Sony / Polyphony Digital

Polyphony Digital’s premier PlayStation console racing simulator is approaching its 25th anniversary this year, and the next generation is just around the corner, with the Gran Turismo 7 crossing the finish line on March 4.

Well, enough racing clichés, because although serious circuit racing is still the heart and soul of the Gran Turismo experience, the GT7 has so much more. Kazunori Yamauchi, the producer of the series, describes the title as a “car life simulator” or sandbox where players can experience every aspect of car culture.

After losing the experience to the bone for competing online Gran Turismo Sport in 2017, the GT7 seems to be back in shape, which reminds me a lot of what I consider to be the top of the series, the Gran Turismo 4, far behind the PS2. The GT7 promises the most accurate simulation of racing in the history of the series, but also aims to be a center for studying the history and culture of cars and appreciating both their physical and mechanical beauty.

“Today, you will no longer find so many people talking about car culture; less people talk about the beauty of cars or focus on the fun of driving, “Yamauchi said during a preview of the new title.

“That’s why [Gran Turismo 7’s] The theme is to pass on the culture and charm of cars – the most fantastic gadget of humanity born in the 20th century – to a new generation of people, “he said. how much fun it is to drive, own or tune. This is the ultimate goal of Gran Turismo 7. “

Cars and courses

The GT7 will include more than 400 cars launched by more than 50 brands from around the world. Players will acquire these cars with credits earned from races, victories and completing various challenges. Cars newer than the 2001 model year are purchased from Brand Central, where you will also find a museum dedicated to researching the history of each carmaker with a photographic timeline. There is also a center for used car dealers, which includes a list of cars from before 2001. As in real life, this range will be updated and adjusted daily to recreate the thrill of finding a gemstone deal. Finally, there is the legendary car dealer, where expensive but iconic and historic cars like the ’65 Aston Martin DB5 or the Porsche 1970 917K race car are revered and sold for a fortune.

At launch, GT7 will also include 34 real songs and fantasy schemes from previous GT games with a total of about 97 unique course configurations. During the Gran Turismo Cup campaign, players will experience around 100 circuit races for different vehicle classes – and that’s before you include unique mission races, GT licensing events, time trials, drift trials, car meetings and all sorts of weird personalized events. you can remember.

After its release, Polyphony Digital promises more songs and cars will be added through future online updates.

The world of Gran Turismo

The World Map menu structure returns to Gran Turismo 7, giving players a bird’s eye view of the GT world. The car purchase hubs, the licensing center, the garage, the tuning center and others are presented as buildings that the player can visit to gain access to the various modes and activities that the game offers.

A new location for GT7 is the cafe, which is a place where you can hang out and learn about the history of automotive culture, legendary cars and automotive design. In Cafe, players will find more than 30 menu missions – such as bringing together three specific generations of Porsche 911 – that help deepen their understanding of different angles of automotive culture and, along with GT Cup circuit races, serve as the backbone of the campaign mode. on the GT7. The cafe is also the place where you can listen to audio interviews with the real designers of legendary cars.

The world map menu we last saw on the Gran Turismo 4 goes back to the GT7.

Sony / Polyphony Digital

Updated physics, weather and haptics

The tires, suspension, aerodynamics and other driving physics have been redesigned for the most accurate vehicle simulation in the series’ 25-year history. Part of the exact simulation of a car is the exact simulation of the environment through which it travels, which is why the GT7 has a major overhaul of the engine for time and aerodynamics. The weather will change and move dynamically during each race. On a big track like the Nürburgring it can rain in one part of the track and sunny in another while the clouds move in the virtual sky. And with the change of weather, the humidity of the road changes, as puddles form in realistic places on the track and the wet asphalt dries faster on the race track, while the cars pass again and again.

Players will be able to feel how the tire meets the road thanks to the haptic of the DualSense controller on the PlayStation 5. In addition to simulating engine vibration and tire slippage, haptic triggers are able to offer a difference in resistance between accelerator and brake pedals and even recreate the pulse of the anti-lock brakes. Yamauchi says the DualSense controller will feel like a steering wheel in the player’s hands – although if it’s all the same, I’ll probably stick to a real racing bike and pedals that will also be supported.

