How Gran Turismo Sport Fails as a Competitive Platform

As a hardcore sim racer, I’ve found it pretty entertaining to skim through the more casual-oriented communities to monitor the reception of Gran Turismo Sport. Response to the game’s timed demo, which has been available starting this week and will end at some point tomorrow, falls into one of two very distinct categories: some have cancelled their pre-orders and pledged allegiance to a rival franchise, while others proclaim to love the new direction the franchise has taken; eschewing car collecting for ranked online racing.

I’ve found responses of the latter to be most intriguing; in my time with Gran Turismo Sport, I’ve been left with far more negative impressions than positive, and I’m a bit confused as to how people could unironically enjoy this title. There are two distinct photo modes – one of which isn’t necessary in the slightest, clunky menu systems, multiple power point presentations, and a livery editor that pales in comparison to Forza’s, while the actual driving experience is shockingly dated, lifeless, and inaccurate – Mazda’s coupes are not boats, and GT3 cars are not hovercrafts. It’s a very weird game; Gran Turismo Sport can’t decide whether to be an art project, a classic Gran Turismo game, or iRacing for consoles, so it takes the worst parts of all three and blends them together in an unholy trinity. Or just, to kill the hyperbolic statements, a mix of very bad design choices.

Which is why it’s very awkward for me to catch wind of positive reception in regards to the online portion of Gran Turismo Sport. Truthfully I’ve seen comments such as “that event sold me on the game” and “today’s event is 10/10,” yet the ranked online racing is objectively the worst aspect of Gran Turismo Sport – in fact the game utterly fails as a competitive platform, which is pretty insane when you consider for what purpose this game was built in the first place.

Yet instead of using these people as examples of how retarded the average racing game enthusiast happens to be, let me explain why Polyphony are utterly clueless when it comes to creating an online racing ecosystem.

Poor Track Design

Though there will be a handful of real-world circuits available in the retail copy of Gran Turismo Sport, an overwhelmingly large portion of the track roster is confirmed to be populated by scratch-built facilities crafted by the team at Polyphony Digital. While the surrounding landscapes indeed give a nice sense of variety, and obviously help to demonstrate the graphical prowess of Sony’s new-ish PlayStation 4 Pro, there is a downside to treating asphalt playing fields as art pieces first, and a competitive environment second. Unlike real-world auto racing facilities, which have been constructed by professional engineers and refined over decades to ensure the on-track product is captivating enough to put spectators in the grandstands, Gran Turismo Sport’s first major problem is that many of its’ tracks do the opposite; they look nice, but aren’t fun to drive or race on.

The worst offender of the bunch happens to be the Tokyo Expressway environment, which has been a mainstay of the franchise dating back to the original iteration in 1998, and has obviously been tossed into the lineup as a nod to longtime Gran Turismo enthusiasts. Regardless of the layout you’re racing on, the Tokyo Expressway circuits commonly force you into claustrophobic ribbons of tarmac just two lanes wide, with massive concrete walls on either side.

Unlike the Monaco Grand Prix, which features several heavy braking zones allowing drivers to build and close natural gaps to help string the pack out, the gentle corners and high speeds of Tokyo ensure the pack of cars for the most part remains incredibly bunched up. While talented drivers won’t really have a problem with giving each other a bit of room, overtaking is where the problems really start. You cannot launch an overtaking maneuver on a human opponent in good faith, because there is so little room to work with you’ll probably run them into the wall on corner exit whether you’re intending to or not. And when contact between two vehicles breeds something more disastrous, unlike the Long Beach Grand Prix, drivers approaching the chaos have zero extra tarmac to work with – they will plow right into the wreck.

Provided the pack does get strung out into a single file conga line, the ideal racing trajectory for Tokyo circuits requires drivers to remain in dangerously close proximity to the wall for an extended period of time. Failing to run the absolute precise racing line and accidentally scraping the wall scrubs off so much speed, any trailing vehicle is prone to slamming into the back of you. Factor in the insane drafting effects Gran Turismo as a series has been notorious for and has still failed to rectify in Sport, and you’ve essentially got a chain of circuits that have almost been genetically engineered to breed chaos. In a normal Gran Turismo game, these tracks would merely fall out of rotation among the playerbase, and primarily be used for fancy screenshot competitions on sites GT Planet. Sport not only forces you to race on them as part of the game’s primary mode of play, it also punishes you quite severely for incidents that are largely the fault of poor track design.

What’s frustrating is that any idiot and his friends can run a quick pickup race here in private, and come away with the conclusion to never race in Tokyo again. How Polyphony did not play test these circuits internally and determine “our target audience will become frustrated with this very quickly” is beyond me.

This lack of foresight on the part of Polyphony extends to the game’s oval tracks, which I will refer to by their real world counterparts as I have not been dedicated enough to memorize all of their in-game pseudonyms. Bristol, Pocono, and Trenton – yes, that crazy Trenton from the 1960’s – visually all look great, but that’s where the positive remarks cease. Even as a stock car guy, these ovals are a chore to run and arguably the worst tracks in the game because Polyphony have failed to do their homework and understand why American oval racing works as a form of auto racing. Yes, there is some method to the madness.

