The Basics: "Since the inception of Gran Turismo, it has been a labor of love for us to offer players the most authentic racing experience possible," says the famed creator, Kazunori Yamauchi. Of all the racing simulations available on the market, none have set the bar higher than Gran Turismo. With each new entry, the series established a new benchmark, touting a remarkable attention to detail, jaw-dropping visuals and of course, its extensive selection of licensed commercial vehicles.
Now, Yamauchi and his talented team at Polyphony Digital are back to expand on their racing sim foundation with their first motorcycle entry entitled Tourist Trophy. We briefly offered a few details the other day, but frankly, the game demands more attention. Tourist Trophy will essentially take the best elements of the Gran Turismo series—delivering one of the most fluid, true-to-life motorcycle riding simulations ever developed. Given Polyphony Digital's strong portfolio and reputation, it's safe to say that the Climax's Moto GP series will be given a run for its money.
But enough hyperbole, let's talk features – Tourist Trophy will contain over 80 licensed motorbike, including popular manufacturers like BMW Motoradd, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Triumph and many more, Tourist Trophy offers two modes (Arcade and Challenge, respectively) set amongst over 35 international courses. In Arcade Mode, players have access to a quick race for single-player or two-player battle. In both modes, players have the opportunity to select their bike, track and difficulty level. In two-player battle, players have the option to race in split-screen. Sadly, it looks like online multiplayer isn't making the list for this upcoming release – a feature that GT diehard types have been eagerly been awaiting ever since the advent of PS2's network adapter.
The Challenge Mode serves as the career mode for players to work their way up the ladder by participating in licensed school missions, various racing events and other tests that will ultimately unlock new bikes and related accessories. Each test is designed to train players to develop their motorcycle driving skills under various conditions and speeds, taking account the rider and their distinctive riding style.
Tourist Trophy will also feature a Photo Mode. Based on what I've read -- it's intended to be a useful tool for improving your driving skills—preserve frames from replay sequences and store them onto a Memory Card so you can share them with others. Intriguing.
It goes without saying that the game is going to shine in the visuals department – a quick glimpse at our screenshot collection will make that blatantly obvious. Plus, expect an extensive wardrobe selection, allowing you to customize your racer with a variety of licensed gear like helmets, suits, shoes and more.
What do we think? There's still a lot I don't know about the game other than what was documented on the press release. I am really intrigued to hear more about the gameplay and how they'll set up the various parameters for things like the racing AI behaviors, physics, racing environments and more. Motorcycle racing has always been something of a guilty pleasure for me, so like many of you, I can't wait to get a taste of the game in action. Given Polyphony Digital's stellar reputation for creating the "Gran Turismo standard" and considering what's been revealed so far, definitely leads me to believe Tourist Trophy is poised to become yet another fine-crafted racing opus.