Gran Turismo 7

Gran Turismo 7 on PS VR2

We've been sitting with our PS VR2 headset on, racing our favourite cars in Polyphony's latest racing title, and we're hugely impressed.

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I'm not a particularly big fan of Gran Turismo as a game series, and especially not Gran Turismo 7, which I see as in every way as two steps back from the surprisingly entertaining Gran Turismo Sport. Gran Turismo 7 feels too old-fashioned for my taste. It contains far too much grinding, and I loathe that stuffy, dry old man café beyond belief. The whole business of presenting cars and motorsport as if they were holy scriptures in a 19th century library doesn't work very well for me. I'm looking for something else when I spend time inside a virtual car, these days. Something more racing-flavoured, something more substantial with more focus on real motorsport and of course I have no desire whatsoever to pay £30 to unlock a car in a game I've already paid £60 for.

Gran Turismo 7
Of course, it's impossible to show what GT7 looks like in PS VR2 with stills, so these meaningless asphalt shots will have to do.

That said, Polyphony has continued to polish the driving experience in Gran Turismo 7, and after working out a bunch of different bugs, the online racing in particular in GT7 has been pretty good for the past six months. The graphics are incredibly good-looking too, and the sense of speed is the best in a GT game ever. Driving in an Audi R8 GTE on the North Loop gives a different feel to doing the same thing in, say, Assetto Corsa. There's clearly more speed in Polyphony's latest work, and if you reduce the 'field of view' settings in pretty much any other racing simulator, there's not much out there that can rival Gran Turismo 7.

As of a little over a day ago, GT7 also now has full PS VR2 support, and we're talking the whole game, in VR. Forget those few, quick, content-less VR races that were a very limited part of Gran Turismo Sport (and PSVR), here, as I said, it's perfectly possible to drive through every millimetre of Yamauchi's latest homage to the automobile, with Sony's new plastic headset on your head. And it works really, really well.

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I've done some racing in VR. The best until a few days ago, in my opinion, was Automobilista 2, whose VR support has been lauded in rounds by many a speed-crazed gamer. Codemasters' absolutely brilliant rally simulator Dirt Rally 2.0 has good VR support too, as does Assetto Corsa, iRacing, and Raceroom. However, none of these can compete with the VR support and how well it has been implemented in Gran Turismo 7, and of course Polyphony should be given plenty of credit for that.

Gran Turismo 7
If you intend to buy PS VR2, don't forget to buy GT7 at the same time and a Logitech G Pro steering wheel base.

GT7 on PS VR2 is a fantastic experience from the moment you start. The feeling of total immersion when I jump into my Ferrari F40 with my helmet on in my very first race is truly something every racing fan must experience. We knew two years ago that Polyphony spent more time on the interior of the cars in GT7 than pretty much any other developer in this genre, but it's only now, in my opinion, that it really comes into its own, as I sit there, I can bend over to peek at the steering wheel materials and dashboard buttons. The plastic looks like plastic, the carbon fibre looks like carbon fibre and there's a sense of depth here that I don't think any other game can compete with in the racing genre. The distance between me and the steering wheel, between the steering wheel and the front windshield, between the front windshield and the hood, and between the front lights and the road, it's all so convincing and well-tuned that I get sucked in and can't help but be amazed on several occasions during my first three races.

Sure, there exist a few minor concerns with the scaling I might add. My hands and legs/feet feel very small but presumably they are modelled after a Japanese race driver and not a two metre tall old man from northern Sweden, so the one small complaint I have here, should just be ignored. There's sharpness, crispness, depth and a fluidity to the image that the PS VR2 offers that I think makes Gran Turismo 7 the perfect game to initially test out your newly purchased PS VR2 with. Because it's not Horizon: Call of the Mountain or Resident Evil: Village that is the new VR headset's "killer app"... It's Gran Turismo 7.

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REVIEW. Written by Johan Mackegård

The next mainline instalment in Polyphony Digital's racing series is here and we've been putting it to the test.

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