Automotive, Console, Gaming, PlayStation, Review

Gran Turismo 7 (PS5) Review: Made for Newcomers & Veterans Alike

The Gran Turismo franchise had always felt…well, inaccessible to me. While I love driving, I can’t quite get into the series due to the intimidating mechanics that require a certain know-how to drive well and fully enjoy the game.

But that changes with Gran Turismo 7. Thanks to a number of qualify of life changes, this is (to me) the most accessible title in the franchise yet. With even more cars and tracks to drive on – compared to 2017’s Gran Turismo Sport – it’s a full-fledged Gran Turismo title too.

Whether you’re new to the series or a veteran, Gran Turismo 7 is sure to entertain – I certainly enjoyed this driving game much more than I expected.

What It Is

As mentioned, Gran Turismo 7 offers a wider variety of cars and tracks compared to Gran Turismo Sport. More specifically, there are over 400 cars to choose from with 90 tracks from around the world. Granted, it doesn’t have as many cars compared to over 1,200 models featured in Gran Turismo 6, but hey, 400 is still a respectable figure.

What’s new in Gran Turismo 7 is the introduction of Menu Books, which are found in the equally new Cafe. One of the first things you do in the game is to visit the Cafe to get Menu Books, which serve as a campaign mode of sorts for the game.

This is one of the biggest reasons why Gran Turismo 7 is especially accessible to newcomers. Not only do the Menu Books provide a form of progression for the driving game, it also offers interesting information on car culture.

The Good Stuff

As with most (if not all) games on the PS5, Gran Turismo 7 looks stunning on the next-gen console. All the cars are rendered beautifully, the sceneries are awe-inspiring, and driving around the track with the realistic weather simulation really enhance the immersion of the game.

Speaking of which, I am incredibly impressed with Polyphony Digital’s attention to detail in Gran Turismo 7. The studio said that the 400 cars featured in the games are “recreated to the highest quality ever seen in the history of the series,” and I couldn’t agree more.

I’m an owner of the 10th generation Honda Civic FC, so when I saw the Civic Type R FK8 for sale in the game – which has a similar interior as my much more affordable sedan – I purchased it immediately. I wanted to see just how accurate the cabin of the car would be in Gran Turismo 7, and I’m pleasant surprised that it’s almost an exact representation.

I obviously kept driving the car since then until I had to swap it out to enter a different championship.

Aside from that, each car in Gran Turismo 7 feels distinctively different too – this has always been a strong point of the franchise. Take the Toyota GR Yaris: thanks to its compact dimensions, it feels very nimble around the corners. Because it’s a four-wheel drive hatchback, it also offers better traction.

But if I take the bigger, more powerful Maserati GranTurismo S to the same track, it doesn’t allow me to be as aggressive in the corners, lest I risk oversteering and lose control of the car. Given that it’s a rear-wheel drive car, it doesn’t feel as “grippy” as the GR Yaris either, though it does offer higher speeds in the straights.

Of course, Gran Turismo 7 makes use of the more refined haptic feedback and adaptive triggers of the DualSense controller too. The vibration changes if I drive off-track, and it even vibrates accordingly when I shift gears.

As for the adaptive triggers, it’s not used quite as extensively as other games – such as the recently released Horizon Forbidden West – but the L2 trigger does offer resistance as I apply the brakes. The R2 trigger also rattles a little if I’m losing traction from accelerating too hard.

Last but not least is the new Menu Books feature in Gran Turismo 7. Basically, the Menu Books are missions for players to complete in order to progress through the game. These include competing in championships, completing license tests – while also teaching new driving techniques – and even collecting specific cars.

I’m personally most fond of collecting cars. Aside from the fact that I’m adding more cars to my collection, completing the Menu Book and bringing it back to the Cafe also sheds some interesting history on the cars that I’ve just collected.

However, the Menu Books are not perfect – I’ll elaborate in the next section.

The Bad Stuff

While the Menu Books are quite interesting in the beginning of Gran Turismo 7, they eventually feel repetitive after doing the same tasks over and over again. Granted, it does give me details on a wide variety of cars from different regions, but at the end of the day, it’s still a repetitive cycle.

One of the biggest advantages of the PS5 is fast loading times, and while Gran Turismo 7 does load very quickly – I can get in and out of races seamlessly – the loading times in certain parts of the game feel a tad too long. This is especially the case in the Livery Editor, for example.

I also have a small gripe with the dialogues in Gran Turismo 7: there were a fair number of typos here and there. Even though this is not a major issue by any means, it does affect the overall refinement of the game, in my opinion.

Is It Worth It?

If you’re looking for one of the most realistic driving games, you cannot go wrong with Gran Turismo 7. Its wide variety of tracks and cars – which are recreated for the game with amazing attention to detail – along with sophisticated driving physics really make it an enjoyable driving game.

While the Menu Books do feel repetitive after some time, Gran Turismo 7 still offers a ton of other features, including licenses tests, Missions, Circuit Experiences, and of course, a number of online modes. These, coupled with the game’s stunning graphics, truly elevate Gran Turismo 7.

Gran Turismo 7 launches on the PS5 and PS4 on 4 March.

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