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Forza Motorsport 7

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Summary

Forza Motorsport 7 release date

Xbox One and PC on October 3.

Forza Motorsport 7 gameplay – A sim racing newbie's first impressions

Forza is a series famous for two things: beautiful graphics and simulation-level racing. Having had an opening hands-on with the the latest entry into the series, Forza Motorsport 7, I can safely confirm the game is on track to maintain this legacy.

With Project Cars 2 hot on its heels, developers have thrown everything they've got at Forza. On the one hand these include the usual updates you’d expect. There are more cars – 700, plus one Porsche 911 GT2 RS that was announced at the game's E3 presentation – and the usual assortment of new tracks.

But what really sets it apart are the graphical upgrades. Forza Motorsport 7 is one of the first Xbox games to get the Xbox One X HDR and 4K treatment. This means, if you play it on the shiny new One X variant of Microsoft’s console, on a HDR-ready 4K TV, the game will run at true 4K resolution with high dynamic range at a silky smooth 60fps.

Sadly, while I got to play Forza in 4K on an Xbox One X, the 4K monitor wasn’t HDR-ready, so I didn't get to enjoy the more immersive colour depth you get with high dynamic range. But even without this the upgrades were immediately noticeable and made for a more stonking racing experience.

Related: What is HDR gaming?

forza motorsport 7

Racing through the the first part of my two-lap race demo, the game looked sharper, textures looked more detailed and cars looked as close to photorealistic as I have ever seen in a game – even more so than in my previous experience trying out Project Cars 2. The increased frame rate also made the cars feel noticeably more reactive than I remember Forza Motorsport 6 being during my brief foray with it on a regular Xbox One, which will be a big deal for competitive racers and precision drivers.

Microsoft claims there have been a number of under the hood upgrades to the game to further enhance the game’s realism. These include basic things, like QA test sessions with real-life race drivers to get feedback on the car’s handling, to physics-engine upgrades that alter the road surface's dynamics depending on the weather – which sounds very similar to the work Project Cars has done to replicate wet road conditions.

Related: Best racing games

forza motorsport 7

Cards on the table: I’m not a car guy and my journalist's salary means I have no clue how a supercar really handles – the only racing game I count myself as an expert at involves throwing bananas and shells at opponents – so can’t sensibly say if the demo accurately represented how any of the vehicles drive. But it did feel like an accurate portrayal of what would happen if you put me behind the wheel of a supercar.

In this case, I was driving the Porsche 911 GT2 RS on the game's new Dubai track, which features winding highways through rocky hills.

During my two-lap race I had the training wheels on and had visual racing line on the road showing me the ideal path to take round the track. Even with this help, frankly, I still struggled. With my foot to the pedal, my attempt to navigate the opening turn saw me barrel straight into the barriers. Going on, despite my efforts to get the angles right at and find the optimum time to hit the gas, I continually lost my nerve and braked at the wrong time, causing me to drift, or on one occasion, spin 360d degrees – which I count as a victory as the Forza representative on hand couldn’t figure out how I managed to fail so epically.

Audio is another area that Forza Motorsport 7 has really stepped up. Every bump and rattle can be heard, and the engines sound muscular and realistic. It's an audio feast, and I'm hoping it'll also get Dolby Atmos support for the ultimate in surround-sound audio.

Related: Xbox One X games

forza motorsport 7

Opening Impressions

Forza 7 doesn’t reinvent the wheel and feels more like a graphical upgrade than a revolutionary step forward for the series. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The jump to 4K and 60fps on the Xbox One X made the car’s handling feel more reactive, even to a newbie like me, and there is no denying Forza 7 is one of the most beautiful racing games around

As a result, while I can’t see it winning over non-car folks who aren’t already embedded in the genre, for those that are it could be one of the reasons to buy an Xbox One X.

There's plenty of stuff I didn't see. Forza Motorsport 7 is all about character customisation, and you'll be able to change how your driver looks, including body types, accessories such as helmets and harnesses, and much more. This'll probably be an excellent excuse for DLC down the line.

As Trusted gets more details on new game features, this piece will be updated.

Forza Motorsport 7 trailers

E3 reveal trailer:

What do you make of Forza Motorsport 7? Will it tempt you away from Project CARS 2?

Christopher Letch

June 13, 2017, 5:57 pm

Preordered it

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