Even though this PSVR2 update comes to the main game for free, experiencing Gran Turismo 7’s races in virtual reality (plus a VR car showroom) is just as impressive as any full priced release. Though there are some caveats to its integration, this is something of a jaw-dropper behind the wheel.
What you shouldn’t expect is a front-to-back PSVR2 experience. Menus between races are still presented as flat screens (shown in the standard Cinematic view), and you can’t control the game with the Sense controllers at all. In a race, you won’t be in VR until the opening cutscene has played out as usual, and you’re then suddenly inserted into the scene in all its virtual reality glory.
Gran Turismo 7 in PSVR 2 is eye-opening
But, cor, when you’re away, you’re away. If you’re anything like me, you’ll take your first race much more cautiously than usual, teasing the pedal as you try to balance your learned skill controlling your favourite cars with being placed within a scene that’s rendered in such wonderful fidelity there’s almost a whiff of danger to it.
Immersion has always been critical to Gran Turismo 7, played best from cockpit view, attention to simulated detail ensuring you really feel the power of each vehicle in your hands – and the DualSense still carries that across gracefully in this mode.
Yet it’s hard to emphasise how ‘immersion’ takes on a whole new meaning when you feel yourself within the car itself. There are subtle aspects to it, like glancing over at the GPS or checking your mirrors, that feel enhanced tenfold compared to doing the same with a flat screen in front of you.
As I got used to it, I grew more confident, able to sail around the bends of the tracks we’ve come to know like the back of my hand. The new sense of scale really drives home all the intricacies of each course, especially when it comes to changes in elevation. The ups and downs of the likes of Trial Mountain make the stomach drop a little, and Alsace’s distinctive large, deeply curved corner is a riot to hurl yourself around, almost feeling the centrifugal force yourself as you move smoothly in and out.
What's still true also is GT 7 is as much the showstopper now as when it first launched (now boasting even more content thanks to updates). This new mode is a fantastic way to play, though it’s a shame that it only delivers a new viewpoint rather than incorporating other features of PSVR2.
Still, in-race it’s a delight, and hardcore players will probably want to pair it with one of the many supported wheel controllers anyway, orbs be damned. It’s a stunner, and not one you should miss if you own PSVR2, whether you already have the game or not.
New to Sony's latest headset? Then read PSVR 2 review and also catchup on other games for this new technology, including our Horizon Call of the Mountain review, Sony's own blockbuster game for this headset. For something a little more unusual, read our Before Your Eyes review.
This article first appeared in Play Magazine issue 26. You can subscribe to the print edition, digital version, or save even more with the print/digital bundle – whatever you choose, you’ll be receiving an unprecedented trove of dedicated PlayStation coverage every month.