Contact: hi (at) gamermalaya.my
The Grand Tour Game – Review
You watch Jeremy Clarkson as stepped out of the BBC building, Grabbing a cabbie as he head towards the airport to catch a flight bound for Los Angeles. Once there, he enters a Fisker-Galpin Rocket Mustang and then… you take control of the car.
This is basically the premise of The Grand Tour Game by Amazon’s Game Studio, an Arcade racer that puts us into the shoes of their presenters. But other than the show’s popularity, does The Grand Tour hold on its own as a game?
For Starters, the game in itself looks cartoonish, which is expected for an arcade racer. Though the car models themselves are pretty solid due to the devs getting help from the guys who made rFactor 2, where even the challenge vehicles (RV, a bubble-wrapped covered Jaguar) have their own damage model and such. To be frank, I never seen an arcade racer with this level of car models since Ridge Racer Unbounded.. for good reason.
But one thing that I really dislike is the usage of motion blur (which you can see throughout the pictures of this review), which is suppose to make the game look smoother, I guess but it looks awful when it’s static like in screenshots. And another gripe is the audio being pretty bland for something this grand of a project, but it is Amazon’s first racing game so these types of non-issues hopefully be made better in a future installment.
As mentioned in the intro blurb, the game will transition players from an episode of the show into gameplay, almost seemingly and it fits quite well due to the developers pacing of turning the show’s car segment into gameplay, think of it as an FMV game with driving elements.
And I think this is a great usage of the Live Services model because content is (as of writing this review) is arriving weekly in tandem with the show’s episodes and they even have a cheeky way to bypass licensing issue, like with a certain McLaren or Jaguar car, by showing something else from their show or creating something else entirely. A nice touch and a good way to not skip out of content.
Now, the most important thing about a racing game is the handling and I’m glad to say that it’s quite solid for an arcade racer, they have this weighty feel to the cars when drifting in tight corners (There is a button specifically to drift too).
Besides driving, there are a few mini-games scattered throughout the stages, like for instance an on-rails shooting segment during one of the episodes set in Wales. These types of stuff help deviate from it just being just a racing game but more of a party game that you could play with friends.
Speaking of friends, the multiplayer is couch co-op only and I think it’s a good idea because the game’s uniqueness of having races with power-ups (akin to Mario Kart) is more evidence that TGT Game is a fun game with friends over.
Content & Longevity
Content-wise, if you are fans of the TV series (or the old Top Gear), then this is quite a package. Heck, it’s cheaper than paying for Amazon Prime to only watch the show. And while the constant updates will end in May (the end of Season 3), I think they could add in the old episodes as extra stages, who knows.
But for those just wanting an arcade racer but not a fan of the series, this game doesn’t have the stuff you normally expect from this sort of game (you know,open-world or customizable cars), nor bring anything new to the table. But it could be a good purchase when on sale.
The Grand Tour Game is an interesting title, blending in arcade racer with FMV and party games influences within this 60 Ringgit title. As a long-time fan of the trio, it’s a great game to play and it helps to fuse together what makes the show fun into a nice playable package.
I even believe that those that aren’t even fans of the show could find some fun within it too, so give it a try.
Played on a base PS4, Review copy purchased by reviewer.