The Forza series has set the benchmark for racing simulators since the release of Forza Motorsport for the Xbox back in 2005. The game received critical acclaim from critics and gamers alike and for good reason. That success would continue onward with Forza 2 and Forza 3. Giving the player the ability to choose from a vast assortment of cars and race tracks is undoubtedly impressive. Also noteworthy is the ability to fine tune the cars. Just as impressive is being able to create designs or preselected decals that can allow for vehicle customization. Turn 10 Studios would eventually release the fourth installment in the series with Forza Motorsport 4. Does this latest release have what it takes to speed its way towards the finish line? Read the review to find out!
Forza 4 improves on the excellent Forza in numerous ways. While this release may seem all too familiar with Forza there is enough content to differentiate it from said version. There are more vehicles to choose than before. The game will support the Kinect for the first time in the series. Its just novelty idea because navigating through the menu using a motion based device has a slower feel to it. Also, using your hands to drive is tiring and seems odd. At least, the voice support idea works well. The game also features a Rivals Mode. One of the most impressive features is called Autovista. It allows a player to look all the intricate details of a given car. Unfortunately this feature is only available for 24 of the game’s cars such as, sports cars, classic cars and dream cars. There are also more roads to race on.
While the previous game’s World Tour Mode was pretty good, Forza 4’s World Tour Mode takes things to a higher level. Instead of a calendar approach the game uses many stops all across the globe. When you get to a certain spot you are presented with several types of events which allow you to use the car that you currently have or you can upgrade it to better perform in a given race. You can partake in any event that you see fit and still have fun at the same time. You also get Affinity points that give the player money bonuses and discounts on upgrades. The downside is that said points apply to one car Brand such as, Ford, Audi, BMW, etc. The game has a feature called Rewind that allows you to alter a disastrous event and continue onward as it never occurred. There are several race types such as, point to point, autocross, drift multiple-heat races as well. You will gain experience, loyalty bonuses and credit as you progress.
As you would expect Forza 4 looks absolutely amazing. The car models are very detailed and are the best looking in the series so far thanks to the 800,000 polygon count. They have a nice sheen to them. The game’s cockpit view further immerses the player into the experience of actually driving a racing car and it looks impressive. The player’s arms are perfectly in sync with how or she controls the car and it looks great and adds to the realism factor. Landscapes and environments look beautiful. The track real world tracks are spot on and look awesome. Even fictional tracks look really good. I believe Forza looks just as good as its competing series Gran Turismo. As I mentioned earlier the game has an Autovista mode which allows the player too look at a car’s details such as, brakes, engine parts, wheels, fabric, etc. The player has access to a fully modeled interior.
The game has an impressive audio experience as well. It features your typical Techno style music which works well for the most part. It would’ve been really if someone could use his or her own music though. Engine sounds are impressive. Turn Studios used actual car models to record car sounds which is something that Gran Turismo is severely lacking especially for a series that’s been around for a while. Its clear that Nick Wiswell and Bizarre Creations care about the game’s sound quality. Forza 4 further adds to the audio experience thanks to Jeremy Clarkson’s narration which takes place during the Autovista Mode and before the start of racing events. He does a great job of giving players an audio tour of each car in the Autovista Mode using his trademark insight and wit.
Multiplayer is present in Forza 4 with online multiplayer and offline split-screen. Up to 16 people can compete against each other. Players can take part in point to point races as well as cat and mouse. As I mentioned earlier the game features a Rivals Mode where racers can compete against each other’s performances. This allows a player to compete against someone’s best performance without them actually being there. Things get really competitive as you try to stay atop the leaderboard. The game also has a mode called Car Soccer which is soccer with cars and it’s really fun. Forza 4 also features Top Gear Bowling where you have to knock over pins in order to achieve a specific number of points. Being able to unlock new cars keeps the experience fresh and thrilling. Hopefully future Forza games will feature more modes like this because they offer a different yet quirky and fun experience.
I absolutely loved Forza 4. Having many cars to choose from is very impressive. The track selection is really great as well. The option to use Kinect seems like a novelty idea because menu navigation using a motion based device is slow. Driving using your hands gets tiring and is very odd. At least the voice support is nice. Autovista allows a player to see the smallest car details which is awesome. Unfortunately, only 24 of the game’s cars get this first class treatment. The World Tour mode allows you to make stop across the globe rather than using a calendar setup which is nice. The Rewind feature allows you to alter a disastrous event as it never occurred. The cars and environments are slick and impressive. The audio is equally as impressive thanks to amazing car sounds and the addition of Jeremy Clarkson puts the cherry on the cake. Rivals Mode, Car Bowling and Car Soccer are great online modes and I hope to see more of them in future releases. Forza 4 proves it’s the king of racing simulators and is an awesome experience that any racing fan shouldn’t miss.