Forza Motorsport 2 - Forza 2

By Riyad Emeran



Our Score:


The poor AI isn’t the biggest issue though, it’s the fact that it’s all too easy to find yourself racing by yourself. Bizarrely, the grid layout at the start of each track is determined by who has the fastest car, so if you go into a race with the fastest vehicle on the track, you’ll start in pole and probably never so much as see another car for the rest of the race. I can understand why Turn 10 has done this, since a qualifying session before the race would probably produce a line up very similar to what’s seen in Forza 2, but it does leave you in a position where human error is often the only thing standing between you and first place.

Surely you won’t always have the fastest car right? Well you’d think that would be the case, but unfortunately it’s all too easy to make sure that you have the fastest car on the track thanks to the modding/upgrade feature of Forza 2. Obviously no driving game worth its salt these days would be seen without a method of customising your vehicles, but with Forza 2 it’s just too easy to create a completely unstoppable car that can leave all the computer controlled automobiles for dead. If you find yourself struggling in any race, simply drop out and upgrade your car then go back to the track and waste the competition!

And there’s absolutely no sense of realism with the upgrades either. I personally spend altogether too much time and money modifying my cars to get the best balance of performance and handling out of them. This usually invloves carefull upgrades of the induction system, the exhaust system, intercooler and ultimately a new ECU map that takes advantage of all the other physical modifications. Having been down this road with several cars I’m well aware that some potential upgrades simply aren’t possible, whether that’s due to a lack of physical space in the engine bay, or the fact that pushing 400bhp out of an engine designed with 200bhp in mind will result in a big bang coupled with a big repair bill.

Forza 2 takes none of the realities of automotive modification into account. Is that naturally aspirated engine not cutting the mustard? Just slap a massive turbocharger on it, regardless of the fact that there wouldn’t be space in the engine bay. Then there’s the small issue of whether other components in the car can handle all that extra power and torque. Forza 2 is happy to let you more than double the power and torque output of your car without forcing you to, say, upgrade your drives shafts or your clutch, or even your gearbox. Amazingly a gearbox that’s been designed for 200lb ft of torque can quite happily live with well over twice that searing through its cogs Forza-land. Ultimately, if Forza 2 was going to move the game on when it came to realism, it really should have adopted a more cause and effect attitude to modifications and upgrades.


October 23, 2009, 7:55 pm

Wow - I have never read a TR review that I disagreed with more. And so am glad to be the first (after 2 years) to post a review to make this clear!

Something that becomes clear very soon with playing Forza 2 is the amount of effort they put into the physics engine and in particular the tyre-modelling. I remember back in 07 when it was launched reading interviews about when the software modellers met with the Goodyear and Bridgestone tyre engineers and quickly realised they weren't going to get the information they came for as they were questioning (and were building into the game) a level of detail, accuracy and knowledge that was beyond even the mainstream real-world engineer.

This level of realism - in my opinion - really comes through in the game.

Riyad hints towards this with reference to the steering wheel, but in my opinion this sense of immersion and realism is there even with the handset controller by just turning off many of the driver aids. (Turn off all stability aids plus the drivers line, and soon you'll find yourself looking out for 'markers' in the change of tarmac colour or grass as you brake or turn in or feed in the gas just like you would on a 'real-world' race track).

All you have to do is ask that your friends - or online competitors - switch these aids off and then you will have a incredibly life-like road race of skill on your hands.

I agree with the point about tuning a 200bhp engine to a 400bhp engine without uprating your drive shaft, but at what point to stop the user having fun vs forcing them to adhere to the rulebook? For me, this was far less important that the physical real-world realism once you're behind the wheel.

Overall, the only thing you could fault this game with was the fact that the AI (although incredibly impressive at pushing it to the limit at the top setting) often - but not always - doesn't avoid collisions at the expense of a better corner line.

But this is something I'm confidently looking to Forza3 to fix....

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