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E3 2016 – Gran Turismo Sport Hands-On Preview – Gorgeous Blurs

Gran Turismo is perhaps Sony’s most famous video game franchise. It’s seen release on every single PlayStation home console, and even the PSP (the series did skip the Vita, however, you can play the PSP version on the Vita). Finally, three years after the PS4’s release, Gran Turismo will grace Sony’s current system. We got some hand-on-wheel time with the game, and have our preview ready below.

Graphical Treat

Gran Turismo is all about graphics, and the game looks gorgeous. After a few races, I simply sat there and watched the game’s replays. That’s when I noticed that even the game’s tree graphics have been upgraded, which is something usually neglected by racing games. However, Polyphony Digital is aiming to hit a constant 1080p/60fps quality level, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the level of detail on those trees downgraded by launch.

While it was quite loud at E3, as it is every year, the cockpit set up for the demo included speakers at about head level in the seat. This ensured that players could hear the game’s audio at least slightly better than other setups. Audio included the roar of engines, echoes in tunnels, squealing brakes, and even some music. Sound has been a point of criticism for some fans of the series, but unfortunately the show floor was still too loud to do any sort of series analysis of the game’s audio on offer.

Bouncy Cars…For Now

While jockeying for position with other racers, one staple of Gran Turismo reared its head – there was no collision damage. Cars simply bounced off one another. This may bother some gamers, but in full competitive modes there will no doubt be some sort of time penalty for those who try to ram their way to the finish. Not to worry, however – this was only because we were playing an E3 demo, and damage should be making its way into the final game.

I drove several concept cars, and each controlled very well from the cockpit that was set up for this demo. As always, the best way to experience a Gran Tusimo game is using a wheel, and this demo was hooked up to a station which appeared to be equipped with some sort of Thrustmaster wheel and pedal set. Force feedback was powerful, forcing you to steer relatively hard into turns at higher speed.

At this point, if you’ve even passively followed the Gran Turismo series, then you know the drill. While Gran Turismo Sport is billed as something more than a Prologue entry, with its eSports leanings, it will most likely feel like an appetizer to the main course, which will be Gran Turismo 7. There is, of course, nothing wrong with this – Gran Turismo interim offerings have been well-received in the past, and there is every indication that this will be well-received also. Gran Turismo Sport is scheduled for release on the PlayStation 4 on November 16, 2016.