GT Sport PSVR bundle feel extremely disingenuous from Sony. While the VR itself is actually very good, and the natural feel of driving the cars and the elevation changes are simply fantastic, having the VR Tour be limited to a car viewer and two lap 1v1 races around the game’s circuits is just stupid.
All it needs are two relatively small changes to suddenly make the VR Tour feel worthwhile, which are the inclusion of a Time Trial mode so that you can drive around these particular tracks for as long as you want and don’t have to restart a race every two laps, and an online leaderboards that let you compare your best VR times to those you set in the rest of the game.
Give Us the Horns
Oh sure, we can trigger a car’s left and right signals, and even turn on the windscreen wipers – another indication that we’ll see wet weather racing soon – but give us the horns back! There’s nothing quite like being able to toot your horn at another player as you pass them down the Mulsanne Straight.
Oh great, and now I’m missing the Circuit de la Sarthe, which is also conspicuously absent from the game’s track list…
That’s all for our list of wishlist of changes for GT Sport, and Polyphony do obviously have plans for changes, additions and DLC over the coming months and even years. However, don’t let that stop you from commenting with your own personal complaints and wish list for improvements.