In the year 1997, driving games were going to change forever with the arrival of Gran Turismo, a game designed by professional driver Kazunori Yamauchi and developed by Polyphony Digital that premiered his work on the first PlayStation and that, since then, began to the most important driving series of Sony consoles.
The last generation was marked in a very particular way for Gran Turismo since PS4 only received Gran Turismo Sport, a title that focused on the competitive part of the game over the internet, giving up a good part of the classic elements of a series that wants a return to its roots with Gran Turismo 7, a tribute to motor lovers who will be able to enjoy many cars, circuits, a review of the history of the automotive industry, challenges, cards and, of course, also the most competitive side via the Internet.
A museum for car lovers
From the initial video, Gran Turismo 7 already shows us that we face a delivery made with great care that will be a tribute to cars and their history. The level of information and details that we can find within Yamauchi’s new work borders on sickening, with an extensive description of every one of the more than 400 cars available in the game during its launch, a number that will most likely expand with DLC for years to come.
It is also quite clear that Gran Turismo 7 is a game that has been designed to stay with us throughout the generation since all the content and the orderly way in which it is structured is easily expandable for years, offering new menus in the cafeteria, new challenges, tournaments or races of all kinds without breaking the structure of the title designed to satisfy all the needs of motor lovers who want to know more about a car, drive it or photograph it to capture unique images.
Gran Turismo‘s GT Mode is present in this installment with everything we can expect from it and its “world map,” with the emblematic cards, second-hand car shops, first-hand, special challenges center, races and championships of all kinds that we will have to unlock little by little through the GT Café.
The Gran Turismo Café is the place that serves as the center of everything, a small corner in which we are offered menus that replicate the missions and that serve us first as a tutorial and then as the most efficient way to obtain new cars. Upon completing each menu or mission, we are given a brief review of the history of the cars we have achieved. For example, after achieving three Ford cars, they tell us some details about the brand’s beginnings, while if what we do is achieve rally cars, the origin of this type of evidence is explained to us.
This mode also helps us to unlock different routes and championships that broaden the experience of Gran Turismo 7. However, the problem with the Café is that it is too simple a concept to lead the player to advance through the game in a way that, for us, little charisma At the beginning. At the same time, we complete the first menus, which is very good, but in the medium term, it can become somewhat tedious and predictable progress that can easily disconnect those not great engine lovers. In addition, we believe that the tests related to the Café have a great impact on certain circuits and leave other layouts or more varied types of tests to one side.
Variety of modes
Luckily, after just a few hours of playing Café, once we’ve levelled up our car collection a few levels and unlocked a few tracks and events, Gran Turismo 7 ‘s chances increase with plenty of content to enjoy, starting with a series of Challenges. Each one is more picturesque and different, allowing us to enjoy different races focused on skids, slipstreams, or certain weather conditions; it also allows us to drive different cars that are not usually available as rewards or in the second-hand store.
We also have the emblematic Gran Turismo driving school through which we must obtain different cards that are necessary to compete in some key championships to advance in the game. In the license tests, we are taught different driving concepts that improve our game by teaching us to brake better or take curves optimally.
If you don’t have enough with the Challenges or the Cards, Gran Turismo 7 also offers us Music Rally, a twist to the classic challenges against the clock, replacing the seconds of the clock with the tempo of different songs, being able to enjoy music classical, electronic or rock. At the same time, we test our skills as drivers on different circuits.
In addition, all these modes allow us to obtain rewards in the form of credits for the game with which we can buy the cars that they send us to obtain in the GT Café, an alternative way to continue with the missions in this way that, although it is less efficient, could be more fun for many players looking for more variety in Gran Turismo 7.
Whether we get classic cars, late model cars, cool cars or something uglier but charismatic, many of us want to share images of our new acquisition. The best way to do it in Gran Turismo 7 is with Scapes. This new photography tool allows us to put our car literally in more than 2500 locations worldwide and configure all kinds of parameters to take a photo that is truly crazy to show off our cars. In addition, we also have a photo mode for racing, allowing us to take almost professional snapshots of our car during a competition.
As you might expect, in addition to all the single-player content, we also have a great multiplayer aspect in which Gran Turismo 7 collects everything learned in Gran Turismo Sport. In fact, one of the modes that we see in the online section is Sport, in which we will find qualifying games in which both our driving skills and our cleanliness as drivers will be taken into account when finding a game, with daily races, weekly or weekend championships, all with different vehicles, tracks and objectives.
In addition, we also have a personalized multiplayer mode outside of these ranked games that allow us to play both on a split-screen with another player by our side and through the internet, choosing the circuit we want, the weather, the time or the number of participants creating a grand prize at our whim.
During the online games in these test days, the behaviour of the servers has been quite good in general, without notable problems of delay or connectivity, at least at this time when the servers are sparsely populated.
Leaving aside a large amount of content and game modes, it is now time to talk about Gran Turismo 7 on the track, during the race, when we have to risk it by speeding up the braking to the maximum to overtake the rival or control our footwell on the accelerator to get out of a curve perfectly and scratch a few seconds off the stopwatch.
