by Jeff Gates
reviewed on X360
On July 22, 1894, 25 men gathered in Paris, France for what is widely considered the first ever motor-race. The event was a 79 mile trek from Paris to Rouen featuring manufacturers like Peugeot and Panhard. Count Jules-Albert de Dion finished first arriving in Rouen in just 6 hours and 33 minutes.
A lot has changed in a century. Today motorsport is a Swiss Army knife of varying events and disciplines, with new ones popping out of the woodwork and into mainstream society nearly as fast as the vehicles that compete in them. However society is changing, times are getting tight, money is spreading thin and people are growing more concerned with how their lives are affecting the world around them. The push to “go green” has left racing to play the bad guy in many circles. To some, a few dozen gas-guzzling, ear-pulverizing, tree-murdering high-performance race cars gathering on a closed course to battle for supremacy seems nothing more than a dick-waving contest. Maybe they are right; maybe it’s a useless gathering of like-minded people who get a true and honest enjoyment out of something that can be fairly ridiculous. Maybe someone should put an end to it. Or maybe, just maybe, we should drown out their stupid complaints with over-revved V8’s, spin the tires, and hit the track in Forza Motorsport 4.
At first glance Forza 4 from Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios is much of what Forza 3 was: a beautiful, exact depiction of motorsport. In a lot of ways it can seem like a carbon copy of Forza 3 with a proper upgrade to vehicle visuals and a few new tracks. That would be the case if it weren’t for the Community.
The Community houses most of what players love: The Auction House, where you can buy and sell vehicles, the Storefront, where you can buy new designs to place on your car or sell ones you have made and the Club section where players can team up much like clans. Most importantly, though, the Community plays home to the Rivals mode. Rivals are - in my opinion - the best addition to the fourth installment in the franchise. At its very core racing is about competition, and that is what Rivals mode is all about.
Players are pitted in a host of challenges against friends and fellow gamers online, but the difference is that they don’t actually compete at the same time. Instead, you post lap times that can be completed clean or dirty. Veering off the track and hitting the other competitors dirties your lap. For each lap time you beat you’re awarded a ‘Bounty’ for their head. Well it’s not so much their head as it is their time, but it feels just as good.
Forza has lacked competitive rivalry outside of the multiplayer racing. Many gamers are quite turned off by racing other folks in multiplayer events, so this new mode allows them to do it at their own pace in their own way. Not only does it make you a better driver in the game because of the insatiable urge to dominate other player’s times, but the credits and experience you earn can truly go a long way.
Beautiful as always and the additions of Rivals mode and AutoVista add good elements
Occasionally feels like Forza 3.5