RACING GAMES

  • Forza Motorsport 7

While crosstown first-party rival GT Sport is dialling back on its “car-PG” origins and shifting the spotlight from the usual scale of its virtual garage, Forza Motorsport 7 is doubling down on it. As such, Forza Motorsport 7 will ship with over 700 cars and a renewed focus on collecting them, experimenting with them, and learning about what makes them interesting. Some of that 700-strong list is bolstered by a few same car-different livery instances (plus some pre-tuned Turn 10 variants of existing cars) but for the most part it’s set to be a broad smorgasbord of cars from all kinds of countries and categories.

  • WRC 7

Developer Kylotonn turned a corner with WRC 6 last year, producing a strong rally game with a respectable career mode, well-designed stages, and a responsive handling model. It was definitely the most fun I’d had with a licensed WRC game since the PS2 era and it made for a credible companion game to the technically stunning Dirt Rally. WRC 7 will now arrive in the wake of Codemasters’ very good Dirt 4 – which launched earlier this year – and seems set to make a similarly strong case for itself. WRC will feature split screen multiplayer and 55 official teams, including a “large selection of WRC 2 and WRC Junior drivers.” It’ll also feature modern rally beasts from Hyundai, Citroën, Ford, and, yes, Toyota (a brand that has developed a sudden aversion to some, but apparently not all, racing games). It’ll even include a Porsche 911 GT3 RS R-GT, which is a first for the series (the R-GT Cup is a fledgling championship for rear-wheel drive GT cars held across five tarmac rally rounds in Europe).

  • Gran Turismo Sport

It’s easy to forget when there are such vast gaps between instalments but the Gran Turismo series remains Sony’s biggest-selling first-party franchise, ever. But even though Gran Turismo Sport will be the first GT game on PS4 – and the brand still carries plenty of cultural cache amongst car fans – the pressure is definitely on. Sales of Gran Turismo 6 dipped more than 50% from Gran Turismo 5, and the PS3 generation itself was a self-described “nightmare” for developer Polyphony Digital. To make things even more difficult, the competition has never been fiercer.  In the face of this challenge Polyphony Digital has re-invented Gran Turismo. It’s not a 1000+ vehicle, car-PG collect ’em up anymore; the focus is now esports. There’s still a solo mode, but the purpose of the 150-or-so drills in ‘Campaign Mode’ is really just to prepare players for the iRacing-inspired ‘Sport Mode’, which is the scheduled, online multiplayer side of the game.