Forza Motorsport is one of the most important releases for Microsoft in 2023. Not only because it is the reboot from one of the most popular racing franchises, but because Xbox urgently needs a hit in its catalog first party. The good news is that Turn 10 Studios has managed to improve itself with a game that maintains the essence of Forza and opens up to new generations.
It’s no secret that Forza games has served as a showcase to show off the technical capabilities of Xbox. Forza Motorsport 2 It did so at the time with the Xbox 360, offering races in HD (720p) at 60 frames per second. A decade later, Forza Motorsport 7 repeated the feat and debuted alongside the Xbox One
With Forza Motorsport A similar phenomenon occurs, since arrives at the right time and takes full advantage of current generation consoles. But it does so at a time when racing simulators do not enjoy the same popularity as a decade ago. Force Horizon It took the market by storm and became a benchmark, turning the old Forza games into niche games.
For the last few days I have been playing the new Forza Motorsport for many hours in all its modalities. He wanted to verify that it was really a reboot and not a makeup version of the previous game. Although it does not reach the immaculate character of Forza Motorsport 4, manages to shine in many sections while maintaining the DNA that characterizes the saga.
Forza Motorsport returns to claim the throne of the best car simulator on consoles. Turn 10 has listened to the community and offers a renewed career mode with elements of an RPG, a multiplayer that punishes cheaters and a platform that will be the basis for future games. It’s the Forza we know, only more accessible.
He Forza Motorsport most accessible of all
Some believe that Forza Motorsport lost its way during the last generation by focusing only on the technical part. Although Turn 10 left aside experimentation with fictional circuits or original proposals, the Xbox One titles were far from bad.
The problem is that it is more complicated to maintain a structure similar to the titles of yesteryear. It’s 2023 and Racing fans on Xbox are used to the immediacy of Force Horizon, with easy-to-understand control and a range of options to customize the gaming experience. Although the new Forza Motorsport does not sacrifice the concept of a simcadehas become more friendly to new players starting out in the genre.
The Driving assists are more noticeable in the menus and provide a detailed description of their function. If you’re a Forza veteran, you’ll be able to disable everything or choose a middle ground that doesn’t sacrifice speed. Unlike previous titles, assists are not tied to rewards, so you won’t level up faster if you disable ABS and switch to Simulation mode.
One of the things that surprises me most about Forza Motorsport is customization in game options. You can modify the user interface, adjust all the controls and modify specific aspects of the behavior of the control or your steering wheel from the menu. You will always know what effect the changes have thanks to the description box, a vital feature in the advanced graphical settings.
The biggest change will not please everyone
Career mode in Forza Motorsport It is similar to previous installments, only better structured. The competitions follow an order and in most cases, it is essential to unlock the previous event to continue advancing.
At first glance it seems that Turn 10 tries to take users by the hand during their first steps. This makes sense, since the progression system is not the same in Forza Motorsport. Unlike his predecessors, You can no longer buy cars to improve them from the beginningsince the game requires you to level them up through experience points.
Forza Motorsport integrate an RPG system where cars gain levels based on your driving skill. The developers have implemented a practice session to familiarize you with the track before the race. Driving along the optimal trajectory, taking curves at the required time and speed, or meeting objectives earns you points.
By leveling up, parts are unlocked, each one has a cost to apply it and is where the thing can become interesting or tedious. The basis of this system is to reward you for learning the track and driving well, which I think is a great success. The problem is that some essential upgrades require 10 or 20 levelsso a small grinding it will be necessary.
Added to that, Parts are not purchased with money, but with Car Points (CP), which are earned with each level. This new currency is non-transferable and exclusive to each car, so if you buy a new one you will have to increase your experience. In this section, Turn 10 has made things more complicated, since we not only have to deal with the PI limit, but also with the CP.
The change could annoy Forza veteransdue to the fact that it puts behind a paywall internal parts as basic as the differential, brakes or stabilizer bars. During the first races you are limited to an exhaust change or a chassis reinforcement that, although the numbers on the screen improve, it does not allow tune the car to adapt it to each track.
