In the console wars between PlayStation and Xbox, there’s always been 2 constants: Gran Turismo, and Forza. With each new console generation, there’s always a game in both series for the two consoles, and the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S are no exception. Xbox has Forza Horizon 5. Meanwhile, the PS5 has Gran Turismo 7, and this is what we’re gonna talk about today.
What Is Gran Turismo?
Gran Turismo is a series of racing sims created by Polyphony Digital for the PlayStation. The main draw of the series is the fact that they emulate the performance of various vehicles that they license from IRL car manufacturers. Ever since the conception of the series back in 1997, the series has sold over 85 million units around the world on the PS1, all the way to the PS5. This makes Gran Turismo one of the highest selling game franchises in the PlayStation brand, and for good reason.
What Is Gran Turismo 7 For The PS5 And PS4?
Gran Turismo 7 is the latest installment to the Gran Turismo series. The game is released by Sony Interactive Entertainment and created by Polyphony Digital. Gran Turismo 7 was released on March 4, 2022, for PS5 and PS4.
Gran Turismo 7 PS5 Review
As advertised, Gran Turismo 7’s main shtick is the realism of its driving mechanics. When done correctly, the game can give a good simulation of how drivers drive certain cars on the road. After all, each car has a different kind of feel to it, and if a driver knows what they’re doing, they can do a lot of cool things.
For example, it’s usually a good idea to hit the brakes when nearing a particularly sharp turn. However, depending on the car the player’s using, the timing of using the brakes is paramount to not crash. In addition to this, the changing gear shifts, and other miscellaneous things that players need to keep an eye on when driving are all there. All in all, if you’re looking for a realistic driving simulator, you can’t get any more real than Gran Turismo 7.
Precision Of Steering
In Gran Turismo 7, steering is always dependent on the car and the specs it has. After all, if your car isn’t calibrated properly, doesn’t have good suspension, or some other things, then steering will become difficult. However, if done properly, then the player will have a smooth time on the various racetracks in the game. To do this, customization needs to be done, and Gran Turismo 7’s Customization is top-notch.
When it comes to customizing cars, it can’t get any better than Gran Turismo 7. The game’s car customization has a lot of things to tinker and prod for players to experiment with. Those not familiar with the sheer amount of things players can customize on their car might be a bit overwhelmed. However, the game does offer a few tidbits of information for new players to start on their road to customizing cars.
Overall, if you’re looking to do some custom work to get the best out of a ride, then Gran Turismo 7 has the player covered.
Collision and Car Damage
In terms of collision and car damage, Gran Turismo 7 is pretty standard. If the player collides with enemies, the car is certain to get scratches and other shenanigans on the body. Once this happens, players need to clean and maintain their car, which is done on the GT Auto Shop. A lot of the car maintenance stuff would be here. It’s pretty cool to see the car the players working on sparkle and shine into a beauty, no matter the model.
In the preview article for Gran Turismo 7, we’ve said that it’s an amazing-looking game, in the cutscenes. This is because Ray Tracing, which was advertised heavily by Sony, is only available on Cutscenes and replays. This hampered the game graphically and overall, if the player races in the game, it doesn’t look as good as a current-gen game should.
When playing on the PS4 Pro, the game runs a-OK, but it’ll affect the frame rate if the player wants to go the 4K route. The PS5 on the other hand can support Native 4K if the player’s TV can handle it. As of right now, 4K 120fps is still far ahead of Gran Turismo 7, so players need to be satisfied on 4K 60fps for now. Lighting-wise, the game looks good, with great lighting on various areas to emphasize the tracks. However, it could’ve been better if Ray Tracing was enabled during races as well.
Next on the list are the various racetracks available on Gran Turismo 7. As already stated, a few of the old reliable tracks make a triumphant return to the newest installment. Trial Mountain makes a return as well as Deep Forest Raceway and High-Speed Ring. These racetracks then have several variants with different races for each one that gives different amounts of Credit, the game’s currency.
We’ve already made a list of the various tracks that made an appearance on Gran Turismo 7 in our preview article, so simply go there for a list of the racetracks in question. Hopefully, though, Gran Turismo 7 will add in new and other returning racetracks in future patches or perhaps even DLCs.
