Gran Turismo 7 could be the racing game I've been waiting for

2021-08-20  Gaming

Remember the Sony PlayStation 5 games showcase in June 2020? I wouldn’t be surprised if the combination of a next-gen console launch and pandemic lockdowns meant it had the biggest ever audience for such an event. It seemed to go on forever and featured dozens of new games, but in amongst them all there was one that stood out above the rest: Gran Turismo 7.

Back in the day, I played the first three Gran Turismo games to death. There was something addictive about starting with a miniscule number of credits and buying a bland street car, only to slowly juice it up, swap it out for sexier models, and win a lot of races along the way. It was kind of like the motorsport equivalent of a Football Manager journeyman save.

During the PS2/Xbox generation I switched to the green team. Over the next decade the excellent early entries in the Forza Motorsport series provided me with my racing fix, but there was still some niche itch instilled by Gran Turismo that Forza just couldn’t scratch.

When the PlayStation 4 came around I switched back, and one of the things I was most excited about was a new next-gen Gran Turismo game. So I waited… and waited, and waited… and it never came. Sure, we got Gran Turismo Sport, which had the cars, tracks, and handling, but its multiplayer-first focus and the lack of a single-player campaign meant it had nothing to offer me that Assetto Corsa or Project CARS couldn’t provide.

That’s why during the Gran Turismo 7 announcement trailer, it wasn’t the shiny next-gen cars or on-track action that got me excited for a new entry in the series - it was a flash of this screen:

Forget the fact that Sarah looks like one of those annoying marketing bots that asks if you need assistance on companies’ websites - campaign mode is back! And with Gran Turismo 7 set to be released on both PS4 and PS5, I won’t need to buy an expensive (and elusive) new console to play it!

As well as a glimpse of some competitions and tracks, we were also briefly shown the Tuning Shop, providing confirmation that you’ll still be able to craft your starter Honda Civic into a racing machine capable of challenging ever stronger opponents in the mode’s racing series.

The game has since been delayed to 2022, but to be honest at this point it’s probably the upcoming release that I’m most excited about, so I can deal with that. It’s quite rare these days that I buy a game at full price on release, but this could be one of those occasions.

More hardcore simulators like Assetto Corsa (or iRacing for those with stacked wallets and too much time) are where the real racing is at, but they demand full concentration, and sometimes I want a game that sits nicely between arcade and simulation that I can throw on at the end of a busy work day and relax with, with just a little more depth than something like Need for Speed or GRID. I’m hoping Gran Turismo 7 can be that game.

UPDATE: We got another peek at Gran Turismo 7 on the most recent PlayStation Showcase, which only got me more excited about this game! Brief glimpses were shown of some more Career Mode screens, but more than anything the new trailer showed off just how pretty the cars are (at least on PS5). The release is now slated for March 2022 and I can’t wait!

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