Gran Turismo PSP Review

Polyphony Digital’s long-awaited purist roadster leaves the garage, but can Gran Turismo keep pace with modern motors?

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, September 15, 2009



Like collecting cars? You’ll like Gran Turismo. Really like collecting cars? You’ll like Gran Turismo. Like driving ‘em too? You’ll like Gran Turismo. Like luxuriously upholstered backdrops, a sense of kinetic feedback, canny competitors and an online community? You’ll like… Oh.


The PSP version of Polyphony Digital’s phenomenal racing franchise has been chugging through development for over half a decade. Back in May 2004, the thought of hording and piloting posh rides on the go was the best publicity Sony’s fledgling Gameboy-killer could ask for – but the intervening years have brought with them handheld WipEouts, Mario Karts, Burnouts and OutRuns, and as GT finally rumbles into view alongside the retooled PSP Go, it’s clear that the old motor isn’t entirely comfortable with the new terrain.


Not as good-looking as the bullshots, no, but you can't knock 60 frames a second.

Not as good-looking as the bullshots, no, but you can't knock 60 frames a second.

Let’s start with the shiniest of the game’s bullet points: 800-plus fully licensed, meticulously assembled cars for the buying, racing and wireless trading. That’s easily the largest and most diverse vehicle suite ever rendered, and heaven forbid I should insult the countless man-hours of research involved by attempting to gloss it, meagre automobile enthusiast that I am. Here’s the complete list. Try not to dribble. Many of these rides have been sourced from Gran Turismo 4 (to whom the game also owes the majority of its 30-odd reversible courses) but a hundred or so are brand spanking new.


New cars become available in the dealership on a rotational basis.

New cars become available in the dealership on a rotational basis.

After the comparative chaos of a Motorstorm (the latest iteration of which, Arctic Edge, is next in line on my review sheet), or even a DiRT, GT‘s priestly dedication to auto-thenticity feels a little bland. With vehicle models soaking up the bulk of the game’s gigabyte install, there’s naff all in the way of cinematic trickery like momentum-induced tunnel vision, camera agitation and so on, nor are the environments interesting to drive through – mere thinly textured scaffolds for Polyphony’s superlative car physics system.


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