With the recent release of Forza Motorsport 4, a cornerstone franchise for Microsoft, I spent some time with the game to figure out if it was worth my time. I am glad to report, that in most regards, Forza 4 delivers an upgraded experience from the last game and an enjoyable game for new players to the series. Below is a straightforward list of the things I liked and disliked in this new iteration. Keep in mind that the things I liked heavily outweigh that which I did not like.
Also, enjoy some images from my personal Forza garage to accompany this write-up.
Things I Liked
Kinect Controls for Driving
Of course, the first thing I tried in this game were the Kinect controls. AutoVista was my first use of Kinect in Forza 4 and it left me a bit frustrated. Fortunately, I kept with it and gave actual racing a try. The feeling of driving a car with just my wrists was exhilarating. With the assists on for acceleration and braking, I was left to only worry about steering. It really made the game fun and Forza with Kinect is a great showpiece for friends that might not have ever seen Kinect in action.
Snowy Mountain Driving
The second moment that caught me by surprise was driving through the Alps and snow-covered mountains. While Forza 4 is not the first game to render snow cover mountains, it does so in such grand fashion that I drove with my jaw dropped for several races. Having driven through the Alps when I was in high school, I was floored at how great of a job they did at presenting the scenery. The graphics in this game are among the elite and these snow levels are some of the best game graphics in the world today.
Continued Support of Forza 3
Like several other major games, Forza 4 recognizes past accomplishments in Forza 3 and allows players to import credits (and some cars) into the new game. I appreciate that the developers want me to see my investment as having some value even well past my time playing the last game. Considering that Forza 3 players likely spent days of their lives (if not months) driving laps, it makes a lot of sense that they reap those rewards in future games.
Variable Difficulty (not punishing for newbs)
This is nothing new to the Forza series; but, I love that they make this game work not only for the experienced pro but also for the hopeless beginner. The difficulty slides allow for a lot of modification of the gameplay and the developers do their best to not punish the player. Even on the easiest settings, you’ll unlock new tracks and cars without feeling like cheating. For a casual car fan like me, this is a wonderful selling point of the series and yet makes me want to be good enough to try the harder challenges.
Things I Didn’t Like
AutoVista with Kinect is Not So Smooth
As I mentioned earlier, AutoVista just didn’t work for me. Whenever I would go to highlight a different feature of the car in question, the Kinect hand icon would slide away. The gimmicky nature of the Kinect lends itself well to a feature like Autovista. Unfortunately, AutoVista is not as smooth with Kinect as it ought to be. Thankfully, I can use my standard 360 controller for the mode. Crisis adverted.
Are These the Same Tracks?
This is a minor quibble, but I was a bit bothered that some of the tracks on the disc appear to be identical to those from previous games. Considering Forza is not exactly busting at the seams with tracks, I found it a bit problematic that there was some repeats from the last game. In the scope of things, this complaint is minor. However, it does make the experience seem slightly repetitious from the last go-around.
After investing several hours into this edition of Forza Motorsport, I found myself sucked back into the world of competitive racing of the prettiest kind. If you’ve liked any of the previous Forza games or you just love cars, Forza Motorsport 4 is well worth your time.
CraveOnline received 1 advanced copy of Forza Motorsport 4 for the Xbox 360 from Microsoft. Before starting this feature, we completed 30% of the game.