Forza Motorsport Review
It’s been a hot minute since we have had a Forza Motorsport game, we had two great entries in the Horizon series since the last one. Has the time off given this series a chance to reinvent itself? Perhaps continue to absolutely master the art of racing games? Or does it just bring things back to the way they used to be? Yes to all of the above, kind of….
Forza Motorsport is a sim racing video game at its core. At launch, Forza Motorsport has 500 vehicles and hundreds of upgrades. While over 100 of these will be new to the series, many of them have returned from earlier Forza Motorsport games.
The game includes elements such as ray tracing in real-time on the track, tire wear, dynamic time of day, damage model changes with better-defined damage, and dirt buildup. There will be other effects, such as “animated track life”, “physically based lighting and volumetric fog effects”, and “a fully procedural cloud system”. The game also includes a single-player career mode and several online multiplayer modes.
So lets dive into it. The game features an all new single player “campaign” I use the term loosely as there is no narrative or history throughout the campaign, it’s simply moving from one cup to another that are tied to specific geographic locations. There is ALOT of grind here as there are over 800 performance upgrades available, however how you do so has been changed from previous entries.
The campaign presents just a functional event grid. There are five tours, each consisting of four series of four to six races apiece, plus a showcase event as a capstone. Each of these focusing on different eras or styles of cars. No fanfare, no festivals, no overworld….just gritty hardcore racing.
While there are a decent number of tracks to choose from/play through unfortunately, the loop can get a little dull quickly. After you select your track/race the game wants you to hit some practice, do some laps on the track to fine tune your game plan. After that you race the same track. After a while it can get quite mind numbing to chase down a slightly better lap time. BUT due to the nature of the game, you have to grind.
You cannot simply purchase upgrades for your car, they have to be earned by using that specific car. So it takes a long time to as they say “get good” with a specific car that you like, all to have to start over with restrictions of type of car you may be able to use on the next tour/cup.
I was able to get into a few of the online multiplayer events and they are a lot of fun, however depending on the restrictions or lack of on a specific multiplayer event you might be bringing a super soaker to a gun fight. There were many times the cars right out the gate outclassed me by far. But honestly it’s nicely handled and done well compared to previous entries, but there is a lack of split screen for those who want to couch co-op it.
Where the game REALLY shines is its visuals, the game is an absolute stunner. Day/night mechanics, ray tracing, sunsets, rain, it’s got everything…..my personal favorites are the lighting effects when it is absolutely pouring out. Which yes, does effect the grippiness of your tires, which can wear out on top of all that as well depending on length of the race and how you drive. Your cars get dirty, damaged, all with how you choose to hit the track.
All in all, a VERY solid entry in the series with many great things going for it, but a few shortcomings as well. Visually and mechanically it is a masterclass. But fun and entertaining? Well not for me but maybe for extreme gear heads. To make the direct comparison, I think Gran Tourismo did a better job of trying to entertain us, and teach us a little about racing and the cars they feature. Forza is like we did racing, REALLY WELL….. MIC DROP.