Race Track Design
In terms of race tracks, Gran Turismo 7 took the realism route and it shows massively. Most of Gran Turismo 7’s racetracks take a lot of inspiration from real-life racetracks all around the world. This is great as the layouts of these racetracks are awesome to take a ride on. However, the lack of Ray Tracing on races hampers how the race tracks look when the player is riding them.
Gran Turismo 7 PS5/PS4 Cars And How to Get Most Of Them
As we’ve stated in the Preview article, Gran Turismo 7 has around 252 cars. This is doubled to around 425 now. However, one really sad thing is the fact that the game doesn’t have a lot of cars after 2017, which is a huge sign that something’s wrong. Perhaps Polyphony Digital will add more recent cars to the game during its lifetime, but we don’t know yet.
Anyhow, here’s 10 of the more notable cars that players can drive on Gran Turismo 7:
- Porsche VGT
- SRT Tomahawk VGT
- Jaguar VGT Roadster
- FXX K ‘14
- Jaguar VGT Coupe
- Porsche VGT
- SRT Tomahawk GTS-R VGT
- McLaren VGT
- Bugatti VGT
- SRT Tomahawk X VGT
Another thing to take note though is that a lot of the best cars in Gran Turismo 7 are locked behind Million Credit price tags in the game’s store. Combine this with the NERFs to credit rewards on certain races and you have a problem with the Free-to-Play players. However, we’ll talk more about those in the issues section of the article.
Gran Turismo 7 has several new and returning game modes available for players to enjoy. We’re here to talk about them and the pros and cons of these game modes:
Pretty much what it means on the tin, the License Tests are a staple of Gran Turismo game modes and one of its most enduring. License Tests are tests that will put players on a skill check as well as a method of teaching new players essential skills. There are 5 of them currently available and each is hard in its way. Of course, there are rewards for completing these tests, and here’s what they’ll give the player when completed:
- National B License: Renault Clio RS220 Trophy ’16 (Bronze), Mitsubishi GTO Twin Turbo ’91 (Gold)
- National A License: Volkswagen Scirocco R ’10 (Bronze), Subaru BRZ STI Sport ’18 (Gold)
- International B License (Bronze): Toyota GR Supra Race Car Gr.4 ’19 (Bronze), Porsche Taycan Turbo S ’19 (Gold)
- International A License: Toyota 86 Gr.B Rally Car, (Bronze), Alpine A110 (Gold)
- Super License: Audi R8 LMS Evo ’19 (Bronze), Gran Turismo Red Bull X2019 Competition (Gold)
In addition to these rewards, completing these license tests will also unlock new races for the player to race on. Thus, getting at least Bronze on all 5 license tests is a must if the player wants to race on all the races in Gran Turismo 7.
Next on the list is Driving Missions, which puts the player on a specific ride and is tasked to do specific missions. These can vary, though a few may involve knocking down cones or doing corners tightly while overtaking cars in front of the player. Once completed, players will get a score of either Bronze, Silver, or Gold medals, each with their rewards.
The Silver Medals aren’t that interesting rewards-wise, but the Bronze and Gold medals are the place to be. Getting these medals awards the player a new car. Do note that obtaining the Gold Medal on the player’s first run with the mission will allow them to get rewards on the Bronze and Silver medals as well.
Anyhow, here are the missions that players can go through as well as their Bronze and Gold medal rewards. Do note though that to unlock the missions the player needs to complete GT Café Menu Book #12. After that, the first of the missions will be unlocked, and further missions will be revealed by increasing the player’s Collector Level.
Anyhow, here are the missions in question and what players can unlock once they get bronze or gold with said missions:
- The Magic Mountain: Volkswagen Sambabus Type 2 ’62 (Bronze), Jeep Willys MB ’45 (Gold)
- Beyond The Horizon: Honda Civic (FK8) Type R Limited Edition ’20 (Bronze), Mazda RX-7 (FC) GT-X ’90 (Gold)
- Rolling Stone: Ford Mustang Gr.4 (Bronze), Chevrolet Corvette Gr.3 (Gold)
- Moby Dick: Toyota 86 Gr.4 (Bronze), Eckert’s Rod & Custom Mach Forty ’12 (Gold)
- Gone With The Wind: Dodge Viper Gr.4 (Bronze), Gran Turismo F1500T-A (Gold)
- The Sun Also Rises: Subaru Falken Tires/Turn 14 Distribution BRZ ’17(Bronze), Chaparral 2J ’70 (Gold)
Next on the list is Gran Turismo 7’s campaign mode, which isn’t a campaign as it is a tour of Gran Turismo 7’s gameplay. The game will set the player on the Café, which is where most of the campaign will be as they move their way up the Gran Turismo game. Overall, it’s a more relaxing campaign compared to other racing games, which is great for those that just want to learn about cars in general.
