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- Gran Turismo 7 will be released for PlayStation 5 ($70) and PS4 ($60) on March 4.
- The game features more than 420 cars and 90 tracks, and supports both split-screen and online play.
- It’s the first entry in Sony’s exclusive racing franchise since 2017, and a great return to form.
Gran Turismo 7 brings Sony’s flagship racing game to PlayStation 5 for the first time and returns to the core elements that have made the series a success for 25 years. It will be released on March 4 for both PS5 and PlayStation 4; the PS5 version costs $70 while PS4 copies cost $60.
While I’m not a dedicated fan of racing games, the visuals, tight controls, and simple gameplay loop of Gran Turismo 7 got me hooked as soon as I started playing. Instead of being overwhelming with dozens of cars and modes, the game eases you into a steady rhythm of racing, tweaking your car, and admiring the slick presentation with replays and practice courses.
Gran Turismo 7 revives Sony’s exclusive series after 5 years.
In many ways, Gran Turismo 7 represents a return to form for the franchise. It’s the first game in the series since 2017’s Gran Turismo Sport. That earlier entry received a mixed reception for its focus on competitive online play and the decision to cut hundreds of cars that were available in Gran Turismo 6.
As the first Gran Turismo on PS5 and a Sony exclusive, Gran Turismo 7 also serves as an impressive benchmark for what to expect from Sony’s new console in terms of graphical performance in future games.
Gran Turismo 7 features more than 420 cars and 90 race tracks for players to enjoy, with a traditional single player campaign that lets you unlock cars and tracks through a series of world tour races. Each track and car is beautifully rendered by the game’s graphical engine, with incredibly accurate models and detailed environmental effects like reflections and weather.
Gran Turismo 7 feels more like a classic racing sim than Forza Horizon 5 and other competitors.
Other racing games, like the Xbox-exclusive Forza Horizon 5, have embraced variety in the genre with off-road driving, exploration, cinematic stories, and a bunch of game modes. Gran Turismo 7 just focuses on regular races and “license” practice courses designed to improve your in-game driving skills.
While games like Forza and Need for Speed allow for more forgiving, arcade-inspired driving (including Forza’s rewind button), cars in Gran Turismo 7 feel like they obey the laws of physics and don’t drift around turns with the same sort of ease.
It might sound like less fun at first, but even as a casual fan of racing games I appreciate the straight-forward approach of Gran Turismo 7 when compared to the bombastic stunts and destructible environments of Forza Horizon 5. Gradually unlocking cars in Gran Turismo 7 and upgrading a favorite with my limited reward money feels more meaningful than hopping between dozens of different vehicles in Forza.
The game’s focus on real-world simulation also makes the detailed customizations you can add to cars feel more impactful. Along with all the usual cosmetic adjustments, shifting weight around a car’s frame or adjusting the height of your suspension will change the way it handles turns and accelerates. Gran Turismo 7 does a great job improving on the customization options available in Gran Turismo Sport and brings them more in-line with competitors like Forza.
The game really makes the most of the PlayStation 5 hardware.
The PlayStation 5 version of Gran Turismo 7 makes use of ray tracing, a technique that simulates rays of light within computer graphics, letting players view their race replays with enhanced reflections and other effects. Loading times are also drastically improved from earlier Gran Turismo titles, which suffered from lengthy wait times on less powerful machines. Races will load in just a few seconds after a fade to black, compared to minute-long wait times in Gran Turismo games on PS3 and PS4.
Visually, Gran Turismo 7 is one of the best looking racing games ever made. Some gamers might prefer the varied terrain and destructible environments of Forza Horizon 5, but Gran Turismo 7 shines with its vividly detailed car models and courses recreated from real-life race tracks.
Online and split-screen multiplayer options are available.
Gran Turismo 7 still offers split-screen for two players, a feature titles like Forza and Need for Speed have skipped in favor of online play only. While online is now more common for cooperative play, split-screen makes it easier to show off Gran Turismo 7 to friends who aren’t already fans of racing games.
Gran Turismo 7 also has online lobbies for up to 20 players, but there are significantly fewer modes to choose from than the competition. The game will also support crossplay for players on PS4 and PS5.
Unfortunately, Gran Turismo 7 requires an internet connection to access single player game modes like the campaign, limiting players to arcade mode when playing offline. While most gamers will likely leave their consoles connected to the internet for common updates anyway, this could be an issue in the future if there’s server downtime or a problem with PlayStation Network.
The bottom line
Whether you’re a casual gamer or a dedicated racing sim fan with your own wheel, Gran Turismo 7 delivers a deeply satisfying racing experience, especially on PlayStation 5. It’s another impressive exclusive from Sony and a release worthy of one of the most influential racing series of all time.
Video Game Reporter
Kevin Webb is a gaming reporter based from the New York City Insider Inc. office. He graduated from Morehouse College in 2013 and worked as an Assistant Editor with Darien Times and as a member of the Shoryuken content team prior to joining Business Insider in 2018.
Kevin has also been a competitive Street Fighter player since 2007 and will still take on all challengers.
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