Gran Turismo Sport (PS4)

All of Gran Turismo Sport is about luxury. It’s also quite smug about it.

There’s a nose-in-the-air huff to Sony’s driving sim. The opening video montage scans gold car parts with high-tech lasers. Soft piano keys strike in the background. Vintage 8 and 16mm racing clips intercut, celebrating automobile history, yes, but just those who can actually afford such cars.

Little in Gran Turismo Sport feels like a fantasy. It’s a place for the super rich to virtually wrestle their real world toys. There’s no sense of fun or playfulness; it’s an extension of a reality few ever experience, made for the few with that experience. On a more middle class level, it’s that local mechanic who squawks about the necessity of obscure engine parts, only so they appear intellectually superior.

Even out of the cars, which the camera luridly scans, Gran Turismo Sport’s privileged front-end uses high-dollar mansions for icons. All of the choices suffocate under a steely, uninviting gray, like a metal gate guarding a high-income community with a gaudy name like “The Mansions at St. Ives.” There’s no character or identity, merely flaunted wealth.

As long as Sony prepped new Gran Turismo entries, the sense of loving automobiles, that fandom, showed through. Now, it feels like a love of the money invested in them. Even the challenges – a mere handful use full races – create bite-sized affairs designed to showcase the elegance of a car turning a corner. Do so faster, and the screen shimmers from an awarded crystal trophy, the not-so-logical award for pulling a steering wheel to the right. At least, if someone has the money to afford one.


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