Unwrapping PlayStation’s State of Play Gran Turismo 7 showcase

With just over a month to go until the release of Gran Turismo 7, PlayStation’s first State of Play stream for the year decided to spend an entire 30 minutes devoted to the racing sim. With an admittedly impressive amount of things to unpack in such a short amount of time, one thing is clear; the series is aiming to return to its roots.

That being said, this latest iteration isn’t afraid to shake things up. Sure, the lounge music, License Tests, and painstaking attention to detail return, all wrapped in a tightly focused journey of progression that sees you working your way up from the Toyota Corollas of the world, into something a little faster. First things first, we were given a quick glance at the Cafe; the new heart of your racing campaign. Here, players can view Menu Books, which allows players to participate in races and unlock specific vehicles by completing certain objectives. With up to 30 Menu Books to check out and complete, the Cafe is sure to provide an element of depth and longevity to the racing experience within Gran Turismo 7.

You’ll also get the chance to navigate the hub world and shop from three main dealers, all providing a total of over 400 cars at launch. From the mainstream Brand Central to the niche Used Car Dealer, all the way to the Legendary Car Dealer, these three unique points of contact will not only offer you certain exclusive vehicles but a look behind the curtain, as you navigate slideshows and presentations of various manufacturer histories and legacies. The menus here are sleek and minimal, as you learn about each vehicle and its road to the present day.

As you would expect with Gran Turismo’s attention to detail in terms of vehicles, it seems as though the weather has been treated to a heavy range of dynamic weather improvements. It’s here where Gran Turismo 7 yearns for next-gen hardware in its implementation. Closely linked to the Dual Sense controller’s haptic feedback functionality, players will gain a heightened sense of rain severity, road texture and grip, and pedal pressure. Visually speaking, this might also be the most realistic interpretation of weather ever displayed within a driving game.

While car customisation has never been a weak point of the Gran Turismo series, it now seems like its biggest and most confident step forward. A vehicle’s performance points were always attributed in blanket rules that automatically affected and tuned cars in multiple ways, without ever expecting the user to question why the weight and grip of the car would always scale up with the increased power of a car. This time around, attributes are truly separate, giving you full control over exact upgrades to how a car handles out on the road; for better or worse. I hope that this deep dive into customisation keeps the casual fans engaged rather than terrified, but it’s also hard to argue with the amount of depth shown off here.

This 30-minute window into the upcoming Gran Turismo 7 is one that we can’t wait to see more of. Given the release date is just over a month away, a visit to the Gran Turismo Cafe accompanied by that sweet, sweet lounge music isn’t that far away. However, feel free to check out the presentation for yourself below. Gran Turismo 7 releases on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on the 4th of March 2022.

Matthew Arcari

Matthew Arcari is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. You can find him on Twitter at @sirchunkee, or at the Dagobah System, chilling with Luke and Yoda.