Here is the crash course in NASCAR history; NASCAR tracks rarely if ever feature a racing surface that’s smooth as glass; most eat tires and require a bit of throttle management over the course of a lap because concrete is a dynamic entity unable to hold a consistent shape. Irregularities in the paving or mending process – bumps, dips, and imperfect transitions – all further assist in giving each location their individual character.  The Gran Turismo team have ignored this vital element of oval racing and instead modeled all three of their oval circuits as pristine facilities featuring progressive banking, which essentially takes throttle management and strategic line choice completely out of the equation. There is no threat of losing traction or being punished for your line choice over the duration of a lap, creating a situation where the only way you can legitimately pass people is by hoping they blatantly choke or get taken out by a lapped car. This isn’t racing.

The average Gran Turismo player in my experience seems to be pretty shitty at the game, so the initial days of GT Sport will see some okay-ish races take place at the three primary oval tracks. As the talent level increases and a tangible field of competent drivers establish themselves within the community, these races will quickly turn into frustrating affairs based more on luck than on skill. So not only are the Tokyo circuits extremely poor for competitive online racing, you now have three ovals where even in a field of good drivers, there isn’t much racing to be had; just an automotive procession in which the first person to mess up kills everybody behind him, and genuine overtaking maneuvers are difficult to manifest.

Again, this is all something Polyphony could have discovered internally during light play tests around the office, but seemingly didn’t.

As for the remaining array of fictional tarmac circuits, they too adopt at lot of the same problems as the ovals. They are too pristine, too perfect, and too well-maintained to be enjoyable in a competitive environment. Rumble strips are gigantic, run-off areas can be conveniently exploited by leaderboard drivers such as myself, the surface itself is usually immaculate (which as you learned, means no throttle control), and the width of these tracks are roughly 30% larger than what you’d expect from a real world racing circuit. These work in tandem to generate artificially high speeds and insanely wide, sweeping racing lines that abuse the simplistic engine powering Gran Turismo Sport.

And the more you’re full-throttle with a mostly-straight steering wheel, the more it’s less about the driver and more about the car, which leads to…

Unbalanced Cars

I’m not going to give everyone a complete breakdown as to what vehicle classes are available in Gran Turismo Sport, but it loosely follows the classification of real-world sports car racing. You do have various classes of street cars, as seen in games like Project Gotham Racing, but then the purpose-built race cars come in four different flavors; Rally, GT4, GT3, and P1. Personally I think Polyphony did a fine job of implementing the right number of classes in Gran Turismo Sport, as there’s usually a very robust list of cars to select from within that class, but the problem is that none of them are equal.

The overwhelming leaderboard consensus is that the Bugatti VGT prototype is by far the quickest vehicle in the P1 category, with the actual prototypes racing alongside it almost six seconds per lap slower. I was awarded a Toyota TS050 for completing my “daily workout” of driving a handful of practice laps, but unless I want to have my anal cavity penetrated by upwards of twenty other people online, I’m best off saving up for the leaderboard car. Now in other games, like the aforementioned Project Gotham Racing, you could select, say, a McLaren F1 LM and still hang with the Ferrari F50GT’s online provided you kept your stick skills up. This sadly is not possible in Gran Turismo Sport; the leaderboard cars are in their own zip code.

Currently, the P1 class has been dealt the most damage out of all categories when it comes to Polyphony’s unwillingness to balance out the vehicles. Highly unrealistic Vision Gran Turismo concept cars are allowed to compete alongside Le Mans prototypes without any regard to the obvious differences between experimental concepts, and WEC competition entries built to rigid specifications, so as a result the WEC cars get absolutely murdered out on the racing surface.

However, lopsided performance figures exist in slower classes as well. The all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X is heads and tails above its’ street-legal contemporaries thanks to the drivetrain alone, as the other vehicles the car is allowed to compete against are all front-wheel-drive shitboxes that can’t turn and continuously spin the tires under power. And as mentioned in several articles already, the GT4-spec Nissan GTR is virtually unstoppable in the hands of a competent driver; two seconds per lap quicker than cars that have found success in real-world GT4 racing. Buddies of mine have speculated that this may be due to Nissan’s working relationship with Polyphony Digital as the major driving force behind GT Academy, and they want a Nissan GTR to be at the front of the pack to keep the financial stream flowing, but based on our races together, it just seems like Polyphony – like Turn 10 many years ago with Forza Motorsport 4 – cannot figure out how to prevent AWD domination from occurring.

Regardless of which specific class we’re talking about when it comes to the topic of vehicle balance, this poses a serious problem for the longevity of Gran Turismo Sport. In a game with somewhere around 150 cars that users are encouraged to purchase, tune, and personalize using in-game credits, you’ve created an ecosystem in which only five of these cars are worth obtaining if you want to actually enjoy the competitive elements of the game – which is the entire focus of this Gran Turismo iteration. The car-collecting meta-game and challenge of setup-building both cease to exist if the primary task is to purchase a Nissan GTR or Bugatti VGT, not carry the flag of your favorite automaker into battle as was intended.

