Bjork Makes Her Solo Debut: The Gran Turismo Sport Demo

It turns out that the near-unanimous meltdown over Forza Motorsport 7 was just the pre-game show for Gran Turismo Sport. Once held as the bastion of virtual auto racing over multiple console generations, Polyphony Digital are sure to have a complete mess on their hands once fans of the series pay the $60 asking price and are confronted with a very harsh reality. If the demo is any indication of what’s to come later this month, Gran Turismo Sport was an idea that should have been left on the drawing board. A lot of people are going to be very mad, and some already are.

Part pretentious art project, and part awkward foray into the world of eSports, Gran Turismo Sport is nothing short of a colossal failure. Under the guidance of supreme leader Kazunori Yamauchi, the team at Polyphony Digital have crafted an experience that under any other team would be laughed out of the room. The racing is woefully unbalanced while allowing atrocious circuit boundary violations in what is supposed to be a worldwide eSports competition, the game has been stuffed full of avant garde bullshit that quite simply doesn’t belong in a racing game and has clearly diverted the attention of the developers away from more pressing issues, and so far the ability for the servers to handle any sort of load from the userbase is questionable at best. This is an actual disaster, and that’s before we even get to the on-track experience – for a team with near-infinite resources and worldwide prestige, there are amateur rFactor mods with better force feedback and tire behavior. Seriously, what are these guys doing?

Gran Turismo Sport wanted me to race against people from around the world in a competitive setting, but rarely would the servers be strong enough to actually place me in a room when it was time to get going. Sport would then ask me to waste a bunch of time taking still pictures of my race car in a ridiculously expansive photography section for what is supposed to be a hardcore racing simulator, or read up about Bjork’s solo career while simultaneously giving me almost no useful controller options whatsoever. Don’t like the default force feedback settings or want to adjust your throttle sensitivity? Ignore that, come take fake action shots of your car at the Nurburgring or learn about how our first game came out at around the same time as Harry Potter.

Oh, what’s that? The online servers are undergoing maintenance just hours after launch? No, there’s not a simple solution to this problem. Polyphony won’t let you continue to make progress through the single player Driving School, they won’t let you partake in hot lap challenges, nor will they let you blast through the racing missions. You also won’t be able to casually paint liveries to pass the time while waiting for the maintenance to be completed, purchase cars, acquire new driving suits, or play the game at all.

Gran Turismo Sport both requires an online connection, and requires the GT Sport servers to be functional to do anything aside from sit at the main menu with all of the options greyed out. Most of my playtime in Gran Turismo Sport was spent in the wee hours of Monday morning, as the moment the normies began invading the servers, GT Sport more or less fell apart. I couldn’t play the game at all for a large part of Monday afternoon, and when service was restored, online matchmaking failed to place me in any room whatsoever. It would just sit there.

Despite exponentially larger infrastructure and budget constraints, Gran Turismo Sport suffers show-stopping outages on par with iRacing, the entire in-game ecosystem grinding to a halt at once to the point you’re forced to just play something else in the meantime. This is, of course, exactly what hundreds of thousands of casual car guys will have no problem putting up with when the game launches a week from now.

The sad state of affairs continues out on the race track; if you think Gran Turismo Sport handles anything like a real race car at competition speeds, you are mistaken. I think this would be forgivable for a smaller team, but given the magnitude of who we’re dealing with here, it’s just outright sad. For starters, the game’s force feedback is far too heavy and invasive even at the lowest of settings – the wheel constantly wandering around based on slight undulations in the track geometry. If my steering wheel at any point felt like this in a real car, I’d instantly pull into the pits believing my power steering rack had seized completely – as usually this same sensation is usually accompanied by a massive puff of smoke under the hood. Polyphony Digital genuinely believe this is what all cars feel like out of the box, from a 2017 Mazda MX-5, to a six-figure Nissan GT4 entry. How the almighty Gran Turismo can be this far off the mark is utterly mind-blowing.

