Reviewed on PlayStation 5. Review copy provided by PlayStation.
PlayStation is back with another banger, this time in the form of Gran Turismo 7. Polyphony Digital’s last outing was with Gran Turismo Sport which had a good launch but needed time to really pick up speed. So is Gran Turismo 7 a racing game that you should be playing? Well, read on to find out as I talk about all the GT7 has to offer.
The Grand Tour
One of Gran Turismo’s best features that players liked and enjoyed was the sense of progression and growth that you could. You would start off at the bottom and slowly work your way up, get your licenses, and better cars. That’s back in Gran Turismo 7 and a lot of effort has been put into this.
Gran Turismo’s biggest rival would probably be the Forza series. Both Horizon and Motorsport seem to lack a sense of progression. Gran Turismo 7 on the other hand feels incredibly rewarding. It’s not a story-based campaign with cutscenes and characters. It’s got more of a Visual Novel feel to it.
This progression is what kept me going in the game and stopped me from feeling disinterested. Which is quite a hard thing to do when there are so many incredible games out there right now tugging and pulling you.
Yet here’s this polished racing title that makes you fall in love with automobiles if you already weren’t in love with them. To be clear, I’m not a car person. I like watching F1 and I like playing racing games. Yet here I was enamored by the amount of detail put into everything. I wanted to know more about all these different cars.
And my wish was granted because the game does have a bit of information about every single car in the game. It’s crazy the amount of information and cool tidbits they have about all the different cars you can collect in the game.
Driving to Victory
The GT Café is a new addition to this installment, serving as a type of progression hub. Rather than scrolling through lists of competitions to enter, Gran Turismo 7 focuses on Menus. Not in the literal sense, but in the sense of a short set of objectives to achieve in exchange for new wheels. In the early game, this is how you’ll get the vast majority of your automobile collection, as well as access to a range of vehicles that you can test drive in subsequent events. It gives a natural feeling of development, allowing you to master the game’s driving and handling basics before progressing to faster cars and more types of tracks.
The campaign may be tailored to your preferences, with difficulty levels that can be adjusted to provide exactly the perfect amount of realism for your skill level. For newbies, racing lines and auto-braking settings can be activated, while veterans can disable all assists to simulate the real thing. The game includes a setting for you no matter where you are with driving, both in-game and in real life.
Feel the Ride
The PS5 DualSense controller elevates the experience to new heights. Polyphony Digital’s usage of haptic feedback is incredible, rivaling Astro’s Playroom as the best implementation of the technology to date. As imperfections in the road and puddles are replicated in the controller’s innards, it truly feels like you’re holding the steering wheel in your hands. The vibrations spread fast from the front to the back of the pad, giving the impression that you’re actually on track. The game isn’t afraid to make these rumblings feel a little unpleasant if you catch them at a bad angle because it’s moving at such a fast speed.
The adaptive triggers, on the other hand, are far less prominent. They’re made to simulate braking by applying resistance as your car slows down. If the brakes lock up, though, the resistance vanishes. This is true to reality, but it’s a feature that only true enthusiasts would appreciate. From the standpoint of a beginner to racing, there won’t appear to be any adaptive trigger assistance at all.
The PS5 SSD’s support, on the other hand, is undeniable. Retaking license tests is a breeze because to lightning-fast load times, which allow you to get in and out of attempts faster than the three-second countdown to begin the challenge. The same can be said for starting races and navigating menus: in Gran Turismo 7, load screens are a thing of the past.
The car models in GT7 sport the series’ signature, millimeter-perfect, porcelain-paint look, and are stunningly impressive to behold. PS5’s ray-tracing tech in the Scapes photography mode and replays mean lighting, shadows, and reflections that are even more lifelike than before.
Additionally, each car has its own cockpit perspective, which is faithfully recreated to its real-world equivalent. From the form of the steering wheel and dashboard emblems to the onboard computers, there’s a staggering amount of detail here. In certain lighting conditions, the dash is also reflected in the windshield, which is a nice touch.
Raytracing is not available during racing. It honestly didn’t bother me too much. Both in and out of a race, the game looks excellent. I rarely remark that a game looks like real life, but there are a few photos where I think a photographer photographed it from the trackside. This is especially true when using the sceneries mode, where you may utilise ray tracing and other effects to create unquestionably stunning shots.
To be absolutely honest, it’s nearly impossible to detect the difference between the two graphic options that control how the game looks. During replays, Scapes, and other similar activities, one prioritises framerate while the other activates ray tracing. As a result, no matter which setting you choose, you’ll get an extremely smooth framerate – 60 frames per second is the default, and the option to optimise performance smooths up the title even more. Although ray tracing appears to introduce a small amount of texture pop-in, the image quality stays unchanged.
World Wide Travel
The tracks aren’t as detailed as the cars, which is to be anticipated, but they’re not far behind. Without a doubt, getting the tracks at different times of the day, especially in varied weather situations, allows you to appreciate the true impact of the game’s visuals. I’d attribute this to the tracklist’s lack of breadth, with only about 90 courses taken from little under half of the tracks.
While practically every racing game released since 2006 has boasted about how well it incorporates changing weather, GT7 may be the best example yet. Rain can fall at any point on a circuit, making racing at longer circuits like Le Mans and the Nurburgring a huge problem once the weather turns slick. Visual puddles emerge on the track surface, allowing you to easily aquaplane. Deviating from the dry racing line becomes more dangerous as the track dries up. It’s absolutely astounding how beautifully the rain has been integrated into the game, which just adds to the disappointment that rain is only available in about a third of the places.
The Finish Line
Gran Turismo 7 is a game made by car lovers for car lovers. Unlike Forza games which are bombastic, colourful festivals that celebrate car culture, Gran Turismo 7 is more subtle about it, leaning towards being classy and elegant.
With so many tiny details elevating the immersive experience, it’s hard not to fall in love with the game. However, the micro transactional aspect of the game along with the online-only parts did leave a sour after taste to a brilliant experience.