a virtual paradise for every type of driver

IDifficult to make driving games accessible to everyone. games like Forza Horizon succeeded by taking liberties with realism, opting to shoot players around chaotic, weather-worn simulacra of gorgeous lands in cool licensed cars. Both children and adults can get something out of these games without too much effort – which guarantees their popularity – but the compromises made mean that the most absurd driving games on the market cannot provide the ultimate complexity or understanding. automotive culture that enthusiasts seek.

The beauty of a game like Gran Turismo 7dubbed “The Real Driving Simulator” is that in pursuing and delivering that level of intensity, it never forgets the fact that at the end of the day, it still has to be a fun video game. that anyone can play.

Polyphony Digital’s latest Herculean effort consistently whitens your eyes with its finest graphics and massages your hands with its haptic gaming feel. You could spend hours looking at number sheets, tweaking your vehicle’s details to achieve peak performance, or you could just clear your mind and enjoy the ride. It really is a driving game for everyone.

“Gran Turismo 7”. CREDIT: Digital Polyphony

For me, the reason why Gran Turismo 7 succeeds where other driving games fail is in its structure and presentation. It feels like a true labor of love from the rousing opening film to the granular historical timelines that come with every automaker’s showroom. Gran Turismo 7 quickly makes it clear that the game is not just about the automobiles themselves, but the culture that exists around them. It always tries to frame your drive through the lens of the designers, tuners, photographers and curators who elevate the cars from the vehicles that take us from A to B in a deeply seductive and humane culture.

Grab the hub’s main screen, a huge bird’s-eye map of a small town. You’ll pass between garages, showrooms, circus huts, theme parks and piers as Gran Turismo 7 slowly unlocks new places to play with. The centerpiece of this map is the Café, an awesome new addition where you’ll go to receive collectible car racing lists presented as menu books. With your goals in tow, you’ll soar across the world, pumping up specific types of cars and using them on particular tracks to outshine the competition. You’ll learn how they work firsthand, then when you return to the cafe, you’ll have a history lesson on, say, Japanese compact cars to sharpen your understanding.

It doesn’t sound condescending or overly complex – the educational dialogue is written from a perspective of passion, so even if you don’t care less about the engines or suspension, you’ll also learn cultural anecdotes about these vehicles that are always genuinely interesting . And missions aren’t always about racing. Among other tasks, you’ll be asked to pass some of the series’ famous driving tests, and thanks to the PS5’s SSD, passing those bad boys is far less frustrating. The Circus Hut is packed with awesome arcade missions, and the GT Auto Zone is where you’ll be sent to design liveries, outfits, and wash your car (complete with a hilarious car wash animation you can feel through the DualSense).

Online racing is great fun for competitive minds, but it’s really not essential if you just want to enjoy the game as a relaxing single-player experience. The most fun I had during the review period was stubbornly pumping up an old Mini Cooper and pushing it to the limit against cars that are 30 years older. Like your horse in Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ll start to feel an emotional attachment to your favorite cars, especially when you’re saving up and spending a lot of your hard-earned money on them. I spent far too long covering my Mini in reflective glitter and placing it all over Australia, putting up eye-melting and photorealistic looking shots. You might want to wear a racing helmet when you start playing with it. Gran Turismo 7of Dynamic Scenes, because your jaw will surely drop. It’s pure graphics magic, and way beyond anything I’ve seen on the PS5 so far, as the cars are framed in famous environments around the world.

Gran Turismo 7
“Gran Turismo 7”. CREDIT: Digital Polyphony

It can be easy to get used to the graphics of the game if you race in the same conditions, but as soon as a weather effect is introduced or you move the camera inside the car, you will realize how great this game is. is beautiful again. Tight midnight photo-finish races are always enhanced by Gran Turismo 7, which is packed with bangers that cross genres and moods, and always feel in tune with the style of running you enjoy. Music Rally takes this concept even further, turning casual commutes into accessible musical challenges where players of all ages can drive to the beat. A plethora of difficulty options let you tailor the game to your own abilities, but no matter where you are on the scale, every ride is engrossing and there are noticeable shifts in feel between each car.

Yet for such a technically brilliant and culturally rich game, there is one caveat that seems extremely out of step with the spirit of Gran Turismo. while you play Gran Turismo 7 you’ll collect credits by completing menu books and completing races, which you’ll need to spend on cosmetic and tech auto parts as well as the vehicles themselves. The speed and curve with which you earn those credits is challenging but rewarding, and inspires players to tune and race tactically and enjoy the automotive story.

Gran Turismo 7
“Gran Turismo 7”. CREDIT: Digital Polyphony

But when you go to buy anything, you will notice that there is an option to skip the grind with what I assume are premium currency microtransactions. I couldn’t see the conversion from real money to credits because the system was not active during the review period, but that doesn’t really matter. It feels like a big diversion from the game’s overall message, and it’s something that stuck in my mind as I expanded my collection. Having options for those who just want to pay their way through the game makes sense – because that type of player is definitely here – but I can’t help but be cynical about it with the rest of the game at hand. spirit.

The verdict

Gran Turismo 7 is the ultimate driving simulator for car enthusiasts, but it’s also a brilliant introduction to the importance of car culture for newcomers to motoring. Remarkably, thanks to its more grounded structure and sticky progression, it’s easy to recommend to players who don’t even like cars. If you want something to test the limits of the PS5’s capabilities and want to be educated about cars through a historical and passionate lens, then Gran Turismo 7 would be a great choice. For series veterans, there will undoubtedly be years of support ahead, but there’s plenty here in the base game to keep you busy for months. If only it weren’t for those sneaky microtransactions that seem completely at odds with the game’s driving spirit…

Benefits

  • Amazing graphics and sound design
  • Wonderfully more sophisticated progression systems make it accessible to everyone
  • Historical structure and human presentation elevate automotive culture to a work of art

The inconvenients

  • Microtransactions that seem at odds with the spirit of the game

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