So then we get into how the physical cars handle. The Mazda MX-5, at least in the laps I’ve been able to turn in it, has the precision and grace of a late 60’s Muscle Car. In reality these are nimble little trackday warriors, yet Gran Turismo believes they’re a modern re-incarnation of an AMC Javelin. Moving up the ladder, stuff like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X – which I actually found enjoyable in the game’s beta phase – now suffers from enormous weight transfer and body roll issues. Both of these cars should be solid entry-level training vehicles that generally go where you tell them to, and yet they will instead probably frustrate a large portion of the userbase. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Anything listed as a race car is downright comical, and only seven days from launch I can’t imagine a situation in which this is all magically rectified for release. I have to go all the way to the freeware game GeneRally to find something to compare the race cars in GT Sport to. Straight up, they remind me of the 2006 Formula One cars in Jerac’s Grand Prix history pack; mega downforce, mega grip, and mega braking capabilities – they are point and shoot in every sense of the word. Grid Autosport at least lets you hang the ass end out and get up on the sidewalls in most cars.

Purpose-built racing vehicles in GT Sport by comparison are utterly glued to the racing surface. It’s downright silly to witness; they are hovercrafts magnetized to the road, and I’ll attach a video of a lap of mine that was fourth in the world to show how simple they are at maximum attack. The cars don’t dance, wiggle, or have any sort of unique personality to them. They’re either exaggerated dump trucks, or lifeless hovercrafts.

It pains me to talk in detail about the rally cars. You cannot steer them with a rearward brake bias as you should be able to, and turning your steering wheel more generates more grip and acceleration in corners. Throw out everything you’ve learned in other rally simulators before playing GT Sport; it’s like these guys have never once watched rally on-boards and thought to themselves “why isn’t our game like that, but the other ones are?”

Car balance is also an issue that comes up, which should have been rectified during the beta phase but for whatever reason, wasn’t. The Nissan GTR, which absolutely murdered people in GT4 races for the month or so that the GT Sport beta was active, is still far above the rest when it comes to sheer performance. I chopped off two whole seconds from my previous personal best of a 2:10 just by switching from the Ferrari 458 to the Nissan GTR. This is of course, fantastic to see given Polyphony’s goal of using GT Sport as a competitive platform.

It’s also “great” to see track limits being considered an afterthought at best by Polyphony. From what I’ve been able to deduce, Gran Turismo Sport only requires you to have one wheel on a piece of the racing surface or adjacent rumble strip to be considered “in bounds.” As you can see above, I’m basically on the grass in some corners or just taking a complete random nonsensical line, and the game really doesn’t seem to give a shit about my actions. You really have to experiment just to trigger a cut track penalty. Again, this is awesome in a global competition in which real prize money is awarded; not only will you have to figure out how to drive hovercrafts with broken power steering, and use your technical wizardry to create setups that abuse these lackluster physics, you’ll be forced to liberally interpret the racing line as well.

This is exactly what the masses have wanted from the king of racing games eschewing their traditional series format, and building an off-shoot product focused around some sort of high-stakes online championship.

If you couldn’t detect the sarcasm, it’s obviously not what they wanted at all. Gran Turismo fans are struggling with this title, as they’re being forced to play their favorite franchise in a way that’s totally foreign to them.

Even with private lobbies that have ideally separated serious drivers from those wanting to mess around with mates, the ranked races in Gran Turismo Sport’s demo are full of atrocious drivers who are in some cases thirty eight seconds off pace, and it’s really hard to blame them. For years, decades even, Gran Turismo has been an automotive sandbox; it didn’t matter how talented of a driver you are, as long as you found a path through the game that worked for you. Polyphony have now turned everything upside down on these same people, and the races clearly demonstrate why this approach is not going to work long-term.

In a field of twenty cars, maybe three drivers can complete a lap without spinning around or venturing through the grass. You can visibly see that these people aren’t giving a shit because they aren’t having fun, and they probably won’t stick around for long.This results in both a drastically small playerbase compared to what was expected, not to mention enormous backlash because surprise, hardcore users are a minority compared to casual users. Gee, who would have thought that?

Gran Turismo Sport assumes you’re a good driver, and therein lies the problem; the game is only an enjoyable experience when congratulating you on a new lap record or an increase in your skill rating. The majority of people who pick up this game just aren’t anywhere near competent enough to make use of the ecosystem Polyphony have built. It’s like giving a professional-grade treadmill with built-in workout routine and dynamic GUI to someone who expressed only a passing interest in jogging three years ago.

