There are two definitive car simulations available and both on two
totally different consoles. The first game was Gran Turismo (PS2,
PS3) which raised the bar for realistic car simulators and the
second was Forza Motorsport (XBox, XBox 360).
Both have their gaming zealots and both are pretty damn impressive
when it comes to realism. However as a reviewer, I've always lent
towards Forza Motorsport as it seemed a little more clean and less
unrestrictive as the Gran Turismo series.
Needless to say, two great titles but this review isn't about a
comparison between the franchises but rather, it's about Microsoft
latest release Forza Motorsport 4! Ladies and gentlemen... get your
Even though this game has been dubbed as a racing simulator, it can
be played by all gamers thanks to its sliding difficulty and whether
you're playing it on a XBox 360 controller or a wheel, the controls
are almost flawless.
The game even supports the Kinect (yay) but unfortunately it feels a
little strange, especially when you pretend to hold a wheel to turn
or use your head to look side to side. It's actually one of the
better control systems available for the Kinect system but it does
feel very awkward to use.
Another slight annoyance with the game is that many of the tracks
have been taken directly from Forza 3 and number four only feature 5
additional new tracks such as Hockenheim and the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway which is a little bit of a cop out to gamers. But I must
admit that I did enjoy the fantasy alps tracks that had this real
Need for Speed atmosphere behind but with the realism of Forza.
Apart from the various races and trials that you embark on, the game
contains a healthy amount of vehicles at the disposal to the player
and best of all, you have a decent selection at the start.
Even cooler is that Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear fame lends his
voice to the game when you check out some of the cars. You can even
get involved in some Top Gear challenges as well. For eagle eyed
gamers, you may have noticed the V8 Supercar logo on the packet. You
get to race the cars but unfortunately not on the Australian
circuits. Still... it's kind of fun.
Players will probably spend most of their time (initially anyway) in
the World Tour mode as they compete in various circuits and trials
from around the world. This helps spice up things for the player as
opposed to the sometimes repetitive nature of Forza 3 which
sometimes saw you stuck behind the same car for a considerable
amount of time.
driving well, you are awarded experience towards your driver which
also unlocks a new car and this is the main crux behind the game. I
do like the change of pace in the game from cash to experience
because the better you drive, the more the game will reward you as
opposed to a grinding "racing" experience.
Another difference is that cars don't "level-up" with the player but
rather, if you continue using a certain branded car, it's
manufacturer will reward the player with various bonuses such as
cash, upgrades and discounts. However cars can still be purchased
with Microsoft points.
terms of controls and for realism with a wheel, the in-car view is
the way to go, however with the controller, I feel that the outside
view has more control due to the limitation of the controller. Even
so, either method works well and there is just the right amount of
force feedback as well.
For newcomers, assisted braking and steering will aid in helping you
learn the ropes but for those professionals already familiar with
the Forza series, these need to be turned off straight away.
you do mess up, you can use the rewind feature but using aids does
reduce the amount of potential earnings for your driver. As
mentioned, the AI in the game works well, although at times the AI
does some weird things but for the most part and depending on your
level, they do give you a run for your money, however online
multiplayer is definitely the way to go when you want a challenge.
When you do connect to XBox Live, there is so much multiplayer
racing to be found that it actually had us quite impressed,
especially with the move from 8 players to 15.
soon as you connect to the lobby, you know that you are in for a
treat and best of all, it's fast to engage with other players. Apart
from the standard races, you can engage in other fun activities such
as tag and my favourite drifting. One new multiplayer mode is the
multi-class race which does take a little while to you get your head
It's basically a race that allows gamers to race up to four
different races on the same track but with different types of
classes. This means that you not only have to watch out for your
opponents but also the players from the other races which sometimes
becomes a demolition derby.
Rivals is another exciting mode that allows you to beat a rival's
score (e.g. friend or clan) as you race against their ghost cars and
this is similar to the mode in Burnout Crash that does give you some
great incentive to keep playing this game. We've just touched the
heart of this game but there is definitely so much more to do...
even cool bonuses like below! (Unfortunately you cannot drive them)
Graphically, the title is visually one of the best racing games
available on the XBox 360 that not only contains some amazing car
models but some awesome looking track detail. Best of all, there is
no slowdown whatsoever in this game which really helps with the
realism of the title.
Even the car interiors are highly detailed and on a really large
high definition TV, it's almost like being inside one of these
luxury sports cars. I also love the lighting in this game that makes
the cars come alive and my only gripe with this game is that I would
have loved to have seen something different like night tracks.
You can tweak the times of the day but there is no night racing. I
would have also have loved to have seen some wild weather effects as
well. The music suits the title but where the growl is, is with the
realistic sound effects of the cars that sound phenomenal through
surround sound. Given these facts, Forza 4 comes together perfectly
with the gameplay, graphics and music.
In the end, Forza 4 is a worthy addition to the franchise and even
though it is a little light on new tracks, the tracks included can
be played a variety of different ways that does increase the amount
of different types of ways of finishing it. From tweaking your cars
in the garage to racing in a variety of real-world locations, Forza
Motorsport 4 is definitely for the motor buff and the developers
should be commend on other awesome Forza experience that in our
books was definitely far superior than Gran Turismo 5.