Forza Motorsport 2

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Forza Motorsport 2 review


Forza Motorsport 2 brings you the best current console racer

Performance Index (cont.)

The manipulation of the Performance Index is done through upgrades to your vehicle. The more heavily you tune and upgrade, the higher the PI designation. Simply by adding the most minor of upgrades will increase the car's PI rating. During the single player career mode, you can view the list of opponent vehicles and how they measure up against yours on the PI scale. From there, you can make adjustments to your car as needed to ensure victory, or to keep it as close to the competition as possible.

Streamlined, efficient and very sensitive

The controls for Forza 2 are standard to most racing games. The basic elements apply as always, but its the driving physics that really set this title above the competition. Each vehicle has its own authentic feel on the road and some of them can be a real handful to keep under control. Learning to brake and accelerate sounds like a trivial task, but unless you are an experienced hand, you will be surprised how often you will witness the damage physics firsthand as you slide into a wall because your brakes locked up or your rear end decided it was going to a different direction than you because you over-accelerated. Good control is about subtlety. Smashing down the gas wont get you off the line faster, it will just leave you spinning your wheels while the rest of the pack drives around you.

Hiccups in the perfection

The menu interface is self explanatory. Just about everything is spelt out for you and/or has a help function that can be toggled on. The only downside is that the load time between menus can be bothersome. It's typical for the game to hesitate, seemingly locking up, for a moment as the next menu loads up. If the menu being viewed has vehicle displays, the delay will increase while the 360 renders the different vehicles available. The same delay will be experienced each time you enter your garage if you have a sizeable collection waiting for you. Long load times seem to be the major blemish of Forza 2. Though some delay and load times must be expected with any console title due to the amount of detail that needs to be loaded, it is still a momentum killer when you are ready to get to the next race and you have to painfully click through each menu. In the big picture though, it's only a minor annoyance and is easily forgiven.

I know my bumper is around here somewhere

The Forza environment is no less than gorgeous. The main focus is obviously the vehicles, but the tracks and surrounding environments are just as attractive. Of course, at 200mph, the bystanders and vegetation will be nothing but a blur, but the lighting and shading effects are perfect. Even small details such as the tire marks of when you smashed into a wall remain as a reminder of previous mistakes.

Aside from pretty cars and blurry spectators, Forza 2 has damage modeling, which is very refreshing for any driving game. The damage sustained to your vehicle will vary in severity based on your difficulty setting though. If playing on the lower settings, hitting a wall at 70 might only spin you and scratch the paint. But when you turn on the realistic damage setting, just sit back and watch the pieces fly! Hit the same wall and not only will the car visually take damage, but you will most definitely damage, if not outright destroy major components.


fun score

No Pros and Cons at this time