The Gran Turismo cycle is one of the most famous car simulators, which has been a “signature” of PlayStation consoles for 25 years. In the past, it has repeatedly demonstrated the capabilities of a particular Sony console in terms of technology and later became a real “icon” of the console car sim. We have been waiting for Gran Turismo 7 for a long time – the latest part in the main series, Gran Turismo 6, was released almost 9 years ago, on PlayStation 3.
|Game||Gran Turismo 7|
|Producer||Sony Interactive Entertainment|
|Link||Official website, PlayStation Store|
I have a special attitude to the series – I first came across it many years ago, and played the first parts … on PC – on the PS1 emulator (European edition of Gran Turismo 2 – with two black discs, for arcade and GT modes separately – still stored in my collection of classic games of the past). Since then, I haven’t missed almost any major part, so it’s clear that I’ve been looking forward to the release of the GT7 – especially since the last game, GT Sport, was focused mainly on multiplayer racing, and “solo” campaign as such was not there .
So, Gran Turismo 7. The main formula of the game has remained the same: several hundred different cars, from “antiques” to concepts of the future, which can be “run” on dozens of tracks, both real and invented by the developer. In fact, the formula is so constant that the GT7 can sometimes seem like an HD remaster of some previous part – on the one hand, it’s good, because the series has become cult in the past… but on the other – still wanted a new part, so more after such a long break, still more different from its predecessors. However, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves.
Gran Turismo has always been positioned as not just a “car simulator”, but a “driving simulator” (let’s look at its slogan – the real driving simulator). That is, a simulator of everything around the automotive world – including the very atmosphere of the race, the history of the most famous brands and more. And Gran Turismo 7 is no exception, moreover – it emphasizes this distinctive feature immediately after launch, in the introductory video. While other car simulators start the game by showing the most spectacular race scenes, preferably with the inclusion of a real gameplay, Polyphony Digital … tells the story of the automotive industry. A story that smoothly and almost unnoticed turns into a presentation of the game.
Career mode – Cafe – also supports the mood “a game for car enthusiasts – from enthusiasts.” It is designed as a virtual cafe, where the player is given a “menu”. Instead of dishes in it there are different models of cars that he should get by completing the task (usually – to complete certain races and take one of the first three places). Sounds very simple and not at all like career modes in other car systems? That’s right. In essence, it’s just a set of missions that introduce the player to the tracks and at the same time help him assemble the primary fleet. There is no progress, plot, characters, etc. here.
But you have to see how, with what love for cars, it’s designed. Stylish and spectacular car demonstrations, stories about the history of brands and individual models – a very nice change of scenery and the opportunity to relax after a hard race, take a breath and just enjoy the amazing scenery. The only drawback that can be found here – the progress in the Cafe is linear and you have to use some “simple” cars for a while – you can’t drive the Bugatti right away, you have to wait until it comes to sports cars and supercars.
Cafe can be considered the main single-user mode, but the player has something to do besides it. The classic License Center is back in the game. National B and A licenses are enough to pass the “Cafe” – however, for each license the player receives a car as a reward (and an additional one – if you get “gold” for all tasks), so International and Super licenses are also worth it if you collect auto. So, in the best traditions of the series, be prepared for numerous restarts of each test in an attempt to improve the result by a few hundredths of a second.
The Missions section is very similar to the License Center – but without licenses. It is also a selection of special tasks, grouped together (bypass rivals on the track, reach maximum speed, use the slipstream, drive as far as possible on a very limited amount of fuel, etc.) – all of the “bronze” is awarded a car as a gift, gold ”- another. And, of course, the World Circuits section, to which you were constantly sent by the “waiter” in the Cafe. Here are all the tracks available in the game, with several races on each of them – and after the end of your career there will be almost half of those in which you did not participate. However, the one-man entertainment at Gran Turismo 7 is unfortunately coming to an end.
So, all the “menus” in the Cafe are closed, all licenses and missions are completed, championships and individual races in World Circuits are over – what can you do next if you do not want to drive online yet? Of course, fill the garage. To do this, the game has three different stores. In the Gran Turismo 7 after a long absence (for the first time since GT5 2010) the “classic” is back – Used Cars salon, where there are models from 2011 and older – at the same time it presents 30 different cars, and the range from time to time updated. Another salon, this time “legendary” cars, offers historic and legendary cars – mainly of the first half of XX century.
The main store is Brand Central – it has nearly 300 modern cars (since 2001), divided into three regions – America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The innovation in the GT7 store was the “invitation” system (available as a reward for a daily task) – the coolest cars, usually premium hypercars, not only cost “all the money”, but also need such an invitation, and it also has a limited time of use – one month after receiving it will expire. For purchased cars you can buy new parts in Tuning Shop – both simply more productive and those that allow you to change the settings of the car, optimizing it for specific races
In the process of performing tasks in the Cafe for the vast majority of races you will already have the necessary car, but from time to time will still have to go to the store. When the career mode is over, there will be dozens of cars in your garage – and then the “hunt” for new cars really begins. As of now (patch 1.13) there are 427 cars in the game, and if you set a goal to collect them all, you’ll participate in a long and, unfortunately, boring “grinding” of local currency. For winning the race you get tens of thousands of credits, and top models cost millions.
