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Forza Motorsport 7 Review (Xbox One)

October 3, 2017 | Posted by Stewart Lange
Forza Motorsport 7
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Forza Motorsport 7 Review (Xbox One)  

A few weeks ago, Project CARS 2 was released to fairly lacklustre applause. Despite a lot of people being excited for the driving simulation, there were a lot of people, on Xbox at least, waiting for the flagship racing series newest release, Forza Motorsport 7. Thankfully, it’s not been a long wait and especially if you ordered the Ultimate Edition for early access the game released on the 29th of September. With Forza 7 being the game that we’re seeing paired with the Xbox One X in most bundles, there have been high expectations for the graphics and performance of the game on the Xbox One, to really wet the tastebuds ahead of the full 4K experience in November.

Regardless of full 4K (I have an Xbox One S running on a 4K screen, though), Forza 7 is easily one of the best looking games I’ve ever seen. Compared to Forza Horizon 3 even, it’s still prettier although this may be due to the fact it’s not rendering an open world around it as you play, but the environments, cars and especially weather effects are all absolutely perfect. Every generation there seems to be a game that makes me question just how much better games could potentially look graphically and I think we’re about to hit a point where they just can’t. Every drop of rain that lands on your car -or even on the course surrounding you- looks like it’s been lovingly placed in exactly the right place. For the purposes of the review I slowed right down and even stopped a couple of times during races just to make sure I wasn’t imagining the level of detail on display. I wasn’t.

Since I’ve mentioned it already, I’ll talk a little bit about the dynamic weather effects. While these are present in CARS 2, they looked pretty ugly when on display in that game. Not here. In Forza 7, a mid-race rainstorm is almost something to be excited about as the handling changes just subtly enough to change your driving strategy, but you also know there are going to be some of the most incredible looking puddles and lighting effects I’ve ever seen in a video game. Even the way that raindrops roll up your windscreen before being wiped away is absolutely immaculate. The in-car view has the same attention to detail that we’re accustomed to from a Forza game as well. I can only speak for one car being spot on as I can’t afford most of the cars in the game, the Honda Civic interior is absolutely bang on. I can only assume the same level of attention has been given to the Koenigsegg cars, or the Mini Cooper.

No matter how pretty Forza 7 is, however, it lives and dies on the main staple element of the game, which is the racing. With full customisation available to you over the difficulty of your opponents, right down to the level of braking assist you receive, this is a title as easy or as difficult as you need it to be. The most fun I had was with the default opponents, but turning off the steering and braking assists. This allowed for it to feel a little bit more like a simulation but still giving me enough chance to win, either right from the off or by catching opponents on the final lap for a spectacular win. Drivatars are back, so you’ll see your friends Gamertag above the other cars so you can abuse them for something they had no part in. Another nice touch is the way the game loads, with it doing the hard work in the background while you tune your car and add modifiers. This makes the gaps in play seem more bearable.

The addition of microtransactions does sour the taste a little bit, but thankfully I’ve not really found a reason to be forced into buying them yet. What seems to be mainly skins for your driver, easy car unlocks and race modifiers seem to be all these carry and I haven’t spotted anything yet stuck behind a pay wall. The modifiers are a nice addition, with you being able to tweak the experience, using them to disable things like the racing line, or even allowing you to gamble on your position in the race for extra experience. They aren’t a game making feature, but they are a bit of extra fun to play with during the loading breaks.

The career is split across several different levels with lots of different races and disciplines. This varies from sports cars, hot hatchbacks all the way to driving trucks around speedway circuits. There’s even street Gymkhana levels and showcase events to complete so you will need to master a number of different driving styles in order to get through the entire series. With over 30 tracks so far and boasting over 700 cars, this is the biggest Forza game to date but in my opinion, it’s missing the same level of fun that made Forza Horizon 3 my Game Of The Year last year. The lack of soundtrack when racing and the constant returning to menus bothered my while playing this and as good as it is technically, it just doesn’t seem to have the same spirit as it’s open world counterpart. The race/menu repetition does start to drag during a longer sitting and I found myself taking breaks to play something else for a little while before getting back in.

In spite of this, Forza Motorsport 7 is a remarkable achievement and I know I’ll put a hell of a lot of time into it. It’s maybe the best looking game I’ve ever seen in my life and fully expect to be blown away by it when it makes the jump to full 4K in a few weeks and given the fact I’m to expect close to 30GB of graphical updates to do that, I can’t imagine it’s going to be anything other than spectacular. I’ll continue to enjoy the actual racing until the new Horizon game comes out, but if you want something a little bit more serious, I can’t imagine this not giving you everything that Project CARS 2 can give you, as well as the best console graphics I’ve ever seen.

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Outstanding graphics almost make up for a slightly repetitive gameplay experience. A huge selection of cars and race combinations, coupled with the level of difficulty customisation makes Forza 7 the best driving simulation on Xbox One, but for me it falls just short of the heights set by Horizon 3.

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Forza Motorsport 7, Stewart Lange