Gran Turismo 7: All Cars, All Tracks, All Here
With Gran Turismo 7 finally released, we look at the cars and the tracks that we’ll soon be speeding in and on from 4th March.
The Gran Turismo series is one of the best (if not the best, depending on your parameters) selling racing game series of all time – in fact, the very first Gran Turismo was the highest selling PlayStation One game with 10.85million copies sold. Gran Turismo 2 was the third highest-selling PlayStation One game. Continuing this trend into the next generation of consoles, Gran Turismo 3 and 4 were the second and third best selling games on PlayStation 2. In other words, Gran Turismo is very popular.
And for good reason.
Combining exquisite graphics with realistic vehicle handling and sound, every new Gran Turismo game tends to set the bar for how racing games should look and feel. Using the latest in ray tracing technology combined with the improved graphics capabilities of the PlayStation 5, Gran Turismo 7 has never looked more sublime.
For Gran Turismo 7, Polyphony Digital have recreated the growl of the engines and the screech of the tyres for each individual car. Series producer, Kazunori Yamauchi, has stated that each car will have its own unique sound that is accurate to the real-life versions of the vehicle. One criticism that has been levelled at the Gran Turismo series in the past is that the engine audio design sometimes sounds like a “vacuum cleaner”. On Gran Turismo 6, Polyphony Digital tried a different audio recording technique for the cars and garnered excellent reviews for their much-improved sound. All signs point to the fact that Gran Turismo is continuing this trend and improving on it even further.
One thing that Gran Turismo has always received praise for – beginning with the very first game in 1997 – is its handling; how each car feels unique as you accelerate down straightaways and skid round bends. Each iteration of the Gran Turismo series has further improved on this formula, marking it out as the zenith of racing games when it comes to the sheer power you feel when you get behind the wheel. The expectation here is that Gran Turismo 7 will feel even more satisfying thanks to the power of next-gen consoles.
Gran Turismo, where it all began.
A History of Gran Turismo
The Early Days
Before the first Gran Turismo game raced onto (and off of) shelves, Polyphony Digital – then known as Polys Entertainment – were a development group within Sony Computer Entertainment. Their work prior to Gran Turismo was on two smaller racing games, Motor Toon Grand Prix and Motor Toon Grand Prix 2. Both games received warm receptions and were praised for their entertainment and different racing modes. Motor Toon Grand Prix and its successor were racing games at heart, but also contained cartoon graphics, simplistic controls and weapons which you could use to give yourself a boost or to hinder other racers (think Mario Kart or Crash Team Racing). They also had other gimmicks, such as one of the vehicles on the second game driving faster while in reverse – something we feel should be reintroduced for the sheer challenge and entertainment!
Polys Entertainment’s big breakthrough, however, came in 1997 with the release of the first Gran Turismo. Racing fans, car aficionados and gamers alike were unanimous in their praise for the game. As mentioned earlier, the first Gran Turismo would go on to be the best selling PlayStation One game and its place in the public consciousness was assured. With 180 cars – including official manufacturers such as Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Dodge, Honda, Mitsubishi and more – to choose from and 11 tracks to race on (figures that are extremely impressive for the game’s era) Gran Turismo offered the most complete racing experience at the time.
Rolling into 1999, Polys Entertainment had been reinvented into Polyphony Digital and were granted greater autonomy. They celebrated this with the release of Gran Turismo 2, another universally adored racing game. With Gran Turismo 2, Polyphony Digital only marginally tweaked the gameplay (if it ain’t broke…). Particularly, they improved the braking system in order to reduce the chances of the vehicle locking up resulting in it oversteering. Beyond that, the major changes that we saw on Gran Turismo 2 were the increase in vehicles to a whopping 650 sports cars, and 27 tracks to race around.
Forza and Xbox step up to challenge Gran Turismo and PlayStation’s dominance
A Challenger Emerges…
With the arrival of the PS2, gaming had a massive boom in regards to the technology available and the quality of game that was produced. This generation of consoles saw some of the biggest gaming series start to really express themselves (Grand Theft Auto being perhaps the most obvious example). Gran Turismo was no exception and in 2001 Polyphony Digital released Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec. Another hit, making it 3 out of 3, this new game was praised for its significantly improved graphics and handling. At 180, there were less vehicles to drive than its predecessor however, and although the game claimed to have increased to 33 tracks, there were only 19 unique race tracks with 14 of them having a reverse variant. Still, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec was – and still is – lauded as a huge success.
By the time Gran Turismo 4 drifted into view, Sony had become embroiled in its first (but certainly not last) console war. Granted, we now know that Sony were the winners with the PS2 outselling the Xbox by over 100 million copies, however, with Microsoft taking a decent size chunk of the console market, Sony knew that they were witnessing the rise of their main competitor – and nothing symbolises this more than the debate over Gran Turismo 4 and Forza Motorsport.
Gran Turismo 4 was released to positive reviews, though many noted that the game failed to drastically improve on its predecessors. Praise was given for its influx of licensed vehicles, with over 700 sports cars from 80 manufacturers, and its increase in racing tracks to over 50 – including real world circuits such as the Fuji Speedway and the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Where Gran Turismo 4 fell down was its lack of collision damage render (vehicles would just bounce off of walls and obstructions), its lack of online gameplay, and its poor AI system. Into these gaps stepped Forza Motorsport.
Referred to at the time as the “most realistic console racer ever made”, Forza Motorsport captured the public’s interest in a way that Gran Turismo had yet to do so; with online gaming. Gran Turismo 4 had promised online gameplay when it was in development, but upon release it was announced that the game would not support these features. Forza, however, did support online racing, and for the first time players were able to challenge their friends and strangers from the comfort of their own home. Additionally, Forza was praised for its highly realistic sound and controls. With the dawn of the next generation of consoles just around the corner, Gran Turismo had a lot of work on its hands if it wanted to retake its crown.
