Having been initially revealed in June 2020 and launching in what will be the series’ 25th anniversary, Gran Turismo 7 is nearly here after a 2021 PlayStation Showcase information dump.
Following on from GT Sport, GT7 will be an expansive racing game that builds upon Polyphony Digital’s popular PS4 release. It’s also released rather soon. So, without further ado, let’s dig into the trailer, screenshots and details released so far to provide you with the main highlights.
Gran Turismo 7 will be released on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4. Originally thought to be just on the newer console, now those who have not been able to get hold of a PS5 will also have a brand-new Sony-exclusive in their hands soon.
All footage released so far has only been captured on PS5 so far, we’ll have more about the PS4 version as we near the release.
The release date for Gran Turismo 7 is 4th March 2021.
Typical, you wait four years for a new Gran Turismo and then all of a sudden it feels like a mad rush on the run-up to launch. This is far earlier in the year than many had anticipated.
Variable time of day and weather conditions
Something that many fans have been asking for some time, a dynamic weather system is within Gran Turismo 7. Rejoice!
Wet weather was on certain tracks with GT Sport, but the conditions were set. Now they will change through an event.
From the game trailer and some screenshots released by Sony, we can see the tight Japanese track of Tsukuba and the Circuit de la Sarthe located in Le Mans, France both driven in the rain. In the case of the latter, in the rain and at night simultaneously too.
The screenshots show both tracks at various different stages of weather progression. The static shot of Tsukuba’s Turn 7 shows it in the rain, then in the bright sunshine, but crucially an in-between overcast stage where there appears to be a dry racing line appearing.
Likewise, there are three images of Circuit de la Sarthe across the start/finish straight and even in the dry, sunny, image, there’s still a hint of dampness.
Oh… And then there’s the small matter of the Nordschleife, also featured during the new trailer on a wet German evening. Nailing a clean lap is going to be an exceedingly rewarding challenge.
This looks to be a significant step forward for the GT franchise, however, we do not know if this is on selected venues or all. We can inform you that the Polyphony Digital team used academic databases of NASA for meteorological observation, because of course they did. This is the company that accurately recreated the moon in Gran Turismo 6.
The Pokémon of car games
One of the appeals of previous GT games has been the addictive nature of purchasing vehicles. This, thankfully, returns in the seventh numbered instalment.
It’s not in the trailer, but an official image has revealed the Used Car Dealership. In previous GT titles, this would update on a daily basis, so not all cars may be available to you upon each visit, with the roster cycling through and some cars being harder to find than others.
On top of this, the Gran Turismo Café – yes, that’s a thing apparently – will provide a metagame where you must collect cars from a set menu. Cheers, Luca. In the example, the aim is to buy three compact cars, which we assume would be from the early stages of the game.
We also see in the footage that the rare, collectable and historic cars are within a ‘Brighton Historics’ storage location, akin to a real-life car collector business or auction house.
This is completely different to GT Sport, where you would simply browse all cars in the Brand Central and should provide a more engaging progression through the varied vehicle types. (EOP1)
Licences are back
That famous countdown noise. Being asked to brake within a box. Missing out on the gold medal by one-thousandth of a second.
Strap in, the frustration is about to return. There’s no footage of this yet, but a series of entry-level tasks are shown within a menu graphic.
From this image we can see there will be five licences to acquire: National B, National A, International B, International A and a Super Licence. Bring it on.
Multiple progression threads
Alongside the Café for car collecting and the return of licence tests, these look to be combined with the level progression of GT Sport. On paper, it provides the best of both worlds.
At the top of the UI-based images, you can see an overall level, for example, 7. Next to this is how many experience points you need to progress to the next level. In GT Sport, the level cap was 50 and as someone who has played it nearly every week since launch, I’m still only on 47 – the grind is real.
Having the experience points next to the level is simpler than before, as it used to be hidden with a menu.
You can also see that the Daily Workout returns. Log into the game, complete 26.21 miles of driving in any game mode each day and you will receive a free, random car.
