The PlayStation VR2 delivers one of the best virtual reality experiences you can find—if you can stomach the $599 cost (on top of an already expensive console). That was the crux of our review a few weeks ago. But our impressions of the headset were also limited by the games we were able to preview. Since then, Sony has officially launched PS VR2 support for Gran Turismo 7, and Capcom has done the same for Resident Evil Village. Both are exclusive showpieces for the PlayStation VR2 (RE Village also has an unofficial PC VR mod), and exemplify everything Sony got right with this new hardware.
Now, I'm not much of a racing sim player, I'd much rather be zooming around Forza Horizon's open worlds, or revisiting the glory days of Ridge Racer Type 4 and Burnout Paradise. But with PS VR2 support, Gran Turismo 7 feels like a completely different game. In VR, you're right in the driver's seat — you can almost feel Polyphony Digital's obsessive attention to detail. The game also feels more exhilarating, as it delivers a far greater sense of speed (a consequence of having your entire field of vision consumed by the world of GT7).
I've always appreciated the Gran Turismo games from afar, but there was a stiffness to the actual racing experience that kept me away. GT7 doesn't fully fix that flaw, but it's less pronounced in virtual reality. The combination of the Dual Sense controller and the PS VR2's built-in haptics delivered a genuinely realistic driving experience, I could feel bumps in the road in my hands and occasional feedback from hitting walls or bumping into opponents. (I never said I was a great virtual driver.) I'm sure Gran Turismo obsessives would take away even more from the virtual reality experience, especially if they're using a decent steering wheel controller.
The more time I spent in GT7 VR, the more I appreciated the little details in the game, similar to my time with Flight Simulator VR. Instead of changing camera angles or hitting a button to scope out the competition, you simply look at your side and rear view mirrors. When you're changing gears, your in-game avatar correctly shifts between the steering wheel and shifter. I occasionally had to avert my eyes from the sun while rounding a corner, a testament to the bright 4K OLED display in the PSVR2.
At one point, I was blasting down a straightaway as the sun peeked through clouds behind me, its brightness perfectly reflected in my rear view mirrors. It cast realistic shadows throughout the world, and it was so bright I couldn't properly use that mirror – just like real life! While the game doesn't look perfect in VR — there are some noticeably low-res elements in some tracks, like guardrails, signage and audiences — it's good enough to make you feel like you're actually behind a turbo-charged monster.