Yes, in real-world auto racing, there are dominant cars. Toyota has destroyed NASCAR this season, Mercedes and Red Bull made Formula One almost unwatchable for a better part of the decade, and Audi practically owned Le Mans save for one Peugeot victory to split up their dynasty. The whole point of an eSports competition however is to rule out the real-world variables and put things in the hands of the drivers. One car lapping two to six seconds faster than any of the others in its’ class doesn’t accomplish that; it instead pisses people off who in the spirit of the game acquired a car they wanted to drive, and promptly got their shit pushed in because they chose poorly.

The worst part of all this is that upon booting up a race in the demo, Polyphony have not allowed users to tweak their own car setups save for the ability to adjust traction control and brake bias, instead informing users the game has applied some sort of Balance of Power formula to all of the vehicles in the field. Obviously, it’s not working, and that’s not good to see less than a week from launch. This is something that should have been fully sorted out in the closed beta over the summer, and for whatever reason, it wasn’t.

Questionable Event Organization

We didn’t even know there was a 125cc shifter kart in the game, but yesterday Polyphony believed they would be a perfect candidate for a ranked race at the simplest Kyoto Driving Park layout. Both races myself and Ian participated in were nothing short of disastrous despite being in the highest ranking North America room and surrounded by opponents the game deemed to be “safe.”

The karts were highly unstable, meaning drivers would side-swipe you at a moments’ notice because only a portion of the room could figure out how to turn consistent laps without wrecking. Those who did maintain control ran in giant Daytona-like packs, as the game’s draft model was so absurdly over-done, the pole lap of a 43.206 set by Ian was obliterated both in practice and race sessions just by hanging out behind someone for a bit and only marginally adhering to the preferred line. The track layout lent itself to full throttle affair save for a gentle lift in one corner, adding to the chaotic environment.

Like the oval races mentioned earlier, no talent was required to partake in these events, which goes against the entire point of an eSports competition. There were, however, a lot of massive wrecks, and a lot of people pissed off that they’d lost precious safety rating for some idiot sitting in the draft, running into the back of them, and then receiving a penalty for contact that they weren’t even aware was coming. This was NASCAR at Daytona, with extremely twitchy go-karts, which of course is great when the vast majority of your customers are playing with a DualShock 4.

A day earlier, Polyphony had sent the game’s rally cars to Suzuka East, which is a fantastic abbreviated layout of an iconic Japanese racing facility. However, Polyphony locked car setups to the default configurations in the name of “fairness”, meaning a field of rally cars competing for safety and skill points were forced to use off-road tires on a tarmac circuit. Posters on Reddit began warning others not to participate in this event, which is of course exactly what you want as a company – users telling other users to adhere from playing a time-limited demo. Check the guy’s rear-view mirror in the above YouTube video; they don’t even make it through turn one.

As an online racing organizer you have a duty not just to provide server infrastructure, but to ensure your competitors will actually have fun behind the wheel. Wrecking the shit out of each other in turn one because the cars aren’t adequately prepared for the track isn’t fun. It’s shitty.

And then there are the oval races. Oval racing works in real life and provides a captivating on-track product for both fans and drivers to appreciate because most purpose-built oval track cars are on the edge of control; high horsepower with minimal downforce and rudimentary mechanical grip that can’t fully be realized, even when nailing the setup. This is more or less how stock car racing works, and it’s how IndyCar works as well – albeit to a lesser extent. A lack of aero grip, a difference in car setups, and a track with unique surface characteristics all contribute to a racing discipline where plenty of passing opportunities arise each lap and generally make things really exciting in comparison to road racing

High downforce GT cars on ultra-smooth fantasy ovals do not allow any of these unique elements of oval racing to occur, meaning that anytime Polyphony send their fleet of GT3 cars to one of the game’s three oval tracks, it’s a complete chore for all involved. Provided the field of drivers are at least somewhat talented, you basically sit in a conga line for the duration of the event as pictured above. No driving skill is required, as the car is literally sucked to the track thanks to thousands of pounds of downforce providing all the grip you’ll ever need, and this means the act of passing someone because you’re a better driver than them just doesn’t happen. The enjoyable parts of oval racing, running down drivers using alternate lines or pushing the car beyond its means for a few laps just don’t happen. Foot to the floor, turn left, and hope you don’t die while passing the people who do. That’s not racing, and certainly not a good basis for a competitive eSports platform.

For whatever reason, Polyphony continue to schedule these events in abundance.

Poor track design. Unbalanced cars. Questionable event organization. These are just some of Polyphony’s problems with Gran Turismo Sport, and it more or less confirms what a lot of us feared but were dismissed as pessimists or shills upon vocalizing. Polyphony dove head first into the deep end of the eSports pool by turning Gran Turismo into this massive online racing platform, only to have precisely no idea what the fuck they were doing. Though the game does feature highly questionable vehicle physics, Gran Turismo Sport would be a lot of fun if the races were still something to look forward to at the end of the day. Instead, for a variety of very amateurish reasons, they aren’t.

