The Forza series may not be quite as synonymous with Microsoft as say Halo, but it has become an Xbox mainstay ever since the release of the first game in 2005 for the original Xbox. Since then, the series has seen a new release every two years and each entry have been well received. Forza has been Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s Gran Turismo for a while now and has had releases occur a lot more often, which has helped the series to become a household name in only eight years. Now, the Xbox One launch has arrived with Forza Motorsport 5 from Turn 10 Studios.
One thing to remember with the Forza series is that you can’t go in expecting it to be a Mario Kart like racer. Unlike arcade style racers, Forza is a lot more realistic in pretty much every aspect. You can’t make wide turns and expect not to spin out or run off the track. The controls are very touchy in that you barely need to move left and right or you will go off course. This leads to a bit of a steep learning curve, which can be extremely hard for newcomers at first who haven’t played a game like Forza before. However, once you get the hang on it, you really begin to feel like you have total control over the car as you drive.
The Xbox One controller greatly enhances the experience due to the new rumble triggers that react when braking or losing control of your vehicle. This addition helps you learn how to react and respond to your car much more quickly over time. Beyond the very useful rumble triggers, Forza also displays a path of arrows throughout each track that help to show when you need to slow down or brake by changing from blue arrows to yellow or even red on the sharper turns. Learning to follow these are the one of the biggest keys to mastering this game.
As you would expect from a game on the Xbox One, Forza Motorsport 5 is beautiful visually. At first glance, you could honestly mistake this game for the real thing as you race around the stunning locations. Due to the use of actual cars and tracks, the designers as always are able to perfectly craft each to look just like their real world counterparts, such as one of my personal favorites, the Bernese Alps.
While racing, you can choose between multiple different camera angles, including one from the eyes of the actual driver where you see the full inside of the car. It was a little more difficult to get used to racing from this angle, but the car looks gorgeous and extremely detailed inside. A nice little touch is the ability to see all the bumps and bruises that your car receives after each race. Honestly, my car looked terrible after most races, but that’s the price you pay to do well sometimes.
Beyond just the graphics, the game feels very smooth while maintaining 60 frames per second with a 1080p resolution. While playing, I never noticed any hiccups whatsoever, which is very impressive for a launch title running at 60 frames per second. Sometimes you may just get in the zone and forget about everything else around you due to the immersive experience you will feel in each race.
Disappointingly, the number of cars and available tracks has dropped drastically in this game from the previous release on the Xbox 360, Forza Motorsport 4. Forza Motorsport 5 includes 200 cars from over 50 different manufacturers, down from about 500 cars from over 80 manufacturers. The number of tracks has also been reduced from 27 to 14, which can often lead to some track fatigue when you keep playing on the same few tracks over and over again. The lesser number of cars could be due to needing more time to work on the game due to being on a next generation console, but it seems suspicious that they are planning on releasing a steady stream of DLC cars in the future that you can pay to download.
While there are less than 50% of the cars in the game, luckily there is a level of customization that somewhat helps to make up for it. After choosing the car you want to purchase with the credits you’ve earned in races, you can choose how you want to design it. If you want to, you can choose to look at pretty much every inch of the car in detail through the Forzavista mode before or after you get to designing it.
When choosing how to customize your car, you can choose from just straight paint jobs or more detailed patterns and decal designs. I personally went the easy route with just a normal color as I didn’t want it to be too loud, but I messed around with it quite a while before settling on my garnet colored Viper. Make sure your vehicle is exactly to your specifications as you will get close-ups shots of it before and after each race, granted it will look a little better before each race rather than after.Forza Motorsport 5 (Xbox One) Review,