Revving Ahead: “Gran Turismo 7” Is A Frontrunner Among Racing Games
Fun fact: Race car driver Jann Mardenborough, who competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Super GT and Super Formula, busted his chops not on the tarmac, but on the PlayStation in "Gran Turismo".
Yup, it is possible to become a real-life professional race car driver by racing virtually in Sony's flagship series.
The graphics and experience are so mind-bogglingly real that the Gran Turismo Sport iteration of the game was selected to be part of the first Olympic Virtual Series, the official prelude to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
What else is there to say about the pedigree of Gran Turismo when the game’s lead developer is Kazunori Yamauchi, the winner of the 2011 and 2012 editions of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
Check out this video in which seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton sings praises about the game’s realism to Yamauchi-san.
This is one of many reasons why racing gamers have been eagerly anticipating GT7. Here are my thoughts after taking the new game for a spin.
It looks and feels ridiculously real
It’s easy to mistake a Gran Turismo 7 gameplay video for a race on Singtel TV. That’s how much the visuals have improved – and they were already super realistic on GT Sport on the PS4 back then.
As with Sport, this is the most realistic racing simulator that you can buy right now. Every car feels different - whether you’re taking corners with the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X or speeding down the straights on the Porsche 911. The game’s “automotive physics simulator” has been thoroughly researched and tested, and designed to be as close as possible to the real deal.
Trust me when I say that you can really feel the weight of the car on the PS5 controller’s haptic feedback. If you own a Thrustmaster steering wheel controller… it will truly feel as if you’re behind the wheel of an actual car.
A celebration of car culture
GT7 is so chock-full of features (more than 400 cars, 90 different track variations, license tests, and race challenges) that you can feel lost in all the content - not that we're complaining! Thankfully the game does prod you in the right direction in the Gran Turismo Café, where the owner assigns you races and tasks. You start small with something like a Honda Fit, then slowly collect better cars as you progress through the game.
Car enthusiasts can sink hours just browsing through the showrooms, admiring all the models available – then taking them on a virtual tour around the world to shoot photos in exotic locations (low-key this is me IRL).
Gran Turismo is everything I’ve ever wanted in a racing game - if you love cars and own a PS4 or PS5, you need to give this game a spin.
Other racing games that give us a rush
F1 2021 made our Favourite Games Of 2021 list, thanks to a compelling story mode and the “create-a-team” feature that allows you to design and manage a Formula 1 team from the ground up. It is also the only game on console where you can race at Singapore’s Marina Bay street circuit.
Forza Horizon 5
Xbox and PC gamers have their own racing gem – Forza Horizon 5 is a joy to play, whether you're a casual fan or a hardcore racing gamer. Unlike Gran Turismo, Forza Horizon is open world (like the old Need For Speed games) so you can just chill and drive around to your heart’s content.
Grid Legends is an easier to play arcade-style racing game. Its biggest draw: a live-action story mode akin to racing documentaries or Netflix’s “Drive to Survive”. You can even race trucks!
eSports racing simulators
For those who want an experience as close as possible to the track without spending a fortune on a racing rig, head over to Legion Of Racers at Kallang Avenue to try their race-box simulators. If you’re serious about racing and want to compete in eSports, they host classes too.