In a true return to form, Gran Turismo 7 on PS4 and PS5 delivers an excellent single player-focused, highly customizable experience. The last time we had a Gran Turismo like this was on the PS3 nearly a decade ago, while the PS4 era only had the multiplayer-centered Gran Turismo Sport. So as fans of the series we’re very excited GT7 finally arrived and have some thoughts to share.
GT7 immediately feels familiar to anyone who’s been a Gran Turismo player at any point. It also celebrates the 25th anniversary of Gran Turismo. The series, developed by Polyphony Digital, began in 1997 on the original PlayStation and reached the peak of its popularity with regular releases on the PS2. The rate at which Gran Turismos launched slowed over the years, but GT7 is really a return to top performance.
After a short tutorial, you’re introduced to the world of Gran Turismo 7, which is an overhead map of locations. These include a used car dealership, the track center where most races are located, a brand center, upgrade shop, and of course the chilled-out café. However, Grant Turismo 7 isn't an open world game with free roam like Forza Horizon 5. You simply select a location and go there directly rather than manually drive there. All the driving is done on track. And we don’t mean to sound stereotypical, but GT7 has something the competition over at Xbox and PC lacks, and that’s the unique charm of Japanese productions. From classical music to sweet, not trying to be cool writing, GT7 brings something quite different from Forza Motorsport, Forza Horizon, GRID, and Need for Speed. And we’ve missed that something different.
The core of the game revolves around your career as a new Gran Turismo driver, and you can opt for a guided experience with menus from the café that have you collecting specific cars via winning races. Or you can go your own way. GT7 is quite flexible.
GT7 retains its series tagline of “The Real Driving Simulator” although that’s debatable, of course. Thanks to extremely customizable controls and difficulty settings, you can have an experience that’s very friendly and accommodating, with arcade-like controls and timid AI drivers. Or you can crank it up all the way with simulation controls and CPU opponents that will not give up an inch. If you choose to go the latter route, you may want to consider getting a steering wheel and pedal set to suit the heavy simulation feel GT7 can deliver. Otherwise, the DualSense works great.
Keep in mind that GT7 maintains the same approach to steering and handling used by its predecessors. Even on medium settings, cars are far less responsive and nimble than in other, more arcadey racers. You’re supposed to pay more attention and plan a little more in advance for every turn and corner, but once you get used to it, it’s all very rewarding.
With regards to graphics, GT7 looks good but not spectacular in our opinion. It’s about on par with Forza Motorsport 7, which released a while back. If you’re used to Forza titles, then you’ll quickly notice that cars in GT7 as per franchise rules show little to no physical damage no matter how badly you crash them into walls and other cars. We also have the overall impression that GT7 had to balance PS4 and PS5 versions without allowing the newer console to make full use of its much greater performance and power.
In terms of graphics modes, on PS5 you choose from prioritize frame rate and prioritize ray tracing. The ray tracing mode indeed looks very nice, with full 4K and intricate reflections as well as an overall bolder look, but it’s locked to 30Hz. The prioritize frame rate mode employs upscaled 4K and 60Hz. It continues to surprise us that machines as capable as the PS5 and Xbox Series X need compromises to reach 4K 60Hz in many titles, seeing as comparable PC hardware does so quite easily.
Still, GT7 looks very nice, and we recommend the frame rate mode, despite its lower detail settings. It’s a lot more responsive in this mode, and allows you to better enjoy the nice selection of tracks from around the world. Currently, there’s no 120Hz mode and it’s doubtful Polyphony Digital will add one in the near future.
As for cars, GT7 has a good roundup of over 400, which isn’t a lot next to the competition, but more than enough to get the job done very nicely. Also, GT7 retains the series’ close association with music, and the soundtrack is excellent. There’s the musical rally event to make sure you get the hint – it’s right at the beginning, in the tutorial. And as per usual, the soundtrack has classical music at its core, but includes entries from every musical genre imaginable.
While GT7 lacks any voice acting and doesn’t have a story to speak of, it makes up for this somewhat with a very well-curated museum located in the brand center. Leading car brands have dedicated museums that showcase their history in just the right amount of detail across a beautifully done slideshow. We really love this feature and have learned much from it, even if not every important event or car model is covered.
The best monitor for GT7 among the MOBIUZ range would be the EX3210U, which is native 4K. It also has excellent HDR, and GT7 offers superb HDR support and calibration. The EX3410R ultra wide is great for sim racing, but sadly the PS5 doesn’t support 3440 x 1440 and the game will default to 1920 x 1080. If you’re OK with that, then the wider aspect ratio and better viewing angles may be worth it.
As for projectors, the BenQ TK700 Gaming Projector is the one to choose for its native 4K 60Hz, which is perfect for GT7. Input lag in this setting is just over 16ms, and that’s not even noticeable.
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