Slink down into the driver’s seat and fasten your seat belt, because this is going to be an exciting ride.
I won’t attempt to hide it; I love Forza Motorsport and the spin-off series, Forza Horizon. Racing never really grabbed me as a genre in gaming, but that didn’t keep me from indulging every now and then. I’ve played my share of Burnout and Project Gotham Racing, but simulation style racing games like Gran Turismo were never my forte.
That was, until I got my hands on the Xbox 360 Elite console, which came with a copy of Halo 3: ODST and Forza Motorsport 3.
From then on, I’ve been hooked. Forza Motorsport 7 looks to be a continuation of that odd love of mine.
Cars Galore (And More)
I’m not a “car guy”. I drive a pretty ho-hum, silver 2013 Ford Focus (though it’s a standard)… You won’t see me zipping through the city streets in a fast car and taking the inside line on corners, though you may want to check with Jennifer about whether or not the racing games are getting to me. However, playing Forza Motorsport over the years has developed a sense of knowledge and appreciation of the topic.
Playing through the Forza Motorsport 7 Demo has reinforced that gearhead mentality that seems like it has been dormant in my blood for so long.
I was all but ready to sit this entry out for a while, but I saw the demo was available and decided to give it a shot. Disappointed, I was not.
The demo puts you behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT-2 RS, a Mercedes-Benz Tankpool racing truck, and the Nissan NISMO GT-R LM. You’re also treats you to experiencing a couple favorite tracks of mine, the Nürburgring GP and Mugello circuits, as well as a new track in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
You may remember the Porsche 911 GT-2 RS from the Xbox E3 briefing this year, where it was revealed for the first time to the public to a crowd of very confused gamers and press members. The good news is that all the vehicles in the demo are wonderfully fun to drive. The Porsche is ridiculously powerful; likely too powerful for those that aren’t used to cars like it, based on the negative reviews I’ve seen regarding the demo. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad car, but rather that it just takes a little getting used to.
The Mercedes-Benz Tankpool truck handles like you’d figure it would. Think of it like driving a semi on stimulants. It’s fast, heavy, and barrels through whatever might get in your way.
The Nissan GT-R’s reputation is reaffirmed in the demo as possibly one of the greatest cars in existence today, sporting four-wheel drive in conditions that definitely require it.
Rain Or Shine, Engines Whine
Forza Motorsport 6 might have been the first game in the main series to introduce weather conditions and night racing, but it appears that Forza Motorsport 7 is taking things a step further. Both the weather and time of day can be dynamic during a race, changing an afternoon race on a dry track to a dusky battle through driving rain.
The puddles and raindrops don’t just demonstrate the pretty graphics though. The weather and time of day changes the way your car handles, just like in the previous entry. However, the track conditions can change on the fly, which is a bit of a departure. Racing the Nissan GT-R on the Nürburgring in the demo helps convey this by starting you off on a dry track and promptly throwing the fury of mother nature onto you.
While you begin with grippy tires and being able to take corners at high speed, you’ll quickly find that water and tires don’t mix well. Go figure…
And damn, it looks incredible. Here, look at the picture again.
Pretty, right? Sure, that’s the sort of thing you’d expect from a simulation racing game, but still. I can’t imagine what it’d look like in 4K with HDR.
One thing that I can appreciate about the Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon franchises is Turn 10 Studios’ and Playground Games’ decision to include scaling difficulty options, and it appears that Turn 10 Studios hasn’t been asleep at the wheel in that regard.
Forza Motorsport 7 now has the option to regulate the Drivatars in addition to their skill level.
Instead of being forced to contend with road rage enthusiasts, you can now put your friends’ representations on a leash. If you’re one of my Xbox Live friends, never fear… You can keep Falcon509 from running you off the road on the race to the checkered flag now. Some would say this is a much-needed change, and even though I like to rough-and-tumble racing, I’m still open to the change for folks that want a more professional experience.
The Christmas Tree Turns Green
Forza Motorsport 7 looks and feels incredible. Perhaps that’s an understatement. It’s fantastic, and anyone that isn’t a total racing game prude or purist would be doing themselves a disservice for not giving it a try.
I didn’t intend on playing it, but after trying the demo, I promptly started with the puppy dog eyes since a review copy didn’t find its way into my grips (I’m not bitter, I swear). Jennifer didn’t stand a chance.
If you aren’t sure about it, the demo is free. Go take a peek. I’ll be busy making a new Falcon Game Reviews car in the meantime.
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