Forza Motorsport 5 Review
Cars are beautiful, awe aspiring, speed machines that are around us practically every day of our lives. It takes a special game to take the regular interactions of a person’s day and makes it interesting. Forza Motorsport 5 is a launch title and one of the first triple A games to hit the new console generation for the Xbox One and it might just be that game. Racing titles, for me, are usually a little bit lack luster at best and boring at worst, but Forza uses the new hardware and new features of the Xbox One to bring a new experience that should be noticed for early adopters.
Forza is at its best when it focuses on the cars. The level of detail on every single vehicle is astonishing. The Forzavista mode really highlights the detail to not only the outside of the car, but also the interior. The mode allows you to comb over every single inch of every car and has recorded dialog giving background information on every model. If you are even passively interested in cars this mode is a fascinating look into the motorsport world. Forzavista has been in past games, but this version with the expansive list of car backgrounds and updated graphics really advance the experience from the past titles.
Forza Motorsport 5 Video Review
Forza doesn’t only focus on detail in the visual department; it also takes a close eye to the mechanics of driving. Every car is like a puzzle to be unraveled. How is this car going to take corners? Should I have some extra assists on? These questions are different for practically every single car. The first time I fired up a supped up mustang and watched the back end playfully drift around corners and constantly lose traction from the power under the hood I was both terrified and delighted.
Racing in Forza 5 pretty much works exactly like it did in the past. The different levels of assists, the credits to unlock new cars and general racing habits all make a return from the past games. There is however one major difference that Forza 5 brings to the table. Everyone drives like an ass.
The new addition of drivatars is probably one of the most interesting, and worst named, features of the game. As you drive in Forza 5 the game will collect information about your driving habits. How you take a turn, how you pass and how closely you stay to the driving line. This is then interpreted and used as AI drivers for other peoples game with your gamertag attached to it. This leads to races that feel more like multiplayer races than anything else. The amount of people that are willing to cut corners, drive aggressively and stray away from the lines makes every race more interesting but might not be every player’s cup of tea. If you like clean races focusing on professional driving, this game might upset you every one in a while.
A nice thing to note is that the medal system is very forgiving for drivers. Depending on the race there is usually some wiggle room for new players to not necessarily come in first but still walk away with some decent experience. The medals, gold, silver and bronze are broken up into groups instead of just handed away to first place, second place and third. Drivers who come in between 1st and 3rd receive gold, 4th through 6th silver and 7th through 9th bronze. This makes the races more interesting and also puts less stress on the player removing the need to restart at the first corner just because you didn’t get it just right.
When I first saw the option for head tracking in the settings for Forza I started to get really excited. I figured the feature would be a great way to show off the effectiveness of the new Kinect 2.0. For the most part the feature is less of a head tracking feature and more of a body tracking feature. Leaning to the left and right will make the driver look through the driver and passenger side window. It is a fun little thing but overall doesn’t really do anything. There also was some issues every once in a while where the Kinect wouldn’t see movement correctly and would get stuck leaning one way. This always made me inadvertently crash and inevitably made me turn off a feature that could have been a step forward for the franchise.
The multiplayer also seems to be a little bit messy with the new system. Filling a full party of friends in Forza is somewhat annoying. There doesn’t seem to be quick ways to invite friends to the game and a lot of the multiplayer stuff seems to be hampered by the new Xbox One operating system. Launch games are always put at a disadvantage because of a new operating system and the wonkiness of Forza 5 is a perfect example of this. There also is no quick way to get into a race and races are split into a bunch of different categories. After playing multiple hours of Forza 5 multiplayer, I have still yet to have a race with a full roster of racers. Thankfully I would rather be playing single player with the drivatars anyways but I also feel like the multiplayer modes could be a letdown for some players.
Forza Motorsport 5 is by no means the pinnacle of video gaming. There are some issues with the new lighting effects, crowd sprites on the sidelines and drivatar aggressiveness but these mistakes are quite hilarious and almost charming to me. Tracks and cars from games past are missing and a little bit more variation would have been nice. But all of nitpicky stuff aside this is stills a fantastic game. The attention to details on the tracks and cars makes up for the omissions of days gone by and is a showcase for the new console generation.
Gamers Heroes’ honest game review of Forza Motorsport 5 was done on the Xbox One.