VERSION(S) REVIEWED: PLAYSTATION 5
Gran Turismo 7
Written & Edited by: Prof. Purble
Published: 16, December, 2022
Gran Turismo 7 is a racing simulation title published by Polyphony and is the eighth mainline installment in the Gran Turismo series, exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and 5.
The PlayStation 5 version offers Ray Tracing support, as well as haptic triggers and enhanced vibrations feedback with the DualSense controller, creating a more immersive experience for the user.
Gran Turismo 7 is Online Only!
Unlike every other Gran Turismo Installment, the entire game is online based, with saving only available online. All progression will be lost if you exit the game without an internet connection.
It is also inexcusable to have most of the entire game's features barred off in offline mode, with only Arcade mode being available and this is especially so during maintenance periods, disabling online mode until the servers are back up.
This may pose an issue in the game's long term life and especially makes this inaccessible to those without a constant internet connection.
The game offers difficulties affecting the AI drivers' allowed top speed, allowing for easier accessibility for newcomers, but still offers a challenge for experienced players.
Upon booting the game, you’ll be greeted with a few options. Gran Turismo World houses the entire game, while Music Rally is a sort of elimination mode where you need to drive through checkpoints alongside music before either the timer or song finishes. Within the GT World, you're presented with a map of various pavilions that house each of the game's main features such as a personal Garage and Multiplayer, however only a few are available to you at first, namely the Used Cars Dealership and GT Café.
The GT Café could be problematic to those uninterested in the single player aspect of GT7, and unfortunately most of the game's content is locked behind its progression system all the way up until you reach the finale, an endeavor that took me 27 hours to complete.
Menu Books is GT7's single player campaign found within the GT Café, giving bite sized challenges, either collecting a set of three cars, completing a championship or other miscellaneous tasks. These can reward you with more track locations, unlocking more pavilions and will even give a brief history lesson on the cars you've just obtained. More Menu Books are being added to the game constantly, but officially the finale is at Menu Book 39.
Car collecting is considered a prime objective, with each vehicle you obtain granting you more experience points, enabling you to level up, which is necessary to access most of the Tuning Shop’s upgrade tier options and other various game features.
There are three main car dealerships. Brand Central offers cars strictly manufactured within the 21st century, although some vehicles require an invitation to purchase. The Used Cars dealership offers more affordable cars from any model year and rotates its selection every so often. Finally, the Legend Cars Dealership is usually the most expensive option, rotating its selection of ten cars at a time, but offers predated 21st century historic and widely known classics and legendary race vehicles.
Cars can also be obtained via a Roulette wheel, accessible by using Roulette Gifts offered to the player for completing various tasks which are also another form of gaining a varied amount of credits, but is beyond unreliable as you're guaranteed to get the lowest tier reward on nearly every spin attempt. There are higher star tier Roulettes, but these hardly affect your chances of winning anything decent.
World Circuit is what you’ll likely be visiting the most as more track locations become available across America, Europe and Asia-Oceania. Most events you’ll encounter here have rolling starts, a state in which all the cars are already moving before the race begins. Grid starts are non-existent except for a select number of events and multiplayer. You can even set up custom race events or do time trials here.
Credits is the currency used to purchase various things within the game, such as cars, vehicle upgrades and maintenance, and is usually rewarded for completing events.
Earlier in the game's life, all the events present used to have very poor payouts, ensuring a long grind or pay credits with real money. Thankfully, in a recent update, the game's economy has been adjusted to reward you much more favorably. The microtransactions still exist, but aren't necessary unless you want a large amount of credits immediately.
Future race events will require a higher grade license, hence the Licence Centre. This pavilion offers license tests made up of five tiers, broken up into ten bite-sized lessons each, gradually getting more advanced the more you progress.
Missions are another separate pavilion, hosting a range of tasks such as drifting, drag racing and more, with more missions unlocking the higher your collector level is, but is quite forgettable once you’ve unlocked it.