Setup simulation and visual customization

The effect of the updated simulation engine can be seen even before players take to the track in the new vehicle setup and customization menu. Previous titles (and most other racing simulators) have calculated vehicle performance based on weight, power and traction to get performance points, a number that describes how fast a car is and how it compares to others. But that number was largely static, and it really only changed when you changed a part, such as changing tire compounds.

The result of the performance points of each vehicle is calculated in real time by making adjustments and adjustments to the tires, engine and suspension.

Sony / Polyphony Digital

Gran Turismo 7 calculates PP based on both the selected parts and the settings or tuning of these parts. There are over 60 types of parts for each car that affect performance – from tires to swinging rods to brakes and cams – almost all of which can be adjusted and adjusted after installation. So adjusting wheel tilt, tire pressure, gear ratios or shock absorber settings will affect the car’s PP – which is calculated in near real time in the Tuning menu – creating what appears to be a fun meta game of fine-tuning. driving. More accurate PP calculations also mean that tuned vehicles will be better matched during a racing game.

Visually, players can also make their trip unique with over 650 aero parts, 130 wheels, custom cages and extensive body kits. All in all, there are thousands of custom parts to choose from.

There is also an updated livery editor with over 1200 measured paint colors with exact names for each car manufacturer. Looking for the right innocent blue mica from the 10th anniversary of the Mazda MX-5? It’s inside, ready to apply to any car. The number of forms of liveries that can be applied to a vehicle has also been increased and the GT7 also allows players to put stickers on the side windows of the vehicle, which will make a copy of race and drift liveries more accurate.

Sound and color

Sony and Polyphony Digital didn’t say much about the GT7’s performance on the PlayStation 4, but boasted that there would be two graphics modes to choose from on the more powerful PS5. Frame Rate mode emphasizes high frames per second for smooth racing and racing repetitions, providing 4K graphics at 60 frames per second. Ray Tracing mode boasts the highest quality graphics the console is capable of. Note that beam tracking mode applies beam tracking technology only to repeats races, static 3D stages where vehicle models can be carefully inspected, and imaging in photos but not real-time races. .

Both modes look amazing in the preview shots they showed me. As a player who tends to drive uncompetitively, I think I prefer to improve the accuracy of the beam tracking mode. However, the difference is subtle, even in races where beam tracing is not applied, but other graphic tricks and settings – such as improved motion blur – are still there.

Traced beam graphics can be applied to races, photo modes and static 3D vehicle models, complemented by detailed interiors.

Sony / Polyphony Digital

An updated 3D spatial audio engine promises to bring the sound design to the next generation with accurate simulation of the reflection of sound from the environment and material, obstacles and absorption for each tire, engine and popping exhaust on the track. The result is the virtual equivalent of 16-channel audio, which Yamauchi says is most effectively experienced binaurally with a good set of headphones.

Speaking of sounds, the GT7 includes over 300 music tracks spanning many genres from jazz and hip-hop to electro and salon. I have always enjoyed the unique remixes found in the Gran Turismo soundtracks and I hope there will be some gems for this generation. GT7 brings music even more to the fore with the new New Music Replay and Music Rally modes. The first is a continuation of the video replays of the game, but with cuts and transitions that happen with the music.

The latter, Music Rally, is a game mode in which the pace of driving is set to music, not full speed. Players start the cruise with a certain number of strokes, which decrease with each rhythm of the song and are replenished by hitting certain points and doors of the course. Winning means focusing on the driving line, the pace of the cruise and the music to get to the end of the song.

If you liked the GT licensing system and driver training events, they’re back!

Sony / Polyphony Digital

Cycling competitions

Fans of the sofa race will be happy to learn that the GT7 has a split-screen mode for two players to play locally with family or friends. Players can also create foyers and meeting places for daily online competitions and cruises. For more serious and competitive races, there is a sports mode that basically includes the entire Gran Turismo Sport – with its ranked races, weekly championships and daily challenges and reputation system – in the new game.

Gran Turismo 7 hits the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on March 4 for $ 60 or $ 70, respectively, or $ 90 for the Digital Deluxe Edition. Pre-orders are already openpreliminary withdrawals are expected to begin before launch on 24 February.