The Grand Tour – Review

The Grand Tour – Review

When I heard that a game came out for The Grand Tour I was the first to ask if it was possible that I could do the review. I still am a big fan of Jeremy Gorilla Clarkson, James Spaniel May, and Richard Hamster Hammond, ever since they became a presenting trio on the BBC I was instantly hooked. It was my guilty pleasure on a Sunday evening watching them. After they were no more, well I don’t have to explain how sad I was. It had a lot of entertainment value and good reviews for car enthusiasts, also seeing the mischief between the hosts was hilarious from time to time. Amazon announced that they picked up the Top Gear hosts and everyone who liked the show was anxious about their new show, The Grand Tour. Well, it was a hit and still is to this day, if you ask me. Currently season 3 is ongoing and viewable on Amazon Prime and a season 4 has been confirmed. Suddenly there is a game about the show and the presenters. And oh boy, is it fun! I had no expectations about the game. The only thing I knew at the time was that it was going to be an arcade racing game.

The Good

  • Episodic content: The game is structured in episodes, kinda like Life is Strange or games from the disbanded Telltale developer.  It feels like you are watching an episode, a transition happens and you are in control of one of the presenters and you have to complete the challenge that is presented to you. You’ll first see a clip from the show and immediately afterward you’ll be taking control and have to do one of the many different challenges. Doing your absolute best is required to earn Gold medals, giving some replay value if you’re the kind of gamer that likes to be awarded shiny and blinky medals.  The game is diverse, it is not only about racing cars and yelling “Clarkson!!!”. I had to drive slow, tow, drift, take pictures, shoot cardboards. Everything that you do is about the show. What you saw in the TV episode, is featured in the game. That concept works great for fans of The Grand Tour and even racing fans in general.
  • Cinematic control: You can forward or rewind the episode material. If you don’t want to see all the real-life stuff you can just forward the game until the challenge is available to play. Also at the beginning of each episode, you can start from the top or just skip directly to the challenge. If you finish a challenge and you are not happy with the results, you can directly instantly redo it. It comes really handy if you are a Gold badge hunter like me. You’ll be using this quite often going for Gold medals!
  • The presenters: It’s fun to hear Jeremy, James or Richard say things while you are driving. If you are doing it well, you hear them say the things you watched on the show.  That sort of interaction is something pretty unique in racing games and great for fan-service.
  • Visuals: You barely notice the transition from actual cutscenes to the game graphics. That impressed me a lot, mostly because it doesn’t come with loading times. Also, everything runs smooth, well-polished all around and it is a joy driving through the landscapes.

Mixed Feelings

  • Confusing moments: When it changes from film to game, you sometimes don’t really know what you have to do. The text that explains everything disappears quite fast, so you are left wondering why the hell you are driving a Ford Mustang RTR Spec 3. Sure, you see the road and you know that you need to drive from point A to B but sometimes you have extra objectives and being clueless just isn’t fun.
  • Controls: Steering feels a little floaty while driving, especially when driving slower than usual, you could say a bit too overly aggressive. Once you are back on higher speeds it is fine again, you’ll have to get used to it but you’ll manage after some time.
  • Multiplayer: You can play in split-screen with your friends or family, who doesn’t like spending some racing time with other car fanatics, right? Unfortunately, you don’t have an online option, a missed opportunity to enjoy The Grand Tour with all the worldwide fans.

The Bad

  • Car sounds quality could be a bit better. It’s a minor remark but at the same time a little weird to write, you would expect high quality because it is a car show after all. Everything sounds a little plastic-like, might be that the recording went a little wrong or that they used some pre-recorded footage from other sources.
  • Main Menu I found it annoying that you couldn’t play just 1 challenge and go back to the main menu. You had to do the challenge, wait for loading and quit to the main menu. This leads to some unexpected downtime when you want to grind some Gold medals.

The Grand Tour | Score 85%

The game is definitely worth it. I’m still happy about how the game turned out and for the low price, it’s a bargain! Season 3 has 13 episodes, you will have plenty of gaming time when going for Gold medals.