Gran Turismo 7 Review (Reviewed on the PS4) – I am very excited to be reviewing a Playstation classic game which has been around since the original Playstation (i.e PS One). A game that I am always excited about when a new version comes out: Gran Turismo. And this time specifically, Gran Turismo 7.
Now, one thing you should know about me, I am not a big racing fan, nor do I have a huge interest in cars, but I am a gamer and I have been in love with this game since I first laid my eyes on it on PS1. This was when the button “Cross”/X was for used throttling and “Square” was used for braking.
So how’s the latest Gran Turismo 7? Let’s jump into it.
The first thing that I would like to discuss is the size of the game file. On PS4, we need to have 110GB of free space. It’s a huge chunk of my console, but I guess it is to be expected. If anything, I am surprised it does not need more. But it does take a while to download so make sure you give it a good few hours to download and install the game.
When we first start the game, we see a movie about car racing history that I can appreciate. As someone who does not know too much about cars, I thoroughly enjoyed that first intro movie. After that, you can choose to start your campaign by choosing the World Map or do a Music Rally to experience your first driving right away. I personally tried the Music Rally once to at least complete one challenge, but I jumped into the World Map once it became available.
When you start your campaign, you are greeted by Sarah and she guides you through your journey in the GT7 world. As she takes you around, she introduces you to other people that will interact with you in different aspects of the game. Now I love this concept. Having a persona to host each section of the world adds the sense of immersion to the experience. The tutorial and hints in the game also come from these personas so it adds realism to the experience too, which makes it feel more natural.
She will then take you to the Cafe that offers you a Menu Book, which is really just some sort of objective book. As you complete each objective, you will progress further in the game and the cafe owner also tells you a story about the challenge you just completed and the cars you collected. As you progress through and complete more objectives, more and more areas in the world open up. This mechanism is welcome as it reveals the game little by little and shows me what I need to know when I need to know without feeling too overwhelmed about it.
When the Tuning Shop area became available, I learnt how to tune up my cars and improve their Performance Points (more on this later). We also have our car dealerships like Used Cars, Brand Central where you can get new cars, and Legendary Cars where you can find rare classic cars that are expensive. While this is fun and I am all for progressing further, doing the objectives gets repetitive after a while, so I do what any sane person does, I jumped on to the License Test.
The License Test is a part of the game that is dear to my heart. I have been completing this whenever I play GT. This time is no different, but this time I tried to challenge myself a bit further and try to get Gold for all the challenges.
It’s also nice because you get more rewards for completing the Gold challenges. At this point of writing this article, I am completing my International A license. But this journey to complete the license challenges is not always smooth sailing. In fact, the license A9 where you do the hairpin corner was really hard. I am on the expert mode, so I should get as little steering assist as I can get, but apparently, there is still a counter steering assist setting that was still on. I only know this after a bit of research on the web as people are facing similar issues with this challenge. Eventually though, I did get my gold badge for this particular challenge, so that felt really good.
Having a shadow car on the challenge which represents your best time is really helpful as it tells me if I improve my time as early as possible so I don’t have to complete the race to the end each time. Too bad that the shadow car of my best time only shows for the current gaming session. As I progressed further in the License Test, I learnt more about racing lines, braking, and cornering. After countless attempts on getting Gold badge and improving my time for each test, I developed my sense of racing a little bit. This is a sense that tells you that you are braking too late for the corner ahead, or accelerating too early to exit a corner, or if I am not taking the correct racing line. So that’s kind of cool.
At this point, one might ask, what about the racing experience? First of all, the graphics, oh my days! The tracks are so pretty with beautiful realistic scenery, the details in the car are outstanding. But we have already expected that. Heck, we knew that it is going to be the case with GT games.
GT7 even has something called the Scapes section for us to take photos with a mechanism of a proper digital camera that you can use where you can adjust photography settings like Aperture, Exposure, and Shutter Speed. It is really another level. But what I am super impressed with is the drive feel of each car. Different cars drive differently depending on their characteristics. The sound of the engine, the gear shift clicks, the weight of the steering, every little thing comes together and gives you a unique driving feel, or in this case, racing feel.
Now I am going to talk about Performance Points (PP). For every race that you do, there is a recommended PP for the car so you can actually compete with other racers and not finish the race in last place. This is very helpful for me as I do not know much about cars. So all I have to do is choose the right car in my garage and if necessary, visit the tuning shop to increase my car’s PP to the recommended number. So if a race recommends that the car should have PP500, all I have to do is make sure I have about PP550 (so I would have an overpowered car) and I should be able to win the race comfortably. Although there are a few occasions where the top 3 cars in the race definitely have OP cars too. Oh well, such is the world of racing.
Like any game (or any software in that matter), GT7 has little bugs here and there. For example, the game crashed when I was doing an International B License Test. I also feel that the Reward Roulette is not really a Roulette (especially the one start ones) as the result is not random. We always get whatever items that come after the engine, so that’s not super cool. There was also an extended server maintenance on 17 March – 18 March 2022 and when you have server maintenance going on, you are only restricted to the Arcade Mode which for me is not fun at all. At some point, there was even one on a Friday night too which is not ideal as it is the perfect time to burn some hours in the game. But we got a gift of 1,000,000 CR for the inconvenience, so I won’t be complaining too much about it.
All in all, what can I say? I expected a beautiful game, and GT7 delivers what I expected and more. There are also more aspects of the game that I am yet to explore. I have not even tried the multiplayer GT Sport mode. The problem with multiplayer in general is that you need uninterrupted gaming time to have a fully immersive experience and I cannot do that due to family commitments. But any single player mode with a pause button is always welcome.
In conclusion, if you love challenges and somewhat like cars and racing, this is definitely the game for you. Now, I am going to excuse myself as I am going to have another go at this License Test challenge and continue my journey to all Gold glory.
Disclosure: Gran Turismo 7 review licence was supplied for reviewing. All images courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment/Gran Turismo