Gran Turismo 7: A paradise for car lovers - PC-WORLD

Gran Turismo 7: A paradise for car lovers - PC-WORLD
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Benjamin Kratsch

Beautiful classic cars in ray-traced chrome, luxurious car dealerships and an entire resort invite you to enjoy Gran Turismo 7. In GT7, we don't just race, we meet legendary car designers in cafés, learn about history in the museum and experience the most beautiful racing game on Playstation 5. Gran Turismo 7 in the mega preview.

EnlargeOf course, GT7 has the next Lamborghini, but every racing game has one. Gran Turismo 7 wants to be much, much more than just the next Gran Turismo and that's a lot of fun.

Gran Turismo 7 is an interactive love letter to 150 years of car culture and the design of the most iconic vehicles since Henry Ford. Kazunori Yamauchi is not about quickly choosing a super sports car, pressing start - 3,2,1 - full throttle. But for the enjoyment! We end up in a luxury resort that could be in Dubai or Monaco. It's the Nürburgring in a super luxurious way. Less just a racetrack, more an adventure park for car lovers. We stroll through museums with fully chromed vintage cars that we otherwise only know from films such as The Great Gatsby or that we can perhaps spy at the IAA. Marvels of the technology of that time, which offered a level of luxury and comfort that even a Maybach no longer offers today. Which are incredibly long, extremely finely worked. A time when the driver had to polish the chrome at every opportunity. Of course we can also drive these vintage cars ourselves - they are not fast cars, they are not cars that take tight corners or that you can drift with, but with which you can cruise - one hand on the leather steering wheel, the soundtrack from The Godfather in our ear and enjoy.

EnlargeGran Turismo 7 wants us to enjoy car culture and explain a lot: how engines work, how designs are created, how aerodynamics work.

And there is for almost every genre, everything you can drive - from the rally off-roader to the muscle car to the super sports car and even more in the highest luxury sector. Gran Turismo 7 contains 400+ cars, 34 locations, 97 layouts, 100+ racing events, 650+ aerodynamic parts, 130 wheel types, 1200 measured color data. So GT7 not only accelerates in depth, but also delivers a lot of quantity in an enormously high quality. Pleasure is something that Gran Turismo 7 completely sets apart from everything else in the racing game segment. It's almost as if Kazunori Yamauchi and his team want to tempt us to spend as much time as possible away from the track. This is something that, strangely enough, hardly any other racing game attempts. Here we are sitting in the Gran Turismo Café, leafing through 30 different menus of all these genres and types of cars that exist and everything is staged so comfortably. Former Mazda designer Tom Matano stops by and talks about the iconic MX-5. Or Audi's Freeman Thomas, chief designer of the legendary Audi TT, who brought Audi into sportier spheres in the mass market. Audi has always been strong in racing, but before the TT they didn't sell any sports cars.

"The café is something that really offers a kind of roadmap for new things to do in the game," explains chief designer Kazunori Yamauchi at the Playstation Showcase, which PC WELT visited You can meet designers and engineers who were involved in the development of the cars you collect, so it's part of the heart of the culture of Gran Turismo 7, which is all about the cars." : Not just racing, riding on a knife edge, balancing braking distances, drifting without letting the rear end break out, this classic simulation-heavy racing feeling, which GT7 has always been very good at, but much more and we find that great. We don't actually have these 400 unlockable cars, but we can visit them in really gigantic showrooms, which are kind of a virtual IAA. If you just want to enjoy classic cars or a La Ferrari up close, who you rarely see on the street even in German metropolises such as Munich, Hamburg or Berlin, is fully accepted here. From the classic, the Ferrari Testarossa from 91 or even the 308 GTB from 1976 to the 2022 Ferrari F8 Tributo.

The Gran Turismo Café: The most beautiful way to stage a campaign

EnlargeGran Turismo 7 feels a bit like vacationing at a resort where we have a cappuccino and then the chief designer of an iconic car model sits down with us and just tells us how the vehicle was actually created.

The Gran Turismo Café is really designed as a place where we learn a lot about the development of models in depth. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to converse with car designers will find them talking about their vehicles as if they were describing their girlfriend or wife - in a very loving way, they don't see cars as cold objects, they see them as more like a person to have a relationship with. They talk about emotionality, about lines, about what it does to you when you spend time with them. It's a beautiful and also very innovative way of staging a campaign and guiding the player through it. According to Yamauchi, there will be over 30 of these menu books in the cafe, which he likens to quests. Completing them all will take you to the end of the campaign mode, but the Maestro of Gran Turismo emphasizes that this is just the beginning of what players can do in GT7. Think of it this way: We unlock Daniel Craig's last company car, the Aston Martin DB5 from James Bond: Skyfall or No Time to Die, and the designer tells us something about its origin story, which of course creates a completely different connection to our cars .

