This is perhaps one of the strangest promotional videos for a car game I have ever seen, but it’s also one of the most beautiful.
Most racing games tend to focus marketing material on the cars themselves, or the tracks. Motorsport porn, essentially. Look at these cars, how good they look, how the light reflects on the curves of the bodywork, the slight imperfections.
[Groans in otherworldly pleasure]
Gran Turismo is especially ‘guilty’ of this — not that there’s anything especially wrong with ogling cars and getting excited about the prospect of driving them on virtual tracks. We play video games, that’s what we do.
But this trailer takes the cars out of the equation. It also takes out the tracks. You won’t find Bathhurst in this video. The cars are there, but they’re peripheral.
In this trailer we are being asked to look at something most of us will ignore while we’re zipping around bends at high speeds. We are being asked to look up at the cute little twinkly stars. Sweet.
You might not be a fan of hardcore racing sims, they tend to play to a pretty niche market, but you can’t deny the level of detail that goes into making Gran Turismo the video game franchise it is. It is all about those small details. That’s where the depth is. There is little need for Polyphony Digital to put so much into the stars. Gran Turismo is hardly a game like Skyrim of Grand Theft Auto V. No-one is ever going to gaze up at the sky in wonder. Not in a car game. They’ll be too busy drooling over the cars themselves.
But that’s Polyphony Digital. All about the details that no-one else cares about. That’s why this video is pretty cool in my book.