GT Sport’s Updates: Slow and Steady
When Gran Turismo Sport released last fall, it delivered exactly what it had promised. It was also considerably underwhelming. The game succeeded in its implementation of online game modes and infrastructure but when compared to other racing titles released in the last five years, GT Sport came up short in almost every aspect. There were too few cars, too many circular tracks, no traditional set of single-player races, and players were practically forced to be connected online to play the game. GT Sport’s average review scores reflected the disappointment felt by most of the series’ fans. But Polyphony, developers of the series, have listened to the concerns and are already setting out to fix them.
The biggest fixes came in the 1.11 update for the game. It added a new track, new layouts for a track already in the game, and most significantly brought back the single player races. These races don’t just add content, they add content that makes it worthwhile to buy cars in-game and form a diverse garage collection. It is a bit disappointing however that fans of the series will recognize most, if not all, of these races from GT5 and GT6. The developers would do well to update the single player races with fresh challenges.
The same sentiment can be held for the addition of new cars. A couple dozen have been added since the game’s release and many of them are unique in nature: 1966 Jaguar XJ13 and the 1994 McLaren F1, for examples. The issue again though is that these cars have been in earlier Gran Turismo games. It`s difficult to get excited for cars that you feel should have been in the game in the first place. More cars are on the way though, with the game`s director stating that 50 more cars will be added before March.
It`s clear that Gran Turismo Sport`s updates have made the game better by adding new content. But what is more important is that this content is a result of the game`s developers responding to critique from fans and journalists. In particular, the addition of a single player mode and the removal of the restriction where players have to be online are interesting because they seem to go directly against the developer`s original vision of an online-centric racing game. It`s clear that Polyphony are listening to their fans and acting accordingly – but it`s also clear that the team has more work to do to bring out Gran Turismo Sport`s full potential.