by Jeff Gates
reviewed on X360
It’s the Little Things
I will be honest; I was not the biggest fan of Forza 3. It is a great driving game without a doubt, but it never really felt like a great racing game. In my opinion it has the same problem as its main competitor, Gran Turismo 5: the issue of having way too many slow and frankly boring cars that you must ram your way through to enjoy the high-performance Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s. Somehow, without removing the slow cars, they have removed that feeling from Forza 4. This game is pure racing joy.
A few small things have really improved the overall racing feel of this title. First off, the game now grades players during races for things like how well they took a turn or passed a competitor. At first this might sound like nothing, but if you don’t find yourself glancing to the corner of the screen every so often to see how well you took a turn I’ll be shocked.
Secondly, the season mode plays out and is displayed in a much more enjoyable fashion. Between each race a smooth talking British man guides you around the globe to the next event and invites you to choose from 1 of 3 separate races. While not exactly race related, it gives the season a much better flow and removes the disjointed feeling I got from Forza 3’s season.
The sounds of a racing game are hardly something minor. Unfortunately it seems like many developers put little time into crafting truly accurate depictions of the sounds of each vehicles real-life counterpart. This oversight is the downfall of many lesser games but thankfully Forza 4 has the most spot on sounds of any racing title I’ve ever enjoyed. For car fanatics like myself, the pure perfection that is Forza 4’s sound is like three Bugatti-filled Christmases rolled into one stocking-full of gaming delight.
Gorgeous in Grey
As I wracked my brain for eyesores in this game only one stood out in my mind – the damage modeling. While it occasionally looks really good, other times it seems to compensate by just making your car grey. No, I am not kidding. Bump a fender? The front quarter of your car turns grey. Roll your vehicle? Grey. Sneeze too hard? Grey... you get the idea. Outside of that the graphics and models are wonderful.
Petrol heads, (that’s gear heads to the American crowd) are sure to enjoy the AutoVista, a sweet spot of the game that lets you truly experience every facet of the world’s most incredible cars. In the AutoVista players are given the opportunity to not only sit inside and enjoy the interior of some of the most amazing vehicles, but also be educated by TopGear’s Jeremy Clarkson. The TopGear host is hands down one of the wittiest petrol heads with possibly the greatest wealth of knowledge to share. Once you sit inside a Ferrari 458 Italia in the AutoVista and start it up you might never put this game down again. The sights and sounds are so lifelike I nearly put on a white suit with Alligator loafers and filled the trunk with digital cocaine ready to sell to Miami locals, you know, to feel like a real Ferrari owner.
The Bastion of Automotive Lust
At this point in the review I want to list all of the things I love about this game, I want to go on and on about all the little details, like the beautiful menus and navigation, that make this the best racing sim in the world. However, that is boring to read, because no one wants to hear me ramble on about the seemingly endless list of classic cars and simple production models this title has to offer.
What you want to know is what Forza 4 truly is and is it really worth purchasing. If this were a video review you would see me shaking my head like a mental patient because the answer is a loud and boisterous “YES!” Forza 4 is the best racing simulator I have ever played. A racing fan missing out on this experience would be like falling asleep during your first child’s birth or being out of town for the Apocalypse [wouldn’t that be a good thing? – Ed.].
Forza 3 was great. The cars were magnificent, the tracks were pristine and the physics were spot on; however, it lacked that “fun for the whole family” feel. The new Rival’s mode mixed with the beautiful cars and slight touches of Forza 4 has moved the franchise on to incredible. This game has something for each kind of racing fan, and maybe even something for normal folks too.
Beautiful as always and the additions of Rivals mode and AutoVista add good elements
Occasionally feels like Forza 3.5