Gran Turismo 7 Review — In Pursuit of Perfection – GAMING TREND
It’s been a while since I played a Gran Turismo game. More specifically, since the days of the PS1 with Gran Turismo 2, mainly with my father who is a team leader. Since then, I’ve mostly been into kart racers, but I’ve been known to dabble in more realistic racing games like Forza Horizon. Going into Gran Turismo 7, I was excited to revisit this franchise from my childhood, but a little wary that it would be too much for a casual gamer like me. Immediately upon starting, however, it’s clear that GT7 was designed for all types of gamers, so everyone can race and enjoy the car culture, regardless of skill level.
Gran Turismo 7 is divided into two main modes: World Map and Music Rally. The world map is the main attraction and it’s where you’ll spend most of your time. After entering a nickname, choosing a difficulty level and a control scheme, you are treated to a lengthy opening credits sequence showing automotive and racing history, culminating in in-game footage. this, you will buy your first car from the used car dealership on the map and see how deep tuning and performance customization can be. Then you’ll head to the cafe for your first quest – called “menus” in this case. These cafe menus allow you to progress through the game and unlock everything. Most of them will ask you to collect a set of three cars by completing races, while a few will have you interacting with systems you just unlocked like the parts store, livery customization or even the picture mode. After completing a menu, you’ll get a short history lesson on the cars you’ve collected, a reward similar to a loot box, eventually unlock a new section of the world map, and move on to the next menu.
I like how the progression is structured here, you’re never stuck wondering what to do next or what a feature does; everything is clearly explained for you. However, it comes with heavy luggage. You literally unlock while completing menus, including local and online multiplayer. I can understand this choice to some extent, as you use cars you’ve bought or collected in everything, but it’s frustrating not being able to race my dad without playing about 5 hours of the game first. There are also sometimes menus (or certain contests) that will ask you to acquire the next license class in what are supposed to be tutorials. The problem with these tutorials is that they don’t really explain how to do anything. Sure, they usually tell you what you’re supposed to learn, like how to slow down and corner properly, but they don’t tell you how you’re supposed to do it. The drive and brake line markers can only tell you so much, and the time limits on some of these lessons are extremely strict, with my only going by fractions of a second, and not really learning what I’m good at. done at that time. As someone who can’t drive in real life, it would have been nice to have more succinct explanations here, including what all those icons at the bottom of the screen mean.
Speaking of icons, GT7 gives you a lot of information about your cars and the race itself. You can see virtually everything happening at any given time, including whether your high beams are on and the status of each of your tires. It can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what it means much of it clutters the screen, but you don’t really need to understand everything to enjoy the game. Given how beautiful the game is, I Wish you could turn off more parts of the HUD just to appreciate all the work done on the visuals. Gran Turismo 7 comes with two graphics modes on PS5, but there’s really no reason not to choose Ray Tracing unless you’re particularly sensitive to frame rate changes. During non-interactive sections like the pre-race camera view or replays the game will use Ray Tracing to make everything look especially nice, but the second you take control and start driving Ray Tracing will turn off and the game will switch to 60 fps. It feels like magic, and I’m honestly shocked that you can do this on a console and not on specialized hardware like an arcade machine.
Gran Turismo 7 is very much like an arcade game in some ways, other than the visuals that look too good to be on a home console even after the death of the arcade. In particular, the feedback from the DualSense and the soundtrack give me that feeling. You’ll feel every bump in the road through controller vibrations and have to squeeze the brakes a little harder through resistance. It really feels good and enhances immersion in ways that are hard to describe if you haven’t experienced it. As for the music, there are all sorts of genres and artists here, with everything from licensed tracks to original tracks. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to listen to many of them in their entirety outside of races, as the music will change every few seconds if you’re actively navigating the menus. Some stores have their own themes, but the constant changes can get on your nerves after a while.
The world map has a ton of things to do outside of the main races, multiplayer, and tutorials. You can access a very detailed photo studio, where you can show off the liveries you have designed in locations around the world. After earning Race Credits, you can buy used or new cars from two different stores, or use them to outfit your favorite vehicle with new parts or even just wash and repair it. There’s also a mission mode, which puts you in a specific car to accomplish objectives like passing everyone in front of you without hitting them or veering off course.
As for the multiplayer itself, you have three options: Local, Online, and Sport. Local and online are more casual and fairly self-explanatory affairs; you casually race other people (although the screen size for locals leaves a lot to be desired). Sport is a little more complicated, being much like a ranked mode in a fighting game. You participate in races at specific and real times and you must behave in a sporty manner. While placing first will earn you points towards your placing, things like hitting other cars or being a filthy, dirty line-crosser will incur penalties. This mode is definitely for people who want to compete seriously in the game, but it is still very interesting for a casual player like me if only for the respect of the sport and others that it asks you directly.
With most world map modes using cars you’ve purchased or acquired, Gran Turismo 7 has the potential to be very predatory on microtransaction-sensitive players. Loot boxes, in my experience, rarely give you anything of value and the credit rewards are pitiful compared to the cost of high end cars or even some at the used car dealership. It saddens me then to see that the option to “reload your wallet” is constantly at the top of the screen and appears every time a transaction is made in your wallet. I can’t buy more credits with real money before launch, but the way it’s presented here seems really rude and downright disrespectful. You’re constantly spending credits to progress even in the campaign, so it’s easy to see some players just wanting to take the leap and pay to get ready for the next race, upgrade their car to stay competitive, or buy a paint color they really love . The game is great fun, but the tedium of progression coupled with how easy it is to spend real money on a game you already have to pay for is shameful.
To end on a high note (you’ll get the pun in a moment), let’s talk about my favorite mode: the musical rally. You can play it while installing the game, and it asks you to race while certain songs are playing to see how far you can go on a specific track. The catch is that a timer will constantly decrease in time with the music, and if it reaches 0, it’s game over. You can add more beats by hitting pink checkpoints, so you’re constantly going as fast as you can to keep playing music. Sadly, there aren’t a ton of songs to run to, I only unlocked a total of 8, so hopefully this mode can be fleshed out in the future as it’s a lot of fun.
Gran Turismo 7 is a great racing simulator for those looking for a more realistic experience or to learn more about cars. There are a ton of things to do, cars to collect and tracks to master with the game’s superb driving model. very slow and cumbersome progress and persistent microtransaction prompts.
David is the kind of person who wears his heart on his sleeve. He can find positives in anything, like he’s someone who loved Star Fox Zero to death. You’ll see him play all kinds of games: AAA, Indies, jam games, games of all genres, and write about them! Right here. On this site. When he’s not writing or playing games, you can find David making music, playing games, or reading a good book. David’s favorite games include NieR: Automata, Mother 3 and Gravity Rush.