Since 1997, Gran Turismo has been making armchair heroes feel like Ayrton Senna. From the PlayStation 1 original to the current PlayStation 3 game, few console titles are able to recreate the racing experience quite like Polyphony Digital's title. We now know where the series will go next, with the announcement of Gran Turismo Sport for the PlayStation 4.
Forget about the range of cars, and ignore the graphics for a moment though, because there's something a bit different about GT Sport. It will give you a license for the real world. Having worked your way through the game's campaign mode, completing lessons about racing etiquette along the way, you will be eligible for a FIA Gran Turismo Digital License from your local car club or national motorsports body.
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According to the people at Gran Turismo, that license will "hold the same value as a real-life license" if the relevant body grants it based on the information from the game. Over 22 countries have signed up for the program, although details about what sort of real-world testing will be available to back up your digital education are limited.
As you'd expect of a new GT iteration, developers have gone to great lengths to make sure cars are lovingly recreated. As well as analyzing the paint-layer structure of the cars in the game, the team has worked to accurately recreate the stitching on the seat fabric.
Landscapes have also come in for some attention, with detail down to the age of trackside trees logged and reproduced. Even the grain, size and distribution of each track's asphalt has been taken into account, for an experience that more accurately captures the differing atmospheres of the world's motorsport hotspots.
Players will be able to work their way through the "Beginner's School," which covers basics like the correct racing line and braking points, through to a section dedicated to teaching newbies the sportsmanship nuances expected of racing drivers in "Race Etiquette" mode.
Just as it has done in past, the team behind Gran Turismo has worked closely with the FIA to integrate real-world challenges into the game. There will be two "Sport Mode" race series available – Nations Cup and Manufacturer Fan Cup. Nations Cup races will let drivers defend their nation's honor against players from around the globe, while Manufacturer Fan races let you choose your favorite brand and race on their behalf.
Races will be broadcast live, and series winners will be awarded their prizes at the annual FIA prize giving ceremony alongside drivers from the real world.
Finally, a new "Scapes" mode lets you place cars into famous locations and then adjust depth of field, lighting conditions and other photographic elements to create a stunning snapshot.
The game will be on sale from November 18. A video trailer, complete with some gorgeous gameplay, can be seen below.
Source: Gran Turismo