Gran Turismo 7's new Music Rally mode focuses on the tunes - not the racing

Gran Turismo 7 gameplay
(Image credit: Polyphony Digital)

Gran Turismo 7 is introducing a new mode that will let you focus on the music rather than going fast.

Revealed during Sony's State of Play event on February 2, Music Rally will be a much more laid-back affair than Gran Turismo 7's other modes, with the purpose of the mode for players to simply drive along, take in the scenery - and most importantly - enjoy the music. 

During a recent preview event, developer Polyphony Digital explained that it decided to create the mode after seeing demand from players over the years for a Gran Turismo mode that would let them drive through the game's scenery in a "relaxed manner", like you would in a real car, rather than zipping past it. 

In addition, the developer says it knows that some players want to listen to music while driving in Gran Turismo - while being able to hear the sounds of the car - but previously, to actually hear that revving engine and screeching tires, players would have to turn the music off. So, the developer thought, why not combine both? 

Dropping beats

Music Rally is a result of that combination, but it's more than an aimless driving simulation. To complete the mode level, players will need to listen to a music track the whole way through, with the twist being that, as you drive, you lose 'beats', not seconds. When your beats run out, the race is over but if you listen to the whole track without running out of beats then you complete the rally. However, while you're driving, you can pass through 'gates' (pink banners) that give you extra beats. 

Different music tracks have different BPM (beats per minute), so some songs may have more beats than others, while tracks with changing tempos will have beats that go up and down accordingly. Polyphony hasn't confirmed if all of Gran Turismo's 300+ music tracks and 90+ race tracks will be available in this mode, but we do know that music from previous Gran Turismo games will be making a return. 

Polyphony Digital emphasized that the priority in Music Rally isn't "driving fast", but the motivation for trying to collect extra beats is simply "for competitive players who will want to out-do their friends", with how many beats you gathered shown in the 'Music Replay' at the end of the rally. 

"The biggest objective of Music Rally is we want people to enjoy the music," Director and CEO of Polyphony Digital, Kazunori Yamauchi, said during the preview event. "The other important point, we wanted people who are playing for the first time - may never have played a car game for the first time - we wanted it to be something they could enjoy."

Opinion: a chance to kick back and relax

Two cars in Gran Turismo 7 racing around a track

(Image credit: Polyphony Digital)

Music Rally sounds like it will be a nice palate cleanser between Gran Turismo 7's more rigorous racing modes, offering the chance for players to actually kick back a bit and enjoy the new Gran Turismo's environments - not to mention music.

And, from what we've seen so far, that's something that will be worth doing as Gran Turismo 7 is set to be the most realistic entry in the series yet - on PS5 anyway. The footage showed at State of Play, and at our preview event, certainly seems to bolster that claim by Polyphony Digital. 

While Music Rally may not be for everyone, and its competitive/but not competitive nature is a tad confused, it sounds like Polyphony has really listened to the Gran Turismo community when developing the series' latest entry. We're just glad that we'll finally be able to take in the scenery without causing a fiery crash.

TRG has contacted the developer for confirmation on the music and racing tracks available.

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.