Leading up to the release of Turn 10’s latest installment in the Forza franchise, Xbox has been confident in saying that it is the best racing experience fans will get. It takes a lot to promise that seeing that the racing genre is a hard one to get right. Often times racing games is a great experience when you’re behind a driving wheel, like when playing at an arcade, but having a similar experience on the couch is hard to duplicate. At E3 I was able to test out Forza Motorsport 7 at the Xbox booth, they had the full set up; three monitors, driving wheel and racing chair to fully replicate the experience of racing in real life. Although I walked away completely blown away, I couldn’t help but wonder how the game would actually hold up when playing at home.
Since it’s the first feature of the game that will surely catch your eye, I mind as well start off with it. This game is beautiful, ridiculously beautiful. Racing games are known to have scenic tracks that grab your attention; but Forza 7 redefines how tracks should look and what you’ll expect of them in future racing games. There’s a ton of detail in each level down to the lifelike clouds and the smallest spec of dirt on your car.
However game’s graphics is truly highlighted in the different weather patterns you experience. Although rain may not be a new element to Forza titles it does showcase the realistic visuals. At night on the wet tarmac you can catch the reflection of lights from the track, or in another case lights of a carnival ride. The clouds colours even change to a dark grey when it rains and you can see the sun’s rays breaking through them. Even while driving there wasn’t a moment that I looked at the peripherals and found any hiccups in the graphics. The smoothness of the visuals shows that the game runs at 60 frames per second at all times. You will only find intentional shakiness when you switch your view to first person, but that only enhances the realism of being behind the wheel at high speeds.
The stunning features don’t only stay with how Forza 7 looks but also with how the game handles, which is an improvement from previous titles. This time around every turn requires absolute precision from the driver. Meaning that slamming the breaks on turns will definitely not work. In combination with breaking you’ll have to lock your steering the right amount and gradually exit a turn rather than speeding out. Don’t get too comfortable as you’ll have to change your tactic depending on the weather conditions or your car model, so there are a lot more adjustments you’ll have to make in this one. That doesn’t go without saying that you can’t enjoy a quick fun race, in that situation utilizing the assists settings can help with this. In this game assists doesn’t mean you’re taking the easy way out, it’s just another way of racing. For fun quick races I’d turn different assists on, but in campaign I like to challenge myself and turn some of them off.
Although everything is available to you in Free Play you have to unlock certain cars and items when in other modes. In Forza 7 cars are presented in different championships and the more you race the more you unlock. Each one has different set of cars that are available in that tier. Although this isn’t necessary to win trophies it is pretty satisfying for car fans. There are over 700 cars that are in the game ranging from rare vintage cars to modern international models; it’s a car lovers paradise. Along with that, your XP can be used to get new cars and items and you also have the option to spend in game currency to purchase loot boxes. These boxes provide outfits, mods and cars that are randomized. However I wasn’t too fond of them as sometimes the payout isn’t worth spending your money on and you’re probably better off purchasing a vehicle instead.
Overall Forza Motorsport 7 does an amazing job bringing different elements to a racing game that can be enjoyed by anyone. Whether you’re trying to jump in for quick races against friends or looking to improve your skill level while becoming a top collector. There are different settings in place to keep it fresh for every type of skillset. The game also provides a gorgeous backdrop with its realistic graphics and revolutionary weather patterns; which keeps each course new every time. The seventh game in the franchise definitely holds up in the home and keeps expectations high for the next installment.