I understand there’s a reason to have a fictional circuit like the Tokyo Expressway in place of Spa or Le Mans – you’ve got to show off the processing capabilities of Sony’s new PlayStation 4 model. But at the end of the day, people are eventually not going to care about the cluster trees in the distance, and they’ll want to race. Ultimately, Spa puts on a better show than Tokyo.

And I acknowledge that the Vision GT cars give vehicle designers a way to express their artistic side without the traditional restrictions a major manufacturer will undoubtedly impose on them for production models. But when the Bugatti or McLaren VGT concepts are six seconds quicker than Porsche’s Le Mans entry, and they’re in the same class competing directly against each other while the game still uses the tagline of “The Real Driving Simulator,” maybe it’s time for a second look at how the vehicles are balanced.

Lastly, flat-out shifter karts or GT cars on an oval may sound interesting on paper, but forcing people to partake in events that breed chaos while also telling them to be mindful of contact and to race cleanly is borderline retarded. Yes, nobody can die in a virtual world, so we can be free to try some stupid shit if the opportunity arises. But there are also combinations that just outright don’t work because different types of race cars work better on some tracks than others, and Polyphony of all people should know this given their involvement in real-world racing. Some of us sat out today because the list of races were so horrible, and that’s something as a developer you don’t want to do; give people an incentive to not play your game. Because you never know if during that period of time, they’ll just go and find something else.

Gran Turismo Sport was an interesting concept on paper, but Polyphony’s incompetence at understanding how virtual auto racing works will prevent it from turning the genre upside-down and being anything more than an awkward off-shoot of a beloved franchise.


180 thoughts on “How Gran Turismo Sport Fails as a Competitive Platform

  1. I think this all comes down to whether people making the game are primarily racing guys or a car guys.Forza & Gran Turismo are made by car guys who have some interest in racing but get more excited about street cars & Top Gear type stuff.Project Cars & Iracing are always going to be better for competitive racing because they know that without proper B.O.P. in GT3 its not GT3 racing.

    I get that Forza & GT have to make a game for guys that get boners about a 1993 Silvia K but while the graphics & pretty much every aspect of the titles have improved over the years the actual racing sucks.Some of the best racing in Forza I experienced was in Forza 2 at Tskuba in a Golf Gti.The racing has got worse with no practice or qualifying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So why is the Ferrari 488 the fastest GT3-car in PC2? It’s probably just by chance that it was superior in AC for quite some while after release before Kunos fixed it…


      1. Then you proved the bop is quite good in pc2, as some of the driver out there think to or 650s are much faster, so there is no more a one car domination in all tracks situation again


        1. The straights are too short for the Ferrari at Laguna Seca and the Audi lacks of top-speed with the McLaren in between. Imola, Spa, Monza, Nordschleife etc. and the Ferrari should be faster. In my own test at Imola it was 1,5 sec. faster than all others, at Nürburgring GP not that dominant, but still a bit. Laguna Seca is too special to test GT3-performance.


  2. More the reason to buy rf2 when it’s on sale next if it’s not already.
    The coming years will see rf2 and iracing battle it out for the crown


    1. iRacing? You are joking … it is unrealistic as fuck and waaaaaaaaay to expensive

      It is a battle between Project CARS 2 and … nothing
      If rFactor 2 actually improves a lot then they come back into play, but as of now they are a lot behind


        1. Why do iRenters think the only reason no one would play their game is the cost?

          Obviously the flawed physics engine is what makes it unrealistic. Anyone who has driven enough cars to realize that has obviously already got past the price barrier.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Old News: Jews Run the Media

    This isn’t new news by any means, everyone has known this for years.

    Still, you might want to spread it around.


  4. Don’t understand why everyone is ragging on PCars 2. Yeah it’s got a couple of bugs that are being worked on in real time (thanks LeviathanPT and SMS Gergely Szelie) but outside of that the racing has been pretty damn good.

    The license system actually seems to be working (better than iRacing’s, in my opinion, as the wreckers can’t get above a D class license, compared to running around with an A/B class license being an utter tool in the BSS series or IMSA)

    Project CARS 2 is actually pretty decent.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The car and track selection in GT Sport is terrible. There’s way too much fictional/concept rubbish added in too. The photo modes and replays look good but I’d rather good content and gameplay. The game totally alienates long time fans to go for eSports.

    I never thought I’d buy Project Cars 2 and leave Forza 7 and GT Sport.


  6. Launching a $60 Gran Turismo game in 2017 with less cars than Assetto Corsa requires the vision and leadership that only an over-the-hill Yakuza accountant can provide


  7. Dan Greenawalt might have found a new way to monetize the Forza MotorTards and Kondor, Kaz the Know-it-all might have won his 2-car class at the 24H of Nürburgring, but Ian Bell would rather listen to seasoned professionals and Oggy the Shitbox Wonder to make a good product for the players.

    Thank you, Ian Bell.
    Fuck you, Kaz and Dan Greenawalt.

    Liked by 2 people

          1. HAM is a great, great driver but his faggy nose piercing and jesus freak nonsense are pure cringe, to say nothing of his “fashion sense.” This video is pure marketing bullshit .

            Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve yet to buy a single loot crate and I’m getting every single car I want in FM7. Like I said, it’s a completely optional way for non-skilled players to get all the nice cars without actually earning them.

      Seriously, you don’t have to bother with that shit. They had essentially the same setup in FM4 where you could buy in-game credits with real money. I actually paid $5 back then iirc just so I could round out my collection to include the really high-priced stuff like the 250TR (was starting to lose interest in FM4 by then).

      This having been said, there’s no question that PC2 overall is the sim with more potential in terms of being a “serious” simulator. Speaking of which, has anyone looked at the new AI yet in PC2?

      Hopefully Austin will give us an update on PC2 after it gets patched up a bit more. The good news is that SMS is obviously listening: If you look at the patch notes, there’s clearly an emphasis on going track by track, car by car to help refine the AI.


      1. Patch notes? Check out the forums. The Gollums are now getting antsy because there’s no opus patch note accompanying the patch. They need to step away from the keyboard and just enjoy the goddamn game. Shit heads.


        1. I think they want to see “Improved AI racing line in Turn 6 at Bathurst for Ginetta Junior, McLaren GT3 and Formula C” or some shit. xD


        2. I mean, “various AI behavioural and race line improvements” is kinda vague. It’s improved, in ways that vary, ways that involve things with the AI and the race lines and how the AI does the race lines. Gets across a basic concept but doesn’t really say what’s changed.


          1. It would be a biblical changelog if it was:

            – De-activated opening lap mentality for turn one at Hockenheim; AI now treat corner as “at speed” approach to reduce chances of unwanted slowdowns due to logic differences

            For each individual refinement.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Are you fucking kidding? He gives what looks like an actual series of game dev notes to logically explain why it would be ridiculous to get that far down into the weeds with the patch notes, and the best disputation you can come up with is: “You’re a shill”.

                Doesn’t it get tiresome to be this stupid and predictable?


                1. Get back to your actual work dr. kondor as you’re losing mental faculties. Are you honestly saying you couldn’t read through James post for the actual intention?


                  1. I get a lot of days off, plus PRC is my go-to toilet reading 😉

                    The point is: Provide some actual evidence rather than just saying “You’re a shill cuz I say so”. Why *would* SMS go through and detail each tiny AI change in their patch notes?

                    I agree with Barchetta that some middle path would be great. Example: “AI at Spa improved” rather than just saying “various AI and behavioural improvements”. SMS doesn’t have to get all the way down into the minutiae, but I’d like to know which tracks to go check for AI improvements.

                    I guess that’s my point: Instead of going straight to name-calling, try to construct an argument.


                    1. The AI rejoins the oval at Texas roval a bit better now without slowing to a crawl every time. First lap at Fuji is very clean except Turn 1, at least with the RS.01. Oulton Park doesn’t go from 72 fps down to 39-43 fps under the trees. Yay.


      2. I did a formula c race at the Indy road course this morning and I was pleasantly surprised by the AI.

        Turn one is still a shit show but other than that, the AI was aggressive but also gave me room to race. They still won’t defend though.


      3. Regarding loot boxes, it’s the principle of it that makes me avoid Forza, and any other game that has them. I’d rather the publishers just be honest and say “well, we don’t think games are worth $60 anymore. Give us $80 now” and have that be the end of it instead of this pseudo gambling bullshit. It’s a very anti-consumer practice and it’s troubling to think of the effect it might have on young minds playing these glorified slot machines on their Xbox.


        1. I agree that these loot boxes are a complete shit show, but the game itself is incredibly fun. The way I’m protesting is by assiduously ignoring them in-game. Hopefully they’ll look at the usage metrics and decide it was a dumb idea.


            1. I think you’re right 😦

              Just read an article saying that “Games as a service” is here to stay, and the era of the complete boxed game is over. From now on, it’s all about DLC, incrementalism and pay-as-you-go.

              The root problem is that game prices haven’t adjusted for inflation. Games still sell for $59.99, just like they did in 1993. That’s $102.07 in 2017 dollars, which happens to match almost exactly the price of FM7 Ultimate.

              Not a coincidence.


      4. I haven’t looked at the new AI yet because no matter what settings I choose, the game stutters like fuck everywhere, even when locked at 75 fps. Fucking piece of shit update, and I didn’t even keep the old version somewhere like a moron.


        1. You talking about PC2? I sorta stopped playing for a while. Vsync will often clear up frame-pacing issues, but people don’t like the extra lag (I can’t stand tearing and stuttering, so I run vsync).


          1. I had to do a bunch of things and now it’s back to normal, but it was quite an ordeal. The AI seems more fluid in some places, so I like that. V-sync doesn’t bother me, but that wasn’t the issue.


    2. YEBIS post-effects integrated into
      groundbreaking racing simulator rFactor2
      as part of major graphics upgrade

      Tokyo, Japan, (October 12, 2017) – Middleware and game development company, Silicon Studio are excited to announce that physically groundbreaking racing simulator “rFactor2” by Studio 397 (Netherlands) has integrated post-effects system YEBIS, as part of a major graphics upgrade.

