Forza Motorsport 4 Review
Forza Motorsport 4 refines and improves upon its predecessor in a number of ways, but also feels just a little too familiar.
- Caters to drivers of all skill levels
- Rivals mode is a great addition
- Cars and tracks look better than ever
- New multi-class races are a lot of fun
- Immediate feedback on your driving technique encourages you to improve.
- No variable weather conditions or night races
- Only five new circuits.
Circuit-based racing games are repetitive by nature, but the deja vu you experience when playing Forza Motorsport 4 is especially pervasive--at least if you're familiar with its superb predecessor. You can't help noticing that the majority of the cars and tracks in Forza 4 also appeared in Forza 3. They look noticeably better now, which is no mean feat in itself, but early in your new racing career you could still be forgiven for wondering if developer Turn 10's latest offering might more appropriately have been titled Forza 3.5. Thankfully, that feeling dissipates as new features and improvements reveal themselves, and ultimately there's no doubt that this is a worthy sequel to one of the best racing games in recent memory.
If you're one of the many people who played and enjoyed Forza 3, or are still playing and enjoying Forza 3 two years after its release, you're rewarded for your efforts the first time you start up Forza 4. You don't get to keep your vast collection of cars or your multimillionaire bank balance, but you're awarded a good selection of cars and a modest sum of money based on factors such as your Forza 3 driver level, VIP status, and whether or not you owned any of the rare "unicorn" cars. It's great that after spending countless hours with Forza 3 you don't have to start from scratch in Forza 4, and you might be pleasantly surprised by some of the cars that you find in your garage once you start playing. Newcomers to Forza have to make do with a first car that wouldn't warrant a second look if you passed by one in real life, but as one of the Forza faithful you might have access to a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Ferrari 430, an Audi R8, and a Bugatti Veyron as soon as your career gets under way, to name but a few.
Forza 4's World Tour mode is structured quite differently from Forza 3's Career mode. Where the latter challenged you to complete numerous themed series and, as a result, often saw you driving the same car for hours at a time, the former gives you much more freedom to drive what you want, when you want. You don't have any say in where your world tour takes you, but every time you land at a new circuit you're given at least two or three different events to choose from. Normally, the choices available to you appear to be dictated by the car that you're currently using or at least by the cars in your garage, so you almost never need to buy a new car to progress. In fact, you might not feel the need to buy any cars at all; you're awarded a new car every time you earn enough experience points to gain a driver level, and where in Forza 3 you didn't get any say in which car you received, now you get to choose from two to five options. Thinking about saving up 9 million credits to buy a Ferrari '67 330 P4? Don't bother; you can get one for free once you reach level 30, assuming you choose it over the Ford '66 GT40 MkII and the Shelby '65 Cobra Daytona Coupe.
In another departure from the Forza 3 formula, the cars you drive no longer gain levels along with you. Rather, driving a car increases your affinity with its manufacturer, which then rewards you with cash bonuses and discounts on car upgrades. It's a great system in theory, but it's baffling that with an affinity level of just four--which might take you only a handful of races to achieve--you qualify for a 100 percent discount on all parts. That means you can take your E-class Toyota MR2 with 145 horsepower and turn it into an S-class car with over 350 horsepower without spending a single credit. This makes it a lot easier for you to make your favorite cars competitive online and leaves you with more money to spend on new vehicles, but--in conjunction with the new option to purchase cars using Microsoft points--it devalues the in-game currency.
Regardless of how you acquire them, Forza 4's cars are a joy to drive, and they feel even more responsive on the track than their Forza 3 counterparts. Whether using the in-car view or any of the several available external cameras, you're afforded plenty of audio and visual feedback with which to make split-second decisions on the track, not to mention the excellent rumble and force feedback effects you get from standard controllers and steering wheel setups respectively. That's just as well, because AI opponents are noticeably more aggressive this time out and aren't nearly as quick to back off when you get alongside them. They don't always drive intelligently, they occasionally seem oblivious to your existence on the track, and they're oddly prone to errors after you use the rewind feature to correct your own mistakes, but at least you feel like they're putting up a fight for the most part. It's unfortunate that making even slight, accidental contact with an opponent renders your current lap time worthless on the leaderboards, but this is a necessary evil because it's possible to use opposing cars as a quick way to brake for corners on occasion.
Like previous games, Forza 4 does an outstanding job of catering to drivers of all skill levels. Options like assisted braking and steering, traction control, and the suggested racing line make it easy to get behind the wheel and compete even if you've never played a racing game before. Using any of the driving aids, including the aforementioned rewind feature, means you earn less prize money at the end of every race, but unless you desperately want the achievement for owning every Ferrari in the game, this is hardly a cause for concern. The only real worry with Forza 4's driving aids is that once you get used to driving with them, it can be hard to wean yourself off them. If you make an effort to experiment with switching certain assists off when you find that you're winning races too easily, though, you're sure to find a setup that's both comfortable and challenging after a while. Race results aren't the only metric that you can use to judge whether you're racing with too many assists turned on; Forza 4 uses a small onscreen graphic to rate every corner you take and every pass you make, as well as any drifts and drafts. This inspired addition can be humbling, but it's a great feeling to string together three or four perfectly taken corners in a row.
I'm rubbish at driving sims and get bored of them easily usually, but Forza 4 is just so good it's almost irresistible as a game, even for people who don't have a lot of skill at them because of the well-balanced difficulty tweaks you can make to suit your skill or lack of. After a dozen hours racing on the career mode I was surprised to find the overall completion percentage was less than 3%, so I suspect there's plenty of hours in this thing.
Just got it.m played 2 and 3, had a blast. I'd say after about 3 solid hours of racing that Forza 4 is the best in the series. The cars all have a great "feel" and give a lot of feedback. Plus they all look stunning. The AI is definitely problematic at times. Shift 2 is better in that department, as well as damage modeling. My biggest gripe is that Forza 4 is too easy. I play with a controller, so I drive on automatic and with ABS, but all other assists off, the hardest difficulty and simulation steering - comes to about +120%. My point is that I'm generally killing the opposition, unless I make a big mistake, and I really hope it gets harder. Again, Shift 2 handles this better. Still, can't ever get tired of tearing it up in a a Gumpert!
The AI is a lot smarter and more agreesive in the game then I remember in other Forza's. Sorry this game is a 9 easy (really a 10, but I understand it is very close to 3).
I thought Forza 3 was best but this one is even better than Forza 3 and Forza 2. Kinect support addition is a great feature. Now I can take corners while I am turning my head right/left.
The only problem with this game is the AI in the other cars - how they stick to their line no matter what (or how they occasionally don't break going into a corner )
- Player Reviews: 44
- Game Universe:
- Forza Motorsport 4 (X360),
- Forza Motorsport 3 (X360),
- Forza Motorsport 2 (X360),
- Forza Motorsport (XBOX),
- Forza Horizon (X360),
- Forza Motorsport 4: May Top Gear Pack (X360),
- Forza Motorsport 4: July Car Pack (X360),
- Forza Motorsport 4: August Playseat Car Pack (X360),
- Forza Motorsport 4: September Pennzoil Pack (X360),
- Forza Horizon: Rally Expansion Pack (X360)