First impressions: Should you buy Gran Turismo 7 on PlayStation 4?

2022-03-11  Gaming

Gran Turismo 7 is a now a week old and I’ve just finished all the café menus in Campaign Mode. There’s still plenty to do and I’d like to try out more modes and let the dust settle a bit before I publish my full review, but I did want to address one of the concerns I had going in – is it worth it on PS4?

Sorry if this is an anticlimax, but the answer is definitely yes. The most obvious difference to the PS5 version is that the graphics don’t have quite the same level of detail, but the visuals - especially on the cars - are very pretty. In fact, they’re so pretty that when playing Gran Turismo 7 I have a constant internal battle between my sim racer instinct for first person view and an urge to use chase cam to see more of the beautiful cars.

That’s not to say that the tracks are shabby. They don’t always have a huge amount going on trackside, but there are some faithful recreations of real-life classics here, alongside some upgraded Gran Turismo favourites. Having recently replayed Gran Turismo 3, it’s surreal driving through such detailed, HD recreations of the nostalgic fictional circuits like the High Speed Ring. I can only imagine how those playing in 4K on PS5 must feel.

Weather transitions, which were expected to be the star of the game, add an extra level of depth to the environments. The conditions on a circuit can go from sunny to gloomy to raining in just a couple of laps without any jarring changes. On this note, wet racing is a joy, unlike in most other racing games. A damp track brings reduced grip, but it doesn’t feel like you’re racing on an ice rink or spinning out of control randomly running through puddles.

Other than slightly less shiny graphics, the one noticeable concession PS4 users are forced to make compared to PS5 players is on speed. It’s widely documented that menus and load times can be a little slow on PS4. It’s not too bad when loading “proper” events, but can feel like a bit of a throwback to the PS2 days when loading lots of different tracks for licence tests.

The only other place I noticed the game pushing the PS4 to its limits was on a couple of frame rate stutters. However, this only affected a 20-car race at Spa-Francorchamps (possibly the longest circuit in the game) at sunrise (think of all those beams of light), so I feel like it can be excused, and I only encountered it once in what is so far about 18 hours of gameplay anyway.

One final note: There has been a lot of fuss around microtransactions that allow you to buy credits. While it’s always a shame to see a feature like this bolted onto a beloved series, they are completely unnecessary. The game can be played perfectly well without spending anything other than the box price. You’ll be grinding for a while if you want to collect every car in the game, but completing the café menus provides more than enough credits to upgrade your cars and buy a few high-end trophy vehicles by the end.

In short, if you have a PS4 and even a passing interest in motorsport, you should buy Gran Turismo 7. I was massively hyped for this game before it came out and now it’s here I can’t stop playing, even after completing the main campaign. Stay tuned for the full review in the near future.

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