      Since the simulator’s release in 2013, rFactor 2 has been at the forefront of racing and e-sports, recently acting as a major participant in the “McLarens ‘World’s Fastest Gamer” Competition. The popular steam based sim is used by not only racing fans and e-sports events but also by a number racing teams and professional drivers as an active training tool. The game is undergoing a major upgrade from DX9 to DX11 with a number of graphics improvements including YEBIS being implemented.

      Although the integration of YEBIS has been completed, currently only a small number of effects such as glare, depth of field have been implemented. Other effects such as additional bokeh, motion blur, etc. are planned to be implemented in waves as various updates. The implemented effects however bring incredible new dynamics to the racing environment for both players and spectators.

      The depth of field effect pictured above, whether in the rain or shine allow for a dramatic feel, excellent for replays and wowing spectators.

      Various glare effects add a new dimension to lighting and environment realism. Apertures and vignetting add new structure to lights that liven up evening and night drives. Even in VR the impact on the driving experience is recognizable.

      Official quote from Studio 397 Managing Director Marcel Offermans:
      “Studio 397 developed a brand new, state of the art graphics engine that sports day/night transitions, changing weather conditions as well as a dynamic racing surface with rubber build up and marbles. YEBIS advanced optical effects greatly enhanced the quality and immersion of our graphics. The quality of their library continues to impress us and we will continue to leverage it as we improve our graphics subsystem in the upcoming years.”

      Studio 397 has a great reputation working with a variety of racing teams and e-sports events, such as the recent World’s Fastest Gamer, Silicon Studio is happy to be assisting soon in its outreach to the racing teams of Asia.


      1. You fixed nothing. Dan & Kaz are just Corporate money grabbing whores and it’s an insult that you think these two belong in the same sentence with Stefano & Renato.


      2. Stefano is a fragile asshole and Renato is high on rFactor dust, but I think they have good intentions at least. Kaz and Dan are just into marketing and bullshit.


          1. LOL, good one. You don’t get to use that argument when you’ve shit all over the other sims and simcades except pcars2. It just doesn’t stick at all.


            1. Empty Box hated the first game so much he refused to cover it. Now he covers the sequel.

              ISR actually gave pCars 2 a mostly positive review.

              I’ve even seen AC shills say one car alone has made pC2 worth the price of admission.

              Get over yourselves. This was not a satire blog to just piss off companies. Games got shit on if they were bad. pCars 1 was a bad game. It got shit on accordingly. The sequel isn’t.




                  1. Why does Hornbuckle list all his in-game graphics settings in his sig? It’s not useful, since everyone has a somewhat different GPU/CPU/resolution combo. Is it an e-peen sort of thing, or is he so obsessed with every small facet of the game that he needs even his sig to be chock-full of Assetto Corsa minutiae?

                    I mean, he’s even got his “Mirror Quality” settings in there. WTF?


                    1. Could be because using the sig to show your system and in game specs is recommended/requested by the devs; showing that info helps to expedite the support process. Or yeah, it could be to reap the massive e-penis cred that comes from owning a six year old cpu with a $200 gpu.

                      Liked by 1 person

              1. You weren’t so fast to find positive looks when it was about AC, AMS, rF2, etc. In fact you were strangely quick in gathering all the negative opinions, screenshot or quote them, and tell the sim racing community those sims are bad and I’ve got the proof.

                How would mr Ien Ball like if you were to portray pcars2 just like you do with all the other games? He would cut off your supply.


              2. PCARS 2 still crashes. PCARS 2 still has unfinished compounds for many classes rendering the weather system pointless. PCARS 2 still has shitty wet weather physics even in the classes where wets work as they should. AI is still utter shit in fast cars like single seaters. You are not fooling anyone.


              3. James is taking exemple on empty box now 😀 lol. Don t know who s that guy either but James now is not assuming is SMS sellout :D. Say it dude, you will feel better after.


              4. Go on, give us a write up on what the patch fixed. I’ll give you a start, it wasn’t much. AI still pile into each other at the start, even though they said it was already fixed a day after release. Lies, removed features, bugs, shills, same old, same old.


  8. Shocking to read how far GT has fallen – back in the day this was the racing game. With pcars2 and Forza (I’m with Kondor ignore the loot nonsense the rest is fine) already here racing games need to be something special to compete now.


  9. Kaz probably won’t care, he’s gonna waste years remodelling the “premium” cars from GT5&6 (which would have looked fine on PS4, unlike the pixelated shit from PS2 on PS3) instead of improving the archaisms which go back to the first game, because who needs logic and efficient work time management.


  10. PCARS 2 still crashes. PCARS 2 still has unfinished compounds for many classes rendering the weather system pointless. PCARS 2 still has shitty wet weather physics even in the classes where wets work as they should. AI is still utter shit in fast cars like single seaters. You are not fooling anyone by acting as if they were on different leagues.


