the long-awaited homecoming

the long-awaited homecoming

Polyphony Digital had promised, after the wanderings of Gran Turismo Sport, this new canonical episode would delve into the roots of the series. By using the DNA that animated the previous opuses, the Japanese studio intends to seduce fans and newcomers. Is the promise kept? The answer is in the following lines.

The home screen plays the card of sobriety with two choices: the world map, which concentrates most of the game and the musical rally. This arcade mode offers fun by driving cars to the rhythm of the music, success is achieved by adapting your driving to the tempo. Half a dozen tracks are available to satisfy all tastes: from classical to metal, electro or pop. Many other titles should be added as updates are released. A variant is to cross checkpoints in a limited time like OutRun. If it is entertaining, the lack of challenge and the impression of going around in circles quickly set in. We understand that this is an appetizer to warm up before clicking on the world map.

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A world that offers itself little by little

Polyphony Digital boss Kazunori Yamauchi has a passion for cars and Gran Turismo is his love letter to anything that rolls on four wheels, except skateboards. He conceived this opus on a kind of peninsula covered with pavilions which are revealed little by little, as one progresses. Aficionados will rejoice at the return of the second-hand shop. This is where it all begins, with the few credits that the title gives us at the start of the game. Similarly, the preparation shop, essential to boost your racing car, is also present. Its different levels of parts: sport, club, semi-race, race and extreme are unlocked according to the races won and the vehicles selected.

You might think, at first glance, that this new episode would only be a copy of GT 6. Fortunately, some subtle new features have changed the situation. To guide the player in this vast universe, Gran Turismo has placed coffee at the center of its world. The boss, Lucas, will ask you to complete missions (called menus): collect three Mustangs (to be won in dedicated races), win a European hatchback car cup, prepare a car to increase its performance index, etc. With each challenge taken up, in addition to a fairly concise automotive history lesson, you are given a roulette ticket. The latter allows you to earn credits, a car or a piece of equipment.

If you remain completely free of your movements and choose to participate in races as you wish, the light “control” of the café allows you to progress quickly. It ensures to open all the pavilions that populate the world of GT 7 without any loss of time.

The battle of numbers

Each car acquired increases your level of collection, which contributes to unlocking circuits and pavilions. The title has 34 tracks (this number should increase after launch) which mix real circuits like Brands Hatch or the Nürburgring and fictitious tracks like Trial Mountain, High Speed ​​Ring or even Deep Forest. By adding the clockwise and counterclockwise directions as well as truncated portions, the game offers, for the moment, nearly 90 circuits. To heat up the rubber, Gran Turismo brings together 424 cars from all continents. Major manufacturers such as Ford or Mercedes rub shoulders with more confidential brands or preparers such as Abarth or AMG. The ranges extend from mass-produced vehicles to supercars, Le Mans, Group 3 or Group 4 models. Once the “new” building is open, you can find all the cars of a brand there (the of occasions only has about twenty, but its stock changes regularly). In addition to the showroom which is used to admire the cars and to buy them, each manufacturer has its own small museum based on photos and videos to learn more about its history. The first Mercedes built in 1902 is worth a look!

True to the series, if some races are completely free, the majority sets their entry conditions: traction, propulsion, type of engine and maximum power. Sometimes having the right model just isn’t enough! You will need a license like in the good old days. This pavilion opens quite early in the adventure and offers five patents. They are called the national B, the national A, the international B, the international A and the Super. Consisting of ten events each, they gradually teach all the subtleties of piloting. They range from cornering to steering and counter-steering techniques. Each segment rewards you with a gold, silver or bronze medal. Each permit obtained is accompanied by a gift car. Obviously, if you manage to win gold on the entire course, the gain is sumptuous.

Food and drink

The pilot missions, one of the classics of the legend, are back in force. Although present in GT Sport, there are nearly fifty in this opus. They ask you to meet small challenges on portions of tracks: overtake three competitors before the finish line, pass a bend at full speed or even slip between several cars without touching them. The GT Auto center is also back in service for our greatest pleasure. In addition to draining, washing and replacing the engine, he offers to add a spoiler and spoiler to our car to improve its aerodynamics and above all, its look. Likewise, it has a plethora of rims, ‘decals’ and other paintwork to decorate any vehicle from head to toe.

The most creative will have a great time in the livery editor which also applies to the helmet and the pilot’s suit. Obviously, it will be possible to immortalize your masterpiece in Scapes, the photo mode, which offers more than a hundred sets located in the four corners of the planet. For neophytes, the title takes care of taking the best image, but it is still possible to switch to ‘manual’ in order to adjust focus, shutter speed and diaphragm yourself. GT 7 has three online multiplayer modes, from fun to serious. The first, called Meeting place, allows you to indulge in predefined races whose program changes regularly, it is in a way a “fast” mode. The second, more traditional, will ask you to create a room and define the various parameters of the race before inviting or welcoming the other competitors. Finally, the mode called Sport is intended for those who dream of joining the GT League to go from virtual to real (the finalist can be awarded a one-year pilot contract).

This international championship is full of classified races where technicality is almost less important than fair play. The FIA ​​regulations are applied to the letter: you don’t come out of the pits like a savage, you don’t cut the road in bends, etc. In addition to penalties in the race, bad drivers are also penalized in the rankings. If the title has an “end” (after several dozen hours of play), you should know that each unlocked circuit can be traveled in arcade mode, converted into a track for drifting challenges or even in a personalized race. Basically, the replayability is almost infinite.

The day and the night

The last big novelties concern the weather, the day-night cycle and a modulation of the difficulty. The latter has three levels that influence the behavior of cars and the aggressiveness of opponents. Added to this are various driving aids (steering, braking, etc.) which can be activated and deactivated whenever desired. Likewise, tire wear and fuel consumption can be set to add to the challenge. In terms of ergonomics, the title offers different configurations of joysticks / steering wheels and several cameras including a cockpit view of the most successful.

The other shock is this striking alternation of day and night. The sunrises, sunsets and moons are absolutely beautiful. The skies also correspond to each part of the world where the ordeal takes place and the precipitation that goes with it. The rain is particularly believable, puddles form and dry less quickly than the portions of bitumen that the tires caress lap after lap. A pre-race rain radar helps you choose the right tires so you don’t get caught off guard. The championship intro cutscenes are worth more than just a look.

technical point

While the game runs cleanly on PS 4, it was clearly designed to look its best on PS 5. Like many cross-gen titles, the PS 5 edition asks you to choose between a 60-frame performance mode per second or a fidelity mode with activation of raytracing. The latter is particularly obvious in the garage or car interiors by magnifying the reflections and the effects of light. If the graphics do not suffer from any defect, the sound still has a problem with the screeching of the tires which sounds strange.

Dual-sense is fully supported. Its haptic feedback and its adaptive triggers are used to feel every imperfection of the track, the roughness of the vibrators or the hardness of a brake pedal. These additions make driving on the pad relatively pleasant (no offense to the ayatollahs behind the wheel).

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