Gran Turismo 7‘s is already the greatest dad game of 2022. It’s a game that venerates the very dadcore pastime of spending whole weekends stooped over the open bonnet of an old car. The kind of game that understands a dad’s desire to rattle off facts about his 1972 Holden LJ Torana.
This is exemplified by the Gran Turismo 7 intro cinematic, a somehow both sepia-toned and rose-tinted history of the internal combustion engine. It’s a guided, chronological tour of the 18th century’s most significant invention. A device so powerful and important that, 200 odd years later it mechanical engineering. The intro covers the ICE’s earliest prototypes, its greatest failures, and finest exemplars.
It’s emotionally manipulative in a Spielbergian way. The colour-grading, the orchestral arrangement that lies behind it, and the inexorable stroll toward the familiar vehicles of the post-war era are genuinely moving. You care because the author cares, and insists, noisily, that This Is Important. It feels important, and so it is.
The intro plays each time you boot into Gran Turismo 7, and you can access it from the menus to watch it as often as you like. The thing that did stick out to me on multiple rewatches was the lack of Japanese faces. Almost all the people featured in the stock footage used to create the intro are white. A damning indictment of the era in which the footage was created, perhaps.
It grabs my attention, though, because few in the 20th century did more to make the automobile accessible to everyday people than the Japanese. Part of its post-war reconstruction involved observing the cars the Americans and the Europeans were producing and streamlined that work for mass production. Polyphony: You’re Japanese developers making a Japanese game that contains Japanese cars. It’s totally fine to take a victory lap if you want to.
Anyway, make sure you have a hanky on hand for dad when you show him Gran Turismo 7 intro. He may be overcome by this museum-level veneration of machines in motion.