  11. You have to realize what is the target audience of GT sport.
    For major Asian gamers, they really love GT sport, as it’s graphic looks good and it got their hometown in photo mode, even they love it because they just want to play wangan midnight in PS4, that’s how the Asian thinking now.
    For most of the gamer, even they know real car doesn’t handle like that, but as the brand have stands for real driving for so many years, they will blame the hardware technology rather than the software itself.
    This game is going to sale very well as major audience doesn’t care about all realism, rules, track design or fake cars, they just think a game which can handle well with dual shock 4 and drive not so acarde is a realistic driving game. GT sport will receive positive review, that’s how stupid people are right now.

    Pcars2 in the other hand really suffer from poor current gen graphic in PS4 and bugs which make people keep their hands off the game, I wish SMS really keep working on this game and my friends will keep playing this game even the gt sport comes out.


    1. That right there is the formula for simcades and why piecars2 won’t ever succeed as one. No matter how much James melts down, piecars2 doesn’t have shit on GT Sport. I know James tried and will keep trying to discredit GTS as a competitive/esport platform, but gt sport in beta is already a better competitive platform than pcars2 in full release with several patches already made.

      Kaz on Ian Bell be like: *tune*”Can’t touch this”*tune*


        1. Better competitive platform? Just because it got more people than the other games? Or because of how fair the track dynamic so fixed and the car everybody picks are the same?

          Let’s think about this, what makes counter strike and LOL to become a competitive platform? Or what makes Motorsport become a sport?

          GT sport is so unbalance that you need to choose the “fastest” (R35, VGT, I dont know how to express that terms) one car in order to be competitive, and even more the track roster makes the competition so boring and dull, pCARS 2 livetrack 3.0 really doing a great job in order to keep the sports element alive.

          pCARS 2 good or bad wont affect the sale of GT Sport, fans and gamers are going to love it as it is the name of PS4 racing game, and it has good graphic, that’s how pathetic the gaming industry and gamers we have right now, otherwise GTR2 wont be awarded as Best Game Nobody Played.

          P.S. I will buy GT Sport as all my friends wanna play it together, and pCARS 2 PC online is still full of stupid drivers…..may be its time for me to entry some newbie league in order to have some clean race.


        2. In case you don’t know, I have a GT Sport avatar and I am from SEA. (South East Asia, in case you don’t get it. /akbg/ seems to dislike SEAfags, by the way.) And I have ironically described myself as a “GT representative” here.

          Checkmate, James.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Only you finds the word “PieCars” funny. The rest of world looks at that and thinks you’re most likely a bearded cunt living with his grandparents because his parents could no longer bear him.


  12. And the saga continues: Darin Gangi just can’t help being himself. Just read his comment under William Marsh’s video.


    1. I don’t know what’s crazier, that Willy would stream for 11 hours or that some company would want to be represented by Gangi.

      “Two sides to every story William and you seem to want to share your jaded view of how things went down in every corner of the internet, Reddit, IRacing forums, on your channel and of course with PRC. If you would like to discuss this on your live show with me so I can share my side, I’d be more than happy to. Would be some great click bait for you too.

      Regarding us not sending you an AccuForce to review, there are many outlets that have a much larger reach that we would consider. It has nothing to do with how you have trash talked me relentlessly, it’s purely a business decision.

      Also, based on your hate for me, how can we feel comfortable sending you a wheel when you will do anything you can to make me look bad and I’m sure that would include bashing a product from a company I work for.”


      1. Can’t you point me where Darin chime in in the comments? it’s impossible to sit through 11 hours video just to find his comment



          1. In Darin’s case it’s easy to see why they employed him (Director of Sales and Marketing), although i’ve heard rumours that he’s a shareholder in the Simxperience company. Don’t forget that Darin is still the CEO in ISR which means free promotion to Simxperience pruducts and any other affiliated products he likes. Ogonoski on the other have a simplier role, shit in all the other competitors but try to show that you’re objective to our game.


    1. Don’t know about the water currents but the few things i saw from the trailer especially the mud is like you drive through a jelly mass that’s not how mud behaves in real life even if you drive 500 Ton forest logging trucks , it does look interesting though


      1. It’s simcade, the direct drive force feedback is terrible, their mud model is a total joke, and no idea how anyone can take those winch physics seriously. Whole game is easy mode trash for kids using controllers. Did I mention they don’t even support bass shakers or motion rigs?


            1. spintires is way ahead of pcars2 in simulating live terrain and water. I don’t really care about ffb in spintires, this game was made for keyboard and gamepad. But their live terrain is still miles ahead of what pcars2 can dream of.

              I don’t care if spintires is a simcade, but is a good simcade, at least in terms of vehicle driving with the wheel, but the live terrain and water (deep water, river, moving currents) is not simcade. Not even pcars1 got as many sales on steam as spintires.


      2. Are you sure that’s not how mud behaves in real life Siberia? Do you also want to see some winch physics? This video below has it all.

        Here’s also for dry mud


        1. As expected it doesn’t take long for the spin tires shills to show up. Filthy casuals trying to pretend there’s a shred of realism or simulation value in that game in a desperate attempt to sell more copies.


            1. Nobody cares about your reader submissions. They are even worse and more boring than the content James puts out.

              FYI, there’s more than a million owners on Steam for Spintires. What a niche of a niche of a niche… Felcha, bitch please. Not even pcars1 has that many owners on Steam.