The Showcase pavilion is where you can upload saved photos and replays for online viewing, and is also home to the games entire music library, where you can couch and listen to your favorite tracks along with options to disable race specific song tracks. Most of the games OST is consistently Rock with some Pop and various others. Nearly all are enjoyable to listen to, with some tracks returning from prior Gran Turismo installments.
Scapes is a photo mode made for capturing your favorite cars from an insane amount of locations shot from around the world. You can adjust camera settings such as Aperture, Focus, shutter speed, and so on. There are even other settings for adjusting the vehicle's properties, shot composition and filtering effects. Every location is actually a 2D static real world photograph with some 3D elements to allow limited physical movement of the vehicle, and each location is limited to only one angle view of the car.
Then there is the Tuning Shop. Even if you don’t quite fully understand how tuning works, it’s kept fairly simple here. As long as you have a car that meets the racing events Power Points (PP) recommendation, that’s all you really need. Some vehicles are more strictly tuned and aren’t as flexible with what you can do, but the majority can be freely customized. Once you’ve bought your parts, you can swap and fine tune your options from the Garage or customize its looks at GT Auto, where you can also perform maintenance checks and apply liveries.
Gran Turismo 7 offers realistic driving physics with options to adjust or disable driving assistance for more experienced players. The haptic feedback of the dualsense will vibrate certain areas of the controller depending on the positioning of your car. Trigger haptics and vibrations can be adjusted or disabled if this is not desirable.
The Multi-Fuction Display (MFD) lets you view additional race info and adjust various settings for your car in real time, from adjusting traction control (TCS), brake balance, to viewing the current lap records, a track map display and radars for weather and seeing other drivers in close proximity.
Over time, although completely ignored in most single-player events, your tires will be more prone to wear out the more use they get, which will affect the cars performance over time and eventually will warrant a pitstop to replace them.
New to series is the introduction of the weather radar, letting you view when potential downpour may occur. A wet track makes it harder to grip around corners, forcing you to drive slower and break earlier than usual to avoid spinning out. It’s recommended to drive within the dry racing line as much as possible, which will become more visible over time. A Surface Water Indicator will also gradually fill up and fluctuate as you drive over wet and dryer parts of the track.
Rally events have next to no traction. Car weight, throttle control and counter steering is all factored into keeping the vehicle as steady as possible.
When penalty rules apply, the player will be given a varied amount of time depending on the offense, which will be served at the next penalty zone. When reached, you'll be ghosted out to avoid potential collisions with other racers and slow down significantly. In Sport Mode, good behavior rewards players with increased Sportsmanship Ranking (SR) and will be able to play against other high ranking players.
The car's fuel type can be adjusted from a faster rich mixture, favoring more power, however, should be seldom used due to its high fuel consumption. The lean mixture is often used to save on fuel and can have you out longer on the track at the cost of reduced overall engine output. Each event will be different on where it’s best to fuel save, and usually falls down to experimentation. You may prefer to rely more on your opponents slipstream however, enabling you to catch up fairly quickly without exhausting a lot of fuel.
Mechanical Damage is another thing to consider. Smacking the car into a barrier or another vehicle with enough force will sustain damage, negatively affecting car performance and will make it harder to drive in a straight line. This will repair itself over time, unless too severe, then a pitstop will be necessary to repair the damaged components.
GT Café specific challenge events will normally omit tire wear, limited fuel use and Mechanical damage, so you won’t have to worry about managing these until much later into the game.
GT7 is a fun and addictive sim racer with plenty of replayability and the DualSense Haptics further immerses the driving experience to a degree of realism that was not possible with prior Gran Turismo entries and is definitely worth experiencing for yourself.
Unfortunately, the requirement for a constant internet connection to access most of the games features is a bit of a turn off and definitely will affect the games longevity if no change comes about, especially for when the servers inevitably shut down.
While the game has improved since launch, I can only recommend this during a sale and to those who are interested in the single player experience as multiplayer features aren’t immediately accessible. In that case, this is a beautifully crafted title with all the hallmarks of being a worthy addition to the Gran Turismo series but is definitely in need of further improvements.