Polyphony could have thrown a bone to those wanting a more traditional Gran Turismo experience, but they didn’t. Instead they bundled Gran Turismo with weird, useless shit. The Scapes mode, which allows you to take pictures of your car in front a static background to simulate a picture of a real car, is absurdly detailed and has nothing to do with anything else in the entire game; it is a photography simulator in a hardcore racing game, when a standard photo mode (which is already included) was more than enough.

There are museums for each individual car manufacturer, as well as for Gran Turismo itself (and TAG Heuer), which showcase the history of each brand in the form of a photo album. Why were these needed? They’re just so pretentious and unnecessary, adding precisely nothing to the core game experience. They are pointless diversions that a large majority of customers will never use, and their existence is infuriating especially when other, useful areas of the game could use some much-needed polish.

And of course, these diversions function perfectly in the demo. The options menu, on the other hand, a pretty integral part of any piece of software, is prone to crashing the game. We are a week from launch. Remember how Gran Turismo fans used to obsess over Polyphony’s perfectionism when it came to Gran Turismo 4? Where is this workmanship?

I suggest buying popcorn for the release of Gran Turismo Sport. Not for actually playing the game, no, hardcore sim racers will have a seizure at just how far the once-beloved franchise has fallen. Instead, I’m predicting there will be a firestorm of ex-Gran Turismo fans wondering why Kazunori Yamauchi has seemingly turned into sim racing’s Yoko Ono. Gran Turismo Sport, at least what I’ve played from both the demo and the beta earlier this year, is a pretentious art piece with zero regard for the customers who have helped turn Gran Turismo into what it is today.

The eSports elements have been sloppily implemented, and the software features an abundance of downright retarded design choices – get ready for the atrocious main menu – and useless features that have little if anything to do with virtual racing. The hundreds of thousands around the planet who once called Gran Turismo one of their favorite games are going to be absolutely furious, and it’ll be hilarious to watch.

Download the demo for yourself if you don’t believe me.


114 thoughts on “Bjork Makes Her Solo Debut: The Gran Turismo Sport Demo

  1. Jesus, it’s like Forza wants to be a loot box simulator and Grand Turismo wants to be an art gallery instead of being what they are: Racing games.

    It’s quite sad really.

    Liked by 3 people

          1. A “Las Vegas shooting” search on Thursday, after the algorithmic change had taken place, produced substantially more reputable videos, mostly from mainstream news sources. One conspiracy video still featured prominently, however, along with a warning from the creator of the clip that YouTube was trying to censor it. It later disappeared.



        1. The Glorious DPRK claims full responsibility for the recent liberation operation in the decadent symbol of Western wretched excess known appropriately as “Sin City”.

          Also: Country Music Sucks.

          Let me assure you that those losers over at ISIS (who have no nukes at all LMAO) had nothing to do with it.

          Paddock’s girlfriend isn’t even Filipino. Shes’s totally North Korean. We just know that, to you goddamn Westerners, all us Asians look the same.


    1. Is the author of the article having some kind of breakdown?

      Having played the demo, and reading the overwhelming positive reports, glowing in fact, it’s frankly bizarre reading this article.

      I guess this is what happens when a title is predicted to fail, and it turns out to have exceptional physics, industry leading graphics, and the kind of slick, high quality presentation, sadly lacking in many racing titles.


  2. I thought Driveclub was mediocre but honestly I had a more fun and satisfying experience with it than GT Sport so far. Funny, I always wondered how pCARS 2 would fare in the long run, seeing as it would obviously have to compete head-on with both GT Sport and Forza 7, and maybe what is comparatively a somewhat niche, somewhat indie title would be forgotten rather quickly. But I guess it didn’t even need to do anything when both these competitors managed to screw up so badly.

    Unfortunately, of course, there are still quite a lot of die-hard GT (and Forza) fans who will not cancel their pre-orders and go out of the way to defend this game as utterly, absolutely, unquestionably superior to everything else in the market. Thankfully, I don’t think there are enough of these people to sustain the game in the long-run, when the average, casual player is probably going to be very disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why bother with GTPlanet?

