The grand tour game
Sling on a jacket over your jeans, hit that top gear, and go touring
Officially the only racing game on the market in which Richard Hammond poos his knickers.
Amazingly this TV tie-in isn’t just a fairly standard racing game with with a licence slapped on top of it, which is what we cynically expected. It really is a playable version of the hit Amazon show, where you get to play through the iconic scenes that until now Clarkson, Hammond, and May have been the only ones to experience first-hand. The opening sequence from the first episode of The Grand Tour allows you to race alongside your co-presenters, as Jeremy Clarkson heads from the UK after his firing from the BBC to LA, where the crew are joined by hundreds of other vehicles driving across the Californian desert. During the playable sections voice lines taken directly from the programme play, making it feel like you are taking part in the real thing, and in the non-playable scenes you watch live-action clips. Content from season three will also be added as episodes launch – now that’s fan service.
Unfortunately, copying the show so closely has resulted in some groan-inducing moments. In another scene from the opening episode Richard Hammond exclaims “there’s poo coming out now” while driving a McLaren P1. So naturally when you play this section, wherever you go off the track Hammond shouts this, or something similar, and you lose points because he pooed himself. The more poo at the end of the race, the lower the grade of
medal you earn.
That side of things is a real shame, as under it is a decent racing game that sits between the arcadey style of Need For Speed and simulators such as Gran Turismo. In split-screen multiplayer races, Mario Kart-like powerups lend a sense of individuality to The Grand Tour. It features real cars and tracks, but has wacky moment-tomoment action you don’t find in a straight sim, and it works really well. There’s clearly something solid here but, like the show, at times it feels like some moments should have been left out, or at least handled differently.
Choose to play as Clarkson, Hammond, or May in split-screen and hear their voices as you race.
If you’ve seen a car in the show there’s a pretty good chance you will be able to drive it in the game. And, er, collect power-ups as you race it against other people.