The Grand Tour is a fantastic bit of TV, brought to us via Amazon Prime Originals. It’s an easy watch on a lazy afternoon and it’s fun for all the family – even those who don’t care about cars a great deal. The Grand Tour Game is a poorly put together advertisement, brought to us via Amazon Game Studios. It’s a terribly boring game and it’s not very fun to play, even with a few friends/family via splitscreen. Why? Read on and I’ll tell you why.
The Grand Tour Game is a novel concept. You basically play out the episodes of the show. The game presents segments of the show before putting you into the game to take on the same or similar scenarios. The game isn’t quite 1-1 with the show in how the tasks are carried out, but that’s OK, because after the first initial race I was ready to call it quits anyway. I didn’t, but I should have.
The concept is a good one and it’s something I’d love to see done right. The Grand Tour Game isn’t the one, unfortunately. One the game’s first day there was only about an hour’s worth of content that you could actually play; there was more watching than playing, and we all saw how that turned out for Quantum Break…
There is more to come, mind you, as the episodic release means that as new episodes of The Grand Tour show are released, more episodes will be added to The Grand Tour Game. Sadly, I can’t see the core problems being rectified by adding more content.
The Grand Tour Game has bigger and far more damning problems. The main problem is the gameplay and that it’s just not very fun to play. I know the game isn’t aiming for simulation and that it’s an arcade racer, but I can’t remember the last time such a game pissed me off with its poor handling. Cars seem to glide around tracks and roads with no real weight behind them. You’ll be throwing cars into wide drifts around corners without consequence; they just slide right around, and if, like me, you’re used to a touch more realism, you’ll find yourself instinctively over-correcting as you hit the drifts, only to find yourself slamming into barriers. The game’s physics are, in a word, whack. There’s not even a great sense of speed. Going 180mph jut doesn’t feel all that dangerous – in other arcade racers I’d be shitting myself going into a corner at that speed, in The Grand Tour Game it just doesn’t feel like you’re going that fast.
So the gameplay and handling is a turd, but what about the actual tasks? They’re mostly forgettable, unfortunately. Despite the game’s tasks being based off of the TV, they don’t inspire much awe. What’s particularly annoying is that, at launch at least, there’s more to watch than there is to play. You’ll literally watch more of the TV show inside the game than you would play the actual game. That’s nuts, no?
One positive is that there’s split-screen multiplayer. It’s positive that it’s there as an option, but it’s not that great to play anyway. There are powerup orbs that can be driven through and they’ll give you different abilities. There’s Clarkson’s “more horsepowers!” scream that gives you a temporary speed boost, and there’s the text message ability which sends a message to the other players and briefly blocks their view. It’s silly and completely in the spirit of the show, but after a few goes it soon got boring.
Speaking of humour, there’s a bit, but you’d be hard-pressed to hear it. Clarkson, Hammond and May all lent their voices to the game and you can hear their pitter-patter during races and what not – barely. The game’s default audio settings drowns out the voices of its stars – not a good look when the game your selling is trading on the back of its stars’ personalities.
The Grand Tour Game is poor game masquerading as an advertisement for a brilliant TV show. That explains the £11.99 price, I suppose, but it doesn’t make it OK. But then again, it kind of shows in its presentation. The in-game cars look fine but everything else looks like it was pulled from a half-decent mobile game, and that’s not praise.
At the time of publishing this review (January 19th, 2019) there are content updates yet to come for The Grand Tour Game, but I can’t see myself going back to play them. Instead I’ll watch the new series on Amazon Prime and try to push The Grand Tour Game to the back of my mind.
The Grand Tour Game PS4 Review
The Grand Tour Game could have been a decent little add-on to a brilliant TV show. Instead it crashes and burns at every turn. You can thank to ‘naff handling for that.
It has splitcreen, but do you really want your mates to pile on you for making them play this?
It’s not a full-priced release so if you do buy the game you’re only wasting £11.99.
Rubbish physics, even for an arcade racer
Not a lot to do
Poorly mixed audio – you can barely hear The Hamster scream
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.
Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella. (Bronze trophies, that is – he only has one Platinum.)