      There’s a 70+ page thread on Neogaf, one of the harshest critics of GT Sport prior to release, positively glowing at what PD has delivered. So many people who previously had no interest in GT Sport, making pre-orders. The game is flying up the sales charts.


              1. Like James deserves anything else than shitposting. He does it himself often when he doesn’t like what the person said. He drops one liners, the hi stefano thing, or other form of shitposting.

                In a way, NeoGAF=PRC


    1. The 3D model of the McLaren appears to be identical to the one Kunos Simulazioni used for the Dream Pack DLC!

      It’s extremely hard to deny that this may possibly be the exact same car model!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is called Projection.

        Your life (though I hesitate to dignify it with the term, it’ll just have to do) likely consists of going to various comments sections, message boards and the like, and making snide little throwaway comments like these about people you’ll never meet or even know.

        It’s unlikely you ever post things that are germane to the ostensible subject matter being discussed (racing sims, in this case), because you’re too busy trying to make other people feel, in some small way, just as insignificant and worthless as you do.

        But why? Because IRL, you’re likely a very meek person who occupies an ignominiously low rung on the social totem pole. Perhaps you had an absentee father and/or an insufferably overbearing mother. You work in a demeaning, entry-level job that involves – no, demands – obsequious civility.

        All of which is way less fun than, say, having a girlfriend, a nice car, a place of your own or some real money.

        So, in between masturbating to porn and (perhaps) delivering pizzas, you come to places like this and try to get your little revenge on the World by saying “Shut up, no one cares what you think”.


        1. Perhaps that projection comes from yourself.

          After all, “You work in a demeaning, entry-level job that involves – no, demands – obsequious civility.” is what we’d call the place where you work, since you have so much time to comment on prc. Being a shrink in a public hospital made you stop learning. You’re just regurgitating the preconceived ideas you have of your patients and think they apply to anonymous people on the internet. Besides, you lose any logic and sense for trying to put so many fancy and arrogant words in a sentence.


          1. Public hospital? Not that I work at one, but those are generally attached to academic institutions where physicians are trained. Such a hospital is where you *start* learning, not where you stop. Public hospitals are also where almost all medical research is performed. Very little “learning” occurs at private hospitals. You should research your guesses a bit more.

            And why do you think I’m at work? I’m actually in an airport waiting to board a plane, but I digress…

            Um – No, none of this has to do with my patients or how they think. They’re good people who happen to have illnesses, the vast majority of whom would be unlikely to waste their time on a random comments section, getting their needs fulfilled by telling strangers to “Shut up, no one cares what you say”.

            No, that’s the metier of your depressingly-typical internet troll. Yawn.

            So: Is there any way we could get back to sim racing, rather than just shitting on each other? Isn’t it all kind of sad and pointless?

            That was my point: What kind of person needs to do this?


  3. In my view, right now there are two decent racing games for consoles, Project Cars 2 (as much as I hated the first version, this time they got it right) and F1 2017. And the best racing game for the PC, hands down (and surprisingly enough, given the small team and the outdated engine & graphics), is Automobilista. Nothing comes even close.


        1. Don’t worry they plan to kill it later this year or early next with the v1 5 and probably final release of Automobilista, rumors has it that their next project is going to be based on Unreal Engine 4 with real-time dynamic TOD and weather.(netKar-Pro 2.0 has none of that)

          Color me excited!


    1. Yet the vast majority of impressions are overwhelmingly positive. The demo has been a huge boost for GT Sport, with even it’s harshest critics praising it.

      The author of this article frankly sounds delusional.


      1. Is in SMS interest to give a bad image of gt sport. Not better way than to wash their hands with the puppet of James (Austin Ogonoski).


