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Forza Motorsport 4 review

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Forza Motorsport 4
  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • Forza Motorsport 4
  • Forza Motorsport 4

Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Beautifully rendered cars and tracks
  • Satisfying handling with configurable assists
  • Strong career plus a huge range of modes and options

Cons

  • Kinect features are limited
  • Racing could be more unpredictable and exciting

With Forza 3, Turn 10 studios finally cracked it, producing a game that improved on the rather bloodless racing that marred Forza 2 and finally matched Gran Turismo for cars, tracks and game modes. So, where to take the series next? Turn 10’s answer is both a refinement and a whopping great expansion, with a revised graphics engine, career structure and handling model, all tied into a bumper package of cars, tracks and modes that makes Forza 4 the most comprehensive rival Gran Turismo has ever faced. It’s a generous game, in every way possible, and one that bends over backwards, forwards and sideways to please anyone with an interest in four-wheeled autos.

And by everyone, we mean everyone. Microsoft has sensibly held back from pushing Kinect features into every area of the game, but this is still one of the most Kinect-friendly ‘hardcore’ games that the company has released to date. The new Kinect steering mode – with CPU-controlled acceleration and braking – is restricted to simple one-off races and challenge events, but it works surprisingly well, and if it gives younger gamers and families a simple,fun way into Forza, all the better.

Navigating the game’s numerous nested menus through voice is arguably easier than doing so with a controller, and if the much-trumped AutoVista feature is a flashy gimmick, then at least it’s a good flashy gimmick. Through a series of simple pointing, leaning swiping and grabbing gestures it’s possible to check out the cockpits, curves and engines of a good range of luxury cars of the sort that most of us will never see physically, and if the occasional bits of Jeremy Clarkson commentary get perilously close to self parody, then at least they make the experience a bit less clinical.

But then you don’t really splash out $40 on a new Forza to look at cars or waggle an imaginary steering wheel: you do it for an authentic experience of driving. Here Forza 4 excels. The game uses a new handling model based not solely on manufacturer data but also on tyre data from Pirelli, which Turn 10 claims has transformed Forza’s physics simulation. Well, it’s hard to say whether Forza 4 beats GT5’s famously realistic handling, but it certainly matches it. While - tragically - you won’t find us driving high-end Jags and Ferraris on our weekends, the cars in Forza 4 handle like you imagine that they should. And if you don’t agree, check your current difficulty settings. Should you find you’re not working hard enough while keeping vehicles on the road at high speed, then it’s time to start switching some assists off. As we said, Forza really tries hard to give everyone a good time, and not just those of us who want our driving sims accurate and exacting.

The graphics, too, are fabulous,with Turn 10’s brand new lighting engine doing a spectacular job of knitting cars and tracks together to make one sometimes hyper-realistic scene, with the kind of rich, natural light that Hollywood cinematographers would wait all day for. If Forza 2 suffered from an excess of sterile-looking race-tracks, then Forza 4 goes even further than Forza 3 in redressing the balance, with a new sprint through a stunning alpine track a particular highlight. The cars are beautifully modeled, and the whole thing looks like a moving photo-shoot for a particularly glossy high-end car magazine. A quick spin along the Amalfi coast in a classic sixties Alfa Romeo leaves you pondering the unfairness of a life in which you’ll never get to do this for real.

stranded

October 13, 2011, 6:54 am

"tyre data from Pirelli", "GT5's famously realistic handling" ... Battlefield 3 great simulator ... most advanced video game in this category ... blah blah blah ...
With great laughs (and anger) i watch console game company men trying to fool more people to buy their games, saying all incredible and ridiculous things they can imagine. They always try to hide how much obsolete and lagging console games gameplay is.
Forza, like GT5 and all other console racing games, is arcade. Graphics are good, but it doesn't look like real racing. They are always shiny and try to impress the 8 years old gaming kid, which is always the main target group of such games.
If console developers could stop saying senseless things and admit they offer some "fun" arcade games, would be nice. Consoles will never be realistic, they weren't made for this. They are toys and will be like this forever.

Keithe6e

October 13, 2011, 3:48 pm

>> They always try to hide how much obsolete and lagging console games gameplay is.

Compared to what?

>> Consoles will never be realistic, they weren't made for this.

What is?

stranded

October 13, 2011, 4:31 pm

@Keithe6e
Compared to PC games, isn't it obvious?
Reality is realistic, isn't it obvious? No game is 100% realistic (and will never be) but PC games are much more closer to this than consoles.
No matter what is realistic or not, why console developers lately try very hard to convince customers that their games are simulators? Why do they say their games are something that they are not? Why is it so important?
I have played a very large number of racing games of all categories and i know the answer to the question, but i will never tell you.

Keithe6e

October 13, 2011, 5:01 pm

I'm a PC gamer too, I like my CS outings.

PC's were not designed for simulations any more so than a console, so stop fooling yourself. Crikey, I even remember the days of CGA gaming.

You will also find that a lot of code is shared between console & PC, IOW: The mathematics in say BF3 will be transferred to the console, and unless your a complete moron you will understand that's the part responsible for the simulation.

Now PC's, do have one advantage as long as your prepared to pay £1000's every year, Hardware, eg. GPU/CPU's have moved along from when the PS3 & XBOX360 were first made. So, for example, BF3 on a top end PC is going to look way better.

