Sometimes thoroughly impressive, other times puzzlingly infuriating, Gran Turismo 7 has hardly gotten off to a smooth launch since its release in March. Of course, in 2022, everything working properly on a big-budget video game on day one is more of an exception than a rule. GT7 is hardly alone in that phenomenon. Still, there’s this nagging sense that, if not for a few maddening design decisions, an emphasis on microtransactions and glaring feature omissions, Polyphony Digital’s latest sim could very well have gone down as its best, shoulder to shoulder with GT4.
Alas, that’s not the game we have today. And the more time passes, the harder it is to imagine people will still be paying attention when GT7 finally feels complete. Incredibly, the game still doesn’t allow multiplayer hosts the ability to change tracks without starting a new lobby, even though Polyphony told the media it was working on a fix for this exact issue three months ago.
A modder named Nenkai claims to have broken GT7 open and perused the game’s code. On Wednesday, Nenkai tweeted that they’ve found track changing and other deeper lobby features — like modifying race regulations on the fly — actually exist in the game at the present moment, but are locked away from end users via a debug switch.
But at least it does serve as a confirmation that it's planned. There are also a couple other debug testing features such as directly changing tracks.— Nenkai (@Nenkaai) June 1, 2022
As Nenkai writes, this could be viewed as reassurance that developers are still working on these critical features, though it’s anybody’s guess when these features will be enabled. Nenkai also gained some insight into the game’s irritating roulette system (every outcome you will ever get is pre-determined, just to twist the knife) and says they’ve found references to “a few dozen cars” in code that are not yet available to players.
Taken together, it all paints a picture that GT7 was released in quite the unfinished state. That’s easy to believe, given how many basic multiplayer features we still don’t have, and the fact that Polyphony can’t seem to update the game with new content without breaking what’s already there.
It didn’t have to be this way; GT7’s predecessor GT Sport was a paragon of polish with few (if any) bugs and a rock-solid framework for online racing. Five years separate the releases of those two games, but nevertheless, GT7 feels distinctly under-baked.
I loved racing online against friends and strangers alike in GT Sport. Unfortunately, GT7’s vacant lobby features have cratered the community’s enthusiasm — even among the game’s best players, like Kenni Hansen, a former competitor in the FIA Gran Turismo World Championships from Denmark. “Online is just completely stripped down,” Hansen told me, “missing a ton of features. Even just hosting a fun lobby with friends is frustrating.” Here’s hoping these fixes drop soon, ideally without causing further headaches in the process.