EnlargeGT7 is not just about luxurious super sports cars, there is also an old BMW 3.0 CSL that we tune in proper style. So appropriate for the age of the car and note the fantastic old school paintwork.

There is also a second-hand shop for the most beautiful classics, where many Japanese brands are on display, real drift spinners from Tokyo's street scene, where Yamauchi grew up. His first mentor was a mechanic named Yamamoto, who explained the difference between servicing a V6 and V8. How to disassemble and reassemble engines. How to find the right lubricating oil, how to change the timing belt, he learned this whole fascination of tinkering with cars from Yamamoto. Today, Yamauchi is certainly one of the richest game designers out there, with a fleet that would make even Tony Stark jealous. He is a car enthusiast who, even at 54, still likes to test his limits. At 18 he dismantled his first Nissan Skyline, at 39 he had a violent crash with his Porsche 911 Boxer Turbo on the Tokyo Expressway and in 2014 he rolled over as a racing driver with a Nissan GT-R on the Nürburgring. That's also something that really sets him apart from all other racing game designers - he drives all the cars himself, in reality. Also at the limit, right as a racing driver at the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring.

EnlargeFriends of the modern luxury athlete don't have to worry, of course: we can jump in and mime the British gentleman in Daniel Craig's DB11 from James Bond: Spectre.

Gran Turismo 7: Ein Paradies für Auto-Liebhaber - PC-WELT

Of course, that's a completely different level than Dan Greenwalt, chief designer of Forza Motorsport 8, who also likes to do his laps in the Bugatti Veyron, but doesn't do any active racing himself. "I myself grew up as a car enthusiast, surrounded by the influence of Japanese car manufacturers and the transmission of automotive media, and that is also the driving force behind my production," says Yamauchi. "Although Gran Turismo is played worldwide today, I have never forgotten that it originated in Japan and now I feel a responsibility and a duty to carry on the legacy of Japanese automotive culture.” In Gran Turismo 7 we experience real Easter eggs, because joker Yamauchi has allowed himself a few jokes and for example the price adapted from Japanese classics to the real value in 2022. These cars are really expensive today, so we have to earn plenty of in-game credits for them.

The Music Rally: Rock out while cruising and just let go

EnlargeEspecially in Corona times we all need more relaxation, and it's such a nice idea that not only can we race at the limit in GT7, but that enjoyment also plays such a big role.

It's fascinating how differently Gran Turismo 7 celebrates the art of racing. There's the music rally. Yamauchi describes this mode as a game idea where you "combine the enjoyment of the vehicle with the enjoyment of music". In Music Rally we start with a certain number of beats. When the race starts, the beats decrease, and when they end, the race ends. If we pass the checkpoints of the track, we get more points. Ideally, you're good enough to finish the song and the race. It also looks significantly slower than regular GT7 racing, and the focus is more on having fun than beating this or that opponent. It's basically a checkpoint game mode - but instead of racing against the clock, we're racing against the beat of the music. We start with a certain number of beats, which will be refilled if we make it through a checkpoint in time. As the BPM changes, we need to adjust our riding to reach the next checkpoint before we run out of beats.

EnlargeKazunori Yamauchi can't get out of his skin and that's a good thing: In GT7, too, an incredible number of cars are designed with such attention to detail that it is kneeling. And when Aston Martin changes the buttons, so does Gran Turismo.

With a soundtrack that includes popular hits from genres like jazz, lounge, hip-hop and rock, we have a feeling that Music Rally could become a mode to just jump into after a hard day's work. More to cruise, less to deliver the hard knife edge ride, the brutal duel. That can of course be with an American Chevy, with a classic British car, but also with a Subaru BRZ, with which Kazunori Yamauchi does the rounds on the Playstation Showcase with a classic disco megamix by George Gershwin from the 1980s. Music Rally mode is Polyphony Digital's solution to a dilemma GT players have had with music in the past: a desire to have the perfect background soundtrack, combined with a need to hear the engine and tires when you try to focus on the race, to reconcile. Even Yamauchi himself admits that he turns the music off when he wants to concentrate on racing, but turns it on when he wants to unwind.

EnlargeThere is still so much to tell about Gran Turismo 7: how much effort goes into the cloud simulation, how the night is more harmonious and realistic than in GT: Sport. We'll do that in part 2 of our mega previews.

And since this preview is already 10,000 characters, we'll talk about much else of Gran Turismo 7 in the second part. There is so much to say about the tuning, which has far more depth and a mode that Kazunori Yamauchi himself describes as one of his favorite parts of GT7. So much to report, how incredibly much effort Polyphony Digital puts into using real weather data to create clouds and draw the most beautiful sunsets. And of course how Gran Turismo 7 actually drives...

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