You can find high-speed farming guides online, but even the most lucrative options now bring about 1.5 million an hour, so to buy, for example, a Lamborghini Veneno ’14 for 3.6 million, you have to drive the same tracks for at least three hours. And here is the same factor that caused the user rating of Gran Turismo 7 on Metacritic to be … 2 points out of 10 (critical rating – 87%). The developer has introduced microtransactions – for example, 2 million credits can be purchased for UAH 649 . And this is not in a free mobile game like some Real Racing 4, but in the main AAA-project of the platform, which is sold at full price (from 2299 UAH in Ukraine for the version for PS5/PS4 ) – so you can understand the dissatisfaction of players.
Gran Turismo 7 offer two multiplayer modes – the first is the usual Multiplayer, in which you can compete with a live opponent face to face online or locally, in split screen mode. Much more interesting, of course, is the Sport mode. It currently presents only daily races (later there will also be championships, but so far there seems to be only one, and that test). These are three races, participation in which is limited to either a specific car model or class. Unfortunately, the mode does not allow you to immediately “jump” behind the wheel, you have to wait in the lobby for the start of the race (they start with an interval of 20 minutes). This time can be spent in the qualifying race to start not from the last position, but at the same time to see how the chosen car behaves on the track.
As a result of the race, the player’s rating is formed – even two ratings, just like in the past in GT Sport. Driver Rating (DR) measures their “performance” according to the points earned, and the Sportsmanship Rating (SR), also known as the “safety rating”, assesses the player’s behavior on the track, so pushing and generally behaving dangerously while driving in Sport mode is not worth it.
As for the physical model of car behavior – here Gran Turismo 7 also does not betray the traditions of the series. The game does not slide into the arcade. It is difficult to control, any small mistake can lead to a crash, and careless driving and neglect of basic rules, such as passing turns can significantly worsen the end result.
At the same time, the game does not feel too complicated and “hyperrealistic”, it is not a hardcore sim and it should not be compared with games like rFactor. Gran Turismo is more of a simcade (simulator + arcade), and in this sense the physical model GT7 is almost perfect. Even a not very experienced player will be able to easily understand the control and take not the last place in the race on not very “difficult” cars but it is worth going online to see what real “pros” are capable of. In short, Gran Turismo 7 is an almost perfect implementation of the canonical formula “easy to learn, hard to master”, for which all games with addictive gameplay are made.
Some mechanics in Gran Turismo 7 remain the same – they can be considered a tribute to tradition, but to newbies they may seem rather strange or outdated. For example, there is no visual damage to the car in the game – even if you drive into the guardrail at full speed, the maximum that will result is the appearance of several scratches. Also, the GT7 does not have such a familiar feature as other, including quite realistic car simulators, as fast-forward. Tired for half an hour of racing, on the last circle did not cope with the driving and lost to several opponents? It’s a pity, but what can you do – finish the race as it is or choose to restart, the game will not allow you to “replay” this moment.
Of course, it is absurd to assess the realism of the behavior of gaming cars and their compliance with real cars when playing with a gamepad (namely, this option will be relevant for 99% of all players, except for the most passionate fans who buy a game steering wheel). However, it can be noted that like previous parts of Gran Turismo, GT7 has a very detailed physical model, which easily distinguishes different cars by their behavior on the track, even in one class, moreover – it is logical and, so to speak, “understandable”, i.e. situations where the player may not understand why this car suddenly started behaving like this, does not occur. If desired, the player can change the settings of the car (on the corresponding screen at first you can get confused by the large number of different sliders) – and this also significantly affects its behavior.
DualSense tactile feedback works very well to create a sense of “realism”, even with a gamepad in hand. DualSense tactile feedback – Haptic Feedback “motors” perfectly convey the feeling of different types of coverage on the tracks, car behavior, shifting gears, etc., and adaptive triggers – the resistance of the accelerator and brake pedals. This is probably the best feedback implementation you could expect, and it is second only to the feel of the game feed from Force Feedback.
I would also like to mention a very high-quality realization of the surrounding sound – on 5.1 acoustics the game creates a very convincing picture of what is happening around. Of course, this is not the level of Hollywood blockbusters on Blu-ray, but it is already beginning to approach it and is one hundred percent better than the sound we heard in Gran Turismo Sport. But it would be better to replace the music with something more suitable for car racing – I may be old and too nostalgic, but the soundtrack of the first parts of Gran Turismo in my personal opinion was definitely better than GT7 (remember the legendary My Favorite Game and I Think I’m Paranoid in Gran Turismo 2).
In terms of graphics Gran Turismo has always shown what the current generation PlayStation is capable of, and Gran Turismo 7 is no exception. It seems that cars have never looked so “real”, you can look at them for hours. The view from the interior is finally not only very spectacular, but also comfortable enough to be used not only to see “how is it there, inside DeLorean?”. Of course, some objects on the tracks can be simplified, for example, crowds of spectators in the stands or trees in the background, but this can be noticed only during repetitions. And the closest objects – people standing near the track, or other objects – look very good, because they can get in the frame when you use the photo mode.
In the settings, Gran Turismo 7 offers two graphics modes – with framerate priority or ray tracing. During the race in both cases, tracing will be turned off to ensure a consistently high frame rate, so this choice only affects the repeat mode and scenes in the Scapes section (where you can take a picture of your favorite car in one of the many spectacular places, such as Manhattan or Eiffel tower). Yes, it is worth noting that most of the screenshots in this review are taken in photo mode, when the player chooses the angle and adjusts the camera, after which the game renders the image for a few seconds in maximum quality, not available in real gameplay. However, I can assure you that the difference is quite significant, especially when meticulously looking at the screenshots on the computer, but during the game it is almost invisible.