>> but i will never tell you.

That's a relief.

Guest

October 14, 2011, 3:47 am

You do realise that Battlefield 3 is also a PC game. Anyway, I really don't understand what point you are trying to make. How is claiming something is a simulation any more ridiculous on a Console vs a PC?? Eh, they are just different hardware. Who are they fooling? People buy them because they like the games. You think 8 year olds is the target market for Forza and GT5. Sorry you are just trolling for the sake of it.

stranded

October 14, 2011, 11:06 am

@Keithe6e
Ok, you like to play the fool, but i don't intend to.
Consoles and PCs are both computers with same basic components, but consoles have many limitations and (usually) worse hardware, while PCs are limitless and you are free to do whatever you like. There is also a huge difference in games philosophy, console developers will never create simulations and strategy games, they only need dumb people to consume their fodder. They like the ultra easy way, life is shining for them.
BF3 is exactly the same crap in PC and consoles, i never said the opposite. When you play BF3 on a top end PC, you will look exactly the same, like standing in front (behind?) of a console. Graphics don't mean a thing.
My comments issue was the false advertising console companies do, nobody said anything about this.
I think there is not much to argue with a Counter Strike (yikes!!, puke, etc.) player who considers himself a PC gamer.

Keithe6e

October 14, 2011, 1:49 pm

>> Ok, you like to play the fool, but i don't intend to.

Whatever you say!! I better not argue with you eh, your so technically minded your not able to use TR's reply function instead of adding yet another brand new comment.

>> BF3 is exactly the same crap in PC and consoles

So what was the advantage of a PC again?

>> who considers himself a PC gamer.

Oops my mistake, CS must have been a ZX Spectrum game, I'll just check, nope it was a PC game, so I'm a little confused now, your saying your not a PC gamer even if you play PC games. Crikey!!, you learn something every day.

Well I'll leave you to pay £1000's so you can keep your serious PC rig for playing serious PC simulations, you PC gamer you.

stranded

October 14, 2011, 6:59 pm

@Keithe6e
Sorry, but no reply button is visible for me for comments that replied to me, only for original comments. I don't know why ...
I don't like a world where all people like and do the same things and play the same games. I like people with different taste. I love alternative options. If all gamers play BF3 and Counter Strike, something is very wrong. I hate a single way of living.
Are you a lawyer? Only these talk like that ... aah ... and console gamers too, you finally found the golden game egg to worship and enjoy.

Keithe6e

October 15, 2011, 3:29 pm

>> only for original comments.

Correct that's what you use, don't start a whole new comment, just append to the original. Amazing how such simple tasks confuses these so called hard core PC gamers. You've now started 4 whole new comments, and this could have all been done with 1 with reply's.

>> Are you a lawyer?

Nope!!, your just odd, so I've no idea what you do.

>> I like people with different taste

Interesting, I like using PC,Consoles & even phones for gaming, but yet you seem to imply I'm the one with a restrictive mindset. Please re-read your own comments, they seem to go a little like "PC's are GOD, consoles are just Toys. blah blah blah.". Me on the other hand, understand the Pro's & Con's of all systems, so I'd say none are a winner.

stranded

October 15, 2011, 7:05 pm

@Keithe6e
Ha ha, reply to myself? ha ha ... i am not the strange one ...
Mate, all of your time you play the one and only, same boring console type of games with PC, consoles and phones, you don't understand any pros and cons of any system. Call Of Duty and Angry Birds is the whole world for you. You are definitely a lawyer or an 8 years old minded.
This is boring mate. I won't say R.I.P. this time, no, i will try hard not to say it, i didn't, i made it.

Keithe6e

October 16, 2011, 1:09 pm

>> an 8 years old minded.

Yes, that's correct. I'm an 8 year old who knows how to use the reply function, and doesn't get confused the with concept of the word reply, how bad does that make you look?. Your a PC user, I bet you was one of those people who got confused with the "To shut down windows click start". Anyway, I'm not here to teach you about computers, you stick to playing your "Hard core PC games".

>> This is boring mate.

Please don't go, were having so much fun. You just need to learn to use the reply function without getting confused, and were sorted.

stranded

October 16, 2011, 3:57 pm

@Keithe6e
You said from the start that PC is useless for gaming. You remember the old graphics days, then you must be about 40 years old but you still live in your school days.
I am not a hardcore PC gamer, i am a normal gamer that plays many gaming categories. You are a hardcore, completely blindfolded console player who made PC the living hell it is today. I pay for your sins.
Consoles gave me only pain. This is my last Forza comment, it's a bad comedy.

Keithe6e

October 17, 2011, 2:06 pm

I never said PC's were useless for gaming at all, please read comments properly. I said PC's were not designed for simulations, in the same way a console is not. I even pointed out one of the advantages of a PC is that your can throw Hardware at it, and in fact a PC is better than a console if your willing to pay £1000's a year.

>> This is my last Forza comment

That's probably a good thing, as your still not using the comments section properly. This is now the 6th comment header started by you, in fact every comment header has been started by you, Well done.

Matthew Bunton

September 2, 2013, 7:51 pm

The best driving simulator for me. Great screenshot on image no.3.

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