Forza Motorsport 4 – Review

Forza Motorsport 4 has arrived and it brings with it some of the most amazing cars that you will ever see. The development team over at Turn 10 Studios have also given us one of the most polished and fun racing sims to hit consoles. There is such an incredible amount of stuff to do in this game that Forza fans, and car lovers in general, should be kept busy for a very long time. There is, of course, the career mode where you race on tracks from all over the world in addition to the huge suite of community features, the Autovista, free play action and more. Basically, if you are a car aficionado then you need to play Forza Motorsport 4.

Your career starts out in the amateur ranks and you have to work your way up to the bigger races with the better cars. Before each race you are given a choice of what car you want to race within the requirements of that race. If your car would benefit from being upgraded before the race you will get a notification asking you if you would like to upgrade your vehicle. You can choose to have the upgrades added automatically or tune the car yourself. When you are racing you can choose to have all of the assists so that you don’t have to worry about all of the minutiae or, for the most authentic experience possible, turn every assist off and let your skills speak for themselves on the track. If you are one of those people who really love to work on cars the tune set up will allow you to improve your car’s performance by adjusting the differential, downforce, wheel alignment settings, brakes, suspension settings, gear ratios and tire pressure. If you want to fine tune something like the alignment you can by adjusting the camber which will affect your car’s grip. Positive camber will reduce oversteer, however, it can make the car a bit more unstable. You can also work on the ratio between speed and acceleration with the forward gears in your car and much more. Once you get everything how you like it you can utilize the benchmark which will calculate your car’s acceleration, lateral G’s and braking. Then, if you really want to test it out, you can take the car for a test drive to see how it performs in real world conditions. Once you have your car customized to your liking you will then have to perform well on the track to advance in your career. As you progress you will level up and gain affinity towards car manufacturers. If you are racing a lot of Ford cars and are doing really well with them then their affinity towards you will increase and you will receive such bonuses as additional credits and cheaper parts for your car.

Forza Motorsport 4

Almost as important as the cars themselves is the Forza 4 community where you go for your multiplayer fix. This is where you compete in races online, create and manage car clubs and more. Car clubs are really nice as it allows you to create an identity for you and your friends which will allow you to share cars between members in the club garage and to compete against either your fellow club members or other clubs that people have created. There is also a nice Rivals feature that will allow you to challenge a rival’s best attempt at a specific event. Forza 4 also features an online auction house where you can bid on cars you want or sell cars that you have customized yourself. If you are in the market to buy one you will use the credits that you have earned in other parts of the game and there is a great search function that will help you find what you want quickly. I really appreciated the fact that I could search by make, model, car class and more to help narrow down my search. There is also a tab that will keep track of your bids as well as your auctions so that you can keep track of everything that you are doing and you won’t miss a thing. In addition to the auction house is the storefront. The storefront allows you to share files with the entire community. This is where you want to go if you want to get a better tuning set up for your car or something else. I have a friend that is really into cars and really enjoys the Forza titles so I searched for his creations and was able to find them in no time.

Another spectacular addition to Forza 4 is the Autovista. In this mode you can explore some of the world’s most exclusive cars. I began with the Ferrari 458 Italia and was stunned at the amount of detail. I was greeted by Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson as I investigated different areas of the car. After taking a close look at the exterior I opened up the driver’s door and was able to step into the car and look around. The level of detail is amazing and it looks exactly like it would as if you were sitting in the car in real life. After I was done with that I went and lifted the back to examine the engine. As I did that I head Jeremy Clarkson tell me about the engine the Ferrari had including details such as the maximum torque, compression ratio, engine performance, how fast the car can top out at and more. Going back into the car at that point allowed me to get more information on the transmission and the interior of the car. Once I was done looking at that car I had to complete a challenge so that I could unlock other cars and try to find my favorite one. I wanted to take a look at the 2010 Aston Martin One-77 so, in order to do that, I had to win a race with that car first. Once I did that I was able to explore every little nook and cranny of the car back in my warehouse. I was able to get in the Aston Martin and turn the engine on to listen to how this amazing car sounds. I predict that car lovers will spend hours in this mode going over every car they can and examining all of the little details. I have never seen this level of detail in a game. They have done everything possible to make you feel like these are your cars.

Also new to the Forza series is the ability to use Kinect. Utilizing Kinect you can control your car by holding out your hands in front of you and tilting them to turn your car just as if you had a steering wheel in your hand. Surprisingly this worked really well for me and I found it super responsive. If I play Forza 4 competitively at all I will still use the standard controller, however, the Kinect functionality seemed to work pretty well. The Kinect functionality also extends to the Autovista. I love how Turn 10 integrated Kinect into this mode. You can walk up to the car, walk around it and explore the cars in the same fashion you do with a controller. The moment that I thought was pretty cool was when I reached out with my hand, grabbed the car door handle and lifted my hand up to open the car door just as I would do on my real car. With Kinect you could also use head tracking during your races so you could actually look to your right and the game would follow you and look to the right as well. It’s a pretty cool concept, however, I don’t know how many people will actually use it. The Kinect features overall work pretty well but I’m not sure how many people will use it once the novelty wears off. It was definitely a pleasant surprise though and the development team at Turn 10 should be really proud about this accomplishment.

As I raced different cars I was impressed with how well each one handled and how differently each one seemed to handle. The Aston Martin definitely handled differently than the Honda Civic which I appreciated and it makes the game feel that much more authentic. The audio for all of the cars is spectacular and I love hearing the difference between a Ferrari engine and a Ford. In addition to the soundtrack all of the cars sounded like they should and you could tell that Turn 10 put in a tremendous amount of work to make everything seem as authentic as possible. The tracks and the locations are absolutely beautiful in this game. I had a tremendous amount of fun racing through the Bernese Alps and then racing down a mountain in Fujimi, Japan. Utilizing the game’s photo mode I was able to take some really amazing looking photographs where if you didn’t know any better you would think the photo was actually taken at that location and not in a game. Turn 10 Studios has created a masterpiece here and has claimed the racing crown. In my opinion no other racing game of any kind can touch what the development team has accomplished here. Forza 4 is a love letter to car enthusiasts and gamers alike, expertly walking the line of making the game fun for both the casual and hardcore alike.

Score: 9/10

Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network

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