In my case, I don’t mind playing with the same car to get to know it and get familiar with it. The balance of playing time/rewards is not bad, since in 10 minutes of practice you can gain a lot of experience. What is criticizable is the lack of freedom to choose improvements and the introduction of a new currency that confuses rather than helps.
The same gameplay as always, but improved
The new Forza Motorsport It’s a reboot though. changes in control are not radical as many would think. During the first minutes you realize that it feels the same as its predecessors, with an impeccable response in physics depending on the car. Yes, there is support for steering wheels and the customization options are extensive, but Gameplay is optimized for the Xbox controller.
Among the most notable changes in the gameplay we find that the game got rid of the force glue, a magnet effect that occurred in side collisions and kept the two cars stuck together. This is evident on higher difficulty levels, where the AI is more aggressive when cornering and there is more contact to defend position.
Forza Motorsport also implements a system of rules that penalizes aggressive or unprofessional actions. If you like to crash or cut ground by missing a chicane, you will receive several fractions of a second penalty. Known as Forza Regulations, this feature debuted in FM 7 and is an essential part of the new multiplayer mode, where uses machine learning to analyze more than 5,000 incidents.
The multiplayer is a nod to Gran Turismo 7
Continuing in this line, the multiplayer of Forza Motorsport It is one of the modes where there are the most changes. He Featured Multiplayer It is similar to what we see in Gran Turismo 7, with approved events that constantly change. Before participating, players must participate in a qualifying series to earn a skill rank and safety rating, the latter based on their cleanliness behind the wheel.
According to Turn 10, this ranking system will allow you to be matched with people of the same level and behavior, something that the community was crying out for. The multiplayer experience of previous Forza games was distinguished by the number of idiots who hit you from behind at every corner. The new Forza Motorsport He is determined to end it and has taken a step in the right direction.
But not everything is formality in the Super GT or Gran Turismo series, since There are also open events with short races. Rivals mode is back and will allow you to compete for the best time on each circuit per car category.
Worth Forza Motorsport?
Forza Motorsport It is one of the best games in the series. Turn 10 took the list of requests seriously and resolved many of the problems of previous deliveries. The introduction of a rules system, pit stops or multiplayer race weekends are the most striking additions. Quality of life (QoL) changes in such basic functions as introduce an AI that drives for you while pausing an online race or detailed descriptions of each game option.
Visually, Forza Motorsport It looks better than ever. I tested the Xbox Series X version with Performance mode and Performance RT (with ray tracing), and had a smooth experience. On a computer with Ryzen 7 5800x, 32 GB of RAM and GeForce RTX 4070 I had no problems maintaining 60 stable frames in 4K resolution, although adjusting some options.
Forza Motorsport vs. Gran Turismo 7
On a visual level, Gran Turismo 7 has the advantage in car design. The level of detail in Forza Motorsport is below Polyphony’s game. Although a new damage system is promoted, visually it is very similar to FM7 and in some crashes we can see parts with textures in the lowest quality. On the other hand, the circuits look more realistic in the Xbox title.
In terms of gameplay, I find that GT7 leans more towards simulation than the new force. Turn 10 offers an experience accessible to everyone without losing the essence of the game, however, this comes with sacrifices such as optimizing the gameplay for a controller and not taking advantage of professional wheels.
A questionable point is the new progression system, which limits the experience to using the car. I appreciate that Turn 10 doesn’t fall into the trend of giving away super sports cars every 10 minutes (like Force Horizon), but not in exchange for a mechanic that adds obstacles to unlock the most basic things.
Another negative detail is that It has fewer tracks than its predecessor. Memorable circuits such as Monza, Daytona, Mount Panorama or Sebring are conspicuous by their absence. Nor are the Bernese Alps, Prague or Fujimi Kaido, one of the most requested by the community. Turn 10 stated that Forza Motorsport It is a platform for the future, so we will see more tracks in the coming months starting with the Nordschleife.
Forza Motorsport It will be available on Game Pass starting October 10. For fans it is a must-buy, since Forza games tend to disappear from the market after a few years due to licensing issues.