The protagonists of the first major console war
The Race for the Podium
Gamers faced a difficult decision. PS3 or Xbox 360? Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport? As console exclusives, gamers were having to choose between the two (unless they were lucky enough to be able to get both consoles). With online gaming now a major part of the industry, players not only had to choose which game they preferred to play solo but also which one their friends were getting so that everyone could play together.
At this point, Polyphony Digital did something they hadn’t done before; they took a break. With 6 years between the releases of Gran Turismo 4 and 5, twice as long as any previous gap, expectations in the gamer racing community were high. This was exacerbated by the fact that during this time Forza Motorsport 2 and 3 were released to critical acclaim.
Forza Motorsport 3 was released a year before Gran Turismo 5, and Forza Motorsport 4 was due for release a year later. Sandwiched between two Forza games, the pressure was on for Gran Turismo 5 to live up to the hype and muscle its way back to the top of the best racing games list.
Gran Turismo 5 and Forza Motorsport 3 and 4 all featured online capabilities and were heavily praised upon release. However, Gran Turismo 5 just about won this race, with Forza being pipped at the post thanks to Polyphony Digital’s eye for detail.
Gran Turismo 5 featured a jaw-dropping 1000+ car pool to choose from on release – each with their own unique handling – with more added over time as paid for and free DLC. It drew on circuits from 27 different locations and contained 77 racetracks, meaning that you could now whip past a monumental amount of cars and vistas.
Gran Turismo 5 also improved on other aspects of the game with an all new dynamic weather system incorporated, making racers think more carefully about their driving technique and how they modded and tuned their cars for each race.
Gran Turismo 6 only furthered the gap between itself and the Forza series. While Forza 5 was criticised for its loss of content (more than 300 cars were removed from the title), Gran Turismo increased its number of cars and tracks, as well as further improving graphics, handling and – perhaps most importantly of all – its audio design; the one area where Forza had beaten Gran Turismo time and again.
Gran Turismo 6 was the first game in history to have FIA-certified content, and the list of manufacturers featured included series classics such as Aston Martin, Dodge and Lamborghini.
Next up was Gran Turismo Sport. Foregoing the use of a number this time, Sport was far more focused on the online aspects of racing games. The single player campaign mode had been removed – to some disgruntlement – however, the addition of Porsche cars for the first time ever was celebrated by fans of the series.
The Porsche 911 GT3 made its first appearance in Gran Turismo Sport
The Future of Gran Turismo
With Gran Turismo 7 only two weeks away (at the time of writing), the hype is very much real and expectations are sky high for what Polyphony Digital can produce. Graphics, physics and audio have been given a huge update in order to push the PlayStation 5 to its technological limits.
Fan favourite campaign mode is also making a return, allowing players to start their own career and progress from used car owner to sports car aficionado. Having been missing from the last couple of Gran Turismo games, campaign mode is a more than welcome addition with many fans having been upset by its absence in the past.
Most importantly, Gran Turismo 7 sees the return and update of many favourite sports cars and high-performance vehicles. While the car count is lower than Gran Turismo 6, with over 400 cars there are still plenty of wheels to get behind. Popular manufacturers are back and below we have listed who they are, and how many cars have been confirmed for the game for each manufacturer. For a full list of each individual vehicle, go here.
Alfa Romeo (9)
Aston Martin (10)
Chris Holstrom Concepts (1)
DS Automobile (1)
Eckert’s Rod & Custom (1)
Gran Turismo (5)
RE Amemiya (1)
Renault Sport (9)
Super Formula (2)
The Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce ’15 is due to make an appearance
While the car count may have decreased for Gran Turismo 7, the racetrack list has increased to over 90. This means that gamers can fill hours upon hours with studying and perfecting new routes, all the while checking out the variety of beautiful landscapes that the game has to offer. Not all of these tracks have been announced as of yet, with Polyphony Digital no doubt keeping some of the biggest as a surprise for closer to the release date. Here are the tracks that have been announced so far:
Autopolis International Racing Course
Broad Bean Raceway
Fuji International Speedway
High Speed Ring
Kyoto Driving Park
Kyoto Driving Park – Miyabi
Kyoto Driving Park – Yamagiwa + Miyabi
Kyoto Driving Park – Yamagiwa
Suzuka Circuit East
Tokyo Expressway – Central Inner Loop
Tokyo Expressway – Central Outer Loop
Tokyo Expressway – East Inner Loop
Tokyo Expressway – East Outer Loop
Tokyo Expressway – South Inner Loop
Tokyo Expressway – South Outer Loop
Autódromo de Interlagos
Blue Moon Bay Speedway
Colorado Springs – Lake
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Road Course
Northern Isle Speedway
Trial Mountain Circuit
Special Stage Route X
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Willow Springs International Raceway
Willow Springs International Raceway: Big Willow
Alsace – Village
Autodrome Lago Maggiore
Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Grand Prix
Circuit de la Sarthe
Circuit de Sainte-Croix
Circuit de Sainte-Croix – A
Circuit de Sainte-Croix – B
Circuit de Sainte-Croix – C
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Deep Forest Raceway
Dragon Trail – Gardens
Dragon Trail – Seaside
Red Bull Ring
Sardegna – Road Track – A
Sardegna – Road Track – B
Sardegna – Road Track – C
Sardegna – Windmills
So tell us, are you as excited as we are for the new Gran Turismo? Which car are you most looking forward to driving? And which car is your favourite from past Gran Turismo games?
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