Gran Turismo Sport was released in 2017, and although some aspects earned praise, it left fans wanting more while also exciting them about what’s to come in the next game. The DNA of Sport, which was mostly focused on competitive multiplayer, seems to be present in GT7, but after previewing the game, it’s clear that this sequel offers so much more.
And that’s exciting for someone like me who has never really made it beyond a few hours into a Gran Turismo game. I went into this preview looking for reasons to be excited for Polyphony Digital’s latest love letter to cars and came away with enough to feel like GT7 is worth checking out.
Let me get this out of the way right up front: if you’re a GT fan, you are in for a treat with GT7. It features more than 400 cars, 34 locations, 97 layouts, more than 100 racing events, over 650 aerodynamic parts, 130 types of wheels, 1200 colors of measured paint data, and so much more. All the bells and whistles are here, and of course, they’ve never looked better thanks to the PlayStation 5. Plus, the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are sure to make races through Trial Mountain, Deep Forest, and Daytona more immersive than ever before. Producer Kazunori Yamauchi says these additions will make it feel like you’re holding a car in your hands with the track beneath you.
However, this preview revealed to me that GT7 is more than just “the real driving simulator.” It’s a love letter to car culture and a set of welcoming arms for newcomers like me.
Beyond classic GT showcase features like Replay and showrooms for new, used, and legendary cars alike, GT7 features multiple museum-like functions that have me intrigued. When you go to the Brand Central hub, which is found on the new World Map, you’ll discover more than 300 cars from 2001 and later from over 50 different worldwide brands like Ford, Nissan, Suzuki, and others.
This is standard fare for a GT game, but what’s new is that each car manufacturer has a detailed history available for viewing here. You’ll learn about the brand’s creator, its history through time, some of its most standout vehicles, and where the company stands in the industry today. As someone who’s always admired the culture surrounding cars but has never dabbled in it, I’m excited to catch up on the automobile history fans of GT likely already know.
There’s also the new Cafe. Here, you’ll view a Cafe Menu, but instead of espresso drinks and pastries, you’ll find a variety of cars. Each is essentially a mission where you must complete all of the races and events for a particular car’s menu. Yamauchi says there are over 30 to complete and that doing so will get the credits rolling. The Cafe is your guide through GT7’s “campaign,” although Yamauchi says rolling credits is just the beginning. As someone looking to give their first GT game a real go, having easy-to-understand objectives like this to reach the credits excites me. Sure, I can tinker with hundreds of settings and tunings and race real-world players, but if I’m looking for something more focused and straightforward, the Cafe seems to scratch that itch.
The other new exciting feature in GT7 that promises to onboard newcomers is the Music Rally. Yamauchi described this mode as one “not for driving, but for enjoying music.” I’ve always admired Gran Turismo soundtracks, and seeing a mode that prioritizes Polyphony Digital’s excellent taste in music is a welcome addition. In Music Rally, you begin with a set number of beats. When the race begins, the beats decrease, and when they run out, the race ends. However, if you go through the track’s checkpoints, you’ll earn more points. Ideally, you do well enough to finish the song and the race. It looks decidedly slower than a standard GT race, too, and the focus is more about enjoying the ride rather than beating this driver or that one.
With a soundtrack boasting popular hits from genres ranging from jazz to lounge to hip-hop to rock, I have a feeling Music Rally is going to be my go-to mode when I’m looking to relax behind a steering wheel at the end of my day. Driving around and listening to music is already one of my favorite things to do in real life, and it seems I’m not alone if Music Rally’s inclusion in GT7 is any indicator.
GT7’s impressive Photo Mode looks to be the most advanced ever in a first-party PlayStation game. It has dozens of settings to tinker with and a Scrapes mode that allows you to place any of your cars within one of over 2500 different backdrops. As someone who spends at least 40% of any play session they have in a given game’s Photo Mode, I already know I’m going to lose plenty of hours in Scrapes. Moreover, the game features a ray-tracing mode for Scrapes, Photo Mode, and Replay, making the prospect of what my digital screenshot library will be all the more exciting.
I left the preview more amped to check out Gran Turismo 7 in March than I ever felt possible. Yamauchi placed a particular emphasis on Polyphony Digital’s desire to welcome newcomers to the franchise with open arms in GT7, which spoke directly to me. Modes like Cafe and Music Rally ensure I’ll be checking it out at launch. Still, I’m nervous that after a dozen or so hours with the game, the fun and easy-going nature of these modes will grow stale, forcing me to dive further into the more hardcore, made-for-fans modes that require a keen eye for vehicle tunings and other nuances. It’s then that GT7 might lose me, but who knows? Perhaps the likes of Cafe, Music Rally, and the game’s museum features will entice me enough that when it’s time to dive into Gran Turismo 7’s more competitive destinations, I’ll be ready to trade out my training wheels for a real set of Trial Mountain-ready tires.
Are you excited for Gran Turismo 7? Let us know in the comments below!