Forza Motorsport is well known as the best racing experience out there today across all platforms and is one that defines the racing genre. Each year Turn 10 manages to improve on the previous version with ease and Forza Motorsport 7 is certainly no exception to that rule. There is a lot here that is familiar to fans of the series as well as a host of new features that will certainly impress. Let’s take a deeper look.
At the heart of Forza Motorsport is a true to life and incredibly realistic racing experience. When you talk racing on consoles, Forza Motorsport is renowned for being the most prestigious racer of them all. From its incredible attention to detail with each of its cars and tracks, to its customisation options and car collecting, Forza has always been the title that pushes the limits of the genre with each iteration of the series. Each year Turn 10 always manages to add that extra feature or new mode that simply pushes the game forward consistently, never missing a step in terms of features and quality. I am proud to say Forza Motorsport 7 continues this trend with a host of new features to the franchise this year.
One of the first changes to the Forza Motorsport formula is with the new campaign mode known as the Driver’s Cup. There are 6 cups to earn which each require you to reach a certain level before progressing to the next. The first cup is called “seeker” and include a host of different racing events for you to complete. As you complete each various event, you unlock XP and continue to move forward into new races and events. It certainly feels a lot less linear than previous games with more options to choose where you want to go and which events you wish to pursue. A new feature is also the ability to increase the race length in the assists screen which is a great idea when race difficulty increases, having those extra laps can help you close the gap on your opponents.
One of the big changes as well is the introduction of loot boxes which at first I was a little concerned with however as I continued to play, these grew on me immensely. Essentially the loot boxes are purchased via in game credits or with real world currency. Personally I’ve only purchased loot boxes with my own in game currency which has been more than adequate. The loot boxes contain a set of cards that you can use to add modifiers to each race event. For example, there is VIP Race rewards card that simply gives you more race reward points. There is also “Ride the Line” which will give you 50% extra credits if you use the Braking Line only and then there is “Expert Cornering” which gives an additional 30% extra credits if you take two good corners. Each of these cards gives you that little extra bonus each race and can help you level up faster and earn more income to buy those cars you desire. However the downside to this is the desire to earn more cards faster and thus the option to purchase loot boxes is there should you wish to take advantage of that. The prize crates also contain custom cards, outfits for your drivers as well as the mod cards I discussed just moments ago.
Forza Motorsport 7 has also stepped up with a host of changes to the dynamic weather system with more intense rain, expanding puddles and of course limited visibility which can dramatically alter your driving experience. One of the first races I experienced involved one of the wettest tracks I have ever seen with puddles across various parts of the track which when hit managed to cause my Nissan Skyline GTR to aquaplane across the track. However you can turn on a new feature called Friction Assist that helps manage the violence of these water puddles as well which was a nice addition to just the basic traction control options. However it must be noted that the way the cars perform and handle based on the road surface conditions is exceptional. You just can’t keep applying throttle as loosely as you’d like nor can you push the car around corners as hard. You need to adjust your driving style as you would in real life, which can be a shock to those who enjoy pedal to the metal type driving styles.
The Forza Motorsport 7 menu is also very well laid out with clear tabs for Single Player, Multiplayer, Cars and Progress. It’s easy to navigate and near impossible to get lost. The first tab is the Home tab which places most of what you may wish to access right there in front of you including prize crates and the message centre. There are a few options that are marked as coming soon which include the Auction House, Speciality Driver, Marketplace and Multiplayer Leagues. In terms of single player game modes aside from the Forza Drivers Cup, there is the Free Play mode which lets you race every single car available which is great, plus there is the Rivals mode which allows you to challenge your friends and beat their race times if you can.
Forza Motorsport 7 continues with its car collection with over 700 cars available including Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini models, but don’t expect much from Toyota and Lexus this year. As you would expect each car is carefully and painstakingly recreated in Forza Motorsport 7 and the level of detail is just mind blowing, right down to factory stickers that line the inside of the engine bay and door cards. Forza Vista is here again and allows you to take a full tour of each vehicle inside and out which is great, especially for me reminiscing inside the Holden HQ.
Forza Motorsport 7 also drives as you would expect it to; it’s very precise and incredibly responsive. Forza has always tried its best to be as realistic as possible, yet also easily accessible to a new comer. The level of assists on board here will have the vehicle of choice virtually drive itself thanks to assisted steering, assisted breaking, traction control, ABS, stability control etc, you name it, it’s turned on. For seasoned racers who prefer to drive with most of these assists off, it can be a completely polar opposite experience, especially when the driving surface becomes wet; Forza becomes a true simulator experience which requires you to have nerves of steel. Forza Motorsport 7 also supports every fan-requested wheel on the market which is great to see. During the EB Expo 2017 over the weekend I also had the opportunity to spend a decent amount of time driving on one of their cockpit style set ups with a steering wheel that supported full force feedback. It was an amazing experience and again was truly engaging in terms of pulling you into the experience and made every corner and turn feel exceptionally real. I do recommend highly one of these style of set ups if that’s within your budget.
Forza Motorsport 7 also offers an additional camera dash view inside the car which gives you a better view of the track. However I prefer to race from behind the car and there are only two presents here. However this isn’t normally an issue until you drive semi-trailers or large utes as the vehicle height was quite high, I was unable to see the car in front of me yet alone the suggested line. I was forced to switch to a cabin mode in order to overcome this. It would have been great to see a third rear mode that was set further back with a lot more height.
Graphics & Sound
Forza Motorsport 7 is a feast for the eyes once again and it simply looks stunning. With its true 4K capabilities Forza is a technical monster for the Xbox One X when it launches in early November. Currently for PC owners, Forza Motorsport 7 supports a broad range of set ups, uncapped framerates, support for 21:9 monitors, 8X MSAA and 16X anisotropic peripherals and of course full 4K resolutions and full HDR 10 support. My play through was shared across both my Windows 10 PC and Xbox One S, thanks to Cross Play. My PC was running at the full 4K resolution on Ultra settings and my Xbox One S was running up scaled 4K with full HDR. I must admit it Forza Motorsport 7 was absolutely gorgeous in full 4K resolution especially when playing on a large screen, the 4K is truly noticeable. However when playing on a 24 inch PC monitor, it’s a lot harder to tell the difference between 1080p and 4K resolutions and that comes down simply to the optimal viewing size for 4K being around 60 plus inches generally. However again at the EB Expo 2017 I also spent quite some time playing on the Xbox One X development kit model which ran at a full 4K and 60fps with HDR 10 enabled also which looked simply breathtaking. Forza Motorsport 7 is definitely the most beautiful looking racing titles and a true showcase of the power and potential of the Xbox One X console.
There is no stone left unturned when it comes to the sheer amount of detail with Forza Motorsport 7 and of course 4K resolutions. Every little detail from the lighting and reflections seen on the body work of the cars to the reflections on the tracks puddles of water, Forza impresses. The way the water droplets hit the screen as it starts to rain with the light bouncing off those rain drops is top notch and of course let’s not forget the debris that is stuck to your vehicle at the end of each race looks incredibly realistic.
Forza Motorsport 7 continues to set the bar when it comes to racing games today. From its dynamic weather to its assortment of cars and modifications, Forza continues to expand. With all that you’ve come to love plus more, now available in true 4K and 60fps with full HDR, Forza Motorsport 7 has never looked better nor has anything else even come close. Beauty aside there is a wealth of content here that will keep you entertained for months to come. Forza Motorsport 7 revs me up every way possible and it’s a must buy.