Next on the list is Drift Trials, which helps players learn how to drift in Gran Turismo 7. It’s pretty much a tutorial about how to do drifts in the game, although the player does need the necessary car and parts to do it. Other than that, It’s one of the best ways to learn how to drift with the game’s controls, so doing Drift Trial runs is a staple. It’s also one of the only game modes that won’t say goodbye if the servers are on maintenance, which is a plus for it.
Next is Music Rally, which is Time Trials while listening to music. This game mode puts the player in a car while a music track is playing. Their job is to get as much distance as they can before the song ends. In addition to the music track, there’s a countdown that players need to fight against. If this countdown reaches 0, the Music Rally ends and whatever score you have is the score you get for the trial. Straightforward enough.
Next are Single Races, which puts players on an empty racetrack and just allows them to go wild. Think of Single Race as a way to practice specific racetracks without the threat of any timers or other racers getting in the way. If the player is just looking to practice their turns and timings in a relaxed manner, then Single Races are great for it. In addition to this, it’s also one of the only game modes that are available when the Gran Turismo 7 servers are offline.
Last on the list is the Time Trials, which is Music Rally without the countdown or the music. Players simply need to beat the time shown on the screen to get gold medals. Of course, getting the lowest times requires incredible skill from the players. So precision on turns, knowing when to brake, and more are needed in this Game Mode if the player wants Gold. It’s also available when servers are offline, so there’s that going for it.
Gran Turismo 7 PS5 And PS4 Online Compatibility & Features
First off, we need to start with something that needs to be said. Almost all of Gran Turismo 7’s gameplay is online. Players can’t play the campaign, and most of the game modes if they don’t have a stable internet connection, which is a real shame.
This came as a really big problem when Gran Turismo 7’s servers went on almost 2-day maintenance, which completely wrecked the game in general. Around 80 to 90% of Gran Turismo 7 couldn’t be played at all. Because it’s ‘Always Online’ policy straight up locked players from the majority of the game modes offered by Gran Turismo 7.
Overall, the jump to always online seems to be a bit on the really bad side for Gran Turismo 7. It leaves a really big hole where players can’t play the game when maintenance drop. In addition to being an annoyance to players with suboptimal internet speeds.
Gran Turismo 7 PS5 And PS4 Issues
It’s not in question that Gran Turismo 7 has a lot of good in it. However, the game also has several issues that hamper the game’s user experience as well as its overall feel and gameplay. The always-online thing we’ve already talked about and the ramifications and consequences of such a decision were shown above. However, another thing we’ll have to discuss is the game’s Cr reduction on certain races.
The Infamous Race Rewards NERF
For one, the reduction to race rewards only applied to certain races. Specifically, those that can be done in quick succession because they take the least amount of time to race through. Races like the Dirt Champions Trio on Sardegna Windmills, Fisherman’s Ranch, and Colorado Springs had their rewards cut by half. From the 60K Cr paycheck to around 30 to 40K. Meanwhile, some of the longer races got their rewards boosted, but due to the length of time it takes to race these tracks, they’re practically useless.
These changes were made specifically to make sure the players will be forced to buy the Cr packs to get the cars they want. Some of the more expensive cars in the store cost around 10 to 20 million Cr each, which, when combined with the reduced rewards, means that they’ll take a long time to grind out by running races. There are even more expensive cars than the 20 million Cr as well, but we digress.
How Much Do Players Need To Grind?
As an example, the Sardegna Windmills Dirt Champions Trio race used to give 65K Cr. This is without any bonuses, meaning the base amount the players will get before the Cr reduction. The race can be finished in 5, give or take 10 minutes, meaning the player can do around 6 of these races every hour. If they want to get 20 Million Cr for a really expensive car, they need to spend 51 to 52 hours of pure grinding. For a single car.
