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Game review: Gran Turismo 7 (PS5)

By Damian Seeto
Thu 3 Mar 2022

The Gran Turismo series started on the PSOne back in 1997, and it easily changed the way we perceived racing games.

It featured 140 cars and was one of the first games that allowed you to tune your vehicles to go faster.

For 25 years, the Gran Turismo series has been one of the best-selling PlayStation exclusives of all time. Now the latest version of the game called Gran Turismo 7 is here, and it’s available for both the PS5 and PS4 consoles.

Polyphony Digital’s last Gran Turismo game was Gran Turismo Sport, and it was a PS4 exclusive. While the game featured gorgeous-looking graphics, it wasn’t as well-received as previous titles in the series. One of the biggest flaws of GT Sport was the lack of single-player content available at launch.

Thankfully, Gran Turismo 7 is not a spin-off title because it features a fully-fledged single-player campaign as well as multiplayer modes. Not to mention it includes the best graphics that the series has ever seen.

I’ve played several PS5 games over the past year, including the likes of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Horizon Forbidden West. Even though those two games look great, I still think Gran Turismo 7 is the best-looking PS5 game to date.

All the cars look shiny and photorealistic thanks to the game dedicating 500,000 polygons on each vehicle. Not to mention every car has a cockpit, so you won’t see the lack of detailed features like in Gran Turismo 5.

Fans of the series will be happy to know the game has 34 tracks and features locations from all around the world. Fan favourite tracks make a comeback like Trial Mountain and Deep Forest. There are also a ton of real-world tracks, including Nurburgring, Australia’s Mount Panorama, and more.

The game also features a day and night cycle for some tracks, and some locations also feature rain. Rain is quite realistic in this game because it makes racing on the tracks much harder than when the weather is dry. Different cars react differently to the type of terrain you drive on, so you will need the right set of tyres to make your race easier to manage.

While the game features 34 race tracks, there are well over 400 cars available at launch. I like the fact that the game has cheaper used cars as well as expensive supercars. At the start, you can ride a Mazda RX-7, and then, later on, you will have enough credits to buy a Ferrari or a Lamborghini.

Sadly, the only major car manufacturer that seems to be missing in GT7 is Lotus, for whatever reason. Lotus cars were featured in previous games, but it’s sad not to see them featured in this new game.

What I like most about Gran Turismo 7 is how generous the game is in offering you money and cars. By progressing through the single-player campaign, you will accumulate many gift cars for winning races. You will also receive tokens that may allow you to win stacks of money!

By the end of the single-player campaign, I earned 4 million credits and amassed over 60 different cars. I rarely needed to buy cars on my own because the game was so generous. It is quite possibly the most generous game of the entire series.

As for the gameplay, a majority of people will spend most of their time on the single-player campaign. The campaign mainly allows you to win cars, as well as teach you how to tune your vehicles. You will need to tune up your existing cars because you need to go faster if you want to beat the stiff competition.

Aside from tuning the car’s performance, this game also allows you to customise the look of your vehicles. You can add liveries, spoilers, body kits, and tons more. There are even options for you to paint what colour you want for your car as well.

You will also spend some time doing quests when visiting the new Café option. The Café usually tells you to do certain quests to progress through the campaign. Most of the time, you’ll be winning races in order to unlock more cars.

Some other single-player game modes include Licenses and Missions. In Licenses, the game teaches you the basics of race car driving, and it’s helpful for beginners to become better drivers. The licenses are challenging, although you need to complete some of them to access more events in the single-player mode.

Missions are similar to Licenses, although you need to do other things like overtaking cars in a certain amount of time. Again, much like the Licenses, Missions can be challenging, but they are rewarding once you finish them.

There are also multiplayer modes that include online lobbies and split-screen gameplay. Unfortunately, I was unable to test the game’s online modes yet as I played the game a week before release. The split-screen option is fine, although the screen is shrunk down, and it could be hard to see for some players.

The popular photo mode is back, and it’s called Scrapes. You can take photos of your cars in locations all around the world. There is even a location set in New Zealand, and it looks beautiful. Ray-tracing is also available in this mode to make your cars look very nice.

An all-new game mode in Gran Turismo 7 is Music Rally. Here in this mode, you race while you listen to the beats of some of the music in the game. This is a casual mode that will appeal to beginners. I didn’t really spend too much time in this mode, so I don’t have a big opinion on it.

While most of Gran Turismo 7 is fun, there are some flaws that prevent it from being perfect. For one thing, the game doesn’t have a detailed damage system whatsoever. This means you can drive as fast as you want and crash without any consequences. There is not even cosmetic damage on the cars either, like in the Forza Horizon series.

Some people may also dislike the fact that you cannot sell your unwanted cars anymore. There is no option to sell cars, which means you cannot get extra money for cars you no longer use. I also felt the single-player campaign didn’t offer many rally events. Not to mention I finished all the single-player licenses and race events in only 22 hours. It felt shorter compared to older GT titles, although the length of the game is longer if you want to 100% everything.

Another small flaw is that you need to be connected online to save your progress in the campaign. While this isn’t a very big issue, it’s annoying if you cannot save if the servers are offline for whatever reason.

Despite some minor flaws, Gran Turismo 7 is still a huge improvement over Gran Turismo Sport. The single-player campaign is fun, plus the game has the best graphics ever seen on PS5. If you like driving games, you must pick this game up ASAP.

Verdict: 9.0/10

A code was given to us by PlayStation NZ for review purposes.

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