Gran Turismo Sport

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE -

(PS4) HHHH Age: 3+

From one ex­treme to another in four years. Gran Turismo 6 shipped in 2013 with 1,200 cars and al­most 90 track lay­outs but its suc­ces­sor (which we shouldn’t call GT7 but could any­way) man­ages just one-tenth of the ve­hi­cles and half the tracks.

If those were the only omis­sions, then the re­view could move rapidly to wax­ing lyri­cal about its peer­less han­dling, vis­ual per­fec­tion, dis­cern­ing track se­lec­tion and much-im­proved au­dio. But we need to high­light, too, the ab­sence from GTS ofa mean­ing­ful of­fline mode, dra­matic weather shifts or even tran­si­tions from day to night.

Se­ries cre­ator Kazunori Ya­mauchi would doubtlessly ar­gue such prun­ing achieves a laser­like fo­cus on Gran Turismo’s spe­cial­ity: the re­al­ism of mo­tor rac­ing. But try telling that to fans stuck with light­weight sin­gle-player con­tent and the lack of a broad range of cars (GT6 had a lu­nar buggy, for cry­ing out loud). Ya­mauchi also plans to build on the solid foun­da­tions laid by the ini­tial re­lease over the com­ing months, adding con­tent as he goes.

If you can swal­low that pill, then GTS still has much to rec­om­mend it. Sure, the at­mos­phere feels slightly po-faced (you must watch five min­utes of ex­cru­ci­at­ing video about on­line sports­man­ship be­fore putting a wheel on the tar­mac). But the depth of its love for the dis­ci­pline of rac­ing (the end­less pa­tience re­quired, the mile-af­ter-mile pre­ci­sion, the myr­iad com­bi­na­tions of car type ver­sus track lay­out) shines through like a bea­con.

The Evil Within 2 (XO/PS4/PC) HHH Age: 18+

Res­i­dent Evil cre­ator Shinji Mikami re­booted his sur­vival-hor­ror tem­plate for the orig­i­nal Evil Within in 2014. But the mae­stro’s in­flu­ence has weak­ened here in the se­quel, a mod­er­ately open-world chiller in which a de­tec­tive en­ters a Ma­trix-style al­ter­na­tive re­al­ity to search for his miss­ing daugh­ter.

EW2 fixes some of the orig­i­nal’s flaws — the odd let­ter­box pre­sen­ta­tion, for in­stance — while crib­bing from genre mas­ter­pieces such as Twin Peaks and The Last of Us. It wal­lows in gore and doesn’t stint on jump-scares or vis­cer­ally re­pul­sive crea­tures. It feels like per­fectly ser­vice­able hor­ror fod­der but, over its 15-hour run­ning time, it lacks a true el­e­ment of sur­prise or orig­i­nal­ity.

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