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Games: the joy of motorsport

Games: the joy of motorsport

Sometimes it’s just that curve that keeps the player hooked. This insatiable desire to drive them perfectly, on principle, but also to dust off the gold trophy. But “Gran Turismo 7” offers so much more that it’s hard to part with the racing simulation.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra begins with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1: tam-tam-tam-taahm – bamm, tam-tam-tam-taahm – bamm. The sun is shining and you’re sitting in a blue Porsche 356 Speedster. The countdown is on, then comes the start. Suddenly whipping pop and rock rhythms over Tchaikovsky. Motivation runs to the ends of your hair as you prepare to zoom past the other cars. A racing game can’t start much better.

Right at the beginning you are faced with the choice to enter the musical rally described or to enter directly into the world of “Gran Turismo 7”. And that is huge.

From the cafe to the racecourse

The beginning is still manageable: a small garage, a coffee shop, a used car dealership. With the latter, you buy your first car. With the budget still low, it is enough for a small Japanese. A little Italian named Luca, on the other hand, receives the first orders at the cafe: a career here, a small mission there. As a reward you get credits (the “GT7” currency) and/or new cars. The garage is enlarged.

You will soon learn that setting is important, while a corresponding shed opens its doors on the area map. The first time, you still reluctantly fulfill the desire to tune a Mini Cooper. But soon the time will come when you will have to realise: in some races, it is difficult to achieve a top position without tuning, even with excellent driving skills. Tens of thousands of credits later, the second try ends in an easy win. With the credits you can of course also buy the basis of the game: always new cars.

Gradually, the “GT7” world expands to include dozens of tracks, hundreds of cars, and countless competitions, from small street races to the GT World Challenge. New car dealerships are added and even a photography department where you can immortalize your favorite car, in your favorite landscape and in your favorite position. And of course there is an online mode where you can compete with everyone, just for fun or on an esports level.

Fun combined with realism.

Gran Turismo 7 focuses on having fun. You can see that in every nook and cranny, for better and for some purists maybe for worse too. The exclusive game for Playstation is excellent in terms of graphics. Especially in the PS5 cars, the landscape and the routes are a good figure. Shadows and reflections are also cast just like in the real world. At worst, you could say: like from the brilliant catalogue.

“Gran Turismo 7” certainly has one of the most cars (420 from the start according to Sony) and most tracks (33, plus variants like Circuit de Saint-Croix A, B and C) among the simulations of careers. Racing behavior and track properties are as realistic as an untrained racing driver could wish for.

However, the seven-year-old measure of all things “Assetto Corsa” feels more authentic in terms of racing simulation. One gets the feeling that in terms of driving pleasure in “Gran Turismo 7”, some driving mistakes are more likely to be forgiven. Curbs also basically act as sections of track that slow the car down a bit and cause noise. With “Assetto Corsa”, on the other hand, these can also be slingshot traps that lead to immediate elimination. But that’s a high level criticism. Because apart from “Assetto Corsa”, “Gran Turismo 7” is far ahead of other racing simulations in this area.

learn to run

In addition, “Gran Turismo 7” offers something that makes the hearts of ambitious drivers beat faster: a kind of racing academy, where you learn a potpourri of driving techniques step by step. This is packaged in racing licenses from national B to international A to super racing license. So you can watch yourself as you gradually ascend into driving spheres that you otherwise only knew by watching. However, people with a driving license should not be tempted to use what they have learned in normal traffic.

As is often the case with “Gran Turismo”, the sound is faithful to the original, but it always seems a bit muffled by the foam. Here, too, the focus was clearly on having fun: it’s just not everyone’s cup of tea to be exposed to long-term, albeit more realistic, screeching engine noises.

By the way, the seventh part uses the 25th anniversary of “Gran Turismo” for stories about the history of racing and the importance of individual cars for this. Everything is a bit heavy in Japanese. At least initially, there is a disproportionate amount of cars from Honda, Suzuki, Nissan and company in focus, which are not very well known in European latitudes or even fall into the category of rice cookers.

But who can blame Japanese developers and publishers at Sony for noticing more cars on their side of the world than in Europe? At the same time, it’s definitely rewarding to learn something new instead of sticking with what you already know, which is also represented anyway.

The only real complaint is the ability to purchase game credits for real money. These can also be acquired through races and orders. But those short on time or patience may be tempted to take the shortcut with real money to buy the in-game car of their dreams or the tuning part that gives them the winning edge.

All in all, “Gran Turismo 7” offers racing simulation and fun at the highest level. There’s always variety: whether it’s online or offline racing, sheer admiration for automotive aesthetics, history or racing lessons, technical trinkets, or simply a desire to improve your driving style. Racing enthusiasts and fans of beautiful cars will enjoy the game.

“Gran Turismo 7” will be released today, Friday, for Playstation. The test sample was made available to the “Wiener Zeitung” by the manufacturer.