Game Review: Gran Turismo 7
Available on: PS5
First off, let me just say that when the console wars between Sony and Microsoft started heating up when the PS3 and Xbox 360 were released that I chose to go with Sony as my primary console largely due to my love of the Gran Turismo series.
Having played, and enjoyed, the previous entries in the GT series, it should come as no surprise that I happily and eagerly pre-ordered my copy of GT7. And similarly, I was waiting at my local GameStop to pick up my copy on release day as soon as their doors opened. From there, I raced home, anxious to pop in the disc and take some cars out for a spin.
Polyphony Digital has always done an excellent job with creating spectacular models for the game’s cars. Even the first Gran Turismo on the older consoles looked better than almost any other game in that generation. With GT7, I was blown away with how good the graphics looked. The car models could practically pass as cars in a movie.
However, aside from the game’s stupid great graphics, the rest of the experience was a total let down.
It took forever for the game to install and update. During which time, I could practice race 1 car across 3 tracks. I mean, it could have been worse, I could have had to sit there for multiple hours waiting on the game to finish installing with nothing else to do but these Day 1 patches that are super big are frustrating. How can you release game that has to be pretty much completely redistributed with a patch the same size as the game itself? That just reeks of a rushed development that was pushed to release by greedy stockholders.
Once the install finally finished and I was able to start playing, my enthusiasm for the game quickly waned. Sure, same as before, I had to earn my different licenses to advance through the game to be able to drive on different tracks and faster cars. This part wasn’t bad. What was bad was the constant set of challenges that had to be completed to unlock new tracks and cars. That and the absolutely shockingly low rewards for winning that required you to grind through races over and over again to afford the price of the next car and suitable upgrades to make it competitive.
Not long after the game’s release, I read a report that the creator of the GT series wanted to players to be able to play and race without grinding yet this is one of the grindiest games I’ve played in a long time. It only took a few hours of play to outpace the race wins to income ratio. I even resorted to using scripts with a remote player to try and grind out some money at night because I grew tired of doing the same race over and over again for hours just to be able to buy a car so that I can do the next race. If I wanted to drive only one track for a day or two just to spend the next couple of days repeating the next track until I could afford to compete on the next track then I’d quit gaming. I bought GT7 to race loads of cars on loads of tracks for pleasure, not to do endless grinding with only a handful of cars on a handful of tracks with everything else locked behind a poor game economy.
Then, to add insult to injury, shortly after release there was a patch for the game that reduced the already slim rewards for winning races. It was a patch that made the game even less like the creator’s dream. When my Internet connection proved too unreliable to effectively use the scripts with the remote play feature to earn sufficient funds to allow me to buy cars, one of the main purposes for the game, I gave up playing and haven’t looked back.
Also, for whatever stupid reason, GT7 requires an online connection at all times for it play properly. In the event your console drops connection during a race, you don’t earn the rewards for whatever your result would pay out at the end of the race. Instead, you get an error message and thrown back to the main menu. And for as long as you don’t have a connection, all you can do is pretty much just the basic races with basic cars like what was available during the initial install.
It’s a fucking racing game. You don’t actually race against other drivers in live races unless you choose to so why is the entire game requiring a dedicated connection? Oh, you want to display names of other players on AI controlled cars? Cool but if that alone means I have to be online 100% of the time to play an offline game then that’s shitty design in my book.
GT7 looks great but plays awful. This is a big pass for me!
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