Forza Motorsport is back. The latest iteration of Xbox’s premier racing game manages once again to marry an authentic simulator with that of classic arcade racing. There aren’t any major upgrades within the driving experience in this fourth installment, but there are plenty of improvements within the game modes and graphics that make Forza Motorsport 4 a must-buy for racing enthusiasts.
Forza Motorsport 4 features 500 cars – including 90 entirely new ones, from more than 50 international automakers and 22 real world tracks. Visually, the game is stunning from the near perfect recreation of the cars, crowds, tracks and scenery. The graphics set a standard not just for racing games but all console and PC games in general.
Even the audio of the engines and the is just perfect, with each vehicle sounding uniquely different.
The main single player game is your basic Career Mode. If you’ve played a racer before, nothing is really new here – start with a crappy car, compete in races at tracks around the world, win to make money to buy better cars and upgrade the parts on the vehicles you already have. But there are a variety of new races to compete in including Drift and Autocross that does shake things up a bit from the normal racer.
Single race mode is also available, allowing you to race any car on any track with opponents or against the clock.
New this year is the Car Club, where you and a group of friends can sign up to your own clan, share cars in your club garage and compete together on club leaderboards. This also ties into a Rivals challenge mode, where you compete against your friend’s track times. You can share photos and videos, the best of which are chosen and featured on the homepage by Turn 10, Forza’s production company. It’s like a car club online social network.
There is also the standard online multiplayer race where up to 16 players can jockey-up against each other.
Whether you’re an experience racing game driver or a newbie, Forza’s flexible difficulty settings will keep everyone happy. The easiest mode takes away the needs for braking and gives you assistance on steering. In full simulation mode under-steer or aggressive over-steer will be your worst enemy.
Kinect Integration / New Features
Just like most Xbox titles being released today, Forza 4 Kinect compatible. There is an option to use the sensor in a race, but in a game like Forza Motorsport where precision and reaction times are critical, the Kinect’s sensors are too slow to keep up with in-game action. Diehards have the option of buying a racing wheel.
But where the Kinect and Forza Motorsport marriage truly shines is in the new Autovista Mode. You’ll be able to walk around cars in a virtual showroom, bend down to look at the wheels, checkout what’s hiding underneath the hood, and even climb inside the driver’s seat to see all the interior work – while you’re in there, you can even beep the horn. The entire experience from reality to virtual reality is nearly seamless.
Forza Motorsport has shown again it is one of the best racing simulation franchises to ever to hit a home console. Whether you’re a novice or a veteran, Forza Motorsport 4 will keep you glued to your virtual race car.
CONSOLE: Xbox 360 only