Sony’s flagship racing franchise is zooming back to the PlayStation with the eagerly anticipated newest and shiniest instalment of Gran Turismo, Gran Turismo 7. Can this game cross the chequered flag and live up to its accelerated expectations? Or does the latest game in the series pump the brakes and send the franchise into a spin?
With over 400 different cars to choose from and unlock, Gran Turismo 7 absolutely knocks it out of the park when it comes to how each one of them looks. The graphics are stunning, and each car looks picture-perfect. The level of detail the developers have gone into to ensure everything looks and sounds just right is astonishing. Even the interiors of the cars look just like their real-life counterparts.
It doesn’t end with the cars either. Even when you are racing at full speed, the backgrounds are beautifully rendered and full of life. Whether you are racing at night in the glare of headlights, in the rain with spray clouding your windshield, or in the middle of the day with blistering sun reflecting off your opponents, the graphics are next level. The ray-tracing effects are used to the fullest of their capability. You will just be in awe at what they have pulled off. The dynamic weather also affects how your car handles, and you need to adjust your racing style depending on the situation
“Wheely” Good Graphics
With all that effort put into making the cars look good, it would all be for nothing if the cars handled poorly. Thankfully, there is nothing to worry about on that end. The controls are tight and with the PS5’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, they all literally feel unique. The differences are subtle between a Mini Cooper and a Toyota. However you will feel it when you progress onto the faster Formula 1 type cars.
The single-player mode is what you would expect. Start off with a basic car, win races and earn in-game currency to buy bigger and better cars – rinse and repeat. Through the in-game map, you navigate around and have a few options outside the races. There is a licence centre which is pretty much the game’s tutorial and lets newcomers get to grips with the basics.
There’s a café which is a hangout area where you are set challenges and given the history of cars you are attempting to win. You also have a couple of garages where you can tune up your car. You can also buy new and used cars and mission races where you can take part in drifting contests and drag races.
The amount of statistics and diagnostic information about each car is every petrol-head’s fantasy. I can see how anyone with a serious interest in cars would be immediately in love with this game. It’s like an encyclopedia of knowledge on all things cars.
Car Puns Are Exhausting
In the Online Multiplayer mode called SPORT, you have two rankings. One is based on how you do in all your races and the other is based on how sportsmanlike you are in those races. This means forcing your opponents off the road, applying the brakes dangerously or just not being courteous to other drivers will not be tolerated. The skill ranking can not climb unless the sportsmanlike ranking climbs with it, and you can only enter online tournaments based on your skill level, meaning if you want to be elite, you need to play fair
For those who take their racing seriously, this is a godsend of a mechanic, as it will stop trolling players coming in and ruining intense and hard-fought races.
But therein lies the one major flaw in Gran Turismo 7
It’s undoubtedly a great and polished game, but unless you are very interested in cars, you won’t get as much out of this as you would expect. Going into the tuning shop to tweak your camshaft, adjust your spoiler or get a paint job might be exciting for the Jeremy Clarkson’s of the world, but I just want to get on the track, zip about, get in a few crashes and have fun.
There is still plenty of fun to be had though, and I’m sure there are lots I have still yet to uncover and unlock. It would be impossible to judge the multiplayer modes at the moment due to the game not being released until later this week, so that could make the game more accessible to the more casual racing gamer.
A lot of eyes will be on this game due to how brilliant it looks and because of the hype, but I do get the impression that once the initial awe over the graphics dies down, a fair few people who bought it for how it looked will be trading it in for something that doesn’t take itself so seriously.
But considering the tag line to Gran Turismo 7 is “The Real Driving Simulator”, it would be foolish to expect anything else.