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I’m not exactly what you would call a car guy. Gran Turismo 7 — which comes out on March 4 for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 — wants to change that.

This game just loves cars. It loves the way they look. It loves the way they race. It loves just talking about them. It’s a kind of respectful reverence that’s infectious.

Gran Turismo 7 is also a gorgeous game, which helps its whole “cars are great” pitch.

Rolling start

In many ways, it feels like Gran Turismo 7 is a game meant for car novices like me. It takes its time explaining the history and the ways of racing. There’s a core progression mode tied into a virtual café. Here, you open menu books that list different objectives. For example, you might have to win a specific race or collect certain cars. This system introduces you to the basics of GT7 in a way that’s thematically interesting.

The café, with its chill, pretty atmosphere, epitomizes Gran Turismo 7. Even though it’s all about racing, this is (more often than not) a relaxing game.

A Mazda in Gran Turismo 7.
A Mazda in Gran Turismo 7.

It’s also one that lets you ease into the experience. You have a lot of options when it comes to racing difficulty. You can even let the game handle acceleration for you. Or you can turn on markers that let you know when you should brake ahead of turns.

You can keep these options on and then slowly switch them as you become more comfortable with racing, and Gran Turismo 7 gives you plenty of tool to learn. You start off with simple cars before moving up to stronger, faster vehicles. You can practice important racing skills like cornering and passing at the License Center and Missions challenges, and completing those can also help you unlock more cars.

Gotta collect them all

Gran Turismo 7 has multiple progression systems, like filling out those menu books or completing those license tests. But you also have a collector level that increase whenever you unlock new cars.

The game has a ton of vehicles. You can unlock them by completing certain races, challenges, or by buying them directly from the in-game stores (you use credits you earn by completing races and challenges for those transactions). It lets me unleash my inner Jay Leno (something I never thought I’d want) and amass my own car collection, starting small and eventually unlocking classic brands like Mustang and Corvette.

These cars aren’t just trophies for some showroom. Gran Turismo 7 loves automobile history. Some of the in-game dealers include detailed timelines about specific manufacturers. A friendly patron at the café can give you information about whatever car you’re driving. GT7 manages to make each vehicle feel special.

The Honda Civic.
The Honda Civic.

PS5 power

Gran Turismo 7 is gorgeous on PlayStation 5. The cars themselves look as good as any digital vehicles ever have, and the tracks can show off some stunning vistas.

It also makes great use of the Dual Sense controllers. The way the controller shakes or how the triggers resist you can give you a lot of information on how you should drive. There’s something intuitive about it, kind of like driving an actual car. You can feel when the machine is fighting back.

A relaxing drive

More than how it looks or plays, I appreciate Gran Turismo 7’s vibe. It’s just pleasant. I know I can start the game, play through a few races or license tests, and make some meaningful progress.

Of course, if you’re looking for something a bit more competitive, that’s there with multiplayer. I was even surprised to see the game offer a two-player splitscreen mode that ran well.

But that’s not how I want to play Gran Turismo 7. I’m just here for the vibes and some relaxing rides, and GT7 is happy to let me enjoy it on my own terms.

I’m not going to suddenly become some kind of car super fan, but I definitely have more appreciate for the hobby now.

Gran Turismo 7 comes out on March 4 for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4. Sony sent a PS5 code for this review.

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