Although we were busy watching The Batman (twice) and writing all those things about the movie that we all definitely talked about the most all week, we found some time this weekend to try out Gran Turismo 7, the latest installment of Polyphony Digital’s legendary real driving simulator franchise. GT7 was officially released last Friday, and after driving it for one lap (or 100), we just gathered some thoughts on it.
The Gran Turismo series has been known for 25 years as a love letter to all car enthusiasts who own a Sony PlayStation console. The franchise began back in 1997 with the original Gran Turismo game, which was released on PlayStation 1. Since then, the franchise achieved legendary status. Gran Turismo 4 was the highlight of the franchise on PlayStation 2, and Gran Turismo 5 was the same for PlayStation 3 (gosh, I still remember back pain while I was driving the 24 Hours of Le Mans — literally).
Gran Turismo 6 was also released only on PS3, but it wasn’t as successful as its predecessor. Gran Turismo Sport was the first GT game released on PS4, but the game focused on online racing and it felt more like a spin-off than as the actual new game. Now, with the release of Grant Turismo 7, it was expected that we’re gonna get the most of Gran Turismo than we ever did. Did we? Let’s find out:
As for the latest installment, let’s start with some basics. The game, at least for now, contains 424 vehicles, which is, at least in our opinion, too few. Okay, this is not a small number when you look at it, but let’s remember that GT5 and GT6 had over 1000 of them. On the other hand, we must not forget that these two predecessors had standard and premium vehicles, of which only premiums had the detailed interior of the vehicle, while in the GT7, it is supported in all vehicles, and the amount of polygon is greater than ever.
So, the GT7 has decided to play on the quality rather than the quantity of vehicles offered, and the number will definitely grow through updates, so that’s justified. In the end, it is still much more than the 168 vehicles that GT Sport initially had (there are 338 today, which is still less than the GT7 in the beginning).
As for the design quality of the vehicles, there really are no complaints. Every car is detailed on the outside and inside to the smallest detail, and it is obvious that only a development team that shares a great love for cars could do something like this. But, in terms of visual design, the graphics on the tracks could have been better and more detailed in terms of the environment, but at least the sky effects (sunrises and sunsets, and changing weather conditions during the race were done pretty well). Also, this is a real driving simulator, so expect quite a change in driving characteristics while driving in adverse weather conditions.
Regarding the gameplay and car handling, Gran Turismo 7 uses the principle of “fresh but nostalgic”. Because even though it’s a brand new game, it focuses on the standard gameplay that Gran Turismo fans are already well introduced to. It took us literally 20 seconds to get into it, and it already felt like we were playing this for years. Of course, the game has the ability to adjust the difficulty and AI to help while driving, but both GT newcomers and veterans will, at the very beginning of the game, feel like a like a child in a candy factory.
The game has a lot of possibilities. From all the classic GT modes to the never-ending tuning options of every car. The main menu is set in a classic GT world map, and most things will be familiar to GT veterans from before. But one of the things worth noting is GT Cafe, which is a great thing to guide you through the game. The tasks you get in GT Cafe guide you very well through the main races and all the options that will eventually become available in the main menu, because the game takes you into the world progressively. In other words, it doesn’t throw everything at you right at the beginning, but it’s progressively introducing you to every aspect of the. We like that approach.
One of the new things that should be mentioned is the new mode called Music Rally, in which, believe it or not, you collect music by racing (it actually works as the standard checkpoint mode you’ve already met in some other racing games). The game currently has only a few offered Music Rally races, but there will certainly be more in the future. On that occasion, we’ll take the opportunity to say that we like the game’s soundtrack, which contains a very diverse range of musical numbers, including classical music.
Once you start a race, what is most to be commended is the incredibly realistic behavior of each vehicle. No, in the GT you still can’t smash a car into 1000 pieces by driving it into a wall, but this is a driving simulation after all, not Burnout Paradise. The game features several different camera views, and in our opinion, the best experience is from the cockpit cam through the eyes of your driver. Having already mentioned this, although it is true that the GT can best be experienced with the steering wheel, players who prefer the classic controller will not be left out because the controls are still very simple and the vehicle still behaves very realistically and reacts to your every move.
Essentially, Gran Turismo 7 is a title that will give what is expected to every hardcore GT fan. Gran Turismo is still a great simulator that will provide all car lovers with not only good fun, but also great outpourings of love. Can you just imagine how lucky we felt when we saw Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren or Camaro SS in the game again. An indescribable feeling! Perhaps the only complaint we would (subjectively) point out is that the game does not have a snow track, yet.
But in the end, given the initial impressions, and all that the game could get through updates and future improvements (which will surely make this very good game even better), we are expecting months, even years of great fun. While not perfect, Gran Turismo 7 is still all that can be expected from a real driving simulator. Therefore, if cars, video games, and everything related to them is your passion, go ahead, you will not be disappointed.
Gran Turismo is now available for PS4 and PS5!