Polyphony Digital may have managed to turn Gran Turismo Sport around into a legitimately good racing sim following its less-than-stellar launch, but series fans are still starved for a more traditional Gran Turismo experience. With Gran Turismo 7 just a few months away from launch, excitement surrounding the game has been ramping up, and recently, Sony gave series fans a lot more to go on, with several new details being released. As such, here, we’re going to go over some of the most important details that have been revealed for Gran Turismo 7 in the last few days.
Polyphony Digital has been pitching Gran Turismo 7 as a much more traditional GT experience since the moment they first announced it, so it’s no surprising that that’s the approach the game is taking with its campaign as well. Series producer and Polyphony Digital boss Kazunori Yamauchi says Gran Turismo 7’s campaign will “return to the very roots of the GT Campaign mode experience”, with the GT World Map, a plethora of locations, and a healthy selection of vehicles to drive.
Gran Turismo Sport’s limited roster of vehicles at launch was one of its most disappointing elements, but Gran Turismo 7 is looking to deliver a much more packed experience right off the bat. According to Yamauchi, Polyphony Digital has “clearly designed” Gran Turismo 7 as a “car collection” game, which means players can expect a large roster, and plenty of avenues to unlock more and more of it. Another crucial aspect of car collection will be GT Cafe, where tackling and completing various missions and races around the world with reward you with different prize cars. Car collection has always been a crucial part of the Gran Turismo experience, so it’s good to see it being emphasized so heavily in Gran Turismo 7.
The Livery Editor, introduced first in Gran Turismo Sport, is coming back in GT7, and is going to be a much more robust editing tool this time. While exact details on this are yet to be shared (there’s still a few months to go before the game launches, after all), we do know that Gran Turismo 7’s Livery Editor will have a revamped user interface, improved utility, and better accessibility options. GT Sport’s Livery Editor was already a solid and surprisingly expressive tool, so we’re curious to see how Polyphony Digital will expand upon it in GT7.
Scapes is one of those new features that won’t have any mechanical impact on the gameplay, but you know players will pour a ridiculous amount of time into. Scapes is, in essence, a really fancy photo mode. Players will be able to choose from over 2,500 locations across 43 countries as the backdrop of their photograph, and freely photograph any of the vehicles in the game. According to Polyphony Digital, you should expect photorealistic shots with HDR, panning shots, editing tools, and more. And of course, you will also be able to share any and all photos you take. It would be neat if the PS5 version of Gran Turismo 7 featured ray-tracing support specifically in Scapes, similar to how Forza Horizon 5’s Forzavista has ray-tracing on Xbox Series X/S- but Polyphony Digital and Sony haven’t mentioned anything about that as of yet.
It’s probably going to be a while before Polyphony Digital and Sony begin talking in detail about the tracks and circuits that’ll be available in Gran Turismo 7, but already, they have revealed that at least two tracks from previous games in the series will be making a comeback- Trial Mountain and High Speed Ring, both of which have appeared in basically every mainline Gran Turismo game. According to the developers, both circuits have been remade with greater detail and some tweaks to parts of the layout. They have stressed that they’ve brought back these circuits “with a level of detail and richness that matches the PS5 consoles’ power of expression”, so we’re curious to see how they’ll turn out.
Customization is one of the most crucial elements of any racing game, especially a driving simulator, so what can we expect from Gran Turismo 7 in this area? Again, more concrete details will be shared in the weeks and months ahead, but already, we do have some important nuggets of information. GT Auto is coming back, and will have new aerodynamic parts and roll cages, wheel changes, wide body modifications, car wash, engine oil changes, and more. Meanwhile, GT7 will also go back to starting players off with a stock vehicle and then make upgrades and customizations to slowly improve it over time. Everything from performance, suspension, transmissions, brakes, tires, and much more will be customizable, though again, it remains to be seen exactly how much depth they will offer, and how they’ll be balanced where progression is concerned.
This is another area where Gran Turismo 7 is making some impressive improvements. Polyphony Digital has apparently collected “a massive amount of meteorological observation data” from “several thousand spots” around the world, using which they’ve been able to make the simulation of time and weather changes much more seamless and authentic. According to the developer, Gran Turismo 7 will have “real and complex skyscapes and changes in light for different times of day and weather.” It remains to be seen how much this will be integrated with gameplay and how drastic we can expect the effects of, say, changing weather conditions to be, but it seems like Gran Turismo 7 is headed in the right direction here.
We’ve spoken a lot about Gran Turismo 7 being a much more traditional experience than the online and esports-focused GT Sport, but obviously, that doesn’t mean GT7’s multiplayer component will be completely pared back. While the exact details of what we can expect from the game here haven’t yet been shared, it has been confirmed that Gran Turismo 7 will feature cross-gen multiplayer, allowing PS4 and PS5 players to play with and against each other, with Yamauchi also confirming in a recent Eurogamer interview that both versions of the game will be equal to one another as far as gameplay, mechanics, and content are concerned.
Of course, one area where the PS4 and PS5 versions of GT7 won’t have parity is in how they’ll use their respective console’s controllers. On the PS5, GT7 will be using the DualSense’s unique features in various ways, from better representation of ABS thanks to the adaptive triggers to increased immersion due to the haptic feedback. In fact, Yamauchi also said in the aforementioned Eurogamer interview that due to the increased precision that the DualSense allows, players “should be able to do everything that you can do on a steering wheel controller with a DualSense controller.”
This one is a bit of a bummer, especially given how the excessive online requirements of Gran Turismo Sport were such a big issue back when that game first launched. Gran Turismo 7 is looking to deliver a more traditional and single player experience, but a large number of features and modes in the game will require a persistent internet connection- including Scapes, the Livery Editor, the High-Speed Ring and Trial Mountain circuits, GT Cafe, GT Auto, and, most crucially, the campaign. It’s always disappointing when persistent internet connection requirements are imposed on single player content, and it’s a shame that it’ll be the case in Gran Turismo 7’s campaign as well.