In our review-in-progress, we highlighted that a lot of what Gran Turismo Sport has to offer is dependent on an online connection. Unfortunately, the GT Sport servers weren't available for the last few days so we couldn't even access a lot of modes that are exclusively single-player.
In a PlayStation Blog post, and in the documentation we received with the game, we were warned that Gran Turismo Sport will, "require an Internet connection for the majority of functionality." What that means is that any progress in the game is blocked when you're offline.
If you're not connected to the GT Sport servers, then you can only access Arcade Mode. In this mode you get the following basic racing options:
- Single-Race: You race against a group of AI in a non-tournament setting.
- Time Trials: You can set lap times on a host of courses.
- Drift Trials: Score points by drifting around a track.
- Split-Screen Two-Player Battles: Go head-to-head against your friends in couch co-op.
- Limited VR Mode: Some VR functionality will be available.
Additionally, you'll only be able to use cars and tracks that you've unlocked while the game is connected to the Gran Turismo Sport servers.
The worst part of this online-only requirement is that you can't even make progress in single-player only modes when the servers are down. You can't do simple things like view or buy new cars, take photos of your vehicles in scenery mode, or do driving school challenges. You're effectively blocked from any progress when offline.
According to the same blog post from September, the online-only requirement for GT Sport is to "ensure fair racing for all." Apparently with the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) endorsing online Championships, driving integrity is a big deal for Sony. If you have a slow internet connection, or there's maintenance on the servers, you can count having fun with Gran Turismo Sport out.