Real Talk By KJ
Forza Motorsport slides into the next generation of gaming. Does the experience matchup with the new hardware? From a visual standpoint, absolutely. One word to describe it: clean. Realistic color palettes make paint jobs look great. Reflections of light truly shine. Drive in first person view, get a glare from the sunset rays shining into your cockpit. The light Weather effects are solid, but hopefully the next game puts us in rougher climate situations. We want to see more of what this system can pull off. Receiving damage even looks good. Hit the rewind button if crashing isn’t your style. It’s minor stuff we have to bring up. Crowds still lack detail. Trees and grass should look better. But that’s really reaching for stuff, so forget about it. Tiny gripes aside, F5’s Graphics are some of the year’s best.
Top Gear Presentation is in full effect. Cast members Richard Hammond and James May narrate the various circuits you’ll take part in. They give intelligent and comical insight to the proceedings. In career all circuits are available to you right away. Choose where you wish to compete. It’s a much easier mode overall. Just finish in the top 3, and you can advance to the next race. Completing a series isn’t nearly as satisfying since car unlocks are no longer received. Still a fun activity, but its better in past games.
While the modes feel lighter, gameplay has taken a great step forward. The rumble feature is a breakthrough achievement. For example: Drive out-of-bounds on the right side of a track, and feel it on that side of the pad. Slip onto rougher terrain, the controller shakes ever so slightly. Gear shifting, hard turns, collisions. A wheel controller wont be necessary this time. Different rumble levels and locations bring life to the race in progress.
Like past versions, Forza 5 is designed so that anyone can pick it up. Casual racing fans can leave the auto-brake on. Before a race, tweak subtle things. Up the difficulty, turn off the racing aid, it’s up to the gamer. Difficulty is all Cloud based. With the ‘Drivatar’ feature, race against players over Xbox Live, or just their ghosts. Data is being constantly recorded of everyone’s performances. That mean’s you too. Adjusting the difficulty and play against some of the best racers the nimbus can dish out. We wonder where cloud AI will go in the future.
Tracks are great, but when compared to past outings, it’s not good enough. Expect to run through the bulk of them quicker than you would expect. Keep Driving with different Car types, it will help get your mind off it. We believe tracks were chopped to ensure Forza 5 would make launch. The vehicle list is quality (for what is there at least), and the community continues to make sensational custom paint kits. The problem is its hard to get without opening your wallet more. Playing for regular points will work, but the tokens will get you everything faster. Points vs Tokens. Two forms of in-game currency adds more to the unnecessary confusion. An individual car can creep up to $60 dollars alone. Hello Microsoft your fan base just dropped $500 on your new system. Could there be a little breathing room? Some day-one-love? Guess not.
Season passes are here to stay, and this one is $49.99. This is a very expensive title, at least if you want to fully enjoy it. We wouldn’t feel as bad if the game delivered on content already from the start. Forza 4 had 500 cars ready to go on its release day, versus F5’s 200.
Forza Motorsport 5 is a smooth-looking and playing racing game. Certain levels mirror reality. Vehicles drive like a dream. This is the first time we felt a controller’s rumble was a valuable asset to a game. Five could have been an even greater package, possibly the best Forza ever. Sadly, it’s held back by company greed.
Forza Motorsport 5 Gets
Out of Five
+Forza Community (Drivatar/Paint designs)
-Light on Tracks/Cars
-$49.99 season pass