Forza Motorsport 4
Be ready to experience one of the best racing games made to date – including more than 500 licensed cars, there’s one for everyone to love. With a strong friend in Top Gear, an experienced developer as Turn 10, a big publisher as Microsoft and a heap of tracks throughout the world, there is no way this game can flop.
The stars of the show
Ranging from the small and popular 2011 Chevrolet Spark over old classics such as the Nissan Fairlady from 1969, to the worlds most expensive and fastest production car, the Bugatti Veyron, it’s safe to say that there are plenty of different cars.
While I sincerely love to drive the VW Golf because I was taking my driver’s license in one, the spark and refreshing experience the 1969 Nissan Fairlady has to offer is simply too much fun to pass out on. Trying out the Bugatti Veyron, the worlds fastest and most expensive production car was an adrenaline rush and I had a lot of fun flying down the straight line on Nürburgring in almost 400 kilometres an hour speed. No, I wasn’t able to hit the top speed.
This game sincerely needs a good sound system to go along with it, preferably a surround system 5.1 with good speakers – any other thing simply doesn’t justify the games roaring powers. With recording of real cars from the best in the field, Nick Wiswell (PGR series, Blur) there’s no way the sounds of the cars is going to be a problem. It’s a thrill to listen to the different sounds – even when you’re climbing a hill you can hear a difference with the motor fighting to get the car up to the top. Especially if you’re driving an older model.
The classic and very well known gigantic track, Nürburgring is of course at present, and following suit are 25 other tracks in different environments. I tell you, when the game took me to Infinion for the first time, I rejoiced inside – a track I was really familiar with from NASCAR 2008, as I had a heap of trouble beating a challenge on this very track to the point where I love it. Every corner, turn and hill.
The graphics are in it’s own league. Not only are landscapes and textures on the asphalt better than I’ve ever experienced in any racing game, the effects that the developers was able to pull off is simply surprisingly good. More than once I was trying to get a better view by changing my angle to the screen when there were a glare from the sun in the wet asphalt, or snow in the stunningly environment was blinding me. With soft hills, deep gaps and a lot of different surfaces to try out, there’s plenty to explore on this game – I would had loved to smash up the cars by driving them into the fence or other cars, but Turn 10 decided to keep out the option. Being a simulation racer, this is understandable and acceptable – I won’t go for disintegrating my car anyway, unless I have a weak moment of boredom. Then again, I could just pop in either one of my Burnout games or Blur.
I love the simplicity of the menu. No roundabouts, easy upgrades of the cars, no “website” and no front page with 30 different options that GT5 has. While I loved GT5 for it’s complexity and it’s drivers license modules, I love Forza for keeping this out and just kicking the player into the race instantly.
How hard is this?
It’s hard to determine the difficulty because it’s determined on the players assists settings. I’d love to have the current settings enabled, and the AI at a higher level as I keep winning in first try, sometimes I even reach first place before entering second lap, this being in world tour mode. I have most thing on easy, but turned off braking and steering assists, if I turn anything else off, I’ll be driving on ice.
While this is supposed to be a simulation racer, Top Gears introduction to the Forza series is bound to throw something quirky in. And they did. Apart from including bowling on the Top Gear test track and letting you keep your current car in the Top Gear studio, Jeremy Clarkson is also greeting you upon starting the game up and commenting on the cars when you’re investigating them in Autovista mode.
The online includes a vast number of different modes to try, and I was pretty surprised when I realised they had included soccer and tag. While soccer was a bit of a drag to play because everyone just crashes into each other including their own team mates, both keep the it and spread the it (tag) is a lot of fun when there’s enough players.
You can turn on head tracking, and while that’s a cool feature, it will only work really great if you sit up straight, maybe even using a wheel for a real driving experience. You are able to set the sensitivity, but since the screen won’t move, it’s not really useful as you have to turn your head, and keep your eyes at the screen at the same time.
I give props to the developers for including the opportunity to use the Kinect sensor, but there’s so many restrictions if you wanna make use of it. You can’t race career or online, but there is splitscreen race available and no options to set difficulty or brake assists. The car will accelerate and brake automatically, you’ll only have to turn by holding your hands like your have a steering wheel between your hands. There’s more potential to the sensor than this, like minigames with assembling or puzzling elements.
Having a rewind function available makes it far easier to win a race since the player can correct their fails instantly – most of the time. I had a few encounters where the rewind function simply wasn’t available, and I’m not alone. Reading forums around, other players confirm that the rewind function sometimes turns off – one even experienced that they were rewinded for an entire lap. Luckily enough I haven’t experienced this – yet.
While Forza clearly indicates that it’s a simulation racer by not having a full damage model, they included some fun modes, especially in the multiplayer with tag and soccer. I like racing games, but I need an extra fun factor than just the race – Forza does just this with having these things included. Forza takes you on for a real ride of a virtual lifetime, and is one of the best racers ever made for gaming.
Tags: 10, bugatti, car, cars, catch, checkered, driving, fast, ferrari, flag, formel 1, forza, fun, infinion, lambughini, le mans, microsoft, motor, motorsport, nascar, nurburgring, race, sounds, speed, sport, t10, tag, track, turn, veryron, win