                1. Project CARS 2: patch v1.2.0.0

                  Improved driving line assist.
                  Various AI behavioural and race line improvements.
                  Multiple improvements and enhancements to multiplayer, and lobby handling.
                  Improvements and enhancements to audio and sound effects.
                  Improvements and enhancements to replays and replay cameras.
                  USB keyboard support improved.
                  Improvements, enhancements and fixes to Career flow.
                  Enhancements to various cars’ handling and standard setup improvements.
                  Tweaks and fixes to Achievement / Trophy unlock logic.
                  Tweaks and fixes to setup UI and flow.
                  Improved default assists for gamepad users.
                  Fixes and improvements to headlights and brake lights.
                  Fixes and improvements to ICM appearance and functionality.
                  Improvements and enhancements to steering wheel support.
                  Fixes and improvements to certain weather / tyre combinations.
                  Optimisations to tracks across the game.
                  Myriad render and performance tweaks and improvements.


            1. I thought prc was here to tell us the truth. Then it means people only have positive opinions of pcars2, since james didn’t show us what people said negatively.

              Well played Ian Bell, money well spent. Too bad it wasn’t on the simulation 🙂


      1. You’re a sucker for simcade racing games. That’s why that guy said to rename the website. I’m glad you’re having so much fun with the simcade racing games, meanwhile all your hate on sims in the past years falls flat after seeing you’re waking up to the reality that simcades aren’t that good actually. It seems there’s as much nitpicking you can do in any console/simcade racing title as you can do in sims. But in the end the sim gameplay is much better than all the pretend driving in forza7, pcars2, gtsport, f1 2017.

        You’re so much better served with AMS, rF2, AC, maybe even iRacing and RaceRoom, than with all the racing titles you’ve been covering this year. Just that you’re so narcissistic that you don’t want to recognize you’ve been wrong about those simcade titles you were hyping and the sim titles you were hating.


          1. They are still very relevant for sim racing no matter if sms is already releasing pcars5.

            Sorry, I thought we were on a sim racing blog (or pretend blog). But since the author never showed love for any sim racing title and only showed it for simcades, I guess I was in the wrong.

            Didn’t James accuse other websites like RD, vr, bsim, youtube channels, of covering simcade racing titles when they were dedicated sim racing website? Seems he forgot all about that. I can’t ask much from a guy who sold his soul to ian bell.


        1. You amuse me. Austin drives a real race car. I’ve driven real race cars. Both of us have mentioned that some of these “simcade” cars drive much more like a real car than what you’ll find in the “serious” simulators.

          What’s my motivation to make this shit up? It’s actually sort of upsetting that the Trans Am Mustang in PC1 is so accurate. I *hated* that game.


          1. So we were all wrong then? The simcades are in fact serious sims and the serious sims are simcade. With PC1 being at the top of the chain.


            1. No, you’re being a bit simplistic.

              What I’m saying is that there are no sacred cows. Just because a sim advertises itself to be the ne plus ultra of realism (and the cars are very difficult to keep pointed straight) doesn’t guarantee verisimilitude.

              This is the sort of grey-area answer that tends to infuriate people.

              “There is a simple solution to every complex problem. And it’s wrong.” – Umberto Eco


              1. “Just because a sim advertises itself to be the ne plus ultra of realism (and the cars are very difficult to keep pointed straight) doesn’t guarantee verisimilitude.”

                You got that right, ahem project cars 2 ahem. Have you seen that shit with a controller LOL


      2. its disappointing PC2 is not, its a shit fight on console and its also a shit fight on PC because theres an awful lot of very poor reviews over there.



    Can you pop over to the SMS forum and have a good read of the thread ” any news from developers/SMS on a patch”.

    Just have a look at the very unhappy buyers, the cock smoking mods like konan the cock smoker threatening to ban anybody who he things is being disrespectful to SMS, its a complete farce.

    Read that before you write your next article on project cars.

    The game on consoles is an absolute disgrace.


      1. Actually, he has a point. While I have enjoyed PC2 there are a lot of bugs that are very frustrating to deal with, one of many being a server crash that ends up penalizing points through no fault of your own.

        There is one mod in that forum who refuses to answer in any other way than with snarky replies that do nothing more than exhibit his/her disdain for anyone who questions SMS’s patch schedule. Some of his replies seem to be no more than thinly veiled threats of ban to posters who come to the site with very legitimate complaints.

        Perhaps SMS should read through the threads themselves and decide if these people are the type they want representing them in the forums.

