The first Forza Motorsport was released on the original Xbox in 2005, and was met with overwhelming positive reviews and awards. Forza 7 has landed, and continues a proud history of producing the very best racing games on the Xbox family of consoles.
The series promotes a love for motoring, motivating players to collect a bunch of cars, customise, and race them using a physics engine which focuses on how the tyres relate to the surface you're on. This is mixed with a flexibility that allows novices and pros alike to enjoy a simulated driving experience.
Developer Turn 10 delivers their most comprehensive offering to date, as well as providing state of the art graphics. Xbox One owners will be impressed; Forza 6 was beautiful, but Forza 7 is even better.
Some of the key highlights include:
- Over 700 cars, all with Forzavista viewing
- 30 Race Environments with over 200 variations including the return of fan favourites - Maple Valley, Mugello and Suzuka, and introducing the stunning Hafeet mountain pass in Dubai
- Dynamic weather system
- Microsoft play anywhere title – comes with free Windows 10 download rights
- UHD 4K resolution for Xbox One X
- Buy cars through the in-house marketplace, as well as an online auction house. The auction house is not yet open as of writing, but is a well known staple of Forza titles.
- Ability to custom tune your ride and share them with the community
- Powerful painting tools to change to design of your car and share those designs with the community
- In-game photo mode with good editing tools to save and customise those precious moments
- Increase difficulty and winnings using mod cards
There’s also a few changes to note for veterans. The most important is the new Homologation system, which has been introduced to help equalise class racing, and provides those of us with limited tuning ability to be competitive.
Previously, Forza titles provided class-based racing with a Performance Indicator (PI). This meant you could upgrade your cars however you saw fit so long as it fit within the class and PI. In reality, this meant some very unequal races, with some just focusing on power to win. This new system places more restrictions across the parts available, eliminating some of the extremes.
While this will be an unwelcome change for some, I see it as a positive step. I’m looking forward to trying some of the tunes the community comes up with, as it will now require some clever thinking; differences will be small but important, depending on the track and car you’re racing.
All cars purchased from the showroom also include homologated parts, and each race allows your car to be pre-homologated with the push of a button – a welcome addition to allow more folks to be competitive.
Other changes include:
- Loot Crates – Taking the game even more into the RPG genre (and maybe cynically into the world of micro transactions). Currently you only use in-game currency to buy them. Enough said here – they’re neither wanted nor needed.
- New levelling system – Cars are now divided into levels of rarity. As you buy or win cars, you can then purchase higher tiers. I like this system, as it provides more motivation to move up through the levels, and it’s always awesome to win a super rare car.
- Driver avatar gear customisation – Your driver avatar is now seen at the beginning of a race standing outside your car, and at the end on the podium. This means that you’re now offered all sorts of driving suits which you can purchase alone or find in loot boxes. Whilst I’m not too interested in this addition, I did appreciate receiving outfits representative of all of the Forza titles I’ve owned, including the Horizon ones.
- VIP offerings – Initially when I played this game for review, I received some bonus mod cards which represented the VIP offering. Thankfully the Forza community raged, which resulted in Turn 10 relenting, and announcing a return to the 2x base winnings we enjoyed in Forza 6. VIPs also got three rare cars, and a payout of $1M credits – a great example of listening to your community.
- Altering driver assists doesn’t affect your race payout – I used to be motivated to improve my racing by turning off assists, with the knowledge that I’d also receive more winnings as a result. I’m still racing this way, but I do wonder if this won’t motivate new Forza racers to try and become better drivers.
- No Toyota vehicles – This isn’t a Forza thing, but seems to be a Toyota decision, as it affected the latest Need for Speed game too. We still get a Hylux and some of their racing cars, but I will miss some of the iconic Toyota production cars.