Forza Motorsport has built up a reputation since the days of the original Xbox of being the best in its field. Forza Motorsport 7 on the Xbox One, and soon to be Xbox One X, has to push the series to new heights to keep it ahead of the competition, namely Project CARS 2. Furthermore, the game comes slap bang in the middle of the release of Project CARS 2 and another competitor in the racing genre, the PlayStation exclusive Gran Turismo Sport. Is Forza Motorsport 7 worth picking up?
The first thing that you will notice when you boot up the game is the change of emphasis from purely the cars to the drivers behind the wheel. The tutorial puts you through three various races and provides those who have been away from the genre with a quick refresher. You then pick your custom driver, which is a little basic, by which I mean you pick between a male or female and a starter outfit. The real fun begins though when you start your journey to the Forza Driver’s Cup.
The career mode is a huge improvement on what has come before it. In previous entries, the career mode was quite rinse and repeat: the same races with the same cars on the same tracks in identical weather. This year, car collecting keeps things varied throughout. You start off with your usual hot hatchbacks and more mundane cars, but as you go through the career, you unlock rarer tiers of cars, with which you can really feel a difference in performance, and you also feel that the progression is earned. There are more tracks here than ever before, and they are built to a meticulous level of detail. The car collecting becomes really addictive, and the career mode makes earning your first legendary vehicle feel really satisfying. In previous games if you had enough credits, you just went and bought what you wanted, but by limiting the number of cars you can buy at a time in this game, it makes you feel that there is a real sense of progression in the races that you compete in.
There is the return of the Autovista mode, which has been ever present since the fourth installment of the series, and it is even more detailed than before. When the Xbox One X comes out and you have the TV to match, then this mode might make your eyes melt with the detailed and beautiful cars on display. Free play is back and is the same as it’s ever been, which isn’t a bad thing; as they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Multiplayer is smooth and seamless and is relatively lag-free, but your experience will vary depending on who you get matched up with.
On to the major positives, and the first one has to be the way the game looks and sounds. I played on a 4K TV with speakers, and my word, was Forza Motorsport 7 a feast for the senses. The tracks are beautiful and have their own identities, and they keep races varied. The cars purr so nicely, it doesn’t matter if it’s a lowely Fiat 500 or a Bugatti Veyron, they all sound immaculate, and races must be played through speakers or a great pair of headphones. I can’t wait to play this on an Xbox One X, I’m sure it will blow me away.
The next positive is the brilliant campaign. It kept my attention, and I was racing around similar tracks and conditions from the game’s other modes. I might have already mentioned this earlier, but the car collecting keeps you going through the career mode. In the past, I would struggle to keep going till the end as there was no real incentive to complete the career mode, but the lure of that legendary car will make you want to race and race and race until your personal driver is lifting the Forza driver’s cup.
A refreshing positive is the new focus on the drivers behind the wheel. From the moment you choose your driver at the start of the game, you feel like you are actually a part of the action instead of just some floating hands gripping the wheel. However, this also leads me to my one and only gripe, which is the inclusion of microtransactions. This practice has been widely criticised in the gaming community, and a lot of people have brought this up over the past week. I can say that it doesn’t get in the way of gameplay or change anything too drastically, but it does put roadblocks in the way of customising my driver the way I wanted. I hope that it gets changed later down the line so that my favourite outfits are more readily available just using the in-game credits.
The last positive is more personal for me, though I think it will be enjoyed by many, and that is how amazing the game is in local co-op. I played with my housemates, and we had a blast playing for five hours straight. The different tracks, cars and weather conditions led to some hilarious races and many good times. We did run into one bug where the sound effects for the cars cut out, and all we could hear was muffled crowd noise. This small issue was resolved by putting on my Spotify playlist, but if it continues consistently down the line, then it can become a noticeably bigger issue.
There isn’t a single negative I can put on Forza Motorsport 7 except the microtransactions, but they don’t ruin my experience one bit. I loved every minute I played of the game, and for me this is the king of racing games, at least on the Xbox One (I can’t speak for the upcoming Gran Turismo Sport on the PS4). This game will only get better as time goes on as when the Xbox One X is released next month, Forza will look even better. Even though I have finished the campaign, I will continue to play tonnes of the multiplayer, and I’m sure my housemates and I will find countless hours of fun with this one. Forza Motorsport 7 is a must buy for anyone that owns an Xbox One, and even if you don’t own one, you need to find a way to play this game, or else you’ll likely end up with strong feelings of jealousy towards those that do own it.
Developer: Turn 10 Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 3rd October 2017