Oh Gran Turismo. What happened? You started out so well.
Gran Turismo 1
I don’t know why I’m surprised. It’s been nearly 20 years since that first masterpiece. Like any organisation, people will have moved on, dynamics will have changed. That first game will have been made by inspired people, people who loved driving games, people who wanted to do something great.
Then money happened.
Money ruins everything.
When money happens, project managers get hired. For some bizarre reason, it seems commonly accepted that “project management” is somehow a transferable skill across ANY KIND OF PROJECT. Somehow this statement has become the accepted truth, despite being as obviously bollocks as “I look cool in this bandana” and “Donald Trump says what we’re all thinking.”
Project management is *not* something you can just hover into and do. If you don’t understand the project you’re managing, you’re just going to get in the way of the people who do (and if you don’t have any of *those* people, you’re fucked regardless).
When I play Gran Turismo, I get fucked off by the stuff that I would’ve stomped on if I’d been project managing it. For example, the catch-up is way too obvious. If I crash on the first lap, I can still easily win even if I’m a bit Maldonado for the rest of the race. But if I do a perfect race but crash on the last corner, I finish last. I can start 12th, blast past the leader on lap 2, drive the perfect lap 3, and *still* that fucker in second who I’d just taken 5 seconds a lap out of is somehow still up my arse! Not only that, but it’s not only the computer cars that are affected. As soon as I take the lead, *MY CAR* suddenly has less grip! What the actual fuck?!?! What colossal bell-end thought that was a good idea?!
And the “moon rover” level. Well I’m not even going to go into that. What a fucking joke. You’d have to have been pissed, high, and A GIBBON to have signed that off. For fuck’s sake.
But that’s not why I’ve stopped playing. I’ve stopped because of the karts. The first two kart series were piss-easy. You hardly needed to look at the screen. The third series, however, already prickled me by offering me 3 karts with the same rating but then when I’d bought one, decided only the other two were eligible for the series. FUCK OFF! How did nobody pick that up? That kind of shit MAKES ME HATE YOU.
And then I started the race. I’m no Fernando Alonso but I’ve been holding my own so far, pretty much dominating the computer opposition, as you’re supposed to in a VIDEO GAME THAT YOU BOUGHT FOR FUN. But here, apparently, nobody got that memo. Your kart will spin with no warning and at variable times. I did the whole championship, I was last in every race, and the entire field lapped me. Every time I span, I don’t know why it happened. I seemed to be doing exactly the same as I’d done on the previous corner and there was no warning. This may well be what it’s like to drive a racing kart in real life, but I COULDN’T GIVE A FLYING FUCK. This is a fucking video game, that I bought in order to HAVE SOME FUN in my precious free time. And now I just want to find the developer and punch him repeatedly in the fucking spleen until he promises never to write any zeroes and ones ever again. Which is how I’d feel if I was project managing him, though in that scenario I’d probably be rather more diplomatic about it and give him another two days to code something less violence-inducing before I sent him with his P45 to Molly Maid.
I’m only upset about this because I’m still in denial. The first Gran Turismo, back in 1997, was sooooooo good, and I can’t quite come to terms with the fact that episode six is worse than episode one. Yes, the graphics are better now, but who cares? I just want to drive. On my sofa. While I’m pissed.
Oh, and one last reason to for my rant. The Lotus Elise. It’s been in every episode since Gran Turismo 2. And in every episode the Elises have handled like there’s a tea-tray under the rear tyres. THEY DON’T DO THAT! I can only assume they wrote the handling algorithm based solely on a husband’s explanation to his wife of why he hit a tree.
- Lotus Elise at Spa by Matt Sayle
I’m done with you, Gran Turismo. Go piss somebody else off.