The Gran Turismo Sport gameplay trailer has arrived, and its beta status is showing. It may still be the best racing title we’ve seen on the PlayStation 4, being the last in a long line of titles boasting realism on every conceivable level. Everything from the appearance of the vehicles to how they individually control will be what separates virtual drivers from cars they don’t like.
The addition of the game to the PlayStation VR list will give it that much more of a sense of immersion as you sit in the driver’s seat and drive as you would on an actual race track. Unfortunately, with the screen only inches from your eyes, you will instantly be able to tell where the graphics were held back.
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The prototype used in the Gran Turismo Sport gameplay trailer shows early on just where the details have been focused and where they are grossly lacking. The first few seconds of racing appear to give the track and other cars a glossy clear finish, right down to the words on the bumpers and fenders. However, the audience looks almost as stock as they would in 8-bit NES games. It almost looks like they’re planning to add the audience later because it doesn’t even look like they tried to render a crowd.
The Gran Turismo Sport gameplay trailer almost seems to save the realistic audience for the replay, and there are points where the game appears to hiccup during the race. This could be a downside for PlayStation VR games if the titles will make sacrifices like that. We can only hope it was YouTube buffering the video that made the stuttering happen.
— Eurogamer.net (@eurogamer) June 15, 2016
The second location in the trailer is the Tokyo Expressway, and it appears similar sacrifices were made. The buildings look flat and barely convincing while the road and the cars are where the attention to detail went. The tunnels look realistic enough as you blast through them and barely see more than the overhead lights as a guide for where the road is going. Even the replay appears to have poorly-rendered structures that might have been acceptable on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
— Gran Turismo (@thegranturismo) June 15, 2016
Brands Hatch has many of the same issues, with an audience which looks like it was rendered in a hurry. The greenery that dominates parts of the background looks very generic with a cut-and-paste appearance, blurring when it nears the camera. This is the PlayStation 4, and we expect more than that in the final game, especially on a console which boasts 4K visuals.
On the plus side, the lighting effects in the Gran Turismo Sport gameplay trailer appear top-notch, with realistic reflections and shadows and the glare in your eyes as you drive into the Sun. The game really shines when the backgrounds are static and unnecessary, with a nice glossy finish and textured pavement.
In general, it appears that Sony is on the right track, but in the coming months, we can only hope they add that extra polish to the backgrounds for photo-realism that doesn’t make increasingly picky gamers wonder why they bothered buying a PlayStation Neo and VR headset. The Gran Turismo Sport gameplay looks promising, but those details could make or break the game.
[Image via Sony Computer Entertainment]