The World is Your Driving Oyster
Sticking to their biennial release pattern, developer Turn 10 Studios has the seventh edition of Forza Motorsport revved up and polished, looking stunning in every ray of light or deluge of rain. It’s packed with conventional racing matches, as opposed to its sister Forza Horizon series. But what it lacks in open-world freedom and exploration, it makes up with a walloping 700+ vehicles to collect and nearly three dozen tracks spread across the globe, from Abu Dhabi to Maple Valley. The dynamic weather feature has been plucked from previous Forza entries and slapped onto every track here, mixing up each race enough to prevent the drifting air from getting stale. There are no groundbreaking new modes in Forza Motorsport 7 , but there’s certainly enough concentrated content crammed into you own warehouse/garage to keep your engine purring.
Forza Motorsport 7 is a visually stale hub in the warehouse, but it has all the essentials: an open space to inspect every remarkable tiny detail of each vehicle with Forzavista, tools to paint, tune, and customize your rides, options to check your stats and personal Drivatar A.I., access to Multiplayer and solo Free Play matches, and a bannered corner for the Forza Driver’s Cup, the game’s extensive campaign mode. Each of the six series in the campaign offers a sizeable selection of multi-race events using various car types, from compact cars to transport trucks. There are also single race showcases that challenge you with specific win conditions or shake up the formula with casual games, such as car bowling with a Limousine. You don’t need to complete every event to win the cup from that particular series, giving you the luxury of choosing matches that interest you the most.
Of course, you can’t win races without cars, and you can’t get cars without money (or credits in this case). The roster of over 700 cars is impressive, even a bit overwhelming, but the collection menu to purchase them lets you peek at a postcard shot of each. However, there is no way to sort or search through specific tags of unbought vehicles and no way to preview their specs before the purchase. Also, the high-end exotic and hyper cars are locked behind tiers that require you to build a collection of economical cars first, with each car purchased adding to your Collector Score. It’s a relatively small inconvenience, however, as it doesn’t too long to access the higher tiers, especially if you play smart and spend your credits wisely. As you complete races and gain credits, you’ll also earn XP, and leveling up lets you choose a reward. So grab those free cars early, and save spending your credits on badges and skins until after you’ve reached the top tier.
Like many games are adopting nowadays, Forza Motorsport 7 offers tantalizing Prize Crates to invest your earnings at a chance at some rare, super rare, or even legendary loot. Besides new wheels to ride, Mods are commonly part of the treasure pile, and when used properly can really stack the bonus cash you rake in after a race. These Mods can be placed into three open slots before a match. Some are simply a guaranteed bonus, but others will unload their gratuity only after meeting certain conditions, such driving in the rain or at night, performing good turns or passes, or even driving using a specific camera angle. The trick is not to waste the high quality Mods on meager races. If you save those legendary boosts that grant 100% bonus credits on a twenty-five lap endurance race that awards you 80,000 or more in credits, do the math and you’ll see the profits.
On top of car customization, Forza Motorsport 7 introduces Driver Gear, a huge wardrobe of collectible bodywear that ranges from country flags to manufacturer logos to pop culture attire such as tuxedos and clown costumes. However, apart from the pre-race screens, unless you’re driving a vehicle with an open frame, you won’t get to see your new threads in action.
As in past Forza games, the controls allow you to tweak the driving experience, from a more arcade like feel to a full-on simulation. There are plenty of Assists to fiddle with, letting you adjust the brakes, steering, stability and traction, and the rewind feature, among other things. I expected to be rewarded with credit bonuses by using fewer assists, like in Forza Horizon 3 , but it appears going full skill is just for bragging rights and personal preference. Adjusting the A.I. difficulty, however, does come with increased income, should you win of course.
The tracks and dynamic weather are one of Forza Motorsport 7 ’s biggest highlights, as beautifully detailed as the cars themselves. Courses from across the globe are varied, outlined with pine and maple tree forests in some, arid desert sand dunes in others, tropical seaside resorts in yet others, and over two dozen more, each displaying a unique vista. Pair the landscapes with random weather elements, and each race could yield unexpected challenges. A storm could blow in suddenly, creating puddles and hindering traction, forcing you to adjust your speed and corner your turns more gingerly. The low hanging, fast moving clouds are so captivating, you may find yourself in a barrier due to the distraction. I was particularly awed by the races that occur just before dusk or dawn, as the transitions between dark and light were truly stunning. The oddly shaped character models and their rigid animations were the only graphical elements that lacked the realism found in the rest of the game.
Forza Motorsport 7 still has features that didn’t make the deadline. Forzathon events, multiplayer Leagues, and the Auction House and Marketplace are currently listed as “Coming Soon”. However, what is already packed in is plenty of meat to digest, and no feature feels tacked on or a novelty. With a long and flexible solo campaign, quick multiplayer setups (including couch co-op), fun challenges, and lots ways to tweak your ride, wardrobe, and income, Turn 10 Studios continues to perfect their skill with another entry in one of the best racing series in the industry.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.8 Graphics
The highest standard of excellence is on display here with the gorgeous vistas and stunning vehicles. Only you, the driver, seem to need a facelift. 4.6 Control
A fair balance of controls to adjust for both beginners and simulation pros. Every car handles differently, and the dynamic weather keeps your fingers guessing in every race. 3.9 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The vehicles purr and roar, and the environmental effects add authenticity. The music is decent but more ambient than memorable, and the voice acting lacks the passion of previous Forza vocal deliveries. 4.8 Play Value
700 cars, over 30 tracks, a solid campaign, and lots of ways to manipulate your own race. Not much more you could ask for, except the features that are still in development. 4.6 Overall Rating – Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid
|2.5 – 2.9 = Average
|3.5 – 3.9 = Good
|4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor
|3.0 – 3.4 = Fair
|4.0 – 4.4 = Great
|5.0 = The Best