Gran Turismo 7 is a celebration of cars, and within in that is the world of rallying.
From Group B monsters to Mitsubishi Evos and Subaru Imprezas, there is rallying royalty in Gran Turismo 7. The problem is that the off-road physics and handling is a mess.
There are three off-road venues; Sardenga Windmills, Fisherman's Ranch, and Colorado Springs. While the layouts for these tracks and series of bumps and jumps look like they should lead to good racing, they just don't.
Landing off a jump, even a small one, can bounce the car in an almost random direction. It isn't just the players that this happens to either. AI cars get caught in all kinds of awkward bounces, at times nearly being thrown onto the roof.
This comes on top of troubles flicking the cars through hairpins or maintaining momentum through sections. For those that have played DiRT Rally 2.0 or the WRC series, there's a flow that you get into with these off-road and rally-style races but Gt7 simply doesn't allow for that.
All it means is that off-road racing is a chore. Throw in the fact that you have to engage with it through the GT Cafe if you want to keep unlocking locations and earning cars.
One style doesn't fit all
It seems like the problem stems from having one handling &U physics model across the whole game. While it works brilliantly on tarmac, it feels less than ideal when you take to the dirt.
We certainly appreciate Polyphony continuing to try and fit rally and its place in car culture into the Gran Turismo series, but it's clearly not working. If Gran Turismo wants to get new players into the wider world of cars, giving them an awful representation of rallying is not the way to do it.
Which brings us to something we've championed before at RacingGames.GG. A Gran Turismo spin-off.
Gran Turismo Rally
We've talked about perhaps an open-world GT game to rival the Forza Horizon series, but what about a rally version?
Lifting the trio of off-road circuits from GT7, adding a few more, perhaps with off-road versions of classics like Apricot Hill or Trial Mountain could also be a winner.
Then we could see Polyphony bring their simcade-style handling to the world of rallying and actually give players the chance to enjoy the Group B's, Rallycross, and 90s rally legends.
Gran Turismo has bought a love of cars to millions over the years, but its continued poor integration of rallying has left a core part of racing behind. If Polyphony really want to celebrate off-road racing, they have to start giving it its own physics and handling, and perhaps it's own game to truly make the discipline shine.