Can Gran Turismo 7 on PS5 compete with modern racing sims?

Polyphony Digital was recently shown a closer look at things to come Gran Turismo 7, the newest brand in a franchise with 25 years of highly regarded and history behind it. It looks great. All the little touches from the old games you missed in Gran Turismo Sport, the forensic eye for detail is even clearer and the visuals look just as good today as the original did next to the same ones. time with the PS1 – it’s just somehow brighter, more classy on the eyes, than anything else out there. Forza Horizon 5 included.

But something significant has happened in racing games since a Gran Turismo game with a number at the end was last released (GT6 in 2013). In fact, a lot has happened since GT Sport 2017. Over the past few years when most of our time is spent indoors, sim racing has grown in popularity, becoming legal in the eyes of the world. motorsport as a way to race, and the simulations where people chase ghostly loops for weeks on end have an unprecedented level of simulation. So can we still consider Gran Turismo 7 a real driving simulator?

Its main competitors in that respect are the Assetto Corsa Competizione, the Automobilista 2, the evergreen iRacing, the Codemasters F1 line, and oddly enough, its predecessor, the GT Sport. These are titles that are considered realistic and broadcast-friendly enough to form the basis of esports tournaments such as World’s Fastest Gamer, F1 esports Series, Logitech G Challenge, and FIA Gran Turismo Championships. They are proper e-sports titles.

In contrast, the big headline features on Gran Turismo 7’s recent show are Music Rally, a kind of zen checkpoint race that’s synced to the beat of the song you’re listening to, and the cafe, where the houses Car designers drop by to share their memories of the cars they dream of and make material for. It depicts a different kind of game from the one where you sit in the bucket chasing an extra percent for six hours straight.

Despite the fun nods of relaxing driving and using the game as a play space, there’s probably still a tough racer lurking under there. There is a choice of graphics modes, for example – 60FPS mode or Ray Tracking Mode, whose title requires no further explanation. Serious riders will, of course, choose the former, and its inclusion shows that Polyphony is in sync with the requirements of a sim racer.


To put it more bluntly, the absurdly detailed lighting and weather give any serious racing season now a battle against honesty. Gran Turismo 7 simulates astronomical behavior to ensure the night sky and cloud patterns look similar to life in different geographies and that certain stars and planets are only visible in one certain conditions, it’s pure obsession from Polyphony – but that same approach has been taken to simulate weather changes.

For example, Project CARS 2 has several different wet weather states. You can watch the shower turn into a monsoon, and you can feel the tire’s grip level change as they cool and enter standing water. But you also see those changes in the weather state which is quite artificial when you start a new lap. Not so here. The humidity of the track surface is dynamically simulated, depending on the amount of water in the simulated ecosystem that comes into contact with different parts of it. A larger vessel like the Spa can get drenched in certain corners and dry like a bone in the sun elsewhere. Stagnant water grows in areas that can actually hold it – the photo shoot shows some messy grass outside the top that holds a lot of water, and a small alcove by the roadside that fills with rainwater quite naturally.

Over time, the track dries out in the areas where the sun hits the most and where the cars move on the water most often – the track. It’s hard to say how convincingly it developed and affected the image and performance of a vehicle without actually hitting the kilometres, but the implication is that it’s a level beyond that. weather systems that we have seen in any of the previous titles.

There is a trump card in the way it feels and sounds. The PS5’s DualSense controller is being exploited for haptic feedback, which Polyphony CEO Kazunori Yamauchi describes as the frequency range “between vibrations and sounds”. In this region, between 20-200Hz, you feel the resonance of the bodywork as its contact points roll over an uneven surface. It’s something you’ve sold over audio before, and even the best force-response wheels struggle to sell it. Polyphony thinks it can make the PS5’s pad feel like it’s flying over asphalt.

It is also used to convey tire slip before you speed into a turn, differences in surface textures such as paint and track interiors, as well as engine and system vibrations. transmission. It probably won’t feel as good as a direct rudder, but again, it doesn’t require a second mortgage either. If it can communicate a level of fidelity that previously could not be obtained by controllers through rumbling feedback, that’s very important.


Previously solo racing did not present much of a challenge for the heavy sim racers. AI has long been a weak point in Gran Turismo, and the temptation to tweak your way to glory often distracts us from a fair fight. This time there are three difficulty levels – beginner, intermediate and expert. Yamauchi recommends expert mode for heavy riders, but in reality there are only three difficulty levels and not detailed percentages like most other racing simulations offer suggesting that training alone will Not a useful tool here. After all, this is a game aimed at complete beginners to the world of motorsports and cars as well as aimed at those who have been playing since ’97.

However, it does have an active online racing sim to call in GT Sport. Yamauchi said all of the online matchmaking and lobbying functionality from that game is carried over to this, so it looks like there’s an esports-ready infrastructure under the bonnet.

We can all rely on the game’s physical model to deliver. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where it would take a step back from the Gran Turismo Sport, a title too powerful in realism to host an FIA-arbitred sim. The series is the first to provide a bridge between simulated racing and real motorsport through GT Academy, and its graduates have achieved great results on real-life cars. But will it model brake and tire temperatures with the same accuracy as Assetto Corsa Competizione? Will it model fuel consumption and tire fit pretty well like F1 2021? These are the unknowns that might tempt some sim racers away from Polyphony’s posh game, with its photography mode and museum-like atmosphere.

As best as one can judge, just over a month before launch, the Gran Turismo 7 isn’t trying to make iRacing superfluous or convince ACC devotees to instead plug in their own direct drive wheels. they on it. Yamauchi sincerely wants to convert new car fans, you feel, as car culture changes and internal combustion engine becomes a dirty word. This is truly a game that tries to offer something compelling for everyone, and while that would be commercial suicide for any other company, Polyphony has a legacy, a haunting eye. down to detail and the recent success of esports to make it happen. Can Gran Turismo 7 on PS5 compete with modern racing sims?

Fry Electronics Team

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