Why The Grand Tour Game’s multiplayer will tear your friendships apart

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I feel there’s a generation of young gamers out there that has been spoiled by the internet. I’m not talking about a whole bunch of young people missing out socially because of the internet – because that’s nonsense – but rather they’re missing out on the simple joy of sitting on a couch with their mates and playing multiplayer against each other on one console.

Y’see, the internet kind of killed it off. Everyone became obsessed with playing each other without having to go to someone else’s house. The happiest gaming memories of my childhood were spent huddled around a TV with three mates and four controllers, racing, shooting and trolling each other – there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your mate physically wince as you overtake him on the last corner of a race, or stick him with a plasma grenade in Halo.

And it’s this kind of action that’s going to make a comeback in The Grand Tour Game, thanks to its split screen multiplayer. Yep, the daddy of multiplayer modes is coming to the world of your favourite car show.

Splitscreen Clarkson

Hit silver balloon, get gadget, win race. Or try.

I wanted to get the lowdown on the game’s split screen mode, and how it’s been made super competitive – so I collared The Grand Tour Game’s Creative Director, Craig Sullivan, to explain.

“We know that if we put four friends together to play splitscreen then the first thing they will do is drive into each other,” admits Craig. “I don’t know why, maybe it goes back to our childhood of banging cars together? People just like driving into each other, and so we’ve worked hard to make that fun.”

Fun is something that keeps coming up in my chats with the Amazon Game Studios team – above all else, they’re making sure the game is accessible and a laugh for anyone to play, even if they’re not usually a gamer.

“When it comes to the mechanics of spinning your mates out, we’ve made sure it’s not overly punishing to the person on the receiving end, and you get a laugh out of it. The same goes for the gadgets we’ve built…”

You'll be able to mix up your multiplayer races with a huge variety of cars and… hedge-like cars

Gadgets? Oh yes. These are the weapons and gadgets that you’ll collect by driving through silver balloons dotted about The Grand Tour Game’s circuits – a selection of items that are perfect for levelling the field. Don’t go expecting anything too outlandish… they’re firmly grounded in the realm of things a mid-level human in a workshop could make in real life, or are just real-life ways of trolling people.

“One of them is texting,” explains Craig. “When you activate this power-up it gives your opponents a full-screen text message where we get a chance to say something like ‘To James from Jeremy, that car looks like an orangutan bought it off the internet for five pounds.’ It’s distracting because not only is it blocking your view, but you subconsciously want to read it.”

The power ups aren’t just about giving your opponents a bit of a disadvantage, there are also some that’ll benefit you. “We just had to give Jeremy his own signature powerup that makes you faster for a short period of time – obviously it’s called ‘more horsepowers.”

Makes sense.

And because The Grand Tour Game is being released in weekly episodes along with the transmission of season 3, you’ll get access to more gadgets as the series progresses.

“The game gets bigger and bigger as the season goes on – you’re getting access to more cars, more locations and more gadgets. So the game is constantly changing throughout the course of season three.”

Can't wait?

Remember that you can pre-order The Grand Tour Game now for Xbox One and Playstation 4 so you can play it as soon as it releases on 15 January 2019.

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