Gran Turismo 7, as usual in the series, is a game in which the simulation is exquisite in everything that has to do with driving or the vehicle’s behaviour until collisions or track exits influence. At this point, he falters and reveals his most arcade part.
The control of the car is exquisite; its reaction to everything we do with the control or the steering wheel, how we brake, how we accelerate, the climatic variants or the characteristics of the car itself are amazing, improving the previous installment getting very close to actual driving.
However, when we crash into a car or go off the track and hit the protection, all this simulation is lost, adopting a much more arcade formula that is the complete opposite extreme of what Gran Turismo offers us the most. Part of the time. In addition, forget about major cosmetic damage when we get hit (with few exceptions), serious penalties for going off the track or significant damage to the car’s driving, something that from our point of view should improve the series in the future and a toll that, for the moment, they are willing to pay to be exalted both in the level of detail of the vehicles and when it comes to offering us the excellent sensations of which we have spoken to you during the rest of the aspects of piloting.
Turning to AI, the truth is that the behaviour of the rival drivers is outstanding. We have played hard and had a very satisfying driving experience while competing with our virtual rivals. However, despite being very good at making the line, we have missed that they also make mistakes. We have hardly seen yellow flags in all our races, and the ones we did see were in rally mode caused by some weird jump.
Along with driving, we want to highlight the fantastic use that Gran Turismo 7 makes of the DualSense on PS5, being, without a doubt, the game that best takes advantage of the new PlayStation controller, both with its haptic feedback and with the use of adaptive triggers that They are key during the games.
If we talk about haptic feedback, it is incredible how well the vibrations and sensations of the car are replicated when we skid, go over a piano or notice how the car vibrates when it goes over a bridge, making us feel almost inside the vehicle in a very, very surprising way. Very realistic. Something similar happens with the triggers and their resistance, being able to control the accelerator or brake better than ever, some triggers that, on this occasion, can even replace (saving the distances) the precision that we have with simulator pedals.
If we talk to you about Gran Turismo 7 at a technical level, we are facing an overwhelming game with a recreation of the cars that borders on perfection, and that looks like a real scandal on PlayStation 5, which allows us to enjoy a whole spectacle at a graphic and sound level. Being, for us, the graphic ceiling of the genre today at the cost of having hardly any damage to the car or almost destructible elements or elements on the circuits can be damaged.
The layouts are also recreated with great care both on the track and everything that surrounds it, this last element being precisely the one that stands out the most. Until now, in driving games, we were offered a tremendously detailed track while the public or the background landscape used to have a lower quality that contrasted a lot with the rest of the scene, something that does not happen in this case and that makes sometimes we have been a little enthralled seeing what surrounds us… and causing a scare during the race due to our mistake.
A fundamental point of this delivery at a technical level is the great work that has been done with the lighting of the circuits, taking into account the position of each track on the planet and modifying all the factors so that the sunlight changes angle and projected differently in each place. We also have dynamic day and night cycles in many of the circuits and weather effects such as rain., very successful, which also affects more than significantly the car’s behaviour on the track depending on the humidity in each area. We believe the appearance of the asphalt layout could be improved in this sense (in addition to the aesthetic damage), which in most cases seems too new, almost recently paved, and that takes away some of the charisma of most veterans.
Moving on to the graphic modes, we will find the typical mode that prioritizes the fps rate at a stable 60fps. Another bet on ray tracing is only available in repetitions, vehicle displays or photographs. We do not believe that the impact of ray tracing is so important in a game of this type, so we recommend that you always have the “performance” mode activated, which offers us a constant 60 fps in which we have not seen any drop. N, you want to record some gameplay with ray tracing using on any occasion, you are always in time to activate the RT mode promptly.
As for the sound, the work here is, as on a graphic level, excellent, and for us, it is almost obligatory to enjoy the game with headphones (in our case, we play most of the time with the PS5 Pulse 3D) since it is the best way to enjoy of the nuances at the sound level of the game, perceiving that subtle sound of the turbo that changes from one car to another, or all the engine noises so different from car to car.
Another point that must be highlighted in Gran Turismo 7 is the practically non-existent loading times thanks to the PS5 SSD, allowing us to navigate through the menus and access the races almost instantly, solving the sometimes long waits that they had us accustomed to other installments of the series.
Gran Turismo 7 is a true treat to the world of motoring, a tribute to the history of cars, a living museum that allows us to discover more of our favourite vehicles, look at them, modify them aesthetically or visually, and drive hours and hours with them in all kinds of circuits enjoying a very realistic experience in almost every way.
As is the case with all cars, Gran Turismo 7 is also imperfect and has details where it can improve. A Café mode that suffers from being too simple, some collisions still need to evolve and barely noticeable damage to vehicles. However, all this goes into the background when we grab a DualSense and start playing with a very similar driving to the real one, enjoying the sensations of the control in our hands that transport us to the video game, the great visual finish, the nuances of the sound of the turbo or the engine that change from car to car and of the great and satisfying driving sensation that makes us smile and allows us to have fun like never before with a car on a virtual track.
We prepared this review with a digital copy of Gran Turismo 7 code for PS5 provided by Sony.