Facepalm: The Gran Turismo series is unquestionably one of the most popular driving simulators ever released. The launch of GT7 was received favorably by critics, viewing it as a departure from previous efforts and a return to the game's true roots. Despite the praise, players are absolutely panning Sony's driving masterpiece on Metacritic for changes and features introduced with the game's most recent patch.
The recent criticism by GT7 players isn't a result of poorly designed visuals, control, or game physics. On the contrary, most would say GT7 is as polished as one would expect, delivering eye-catching graphics, sound, and a level of control that lets players feel like they're in the driver's seat. Instead, the low-ranking user scores continue to pile up due to Sony's latest patch, which increased reliance on microtransactions and significantly ramped up the difficulty to earn credits in the game.
Credits are the currency of the Gran Turismo world, and historically players could grind races to earn amounts sufficient to expand their garage---at least until Patch 1.07, which has since adjusted the rewards for 18 different races that players previously frequented to fill their in-game bank account. This reward adjustment makes credits much harder to earn, putting many of the game's higher-end cars out of reach to anyone not willing to purchase credits via the game's microtransaction system or spend up to 20 hours grinding for a single vehicle.
The change did not sit well with the PlayStation exclusive's fanbase, with many seeing it as nothing but a cash grab by Sony and Polyphony Digital. As of publication, the game's Metacritic user score sits at a dismal 2.2, officially underachieving some of Sony's previous worst-score holders, including World of Warriors (2.9) and the PSP's NBA 10 The Inside (3.0). The negative reviews were further fueled by an unplanned outage earlier this week that made the game mostly unplayable for nearly 24 hours.
Those players who don't want to spend literal days of their life earning one vehicle can buy in-game credits for real money, though the price may vary depending on geographic location. Regardless of location, rest assured the hottest wheels in the game won't come cheap. Players can expect to pay up to 20 million credits for some of the game's legendary cars.
With in-game currency valued at $19.99 per 2,000,000 credits in the US, these legendaries have a real-world equivalent value of $200 each. It's a move akin to EA's Battlefront II fiasco in 2017 when players calculated that unlocking all the base-game content would take 4,528 hours of gameplay or $2,100 in microtransactions. In that case, fan blowback caused EA to halt all microtransactions and rethink its monetization strategy. We'll have to wait to see how Sony and Polyphony handle the GT7 review bombing.