Bad news in the world of Gran Turismo Sport. This time, it has nothing to do with a delay. Or with it taking four years between Gran Turismo 6 and Gran Turismo Sport to get a new entry released. This has more to do with the content of this installment. The series has always had a fairly good balance between single and multiplayer content. It seems like that is about to change.
See, Polyphony Digital and Sony just released a single player trailer for Gran Turismo Sport. It spends around eight minutes summarizing the single player segment. Unfortunately, it sounds lackluster. It seems more like the single player is an extended tutorial preparing people for the multiplayer. Frankly, it sounds like a huge mistake.
Gran Turismo Sport’s single player is 150 drills in Driving School, Mission Challenge, Circuit Experience, and Racing Etiquette categories. Driving School teaches you how to drive, Circuit Experience has you testing parts of each circuit to learn racing lines and breaking points, seeing if you can handle each track’s segments. Racing Etiquette sounds like an advanced version of Driving School, focusing on knowledge of cautions, flags, safety protocols, and signals. Finally, Mission Challenge has you driving specific cars. While this is all very educational, it sounds like it is nowhere near as interesting as previous Gran Turismo single player modes.
Now, it isn’t uncommon for some Gran Turismo offshoots to be less robust. Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is an example. But Gran Turismo Sport isn’t being billed as such a thing. It’s more often grouped with major installments. Compared to those, it seems like it may not offer the experience. Gran Turismo 5 had racing events in A-Spec, let you direct and manage a racing team in B-Spec, and maintain cars in GT Auto. Gran Turismo 6 has A-Spec Career, B-Spec, and Arcade modes. This latest single player video should have confirmed a story mode.
This is especially surprising, as multiple developers and publishers have learned how badly games need a single player component. Star Wars Battlefront didn’t have one, and the game suffered as a result. For the sequel, that is being rectified. Titanfall was a multiplayer-only affair. When Titanfall 2 came around, it had an extraordinary single player game. While the focus of racing games is racing, you would think Sony would have watched and learned from such experiences.
It has been so long since we have seen a Gran Turismo game. This is the first time the series will make a splash on the PlayStation 4. Shouldn’t the best foot be put forward? Shouldn’t it be as robust as possible, offering a major single and multiplayer experience? It is concerning that the only solo options revealed so far are 150 drills that sound a lot like tutorial segments, rather than an actual campaign. Here’s hoping the final product is full when released this fall.