Forza Motorsport 2 - Forza 2

By Riyad Emeran



Our Score:


It’s also not as if finances can keep your desire to upgrade your cars in check, because you’ll soon find yourself flush with cash without even having to try too hard. This means that not only will you be able to buy upgrades to your heart’s content, but you’ll also be able to buy some particularly exotic metal before long. Some effort has been made to limit your financial freedom, by limiting the value of cars that you win in races – so while upgrading your brakes will set you back over 3,000 credits, if you sell your pristine Jaguar E-Type you’ll be rewarded with a measly 100 credits. Of course you can auction the cars you win online via Xbox Live, but considering how easy it is to win the car in the first place, anyone would have to be terminally impatient to stump up cash to buy a car that they could get for nothing by winning a few races!

In many ways Forza 2 suffers from the same underlying issue as Project Gotham Racing 3, whereby it’s not difficult to be driving the car of your dreams after only a few hours’ play, which then leaves you wondering whether you can be bothered to soldier on through the rest of the career mode.

To be fair to Turn 10, there are some very impressive aspects to Forza 2, not least of which is the fact that the game runs at a constant 60fps, unlike the somewhat dead 30fps exhibited by PGR3. This fast frame rate produces a very smooth and believable feeling of speed, which is exactly what you want from a racing game. However, I can’t help thinking that the impressive frame rate has come at the expense of visual quality. There’s a worrying lack of anti-aliasing in the game that leaves what should be smooth curves looking jagged and rough. It’s hard to admire the beautiful lines of a Porsche 911 GT3 as you pull up next to it when the wheel arches and spoilers resemble bread knives. Likewise, the edge of the track can also end up being a mass of jaggies, while the textures on the cars themselves have a tendency to shimmer as you approach them.

On the plus side, there are some very nice lighting effects, with good use made of bloom as you round a corner into the sun, while the reflective surfaces offered by pristine bodywork are a joy to behold, especially when viewing a replay. On the whole Forza 2 doesn’t look bad, it’s just that I think anyone who’s been waiting for its arrival will be slightly disappointed that it’s not simply jaw dropping.

Audio is considerably more impressive than the visuals, with engine notes that sound pretty much exactly like the real cars. The five-pot rumble of the Focus ST is nigh on perfect, while the slightly rough, but utterly intoxicating roar of a Porsche 911 2.7 RS (one of the greatest cars ever built) almost brought the hair on the back of my neck to attention.


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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