          1. wow, bringing some stuff to a discussion is the same as shilling for a game.

            Nice try pcars2 shill, trying to sell more copies of pcars2 by discrediting all the other games.


        2. Did you tried to prove my point with these videos? if yes then you did an excellent job
          the difference between the real life is like day and night compared to the unrealistsic behaviourthat both the mud/trucks exhibit on the trailer.


    2. Spintires is like pCars2: full of awesome features but doesn’t work as a solid product. When you wanna make everything you will end up doing nothing.


  13. Hey Austin, word is your buddy Ian is going off again on the SMS forums and acting like a little bitch having his mods ban people for constructive criticism. I guess it was too much to hope he had moved past that kind of behavior.


        1. This “Mascot” wise-ass-know-it-all-about-cars obnoxious cunt is in every single sim & game related forums i’ve seen and with the same “Cary Grant” Avatar (Member in NeoGAF,GTplanet, RaceDepartemnt, PCARS forums, Forza forums etc)

          Yeah adios faggot, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!


          1. I could write a list about AC’s most diehard forum campers. Hornbuckle “Mr inside knowledge” on Assetto Corsa (probably can’t even point to Italy on a plastic globe), SimCharles; another expert who knows piss-all, and worst of all was that stupid prick in the Hawaiian shirt who asked the devs to remove the squealing brakes on modern race cars “because they are so well maintained they never squeal”. That place is wall to wall with total wankers.


          1. PC’s/SMS forums are a shameless disgrace, dead shit european moderators who struggle to even understand English written word, low self esteem cock smokers who get off being able to bark orders and have some power, Ian knows how to pick them.
            The mods over there defined the word cuckold, James also defines that word.
            Funny thing is that Ians completely destroyed any credibility James had and silenced him through money, James hasnt realised it yet, he will be the last to realise.
            James is nothing more than a proven mouth for hire.
            Comments or silence for hire, its as simple as that.


            1. I suspect Ian knew that this deal would destroy James’ credibility and no-one would take him seriously any more. Perhaps James doesn’t see it, but he’s been stitched up. Ian’s turned him into one of the people he most complains about. Shame, this was a good site.


                  1. Sad but true, before it was great to read articles here, getting rude point of view on EVERY game/sim.
                    Now I have to read comments to get somehow unbiased rude point of view.


                1. and pcars2 play count continues to decrease.

                  Another cash grab from SMS instead of working more on pc1 to this day.

                  Watch out James, Ien Ball might be dropping your sponsorship as they aren’t really making as much money as expected.


  14. Mr PRC, you need to have a look at the problems in Forza 7 Xbox One multiplayer. Forza has always been rock solid online but FM7 is suffering some major problems, especially in private lobbies:

    – lag for 1/3 to 1/2 of players regardless of internet connection speed and quality. By lag I mean cars jumping 20/30 metres forward/backwards on track.

    – frame rate slowdown in corners with 2 or more cars on screen. Not AC levels of awful but noticeable and game breaking.

    – random races starting with only half the grid on the start line. Some cars in motion during the start countdown. Orher players not joining the race until after the start, they are presented with a black screen then suddenly join with the race in progress, this always also results in having no in game sound.

    – Random game crashes from multiplayer to Xbox dashboard that don’t remove the player from Xbox live or the party – showing it’s a game issue not a general service problem.

    The single player game works well so this is all multiplayer related. Trying to get sny sense from T10 is a joke so we need some PRC motivation for them.

    As a long time Forza player it pains me to see this level of instability in a previously always solid game. Another game rushed out of the door for profit with ludicrous loot boxes.

    If this game ‘suddenly’ works perfectly on launch of Xbox One X I will be very suspicious that MS are these problems to promote ‘plays best on One X’ and boost sales Apple style.


    1. even though not as bad as pcars2 on consoles. Why are sim racers so interested in simcades doing badly? Want to hide the facts that their simcade competitor pcars2 is doing as bad?


    1. Why is that guy spamming a GTS thread in a PCARS forum every couple of minutes with multiple boring engrish posts? I would warn him then ban him.

      “Do you think that could be contributed by those of us who have been effected refusing to persist with a system that wont let us race and we are just waiting for the fix?

      I don’t understand why people believe in magic. There is an obvious answer for what you are seeing. We are waiting. The posts on the subject of us who have had the issues and have said we are no longer racing should make the conclusion clear.”

      “The numbers of people racing I think paint the better picture. For a new release that drives as incredible as your game and has such great features in the simulation, don’t you think it is odd your game isn’t as popular as it should be online?

      I’m primarily talking PS4 here but I’ve noticed PC guys have mentioned disconnects too.”

      “Since you are here. There is a pretty solid thread on the effect of standing water and the lack of a driving line in the rain. If you could read that thread and then tune the weather to be a little more realistic it would be appreciated by a lot of people. The back straight in the Silverstone race in the Ginetta series is a good example. In the later part of that race the back straight is almost undrivable, you can’t avoid the standing water as there is no line and there is standing water completely across the track. I’m pretty sure Silverstone doesn’t get shut every time they get some rain.”


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