Combining experience points, levels and daily workouts with the licences, car collection and Menu Books should mean you are never left without something to aim for.
This is then laced within an all-new hub, which is a detailed 3D map of a seemingly fictional coastal town that also features a day/night cycle.
Finding your inner artist
A detailed photo mode has been a staple of the Gran Turismo series since the fourth iteration, released in 2004 – more about that can be found within our History of GT video.
The UI looks to have seen a series of small tweaks in the seventh game, but the big addition at this stage is the number of scapes included.
Scapes are scenic locations that you can place a car within and photograph in-game. On one menu screen, it states 2,671 scapes are available in far-flung locations such as Tahiti, Morocco and Madagascar. That’s a 150 per cent increase in volume when compared to GT Sport.
The hit Livery Editor also returns, allowing you to create and share your own paint schemes. The system is already very robust allowing you to search for and download user-generated icons and logos, for example.
There are now even more options, providing greater flexibility. In the example video and accompanying screenshots, a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 is modified. Options include the ability to alter windshield banners, wing mirrors, windows and decal texture plus the movement and magnification options look to enable precise application.
GT Auto is another feature returning from GTs of years past, and that means vehicle tuning. You’ll be able to purchase turbochargers, brakes, upgraded suspension and weight reduction, alongside a slew of visual items such as spoilers and wheel rims.
The parts dealer ‘Understeer Engineering’ – love that fictional name – offers four levels of performance parts: Sports, Club Sports, Semi-racing, Racing and Extreme. It’s what’s under the Extreme tab that’s of the most interest to us, could it be a full racing transformation for some cars?
It’s unclear at this stage if all cars will have visual customisation parts to purchase, however, but the example Honda NSX has been seriously upgraded and there’s even a ‘wide-body’ option. The classic 50 credit car wash also makes a return. I hope the music is suitably bizarre.
Classic tracks and cars
Every Gran Turismo fan will be delighted to hear that we have plenty of GT greats returning to both the car and track rosters.
Let’s start with the tracks. The big reveal here is the return of High Speed Ring, which has been a series staple since the very first Gran Turismo game. A relatively simple layout, there’s a sweeping banked corner to start the lap, and a sharper banked turn to end the lap, with four corners in the middle.
In GT7, this has been thoroughly updated since its last appearance in GT6, with a giant grandstand around the final corner, a visually spectacular, a dam in the infield and new green asphalt run-off.
Trial Mountain makes another appearance, following its 2020 reveal too. It appears that the new version of this classic track has seen some changes made to the final chicane. It doesn’t look quite as fun in a hot lap situation at first glance, but will likely provide better overtaking opportunities. I mean they can’t exactly claim it was changed for safety reasons…
Interestingly, no new tracks for the series have been shown at this stage, so we will have to keep our ears on the ground for more news on that front.
As for the cars, that TOM’s Toyota Supra appearing in the transporter sent shivers down the spines of every original Gran Turismo fan. We also see the return of the 1998 Mercedes CLK-LM GT1 that originally stole the hearts of Gran Turismo 4 players. Eagle-eyed viewers may have also caught a glimpse of the DTM Alfa Romeo 155 that first appeared in Gran Turismo 2.
As for new cars, or I guess you could say future cars, the Vision GT Lamborghini, Jaguar Vision Gran Turismo SV and the Porsche 917 Living Legend concept have been promised for some time now, so it was a relief that all three featured heavily in the GT7 trailer. It’s likely there will plenty more new cars to sink your teeth into, as well as further Gran Turismo classics, all revealed in due course.
So, there is a brief look into the world of Gran Turismo 7. It certainly feels like Polyphony Digital is standing by its words from the original announcement trailer in 2020, “Gran Turismo is, well and truly, back”. Modern technological capabilities mixed with classic and universally revered content and features. That is a cocktail I would order, and I can’t wait to taste the nostalgia.
What do you lot think of GT7 so far? Does it look like the game you have been waiting for, or will you be sticking with GT Sport? Let us know in the comments below.