Gran Turismo 7 has us and the racing games community very excited. GT7 is going to bring a lot of new and upgraded features to the table. One of these is the damage model, which has been a major source of disappointment in the past.
It's a very sore subject for GT players, and it's probably been the most unrealistic aspect to the Real Driving Simulator. So, why is this and what can we expect to see in GT7? We've got everything you need to know right here!
Issues with previous damage models
It's fair to say that Gran Turismo games haven't had a damage model in the past. For some reason, Polyphony has never implemented one, even for Gran Turismo Sport. This is probably down to the developers wanting to focus on other areas of the simulation, such as the physics model.
In fairness, that has paid off, as GT has consistently had the most impressive physics model in sim racing for decades now. However, the problem is that the lack of a damage model mentally checks you out of the game.
If you're flying down a straight at over 200 mph and your car smashes into the wall, you'd expect some serious damage to occur. That doesn't happen in GT though, as you'll only procure some dirt onto the front of the car. Mechanically and visually, the car will look almost perfect.
While the physics model is the best around, this lack of a damage model really does hurt GT's credibility. This is especially true when you consider that series like Forza and even Need for Speed have decent damage models.
Potential issues with upgraded damage
So, aside from wanting a better physics model, why has Polyphony failed to deliver when it comes to damage? Well, there are a few alternative theories that have some weight to them.
Imagine for a second that you work high-up for a big car manufacturer. Polyphony want to feature some of your cars in the upcoming Gran Turismo game. That's great exposure, you want to sign up, but there's a problem. In the paperwork, it says that your cars will be susceptible to damage.
"I don't want that" would be their response every time. The reasoning is simple as well, you don't want your cars to be perceived as structurally weak or dangerous. Those that are long-time players of the Formula 1 games by Codemasters will know what we're talking about here.
Another problem with enabling damage is related to longer and endurance races. If you're nearing the end of an endurance race and you spin out, wrecking or seriously damaging your car, your frustration would be through the roof. Some would say that you'd deserve that, but that kind of incident seriously hurts the accessibility of GT.
Now, you could limit the damage to visual only, but you'd run into the realism issues again.
What level of damage can we expect?
Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi has been a goldmine of information on GT7. Yamauchi has spoken to the fans about all things GT and has been our main source of information when it comes to GT7. However, on this subject, the Polyphony CEO has only stated that the damage will be "upgraded" when compared to GT Sport.
We didn't see any damage featured in the trailer either, so there's not a lot to go on here. We're hoping that this upgrade is a significant one though, so that we'll be able to race more on the edge of our seats going forward.
Because if we're being honest, racing is fun, but without the fear of spinning off and ruining the car there, GT has really lost an element of gameplay compared to its competition.