Forza Motorsport 4 Review(360)

Posted: May 21, 2013 in Reviews
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Over the years, many racing games have tried to simulate the feeling of really racing around famous, and fictional tracks, some rely on flashy game-play to keep the player engaged, while others rely on just being a solid racing game. Forza 4 falls into the second category, it does not need any flashy gimmicks, because so many parts of Forza, shine. From the first trip through the first race, to the last, it is very easy to see how beautiful looking, and well developed of a racing game, it really is.

Starting off you’ll have a choice of a few game modes, Career will start you in the many events throughout, you’ll have a choice of going through the World Tour section, which gives you the option of choosing an event from a list they choose for you, as well as the option of going to the Events List, which allows you to play any event, at any time. In multiplayer you’ll have the choice of racing online, which is well done, or in split-screen. Then there is the Autovista, in the Autovista you can look at cars inside and out, it’s unfortunate there are a limited amount of cars eligible to be explored.

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There are many locations and tracks to choose from, amazingly designed to look like the real thing, from Nurburgring to Sedona Speedway, the amount of detail, and time put into the tracks is quite exceptional. But what good is amazing looking tracks, if there are not many cars to use on them?, well, Forza 4 has no shortage of vehicles, with over 500 to choose from, it’s easy to find the right car for each race. Each of the vehicles are also very well designed, they look, feel, and sound amazing, though some of them just feel useless and un-driveable. The terrible cars are easily over-looked, because there are so many amazing car options, leaving it up to you to pick the right one for your style.

Career mode is loaded with content, it’s not just the 500 vehicles, there are around 200 events, not all events are just one race, and with each event done so well, it’s easy to just keep playing. There are 10 seasons, each season containing a set amount of events, some are quick, and some will not only challenging, but long and time consuming. The seasons are generally long, and as you progress, the track length also increases, and opponents gradually get better, it makes for some entertaining, and intense races. The cars in each race are pretty evenly matched, there are races that will put the best cars against opponents with terrible cars, but there always seems to be an opponent within range.

At the end of each event, you’ll earn credits, experience, and an affinity increase. Experience is used towards driver levels, there are 250+ driver levels to achieve, driver level rewards end after 50, but you’ll still get credits for each level gained. After each level you’ll get the choose your vehicle reward, unfortunately you can’t check the stats on them until it’s yours, so it can be easy to pick the wrong car. Affinity Levels increase by using a maunfacturer vehicles, each manufacturer has their own Affinity level, by increasing these levels, they will give you deals up to 100% off their parts.

Forza 4 comes with 5 difficulty levels, Easy, Medium, Hard, Advanced, and Expert, the Expert difficulty warns you that unless you have real world experience, and a racing wheel, it probably is not for you. Additionally, there are also driver assists, they will help with many components of racing, like breaking and steering, if you change any of the options, the difficulty will become Custom. Driver assists affect the bonus at the end of each race, the less you have on, the higher the credit increase will be, but if you’re new to Forza, or racing games in general, chances are you’ll probably need a few on.

Regardless of the difficulty, the endurance races do a great job of actually testing endurance, some of these races can be 10 minutes or more, if you want to win all of the races, on harder difficulties these can be quite the test, especially if you lose in the last mile. These races can also be fun if you do have the time to invest in the race, getting to race on some of the largest tracks in the world is great, some really nice visuals, and you can settle in and just race, they are rewarding for experience, affinity, and credits as well, and the cock-pit view adds a bit more to the experience.

Each turn, drift, and lap are rated out of 4, giving you the possibility of having a perfect race, it is easier if you have the driving line enabled. If you do mess up in a corner, or drift, there is a rewind button, this can be set to unlimited, limited, or off, via the assist menu, it’s another nice option to have, sometimes it’s easy to feel like you can do a bit better, and it’s good to be able to attempt to without restarting the race. Using the rewinds does not affect your end bonuses, but having them on will, though they are really nice to have in the endurance races.

Additional credits is always a nice to have, and there are a few ways to spend them, you can upgrade current cars, buy new cars, buy parts, paint jobs, and vinyls, and not only can you buy the pre-loaded items, there is also an Auction House. The Auction House is where you can buy and sell created vinyls, tuning jobs, as well as designs, and you can also buy and sell cars to people online, it’s a great option if you want to find a vehicle for cheaper, want to unload un-used vehicles, or just find extra rare cars if you have the credits. Another way to buy vehicles, is by coins that can be bought by using MS Points, so you can save your credits. There is also a community, and in there you can upload videos, and pictures, as well as rate, and watch other peoples uploads.

There are a few problems though, if you look closely there are edges, and texture issues, as well from time to time audio issues, but they are not large issues. The larger issues are with the opponents, if you hit them, or they hit you, too often it does far more damage to your car, you can even lose control but they’ll just keep driving a straight line, and generally the opponents get the benefit of the doubt in other situations. The one-on-one races have slower moving opponents that clog up the road, it seems like they intentionally cut you off, or run you off the road, you can go from being ahead, or close behind, to being 15+ seconds behind, it can become unnecessarily frustrating, and prompt a restart. The cock-pit view is nice, but there is no way to look around inside the car, you’ll just a camera view of what’s beside, or behind you, there is so much detail in and out of the vehicles, it’s strange it can’t be experienced as you drive.

Though there is already a tonne of content throughout Forza 4, you can also add to it with the available downloadable content packs. There are many packs to choose from, they add vehicles, locations and tracks. The vehicle packs give many vehicles, and there are quite a few of them, as well there is 2 track packs containing 18 additional tracks, if you didn’t have enough reason to keep playing, there is much more. Another option is to buy the Season Pass, it costs 2600 MS Points, but gives all the content, and is definitely worth the money if you invest a lot of time in Forza.

Forza Motorsport 4 is at the top in its class, and shines in many categories. Not only is it great for experienced racing fans, there are many options to make it accessible for even new or casual players. The problems are not enough to make this game avoidable, rather there is so much it does right, that it should be experienced. With amazing graphics and visuals, entertaining, intense racing, tonnes of events, and vehicles to use, there is so much content it’s easy to just keep playing. If you want a racing game that will last you a long time, Forza 4 is a great option.

Overall Score: 9.4/10

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