Forza Motorsport 7 Review
There isn’t anything quite like getting behind the wheel of a fast car and hitting the track, and although many people don’t enjoy simulation racing titles – myself included, for the record – there is still something really appealing about loading up a Forza Motorsport title for the first time. Although my early moments in Forza were not everything I hoped they would be, there is definitely a strong challenge here that I’m more than willing to master! Forza Motorsport 7 is not a game you want to miss!
The Forza series is broken up into two parts: the arcade-y, open worlds of Forza Horizon – my personal favorite racing franchise of all time – and of course, the simulation Forza Motorsports Series. Coming over from Forza Horizon 3 to Forza Motorsport 7 was pretty difficult, as I had to learn a whole new way of driving, at day and night, rain or shine. The challenge in Forza is there. It is whether or not the player has the willingness to rise to that challenge and overcome it.
Right off the hop, players are pulled into a linear ‘story’ that will last 15-20 minutes, depending on your racing skills. You will be introduced to three different types of racing – exotic cars, big trucks, and then what you would deem a ‘typical’ race car. You will also drive in a variety of weather types, so you can get a feel for what it’s like to drive when the tracks are clean and dry, or wet and slippery! Although there isn’t anyway to skip this part of the game – as it will also introduce you to your character, as well as the Forza Cup you will be working towards – it is still a worthwhile ‘tutorial’ for those who haven’t played a Forza Motorsport title in a while, or who are coming into the franchise for the first time.
You will learn all the basics: acceleration, breaking, turn control, driving assists – for example, a line will indicate where you should drive for maximum speed, and when you should break for corners – and much more. Being forced to learn all these controls while playing as past racers – this works almost like a flashback for your character, but flashing back to other racers experiences – which won’t tarnish your own racing record, which it would should you need to learn this all on your own time, in your own car.
It was at this point that I was in awe of the games graphics and sound. Although there are better sounding racing games currently available on the market, Forza is no slouch in this regard. While some car enthusiasts will get really excited about this type of thing, it doesn’t really interest me. The graphics, however, are important, and I think the development team has done an excellent job creating one of the best looking Forza games to date; I cannot wait to see how this game looks in 4k on the Xbox One X come November!
After completing the opening tutorial, learning the controls, and establishing your character, you will be let loose on the world of Forza. Each of the six cups are broken down into a number of circuits, which will require a specific type of car to complete. As you progress through each circuit – early on, these are 4 race circuits – you will earn points towards the specific cup you are chasing. Complete the first 5, and be ready to take on the best-of-the-best in the Forza Cup.
In Constant Awe of the Beauty
I found myself constantly being awed by the environments I was driving through, regardless of the weather. Even at night, with rain pouring down, the developers were able to create something that is truly jaw dropping. And remember folks, we aren’t reviewing this on the Xbox One X in 4K. This was just on a standard Xbox One. While the racing components is obviously the most important aspect of a Forza title, you know the game will be great when developers go the extra mile to make sure EVERY aspect of the game – whether it directly affects gameplay or not – is top notch.
Lots of Content, Weird Delivery
There is a lot of content available in Forza Motorsport 7, and Turn 10 didn’t skimp on any of the 32 available tracks and over 200 cars. Unfortunately, the way you play these tracks and unlock these cars is wildly unpredictable. Some of the best modes and tracks in the game rarely come up as you progress through the six cups, and at times, I felt like I was playing the same track more often than others, with different lap requirements, etc.
The cars as well are all tied behind tiers. For faster, better handling cars, you’ll have to grind out a ton of races to level up your racer before being able to purchase the cars you really want. And even then, the credit you will earn from races are not where they should be for a smooth, timely progression. Instead, we are introduce to…
For whatever reason, Microsoft is putting Loot Boxes into almost all it’s flagship titles, and before we jump all over them, we need to fully understand that it is not just them. It’s everybody. It is incredibly unfortunate that these ‘pay-to-win’ mechanics are present in this type of game, and while I appreciate the “If you don’t like them you don’t have to buy them” line of thinking, I can’t get behind that when I think it impacts the overall game experience.
Credits and experience are dolled out sparingly it seems, and to actually unlock all the cars in the game, I cannot even imagine how much you would have to play. I strongly feel like the actual game progression has been slowed to a complete grind to entice people to purchase Loot Boxes, something I just cannot get behind.
Forza Motorsport 7 is a fantastic title, and if you are just looking for a great racing experience – regardless of cars and tracks – this really is a must own for Xbox One racing fans. The weather and environments look fantastic, the cars sound great, and there is a lot of content. Unfortunately, a lot of this content is packed behind pay walls, or long grinding sessions, making progression in Forza 7 a bit of a drag. Recommended, yes, but with reservations. Know what you are purchasing if you plan to play Forza 7!