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I’ve been waiting for this announcement for years. The long-awaited, much-anticipated next full installment of the Gran Turismo video game dynasty has finally been given a concrete release date: March 4th, 2022. With that and Sony’s confirmation that GT7 will be available on PS5 and PS4, Gran Turismo fans can finally exhale; we are getting the next one.

It was confirmed this week after the PlayStation showcase live stream showed viewers an unseen trailer for the game with apparently real gameplay footage and strong hints at what the final menu structure will look like. Nay, they basically showed everyone what the game will look like. Clear-as-day in-game footage of the much-missed car modification menu, the car dealerships, and the return of historic GT tracks are promising a lot of good content for the debut of the game.

The trailer itself would make any Gran Turismo fan go nuts. There are moments that call back to the older games and it seems that the menus of GT7 are returning to the styles and motifs of earlier games as well. I lost my mind when they gave the Porsche 917 Living Legend concept car the same treatment as the Ford GT in the Gran Turismo 4 intro. The same 360-degree pan, slightly cutting the bottom of the car off from the frame, through all of the seasons and landscapes of the game. I didn’t just lose my mind. I utterly lost my shit.

I actually took a look at the Gran Turismo 4 intro again to refresh my mind, though it was already pretty well seared into the folds of my brain. The lengths of the GT7 trailer and the GT4 intro are nearly the same, only one second apart. Even the pacing of both is pretty similar. Both start off with a slow, dramatic, contemplative moment with their respective cars and some motorsport scenes, then explode at the mid-point to become action-packed, energetic racing scenes. I don’t think this callback to GT4 is any coincidence, considering the cult status of that particular Gran Turismo above most others. Polyphony Digital, developers of the whole series, seem to believe the newest game is a return to form.

The GT7 menu on the top left, the GT3 menu on the right, and the GT4 menu at the bottom. Chris Rosales

Some more interesting connections to older games are seen in the trailer, especially in the menu structure of what appears to be GT mode. The GT7 menus call straight back to GT4 and GT3, with the player’s menu interactions illustrated by a small city with various locations like the car dealership, mod shop, career mode, online mode, and others represented by buildings on an overhead map. These were noticeable omissions from GT5 and GT6, dropped in favor of normal menus with a constantly rolling film of in-game car beauty shots. I’m sure fans of the series will love the return to the personality of the old menus.

It’s good to see a full Gran Turismo release finally happen. GT6 came out in 2013, which sounds preposterous but it’s true. Gran Turismo Sport bridged the gap in 2017 to satisfy fans and open an avenue into E-sports for the series. While an excellent game, it was never intended to be a full Gran Turismo. 

I am extremely, almost uncomfortably excited for the new Gran Turismo. Fans of the series have been waiting a very long time for another one, and we finally have a true release date. Whether it will be delayed is yet to be seen, but the fact that they gave us a date gives me a lot of hope. Check back in next year for when we finally get to play the latest from the legendary developer.

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