Forza Motorsport – A Step Forward… Another One Back

REVIEW – Like Layers of Fear, Forza Motorsport has taken the trendy approach of dropping the episode number from the game’s title. However, this does give it the same name as the first episode. With the first episode released on Xbox eighteen years ago, you can take the chance that you’ll have a fundamentally better experience when you get behind the wheel.

 

 

Blow away the competition in an all-new career. Race your friends in scored multiplayer events. Compete in over 500 cars on world famous tracks with cutting-edge AI, advanced physics, and tyre and fuel strategy.

 

Az új Forza visszatér ahhoz, amivel anno kezdett a sorozat.

 

F

 

Turn 10 last released Forza Motorsport 7 in 2017, and since then we’ve seen Forza Horizon spin-offs. The franchise was, of course, pitted against the then-huge Gran Turismo (4), and it’s fair to say that the first instalment was a formidable competitor to Polyphony Digital’s swelling GT4. Of course, it wouldn’t be Forza Motorsport (FM) if it didn’t have a career mode, so the developers didn’t miss it (the race against the Corvette on the Laguna Seca track in the first game, well, that can still bring back nerve-wracking thoughts for anyone who knows how precisely you have to drive there to win if you don’t take the first corner in a fair manner…). The Modern Tour has lots of new cars to drive, the Enthusiast Tour has street, sports and classic cars coming out of the garage, the Legacy Tour has even more categories from exotics to tuned cars, the Power Tour has classic American muscle cars and the Featured Track Tours rotate the car/championship/challenge conditions.

Multiplayer racing isn’t left out either, but the Live Service concept means that events are available for a limited time in Featured Multiplayer, where the experience is less about you and more about the idiots the system puts you with if you’re unlucky. Alternatively, if you have friends, you can race against each other in closed competitions. Of course, you can also go for the fastest times in Rivals (where you compete against other people’s lap times) and there’s no one to distract you: you’re given the time you need to beat and there’s no distraction, so let’s concentrate on the track and get the car home faster. So from that point of view, Turn 10 delivers what you would expect from them after all this time, and let’s not forget that the latest instalment of FM has already skipped the Xbox One (it’s about time: the console is ten years old, and we haven’t seen much in the way of internally developed PS2 games from Sony in 2010 or PS3 in 2016), so Microsoft has done the same by moving to the next generation of consoles.

 

 

O

 

We can earn XP for our pilot. This is good. For our car too. That sounds a bit silly. They allow us to level up and unlock parts and accessories for our car. Meanwhile, the career mode forces you to do free practice sessions (you can skip them!), which is good for grinding, but if all you want to do is have a quick race, it sounds like a waste of time, nothing more. Maybe Forza Motorsport 8 (because that’s what it is, it just lacks the number in the name) will fix this in time, but it was there before the 10th of October release (because Microsoft did the same thing here as with Starfield: people who paid for the more expensive version got access to the game earlier, and the games industry should stop pulling this stunt as soon as possible), and it’s likely to remain the same in the longer term. However, the promised more than five hundred cars will be something to get used to, and the developers seem to have said that around a fifth of them will be new to the franchise. On the track, you’ll notice that the sound is mostly good (some cars aren’t). The engine sounds good, the tyre noise is pleasant (the latter feels like it’s doing laps on Gran Turismo 7, which in another sense seems like a step backwards from previous instalments, but whatever).

Visually, it’s not bad (of course, you need an Xbox Series X, a 4K and HDR capable TV, or not a nine-year-old PC, but even so, some track elements sometimes don’t load and look dumbed down), you can add your own visuals to the cars if you’re creative enough, but the physics are worth mentioning. The cars behave differently, and this requires you to learn the tracks (both fictional and real) in order to show sufficiently efficient lap times. The particle effects, the cockpit view and the damage don’t seem too bad either, not to mention the smoking tyres, raindrops on the windscreen or dust. As the weather changes, as does the time of day, the physics of the track will change: in the rain, one of our careless moments will quickly see our car’s rear end facing forward (and we’ll have to watch out for the kerbs). This may require some adjustments from the others, but it is not enough to win.

 

 

R

 

On the Xbox series X, the Performance mode doesn’t give you native 4K (understandably), but it does try to give you 60 fps. Performance RT turns on ray tracing, but the resolution is more dynamic (it’s around 1584p), but still aims for 60 FPS. Graphics, meanwhile, maintains 30 fps at native 4K resolution. On the Xbox Series S with ray tracing only in the garage, Graphics gives 30 fps at 1440p and Performance gives 60 fps at 1440p. The game is beautiful, really, and you can’t complain about that because it’s not even as good as Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (and even on PC, especially in terms of glitches…). Still, the rating won’t be as high.

