For 25 years, Gran Turismo has given fans one of the most complete driving experiences. Exclusively to PlayStation, the series has more often than not delivered smooth gameplay and stylish visuals that push the boundaries of the platform. With Gran Turismo 7, Polyphony has taken the best of the franchise and built a wonderful title that oozes class. It’s packed with content and a satisfying pace where automobiles are celebrated in all their glory. For both long time fans and backseat drivers, GT7 is a special title filled with everything you could ever want from a racer.
Gran Turismo 7: Building to success
Everything you do in Gran Turismo 7 starts off from the World Map. As you progress by winning races and fulfilling objectives, new places will be unlocked that offer another thing to do. The pace in which you unlock new cars and build your collection allows you to take in everything it has to offer. You’ll start off with slower cars with low PP (Performance Points) and gradually buy and unlock better performing ones. The nature of PP takes into account everything from a car’s weight, engine power, and speed. It means different types of vehicles can race against each other as long as they have a similar PP.
Sometimes, you might need a higher PP to take part in a race, but don’t have the right car yet. By visiting the Tuning Shop, you buy parts to help increase Performance Points and also improve the selected car. There’re five different levels of parts, ranging from Sports to Extreme. While it’s important to improve PP, focusing on specific enhancements is also important. Having a better clutch and flywheel improves responsiveness for faster lap times. Various transmission types let you customise gear ratios depending on the circuit. You can also buy new bodies to have a sturdier car for faster races or a lighter frame to enhance acceleration or cornering. You can also visit GT Auto to clean your car and buy further upgrades to improve performance.
A vast array of cars
One thing Gran Turismo 7 really cares about is the cars. Obviously that’s pretty obvious as it’s a racing game after all. However, Polyphony are enthusiasts. They want to offer hundreds of cars, but they also want to teach you about their history and importance. Each one has a designated history you can check out in the Garage. At Brand Central, you can view different manufacturer timelines by visiting their museum, and also learn more about each car. It’s staggering how much information is in the game. Toyota, Aston Martin, Hyundai, Dodge, Chevrolet. There’re loads spanning across America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Brand Central is one of the coolest features as you can not only purchase these cars providing you have enough GT Credits, but learn all about the brands and cars, watch videos, and even visit their official websites.
Other places to purchase cars are the Used Car Dealership where new cars are added daily. These tend to be much cheaper than at Brand Central. It’s a great place to build up your collection if you’re low on funds. If you’ve got a lot of money, then Legend Cars is where you want to go. The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 took my fancy straight away, but there are others you might like to buy. Providing you have enough credits, there’s a car for everyone. While you can buy GT Credits with real money, there’re plenty of opportunities to earn them in-game. That’s one thing I applaud Polyphony for doing. Cars can be earned as well. There’re loads of different ways to win new rides and add to your collection.
Gran Turismo 7: The grand purpose
The Café is where you continually improve as a racer as well as complete objectives to unlock more stuff. By completing Menu Books, new circuits become available. You’ll also get cars from completing objectives set out in that specific book. For example, the focus may be on Japanese front-wheel drive cars, European Hot Hatches, or Mustangs. Finishing in third place or higher sends the prize to your Garage, and by meeting all the goals, three new cars are yours to keep. Upon returning to Luca at the Café, he’ll give you a brief history lesson, then offer a new Menu Book. These are a fun way to build your collection and challenge you to compete in tougher competitions around the world.
One of the areas of the World Map you’ll need to visit every now and again is the License Centre. Some competitions will be locked until you improve your driving license. These range from the basic National B license to the Super License. To earn them, certain challenges need to be completed. As long as you achieve a time at bronze level, you’ll get the license. These challenges might require you to reach a speed then break within an allotted time, take on corners efficiently, or avoid contact with barriers and walls within a certain time. Due to the short times needed for completion, these don’t take too long to finish, but teach you some nifty tricks to better yourself as you progress through the game.
So much to do
Along with regularly visiting the Café for new challenges, there are plenty of other ways to race. The World Circuits are where you go to earn GT Credits and better yourself as a driver. They span across America, Europe, and Asia-Oceana. Each circuit has certain conditions that need to be met. Some competitions last a couple of laps, but others, such as the GT Cup at Daytona go on for 10 laps. The regulations will list what tyres can be used, drivetrain, the type of car, and required PP needed. As long as you meet these requirements, you’re good to go. The tougher the race, the higher the reward. The courses are all so different regardless of the country. They offer a multitude of ways to race as well as making full use of your collection.
Missions are unlocked as you improve your Collector level. In each location, various missions need to be completed to unlock new cars. You’ll race in jeeps during the dead of night, or try to avoid hitting walls in a swanky Camaro Z28 ’69. These offer a nice break from the typical race format, and offer some great prizes the further you progress. Gran Turismo 7 is packed full of options when it comes to the multiplayer. Sport pits you against others of a similar level to complete daily challenges such as online races and time trials. There’s also the multiplayer that not only lets you go online, but allows you to play with friends in split screen. There really are tons of possibilities to race in GT7. It’s a remarkable effort that never failed to impress me with how much stuff there is to do and see.
Gran Turismo 7: Utterly beautiful
There’s no denying how gorgeous Gran Turismo 7 is. The intricate detail on all the cars and how they look in a race is staggering. Polyphony have put in tons of work to make the visuals on offer the greatest ever seen in a racer. As beautiful as it looks while racing, there’s also an opportunity to take photos across countless locations from across the world in Scapes. It’s a mode that lets you pick cars from your Garage and place them in scenic locations from the fjords of Iceland to the sun-drenched beaches of Miami. Once you’ve chosen a place, you can add effects, change the travel speed, adjust aperture and focus, and so much more. The mode only adds to how good this game looks. You can then view your photos on Showcase, along with other players’ snaps from across the world.
It’s all well and good having so many modes, but the racing itself needs to be good. Thankfully, gameplay is king. With so many cars on offer, the controls are as tight as ever, with responsive breaking and solid controlling across each circuit. Each car’s stats can be felt as you speed across the various tracks. Everything from handling to breaking feels amazing. At no point did I struggle to get to grips with a vehicle. While there is a challenge, especially on the higher settings, I was never annoyed with the quality of the AI or my attempts of getting into a higher position. The balance between skill and control is perfect. Gran Turismo 7 really is the perfect racer.
Every setting matters
It is these intricacies that make playing Gran Turismo 7 so satisfying. Timing is everything, and once you’ve mastered breaking at the right time and the specifics of accelerating out of corners, the game really opens up. With better performing cars, GT7 becomes tougher. However, with so many settings to play with, you have complete control. Tweaking the littlest detail on your cars can be saved as a Sheet. When you’re happy with those small changes, they can be used again and again. This feature will be perfect for racing pros. Even if you’re new to Gran Turismo or driving in general, there’s always an opportunity to learn.
With so many modes and gameplay that’s to die for, Gran Turismo 7 is a joy to play. Polyphony want you to love playing and learning at the same time. It has a steady progression pace that becomes almost addictive when completing Menu Books. You’re rewarded in so many different ways. Not only can you earn cars and GT Credits from completing races and challenges, the Daily Workout rewards you with a roulette ticket for reaching so many miles every day. The Music Rally is also a nice little addition that lets you race to checkpoints along to the beats of an amazing soundtrack. GT7 is classy, with some of the finest visuals ever seen in a racer, and a bouncy and fun soundtrack that makes each minute spent with it feel like a dream.
Plenty to do
Celebrates cars in a great way
New players might be overwhelmed