Of course, this is if the game just gives the player the minimum rewards without any bonuses. However, the Cr reduction to this track changed the minimum reward from 65K to 40K. Now, the players need to spend almost 84 hours grinding. If they do 10 hour runs every day, that means they need to do this race for 9 days straight.
A week and change for a 20 Million Cr car. And that’s just 20 Million, there are more expensive cars in the shop. Combine this with cars that come on a rotational basis and will be removed from the shop for an uncertain amount of time? And FOMO will settle in and entice players to buy Cr packs. It’s not a good look. This would pretty much force a few players to go the microtransactions route, paying more than the $70 price that the game already charges to buy it.
Gran Turismo PS5 VS Other Racing Sim Games
Now that we’ve talked about Gran Turismo 7 for the PS5, let’s talk about other racing games. We’ll start with Forza Horizon 5, followed by TrackMania 2020, and lastly, Need for Speed Heat.
Forza Horizon 5
First off, we need to talk about Forza Horizon 5, Gran Turismo 7’s main competitor.
Forza 5’s pretty much one of the best racing games out there right now and it shows. The graphics are incredible, the game has an actual campaign and story, and it’s just great in terms of gameplay. If Gran Turismo 7’s main attraction is the realism of it all, then Forza’s is on how much fun the players will have in racing around Mexico.
The races are also pretty cool, and the addition of Ray Tracing on the races can lead to some gorgeous imagery fit for photo shenanigans. The fact that the game is an open-world racing game also adds to this feat. Combine this with solid mechanics, a robust customization mode, and just being straight fun, and you have a good time in Forza 5.
Next on the list is TrackMania 2020, a subscription-based racing game that’s interesting in the fact that the base game is free. First off, the main appeal of TrackMania has always been the game’s Track Editor, which allows players to create their racetracks. Well, in TrackMania 2020, players can race on the racetracks created by players, but they won’t have access to the Track Editor.
To gain access to it, players need to pay a yearly subscription of $10. Which, if we’re being honest here, isn’t much in the grand scheme of things. It’ll add up, sure, but a $10 yearly fee to access TrackMania 2020’s Track Editor would be considered a pretty sweet deal for some. There’s also a yearly $30 Club Access for those that want to join clubs as well as getting access to things like skin customization, special campaigns, et cetera. However, for those that want to just enjoy TrackMania, the $10 Standard Access is good enough. Still, even if the player pays no money, $10, or $30, TrackMania’s gameplay shines through.
Need for Speed Heat
Last but not least is Need for Speed Heat, which is surprisingly a return to form from previous Need for Speed flops. The game is set in Palm City, and the player is, of course, a street racer there. The city itself looks pretty great, if a bit lifeless due to the lack of cars. However, the main draw of Need for Speed has always been Customization and its races.
When it comes to car customization, Need for Speed Heat has a lot to offer. There’s a metric ton of cool decals, car parts, and various upgrades for players to add to their various rides. In addition to this, the game has a great progression system that emphasizes the player’s Heat Level. The higher the Heat, the more access they have to cooler stuff. However, gaining Heat means that the player needs to contend with the cops, and that’s where a lot of the game’s awesomeness comes in.
For one, the cops in the game can come at any time during a race and they’re relentless. They’ll try to stop the race by any means necessary, and if the player’s care is wrecked by the end of it, they don’t care. Their main purpose is to add a sense of desperation to the player as they need to escape in addition to finishing in the first place. After the race concludes, the player has to escape the cops, or else they’ll lose not only Heat but Cash.
Overall, Need for Speed Heat is a pretty great return to form, and it’s one of the more fun racing games out there. It has its flaws and a few things that fans hold in contention, but objectively speaking, the game is pretty dope.
Is Gran Turismo 7 For The PS5 The Best Racing Sim Game Today?
Gran Turismo 7 for the PS5 is one of the best racing sim games ever made today, that’s not in question. However, the game is ruined due to excessive microtransactions. The fact that the game’s progression to newer, better cars was stymied to shoehorn in the ability to buy currency to fast track towards better cars is a bit of an annoyance to longtime fans.
In addition to this, the game also doesn’t have a lot of new cars after 2017, which annoyed quite a bit of the game’s fans. Combine this with the above pet peeve and the fact that the game is on an always-online game experience and you have a lot of negative user reviews.