Forza Motorsport 4 Review (Xbox 360)

October 24, 2011

Reviews, Xbox 360

Forza Motorsport 4 was developed by Turn 10 studios and published by Microsoft. Now that Forza 4 is here, does it take a gigantic leap from Forza Motorsport 3?  Let’s find out.

Gameplay: 5/5

First off, it must be stated that Forza 4 distinguishes itself from its competitors by honorably being open to everyone of varying skill levels, from beginners to the most hardcore racing gamers. Playing on the easiest difficulty will ensure that any person who can hold a 360 controller will be able to race, while looking like Jeff Gordon behind the wheel. Gameplay is enormous in the amount of content the gamer can accomplish. There are a plethora of settings that radically modify the driving conditions and the realism, changing it from arcade to driving simulation with just the flick of a button. It doesn’t make the mistake of forcing you into a rigid and unenjoyable control system like other simulators do.  On the other hand, it is absolutely an excellent racing simulator (again, this if you change the settings to make it that way).

Career mode is where most will begin their racing journey. I was delighted to see that the game imports additional cars and features if you have a save file from Forza Motorsport 3. This is a great feature and rewards the player for playing the previous title. This feature also permitted me to quickly get into higher class racing circuits ahead of others. As your driver level increases, your selection of cars will increase as well. The biggest thrill for me was driving muscle cars from the 60s, 70s and 80s, along with the slickest modern cars of today.

Forza 4 is often compared to arcade racers as opposed to a driving simulator. Forza definitely has arcade features but for the most part, that’s only if you choose those options. If you do not choose those options, then Forza 4 is a complete and dynamic driving simulator. The driving physics are as good as any racing simulator, far exceeding Forza 3 and many other racing titles. To get the finest play out of the game, you’ll want to enable the new “Simulation” steering setting which converts Forza into an absolute racing simulator that incorporates the essence of professional racing. There are a number of detailed options to enhance, tune and customize your vehicle but Turn 10 takes this even further. Comprehensive explanations explain how fine-tuning the setup will affect the car’s performance, and it essentially teaches you about the inner workings of car.

A great new feature of the career mode is the “manufacturer affinity” mode that was discussed at E3 last year and this year. Basically, you gain points by driving a specific manufacturer’s car. This, in turn now, will reward you with cash prizes as well as discounts in customizable parts for your cars. After you do a certain amount of races with the same car or same brand of cars, you can start getting cheaper parts for anything with that brand association without using your in-game cash at all. This helps out the player a great deal when he or she is banking credits to save for revving there special car up with the latest enhancements.

With a selection of well over 500 cars and more coming out every month, Forza 4 has a very large selection. Every car is presented in tender detail and all look equally virtuous. Personally, Forza gave off a sense of realism that many racing titles fail to reach.

Forza’s slick rewind system returns from Forza 3, where you can actually turn back time in offline matches only to fix a fault. Initially I found myself using it more often than I would have liked but once I realized how my driving had improved while reviewing my mistakes, I learned to love it.  On the other hand, there will always be those who differ and the developers have created a feature that allows you to disable “rewind” altogether in the options menu.

Probably one of the most talked about modes in Forza 4 is the “Autovista” portion. This is a new selection that allows the gamer to visually inspect each car and absorb every little detail about them. It’s fully utilized and designed for Kinect, but you can still thoroughly enjoy it just using a regular controller. It’s really a blast to explore the interiors and engines while reading up on the most intricate of details and specs. Jeremy Clarkson wonderfully announces specs and details, while still keeping it humorous. The best part of this mode since it’s inception is the ability to make the gamer feel like they are actually sitting and touching controls in an exotic 100,000 dollar vehicle.

Graphics: 5/5

The graphics have been dramatically ramped up this time around. The enhanced lighting really showcases one of the best uses of current generation visuals in any racing game. The realistic lighting incorporates sun glare inside the car, which therefor creates shadow effects, particularly on the dashboard. As you change the direction of the car, so does the shadow and sun glare casted on different angles, really displaying an extreme sense of realism combined with a powerful graphics engine. For those who have seen screenshots or videos, you still cannot fully grasp the visuals until you see it in action over time.  The level of detail on the cars is beyond anything I thought was possible in this generation and yet, Turn 10 did it and succeeded.  One could go on and on about the visual achievements Turn 10 has created but really, the proof is in the pudding. Players will need to play this title for themselves to see what everybody else has praised.

Sound: 3/5

The sound is amazingly realistic in Forza 4, making this probably the best sounding racing game I’ve ever heard.  Playing with gaming headsets or surround sound will blow your mind into a fantasy of racing.  There are a few issues that some have pointed out in regards to the way certain engines are supposed to sound when fired up but for non-car buffs, this is trivial at best. However, the numbers of authentic sounds for the cars, both inside and outside of the cockpit, make up for it. Forza 4 has the perfect sound effects for a 21st century racer. Unfortunately, the music in the game does not receive the same treatment as the effects do. The musical score was incredibly mediocre for such a big budget title that was packed with so much sound. Thank God for the Xbox 360’s custom soundtracks so the player doesn’t have to settle for this shortcoming.

Replay: 5/5

The amount of hours that can be racked up in Forza 4 are countless. Forza 4 positively delivers a multitude of features that keep the replay value well past a hundred hours, giving any auto enthusiast a run for their money. Forza 4 excels in offering a large mode selection which creates an experience that surrounds the player. Both single-player and multiplayer provide dozens of features and options that continue to make Forza feel fresh and new again, just like the first time you played it. Thanks to the amount of car clubs and events being held, Forza 4 has a social community like no other, both offline and online. Forza will long stand the test of time as a king of racers.

Overall Score: 18/20 = 9.0/10

Forza 4 is an astounding achievement of a game. In just two years, Turn 10 has succeeded in fixing the issues of Forza 3, while expanding with vast new selection of content. There is an enormous assortment of content in every mode of gameplay in Forza, and the visuals are profoundly striking. Additional things such as Car Soccer, Car Bowling and the voice of Jeremy Clarkson, add depth and comedy which is never seen in a racing genre. The game is not complaint free though. A better musical soundtrack would have made the game perfect. Overall, this was shadowed by everything Forza does right.  Whether you are hardcore racer or an arcade veteran, Forza 4 is an outstanding experience that should not be missed this generation.

PROs:

+ Fantastic gameplay

+ Superb Graphics

+ Astonishing variety

+ Enormous amount of fan service, content, replay

CONs:

– Soundtrack is dull

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3 Comments on “Forza Motorsport 4 Review (Xbox 360)”

  1. rippedjohnny347 Says:

    Completely agree with 90 percent of your review and structure. One thing I am a finding an issue with is your score for the audio of a 3/5, while not having the best orchestrated soundtrack I feel penalizing it two points is rather harsh. The true score should be a 9.2 or 9.3 because it is easily one of the best racers out there packed with hours of entertainment. Great review otherwise R. 😉

    Reply

    • R17 Says:

      I did feel the audio could have been much stronger especially when everything else in game was top notch. In cases like this you tend to notice the weaker points when all other aspects are near perfect, and for me it was easily the soundtrack which could have been toned up. Thank you soo much for your feedback! 🙂

      Reply

  2. scwepps Says:

    I agree its a great game, but no console games should get 5/5 in graphics. anyone whom owns a pc even if its 3 years old will see these graphics as outdated and bland compared to pretty much any newer PC games. unless they are converted to pc from a console like dragon age 2 which is crap on all platforms graphics wise 🙂

    But thankfully, graphics is not that important, gameplay is what its all about, and here forza 4 excell 🙂

    Reply

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