Racing in the wet in Gran Turismo 7 could be the best ever in racing

Racing in the wet in Gran Turismo 7 could be the best ever in racing

Implementing full blown weather is the holy grail for driving games. This is why the characteristics of the weather vary between the series belonging to this genre, because it is completely absent in some of them, and it is also the reason why we have been waiting for it for 14 years in iRacing (by the way, we can have it by the end of this year, thanks?).

In light of what we saw during the presentation of Gran Turismo 7 at the State of Play, we could safely say that the weather implementation of the new Polyphony game represents a new standard for this feature.

This is not a complete novelty for the series, we have already seen dynamic weather races in Gran Turismo 5, refined in Gran Turismo 6 and also implemented in GT Sport via an update that arrived very late, but in GT7 went above and beyond with new ideas that we had never seen before.

Watch on YouTube. The trademark of the eccentric Polyphony Digital is recognized. As we saw in GT6, the starry sky returns, with astronomy enthusiast Kazunory Yamauchi making sure that each star is exactly mapped in the Californian sky of the Laguna Seca circuit (and even variable depending on the time of night); the Moon also rises and sets in the right celestial coordinates. The color of the stars will also change according to the density of the air, with the haze taking on a decisive role in the hue of the sky.

It's a small detail, but the weather radar (which you can see below right) is really interesting: it replaces the visual sky control which is an integral part of real motorsport. In GT7 we are faced with a level of fidelity that also embraces the formation of clouds. Their extent and density is taken from mathematical simulations that should guarantee authentic skies based on the position in the world of each track. So to give an example, the cloud formations above Brands Hatch will be different from those in the skies above Interlagos. Okay, it won't be as great as what DriveClub has shown in all its overrated glory, but what matters here is authenticity. All this is also transmitted to the surface of the track: a puddle will form where it can be expected and the guide line will begin to dry out at the end of the rain. Even the density of the air will have an impact on wake and performance.

A dry line in the Tsukuba circuit shows how the weather works in Gran Turismo 7. It will not be a feature on all tracks and there is no track list with this support, but you can expect to find it in classics like Le Mans and Daytona. However, one of those small details impressed us. A weather radar has been built into the HUD which shows cloud formations and their dynamic position above the track. This implies that sudden and localized storms will be a factor to be taken into account, so on an 18Km track like that of the Nurburgring it could rain only in certain sections (a challenge that real pilots often face). This feature has been adopted by other driving games in the past but never with such a level of predictability. Really brilliant!

As for the dynamism of the weather and its consequences on the actual driving in Gran Turismo 7, it is an important thing to analyze but almost impossible to evaluate without having the chance to test the game with our hands. Luckily, it doesn't take long for this to happen, as Gran Turismo 7 is out on March 4th.

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