Gran Turismo review

  • How it's finally here at last
  • Console-quality racing on a handheld
  • That the cars handle differently
  • Only four cars and no damage
  • How the gloss is mostly gone
  • No career mode? Why?

Driving games may have been out of the spotlight in recent years, and while Colin McRae DiRT 2 may be enjoying UK chart success as we type, it's not really a serious racer like Gran Turismo. But this is the real deal - a racing fan's racer. The enjoyment here comes from careful braking, setting up your car for the turns ahead and practising until you're as close to perfection as your fingers allow.

To help you understand these fundaments of driving, the game features the usual license tests, here named 'challenges' which are no longer integral to progression in the game. Yes, that does mean driving 100m and stopping again before you can move on to harder challenges (like driving 400m and stopping. Yawn.)

Above: Surely we've outgrown the need for the go/stop test now...


Consider your career OVER

The single-player mode has been greatly simplified. Shockingly, there is no championship or career to speak of – just all of the tracks available from the beginning with a D grade next to them. Racing well earns you 'AI points' which let you progress through the ranks until you're racing on S grade. Sadly, these points are pretty much invisible and you'll often win a race with no tangible advance in level, making the sense of progression hard to enjoy.

There are two more types of racing too. There's a drift challenge which sees you attempting to drift through marked zones on the same courses, attempting to fill a bar of flags and beat your best score. The game encourages you to tweak the car settings to unbalance it, such as putting soft tyres on the front and hard tyres on the rear, but it's not very exciting.

Above: The drift mode in full swing. Geddit?

Much more enjoyable is the time attack mode, which lets you save ghost cars onto your memory stick (or hard drive if you're a 'Go-er'). This is classic GT and exactly the sort of thing its hardcore fans want from the game. Shaving tenths off lap times and pushing braking points may sound dull to some, but to us it's petrol-head heaven.

More Info

Release date: Oct 01 2009 - PSP (US)
Available Platforms: PSP
Genre: Racing
Published by: SCEA
Developed by: Polyphony Digital
Franchise: Gran Turismo
ESRB Rating:
PEGI Rating:


  • CAPST3R - October 19, 2009 6:14 p.m.

    why does it say only 4 cars at the end? that's a bit off 800!
  • GR_JustinTowell - May 23, 2012 2:58 a.m.

    Four cars on the circuit at any one time.
  • CH3BURASHKA - October 5, 2009 12:42 a.m.

    And now,... it's Ridge Racer. RIIIDGE RAAAACER!
  • milkyway - September 28, 2009 6:36 a.m.

    Reviews: Sony PSP go will be released on October 1 for £220-£230. This Sony PSP go review will help you understand the new PSP go in the round.
  • jacobtussler - September 24, 2009 4:50 p.m.

    I'm Pre orderin but why no career mode? it's a let down
  • Collymilad - September 16, 2009 3:16 p.m.

    I just don't understand the dumb comments like "I'm glad there isnt a career mode, I only have a little time to play" ? Sorry, what? Ever heard of Quick Race or Single Race? Ahhh yeah most racing games have them and thats what you use for short bursts. Having a career mode as well does not affect this at all, and after more than 5 years of development it's the least you are entitled to expect. No career: Total fail.
  • rezapoc - September 16, 2009 2:45 p.m.

    I'm not buying this now, pre-orders cancelled. People buy Gran Turismo for the career mode, the tuning options and the realism, these are what the series stands for, they are what it brought to the table over every other game when it was first released. The should have just ported GT 2 and put some more polish on it for the psp and updated the car list and everyone wold have been happy. this is a cash in rushed out for the pspgo's launch. In all fairness WTF were they thinking! Screw 'em!
  • Spybreak8 - September 16, 2009 3:09 a.m.

    *meant to say not sacrificing content, my bad.
  • GameManiac - September 15, 2009 11:36 p.m.

    My first GT game was the GT1 and a friend of mine lent it to me. And ever since then, I loved the series and i have the four main GTs on PS1 and PS2. I just wish the developers would put in damage to the game...
  • Cyberninja - September 15, 2009 8:40 p.m.

    looks ok this reminds me i have gt4 somewhere in my room
  • John-117 - September 15, 2009 5:27 p.m.

    Well I'm sold! All I needed for this game to ge good, but hearing about how rich the game is for a handheld title seals the deal. I love GT and this shall by the perfect portable version for me.
  • kiteJargon - September 18, 2009 5:11 a.m.

    Some people can play GT 2 on their PSP. ;) And from the videos the driving looks just as good as it has always been. I don't need a career mode to tell me that I'm getting better and should be rewarded for it. I can judge that for myself and get my own gratification. But I'm a PC sim racer, we're kind of an elitist bunch. And no the game doesn't come out til Oct. 1. No idea why all these reviews are out already. I can understand a few days early but just over two weeks is a little ridiculous.
  • TheWebSwinger - September 18, 2009 12:54 a.m.

    This game is out?? Talk about zero fanfare, or marketing push from Sony...
  • Spybreak8 - September 16, 2009 3:08 a.m.

    Good review, I really liked the track editor in GRID DS, wish they had it on the 360 version though, and think that would be the best way to get the "we have insert number tracks". That'd allow you to optimize the graphics a bit more but not content.
  • aboli - September 15, 2009 4:40 p.m.

    I am glad there isn't a career mode in the game, leave that to consoles, I have 40 mins on the bus to college in the morning, that gives me around 7-8 races a trip, cant wait
  • AmazingKG3 - September 15, 2009 4:37 p.m.

    GT is a fun series, but I don't think I can wait 4 years in between each games. Solid Review

Showing 1-16 of 16 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000