Gran Turismo 7 is a failure

Seven months on from release and Gran Turismo 7 has almost entirely faded into the background for racers.

What was meant to be a return to glory for the franchise has all but disappeared from the racing scene and 2022 isn't even over yet.

So what exactly has gone wrong?

Lacklustre single-player

After Gran Turismo Sport's heavy focus on online multiplayer there was plenty of talk that GT7 would be a return to the glory of single-player.

As it turns out the hope of millions was entirely misplaced.

The single-player aspect of Gran Turismo 7 has been a huge letdown. Sure, the Missions and Licence Centre once again captivated, but only for a few weeks. Outside of that, there was little tradition for the Gran Turismo veterans, and almost nothing replayable.

The GT Cafe took the place of a normal campaign and only served to set challenges that pushed players through automotive history rather than through Sunday Cups and up the ranks.

Once completed there was no reason to go back, while all the Missions and Licence Tests only payout rewards once, which is a bigger problem we will come onto later.

Previous Gran Turismo games made their name on a deep upgrade/tune/race loop that kept you searching for that extra performance in dull old road cars as you worked your way up to the hypercars.

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With GT7 not only did the Cafe throw new cars at you at a rapid rate, but you soon had Gr.3 cars in your garage and every race going pushes you to use these cars over almost anything else.

Then there is the AI. While games like ACC and F1 have AI drivers that you can really battle with and will test you, but GT7's AI is awful.

Single-player use a rolling start with the lead car often 25+ seconds ahead of you just to cover for the fact that the AI is incredibly basic and no fun to race against.

The endless grind

The in-game economy of GT7 is a debacle, even still. Rewards for races are pitiful, which has just served to push players into repeating the same race over and over again.

Those races that could be gamed, like with the Tomahawk in Tokyo, were quickly patched. This was combined with new circuits, like Watkins Glen and fresh Barcelona layouts, coming in with no reward incentive to race them.

All of this was combined with limited time availability of wildly expensive cars to drive players toward microtransactions.

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The Legend Cars section has a rotating cast of cars that can cost up to 20 million credits that are only available for a short amount of time, all while rewards even for online races are tiny.

There is obviously a balance to strike. Forza Horizon 5 throws hundreds of cars at players almost immediately. But Gran Turismo 7 implements FOMO to push players to play longer or pay real money.

It's not well-balanced and doesn't incentivise well-rounded play. The races with the best payouts have been the same for months, forcing those with only a little time to race to simply repeat the same race over and over if they want to eventually afford that Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W194) '52.

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Gran Turismo Sport 2.0

All of that could have been just about acceptable if there was some evolution in the online offering, but there really hasn't been.

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Daily Races are still just a trio of events that change weekly, and still usually involve Gr.3 or Gr.4 cars with the BoP forcing players into one car if they want to compete.

Rewards are awful, custom lobbies are still unstable, and while Race A has been converted to an unranked race, it all still feels very much like Gran Turismo Sport.

Will Gran Turismo ever rediscover the magic?

In the end, GT7 has been a failure when it comes to the classic Gran Turismo experience or even leaving a mark in the racing scene.

There's been no innovation or creation that others will impliment. While new cars and tracks will be added over the lifecycle of the game, there is little reason play beyond the racing. And that's where the problem lies.

While iRacing and rFactor 2 are limited to PC players only, titles like Assetto Corsa Competizione have landed on PlayStation and offered a far better driving experience for players.

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Gran Turismo may sell itself as the "real driving simulator" but that has never really been true, and there are more examples of it than ever before.

It's going to be a few years before Gran Turismo 8, and by then we will be a long, long way from the peak of the series with GT4.

Single-player is not emphasised in many racing games anymore, but where it is it is done much, much better than Gran Turismo 7. But for all that lack of care with the single-player experience, the online play is still lacking too.

Overall, Gran Turismo 7 has been a huge letdown for racers around the world, and it brings into question the continued prominence of the series.

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