 

 

Z

 

There are, however, a number of problems and bugs. Replays sometimes ignore the laws of physics and fall across the tarmac. There have been a few crashes. There were also soft freaks on loading screens (=stuck there). It’s as if there was no spectator mode. Where is the auction house? A lot of the cars look like they were lifted out of Forza Horizon 5 one by one. What about the rear wheel steering? Why can’t some wheels be locked without ABS? Why is there no improvement in photo mode? Why doesn’t tuning the exhaust significantly change the sound of the car? Where are the tyres for drifting, and even the cars in the trailer, or the events for drifting? We have tyres for drag racing, but no drag racing? Why is the penalty system so unfair? Why is it that the driver who is knocked out gets a penalty (which cannot be turned off in private races!) and the one who hits the other gets away with it (all this while the drivers’ safe driving rating is inflated to the maximum by cheating with the help of sophisticated aids that have not yet been raised, such as acceleration, cornering, braking, correct bend, gear change…)? Why does AI tend to be openly stupid? More than once, it either drives at a walking pace or simply sticks to the wall next to the track. Why can’t you change the length of races or the weather in career mode when you could in Forza 7? Whose idiotic idea was it to make the restart option a sub-option of EXIT?

It’s standard practice for this to be the SECOND option in the menu (not tucked away somewhere at the bottom)! Why is there a mix of pounds and kilograms in the weight? (Pounds are written as pounds, which are kilograms, so cars that are about half the weight…?) Why is the lighting not always clear, especially in the cockpit view? What is the purpose of the clutch? Why are there levels for CARS (why did they incomprehensibly cut out a lot of cars after Forza 7? DLC…?) Why do we sometimes have to grind an incredible amount, and why does the game sometimes throw things at us too easily? They drag out the gameplay with this leveling nonsense and there is no sense of achievement that, oh, the car has reached level 45 – no, by then the player is at the point of “finally, f_ck it”. Turn 10 talks about building, but that’s exactly what it’s preventing with this idiotically drawn out, lousy system. The developers have been unable to come up with a system that isn’t forced and at the same time engages the audience. As a result, their game is light years away from being considered excellent by anyone with more than a cursory examination of the overall picture, which is exacerbated by forcing you to be online all the time. Then, when this game ceases to exist, you can go and download the PC warez version, because it plays an indescribably important role in PRESERVATION. And imagine the developers writing a mile-long list of known issues. This is the case. This is the game industry today. It’s pathetic. If something like this had been done on the first Xbox in 2005, Microsoft’s Bill Gates would have kicked the director’s butt, because Forza was already one of the company’s most important franchises.

 

 

A

 

Damn those 8, 9 scores. No. Forza Motorsport 8 gets a 7/10. It’s buggy, and the leveling system simply doesn’t respect the player’s time. In fact, the player should respect it by playing it on Xbox Game Pass. Get the first part on Xbox or the X360 parts. Yes, they are uglier. Yes, they have a lower resolution. Yes, they have a slower frame rate. Yes, they have no ray tracing. But they still feel like honestly put together products. That’s not to say that the new Forza is going to be a Phil Spencer flop like Arkane Austin’s Redfall, but it’s probably the weakest episode of the franchise that Turn 10 Studios has made. So fans of the franchise are advised to be patient while the developers fix the odd thing (I’m sure they’ll issue a ridiculous apology.jpg), and everyone else is advised to choose one of the previous episodes over this one. Or Forza Horizon 5. So that’s that.

-V-

Pros:

+ If you don’t make mistakes, it looks nice
+ Mostly sounds good and drives well
+ Very cozy with friends

Cons:

– What is this level system?
– What is this regression?
– What is this status en bloc?


Publisher: Xbox Game Studios

Developer: Turn 10 Studios

Style: car racing

Release: October 5/10, 2023.

Forza Motorsport

Gameplay - 8
Graphics - 6.3
Physics - 7.8
Music/Audio - 7.7
Ambience - 7.3

7.4

GOOD

That's not to say that the new Forza is going to be a Phil Spencer flop like Arkane Austin's Redfall, but it's probably the weakest episode of the franchise that Turn 10 Studios has made. So fans of the franchise are advised to be patient while the developers fix the odd thing (I'm sure they'll issue a ridiculous apology.jpg), and everyone else is advised to choose one of the previous episodes over this one. Or Forza Horizon 5. So that's that.

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Grabbing controllers since the middle of the nineties. Mostly he has no idea what he does - and he loves Diablo III. (Not.)

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