Being auto focused at Privateer Garage means the game I’m most interesting in with the new PlayStation 5 is undoubtedly Gran Turismo 7. Sure, there are some other incredible titles coming out which the majority of gamers will be more interested in like Horizon Forbidden West, Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War, and Godfall. Cyberpunk 2077 looks pretty awesome. But it’s that epic driving game which promises many hours tinkering, sliding, crashing, winning, and a whole bunch more.
In the last few editions, Gran Turismo has gone off piste a little from its original formula by focusing more on building a platform for competitive racing. This ultimately lead to the creation of the Gran Turismo Academy where gamers were given the chance to compete with other gamers for a real world racing contract.
That focus has pulled away from two key aspects which made the original game a worldwide hit. Firstly, the focus on modifying your car and taking those improvements onto road or circuits to gain points to modifying further or purchase a new car. Building your car, your way is an exciting prospect with an almost endless amount of fun.
Secondly is the focus on attaining rare road-going metal. Race cars are great, but we are so detached from many of them, with such little connection to consumer cars. Unless you follow each series these GT-class monsters compete in, it’s hard to understand why they’re special until you start digging into the details. But if you did want to race there’s still going to be opportunities with the FIA Championships and Sport mode.
When playing the original, with so many of the 1990s Japanese hero cars out of reach (which they were even at the time of the original Gran Turismo launch in 1998) it was addictive to build your garage with every possible variant of the Honda NSX, Nissan GT-R, or Mazda RX-7.
The new Playstation 5 promises a lot of immersion, reverting back to a mapped world where certain tasks and functions are carried out. Much has been made of the ray tracing with the expectation that the detail of the cars and environment will be much higher. Sony have stated support for 4K and up to 120fps which means smoother movement on screen and less ghosting but whether or not Gran Turismo 7 is developed to handle such a high frame rate remains to be seen.
A screen capture of the demo has also shown that classic tracks like Trial Mountain will be making a return, a further nod to previous incarnations. Hopefully many more of the originals will become available as time goes on.
The speed of which you’ll be able to select circuits, cars, and start driving is said to be much improved thanks to the new architecture and SSD. Anticipation of playing a circuit while it loads was never positive—we just want to select and go!
Early gaming reports on the PlayStation 5 suggest the amount of space on the SSD is somewhat limited especially when playing the more demanding open world games which are now so rich in detail. Given the level detail engineered into Gran Turismo 7 it would most likely chew up a bit of space on the SSD given the amount of customisation they are promising.
Sony’s new controller is said to provide next level haptic feedback with brake and throttle pedal weights simulated, bumps in the road, and vibrations from ABS although most dedicated players will opt for a wheel and pedal rig or setup. I’m personally hoping some split screen play will be part of the game.
Sound hasn’t always been Gran Turismo’s forte, but with 3D sound at least the spacial aspect of the environment is simulated. Perhaps the new wireless headsets will capture the sound better than a TV or screen can pump out. Better still, grab yourself some external speakers to really piss off the neighbours.
Delays on release often result in positive outcomes—nobody wants a buggy, half baked game especially considering the high profile nature of Gran Turismo 7. Most of the release dates banded around are just guesses, but at time of writing it was “sometime early 2021”. I can’t wait to see it come to life.
Visit the Gran Turismo website