Gran Turismo 7 is Polyphony Digital's best outing in years. In terms of critical reviews, it's one of the highest-rated games in the series, surpassing recent titles such as Gran Turismo 5, Gran Turismo 6, and Gran Turismo Sport. More importantly, Gran Turismo 7 put the franchise in a good position to reclaim its pole position in the racing sim genre. Unfortunately, weeks after our initial report on how microtransactions are bogging Gran Turismo 7 down, things have only gotten worse.
A few weeks after the game's launch, Gran Turismo 7 was plagued by a problem foreseen by many - the game was unplayable because of the server maintenance. Polyphony's insistence on making Gran Turismo 7 an "always online" game was always going to have consequences. These types of games have long been criticized for being at the mercy of unstable internet connections, among other potential issues, so it remains odd that the studio insists on tarnishing an otherwise excellent racing sim with this decision.
If you look up Gran Turismo 7 on Metacritic right now, it has a user score of 2.4, which is a far cry from its 87 critic score. To be fair, racing fans are still happy with the gameplay and graphics, but the always-online campaign and rampant microtransactions are ruining the experience.
Review-bombing has become extremely common in games in recent years. The universally loved Elden Ring was also on the receiving end of such criticism, but it was somewhat warranted because of the dismal state of the PC port. Things might get worse for Elden Ring on the PC the longer FromSoftware takes to fix the ongoing death loop issue. But, unlike Elden Ring, as well as recent games with fixable problems, addressing the always-online issue with Gran Turismo 7 might not be possible anymore. A good example of this is Diablo 3, with its always-online PC version.
Almost a decade after it was first released for the PC, Blizzard still requires PC gamers to maintain an internet connection at all times to play Diablo 3. On the other hand, the studio added an "offline" mode to subsequent console Diablo 3 versions. In this case, Gran Turismo 7 might no longer have an always-online requirement "if" Sony decides to port it over to the PC, which isn't impossible but highly unlikely at the moment.
To make matters worse, series founder Kazunori Yamauchi issued an unfavorable response to the exorbitant vehicle prices in Gran Turismo 7. Yamauchi claims that the game's vehicle pricing should reflect their real-world counterparts for better simulation. This is a flawed logic that doesn't spell good news for the future of microtransactions in Gran Turismo 7.
Ultimately, the only thing that Gran Turismo 7 players can do is to continue review-bombing the game. Polyphony will have no choice but to listen to the market and do something about the vehicle prices in Gran Turismo 7 if it starts to affect the game's sales numbers and public perception.