        I would light him up for his childish behavior but that is probably what he wants, just to exercise his ability to ban people he does not deem worthy of time or effort.

        As it is I refuse to post in the forum as the mods do not seem to be interested in helping, instead they seem more interested in wielding their ban hammer and will push the buttons of posters do so.


      2. James you spend a fuck of a lot of time tracking down problems for every non SMS game on forums, you actually work for SMS and youre claiming your not looking at the shit fight on their forum?
        Turn it up!
        Its just sad that within minutes of putting complaints about the game up they are deleted or shut, its a farce.

        To actually post over there you are not allowed to show any disrespect including being upset about spending your hard earned on a game that is not advertised and full of bugs, it was rushed out the door.

        All of the mods over there are rude and like attack dogs, they are as dumb and cucked as they come, a complete embarrassment to SMS, but they are yes ben and fanboy ass kissers, thats why they are mods.

        And we going to get any serious commentary about that forum or the game?

        Not from you we wont.


  5. The worst thing is that it’ll still sell a load of copies. Removing the career was an insanely stupid move. It’s funny how bad Forza and Gran Turismo have got, especially when they’re competition now is the biggest it’s ever been.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Have you actually tried FM7 (not the demo)? The cars drive great with a few exceptions (the execrable GT2 being the poster child for horrible simulated cars).

        I really hate to burst peoples’ collective bubble, but the S2000 in FM7 feels exactly like a real S2000. I mean, right down to the correct *amount* of lift-throttle oversteer. S2000’s were tail-happy as shit, and FM7 would be a great way to train up on how to drive one (Carefully!).

        Conversely, the 2010 M6 (another car I owned IRL) is much more docile and lazy to drive (just a touch of understeer all the way to the limit).

        And the tires: They feel like *real* fucking tires for once. Call me insane, but 30+ years of driving tells me they got it right. Sure, the tracks feel *way* too smooth (no laser scanning I guess), especially in harshly-sprung, Heim-jointed race machinery, but they certainly nailed most of the street stuff.


  6. I’m glad somebody else has picked up on the weight issue with the wheels… myself and a few other people have commented about it on the GTPlanet forum and have been met with people flat out refusing to acknowledge it as an issue. I’m on a T150 and most responses consist of “Well I’m on a T500 and it feels fine” or “stop having wimpy arms, it’s real FFB for real men”… It’s a shame really as we don’t expect the physics to be out of this world on a GT game but at this point I can’t even play a racing game on a console endorsed racing wheel on that particular consoles flagship racing franchise.


  7. This is major Tom to ground control, yes do you read me ground control? old chaps do you read me, my read gunner has prolapsed my hole old chaps, do you read me over?


  8. This is ground control to major Tom, are you stating your rear gunner has prolapsed your cavity again old chap?

    Are you bleeding? do you require ASSistance old chap? over


  9. I guess PDi and T10 forgot to sponsor James racing extravaganza, hence we ended up with pC2 being the best racing game.

    Well, i played this **** for 30+ hours and I’m not denying that isn’t fun on a moments, but only until you realise the **** is unfortunately even more broken than pC1.

    Most of the “NEW” features doesn’t work, AI is all over the place , realtrack 3.0 or whatever is called doesn’t even work as intended, when racing at night game looks like **** PS2 title, online is still a mess, you talk about track limits in GTS, well in this **** i got penalties running in the middle of a 10m wide track (???), there is no “championships” atm , again folks get banned on forums for pointing on facts that half a game is again a half-baked mess and yet … I’m waiting for some article about that **** , but there is none.



    1. I agree with some of what you say, but this is that same sort of shit (only worse) that afflicted all the major racing sims when first released.

      R3E had the worst FFB I’ve ever felt for *2+ years* after release. The AI in AC just got good a little while ago – 3 years after release. The tires in iRacing never have felt right. AMS had major AI issues that precluded multi-class racing (along with severe AI issues on several tracks) until literally 3 days ago.

      The question is: Will SMS step up and actually fix this stuff? Or will they announce a sequel instead? If they will commit to (eventually) polishing and perfecting their creation. that would largely allay the fears a lot of us had about the game.

      PC2 has tremendous potential. Let’s hope that SMS sticks with it.


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