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Gran Turismo 7 is a gem. The crème de la crème of racing simulators that feels as good as a crepe from the Crêperie Brocéliande café in Paris.

That’s not just because the driving deserves its own blockbuster franchise, Fast & Fancy. It’s because Gran Turismo 7 is the complete package, including the little café you sip coffee at while you come down from adrenaline high from your last grand prix.

Gran Turismo 7 yellow Honda
Every car in Gran Turismo 7 feels good to drive, but that still doesn’t explain why they gave me a Honda to start. | Provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment

Gran Turismo 7 impressions

  • Game: Gran Turismo 7
  • Developer: Polyphony Digital
  • Release Date: March 4, 2022
  • Genre: Racing Sim

Gran Turismo 7 is the next entry in a long line of games that have clearly built off of one another. It’s fast, fun and easy to get into. Without further ado, here are the good, bad and ugly of Gran Turismo 7.

The Good

  • The introduction that takes me through a loving slide show of the history of automobiles has a lovely soundtrack
  • Accessibility features taught me the correct way to brake and make tight turns. Yes, I have a drivers license.
  • It can feel as much of an arcade racer as it is a driver simulator at times. It’s quite fun.
  • The photo mode let me capture a beautiful rear shot of my Honda Fit with the sunset on the horizon.
  • There is just so much content.

I have never played a Gran Turismo game before. The extent of my racing experience comes from Mario Kart and Garfield Kart: Furious Racing. The differences, while major, took very little time to get up to speed on, though. I was taking corners, breaking at the exact right times and driving like a pure pro in my very first race. Although that’s because the car was doing it for me.

The car would automatically break and give me assistance in accelerating and turning. I turned all these accessibility features off eventually, but they gave me enough know-how to hit the ground running right after.

They also helped prep me for the incredible amount of content that Gran Turismo 7 has. I unlocked new cars, tracks and races every time a nice man named Luca gave me a menu at an isolated café in the middle of a forest. Not to mention the deep photo mode, training exercises and other options I messed around in whenever I escaped that café.

Gran Turismo 7 café
Yes, I’ll have the Abarth 500 ’09, hold the sugar and off-road tires, though. Thank you. | Provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment

The Bad

  • The map menu is boring. I don’t like looking at it much. It’s just plain.
  • I wish the campaign mode had a little more spice to it. They went to the trouble of naming all these characters who basically serve as menus, anyway. Why not give me a reason to remember them?
  • Why does the menu take me to the replay immediately after every race? I know a look good driving my baby blue Honda Fit, but I’m not that much of a narcissist .
  • Why did they start me out with a Honda Fit? They shouldn’t baby me by preventing me from crashing a Porsche in my first race
  • There is way too much text. I wish Lucas would speak to me, it’s not like I’m that intimidating.

A good way to describe everything outside the actual driving in Gran Turismo 7 is weird. The menu showing a semi-bird’s-eye view of a racing town is a mix between a first-party iOS app and a bunch of rich people living in an exclusive car-loving village. Everyone’s so eerily nice, willing to help me at the drop of a hat before I rush off to the next race.

The races themselves are amazing, but they are just tied together one after the other. It’s an addicting cycle of race, unlock car, race, unlock car and so on. Sure, there are rewards and accolades. I just wish I had someone to tell me “atta, boy” that wasn’t a static profile picture with a creepy smile.

But I’m honestly grasping at straws here. Yea, I had to start with a Honda, but I quickly unlocked a number of other cars. The lack of voice acting, however, felt severe. There is so much text in Gran Turismo 7. I didn’t mind reading blurbs here and there, but the curated segments that had pristine visuals of new cars I unlocked didn’t even have a voice over.

The in-game menu for Gran Turismo 7
The in-game menu for Gran Turismo 7. | Provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment

The Ugly

  • The user interface feels like an iOS app, I don’t want to spend more time on my phone between races.
  • Why is there a daily workout tracker? This isn’t couch to 5k of racing simulators, it’s the damn Daytona 500!

Gran Turismo 7 is so pretty and refined that it’s hard to call anything in it ugly. The iOS app-like interface where every character is nothing more than a single static image made it feel too much like I was signing up for insurance on State Farm’s website. Too many of those pop up employees kept offering me help and talking to me. Just let me get the insurance so I can drive!

Other elements made it feel like an app, as well. There are daily objectives – like every game has now – that log how many miles you’ve walked? Run? Driven? I’m not sure. All I know is that there is a little symbol of a man running next to the tracker. It feels out of place.

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