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Friday / 27 May 2022
HomeFeaturesGran Turismo 7 – The game you have been waiting for

Gran Turismo 7 – The game you have been waiting for

Gran Turismo 7 is the modern game Gran Turismo fans have been waiting for.

It captures the best elements of the original title and its classic successor, Gran Turismo 2, while introducing a range of new features and providing visuals which are at times indistinguishable from real life.

It is a game that not only features cars, but respects and admires them – with painstaking effort put into the smallest design elements, information blurbs, and specification screens for each of the over 400 vehicles available in the game.

To call it a love letter to cars is an understatement.

The spirit of the game

Ever since I played Gran Turismo and Gran Turismo 2 on the PlayStation “1”, I have been obsessed with the game and cars in general.

Tuning and racing the Suzuki Escudo Pike’s Peak is one my most vivid childhood memories.

Fast forward to the launch of the PlayStation 4 in late 2013, and I was already eagerly anticipating the then “next-gen” version of Gran Turismo as I stood in line outside Makro to buy the Sony console.

But that game never came, only a title which had the “Gran Turismo” name on the cover and was all about racing against other people online.

Where was the second-hand car lot where I could buy a used Subaru to race in the Sunday Cup?

Where was the tuning shop which allowed me to buy a turbo big enough to power a cruise ship?

And, I cannot say this with enough emphasis, where the heck were the licence tests?

It has been just over eight years since then, and Polyphony Digital has finally delivered the game I – and so many others – was waiting for.

Starting at the bottom

Gran Turismo 7 starts you out with little money and no cars – just the way it should be – and your first task is to buy a second-hand car from a used lot.

You are guided through the process by various characters who are linked to different parts of the game’s world map and the establishments on it – which will be helpful for first-time players.

Like the games of old, you can also access a tuning shop, licence centre, race events, and new car showrooms on the map.

An auto shop to give your car custom paintwork, decal designs, body parts, engine services, and a wash is also present.

These locations are then tied together by the “cafe” in the centre of the map, which acts like a career mode guide when you start out.

Several characters will appear at the cafe to talk about the cars you are driving, while the cafe owner gives you tasks to complete in exchange for in-game rewards.

This guiding process is not compulsory, however, which means you can select to progress through the game at speed or spend all your time and money tuning a matt red Toyota GR Yaris to the point it beats supercars – like I did.

Racing

The car designs and how they look on track in Gran Turismo 7 are beautiful.

The light plays off them as the sun shifts through the sky, the wheels gleam as you start to slide out on a tight corner, and switching to the cockpit view makes you feel like you are inside the actual car.

In true Gran Turismo fashion, the track backgrounds and crowds look like an afterthought – but you will not have much to admire the surroundings when trying to outbreak an AI opponent into a hairpin.

The visuals are complemented by competitive racing on the track, and with all the assistance settings off and the opponent difficulty turned up to maximum there were several races early on where I really had to think about my braking points and where I turned in to ensure I stayed in front.

Run wide or go off the track, and those AI drivers whizz by.

This was epitomised in a 1965 Mini-only race where I had to take to the start line four times before winning.

Licences

I could spend this entire review talking about acquiring licences in Gran Turismo.

For those who have played the game before, the process is as satisfyingly frustrating as you remember it. For new players, make a promise to yourself you will not give up – or throw your controller at the TV – until you have got all of them.

I have spent about 60% of my time in game so far doing the licence tests – which would have been 95% had I not been required to write this review for Monday morning.

The tasks are varied, the cars plentiful, and the smug instructor asking if you need help perfectly timed.

You will punch the couch, shout expletives at the screen, and turn the game off to go stand outside in the garden, breathing deeply.

Then you will go back and do it all again.

Only a gold rating for each test is good enough, and you will not stop until you get it.

And when you get that gold you will feel an elation in your core that almost brings you to tears. This is what Gran Turismo is all about – the highs and lows of motor racing and driving your favourite cars as fast as possible.

Taking photos

While it would have been poetic to end the review there, I must dedicate a section to the photography elements of the game.

Polyphony Digital has put in a lot of effort to ensure you can take high-quality photos of your favourite car in almost any scenario.

Whether you want a Ferrari hypercar in a city centre of a VW hatchback driving along a country road, Gran Turismo lets you take stills of it all.

The “scapes” and “scenes” you can put your cars in are hugely varied and the level of editing you do can to each photo you take is highly impressive.

The result is an image which is so lifelike the average person will not be able to tell you it came from a video game.

In summary

If you are a Gran Turismo fan, this game is a definite yes.

If you are not a Gran Turismo fan but like cars, Gran Turismo 7 is a great way to get into the series and all it has to offer.

If you are not a Gran Turismo fan and you do not like cars, go get the game and join us. Car people are a great bunch.

This Gran Turismo 7 view was conducted on a PlayStation 5.

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