Fans of the series rejoice because Forza4 is still a great game to play, tons of tracks and a myriad of cars to tinker, tune and paint, so what did the fans and supporters get for their allegiance? Lets find out.
The game starts out with a bang, crisp intro from Top Gears host Jeremy Clarkson, check. Instant race in a super car showcasing the superb visuals, check. Screeching tyres, smoking wheels and jostling for position, check...wow what a start. Then the "rest" of the game kicks in.
Ok Forza5 looks the goods, visually it's a feast for the eyes and a testament to the graphical powers of the next generation console, the reflections, particle effects and tyre smoke are all here, in glorious HD, if you wan't a game to show your mates what the new console has to offer then Forza5 is how you do it. But then your mates leave and you settle back in for an extended session and only then do you realise exactly what you have paid for.
I picked my first car, the new Toyota GT86, expecting an opportunity to tune and tinker only to realise that my car had been auto upgraded, ok...I can live with that, lets race. First corner and...bang, smashed sideways by some over enthusiastic AI retard with no regard for racing line, a quick rewind to find the car in front now locks it's brakes up causing a massive pile up with me in the middle, honestly I had to rewind about 5 times just to get around that first corner! Drivatar is broken, massively broken mess of late braking, corner jumping, t-boning lunatics which does nothing to make the races feel more realistic at all, it feels like an online race with a bunch of 12 year old kids pepped up on fizzy drinks. Your only option? Drive exactly how the DRIVATARs do, smash cars into corners, use them to brake and run them off the road at every opportunity, hardly a good start. Ok, I'm going to go back and tune this twitching monster into something resembling a race car, sorry but the auto-upgrade gave me bugger all in the way of tunable parts, mostly performance upgrades to make it go faster and not handle very well at all. OK, I will just sell it and buy another....wait, I can't sell my car? I can only remove it from my list? Ok, maybe it was because the first car was free, no...that's all your cars.
A couple of races later, bash,crash,smash and I finally have enough to buy another car, what will I pick? Oh I like that one....DLC....I had that one in Forza4....DLC....even the bloody recommended cars were DLC...something smells sour. Pick another car, Toyota celica and do some upgrades, go to tuning and....clunk, clunk, clunk....the menu is slow, unresponsive and it almost feels like there's a delay in the response to my buttons. Now I have tuned a lot of cars in FM4, I'm certainly not top of the leaderboards but neither was I at the bottom, slip back into a familiar pattern of tuning and? OMG...this thing is bloody horrible, it lurches out of corners, gets grip where it's not needed and loses it when it is needed, spent half an hour tweaking and tuning just to get it into reasonable shape, back to the racing.
Watch now as every car pulls away from me, blows me away on the straights and shoulders me off the corners, this isn't looking good at all. I realise that TURN10 is proud of the graphics they have produced by do we have to have an intro and an outro? Look at the damage to your car, yeah ok I get it, NO...LOOK AT IT SOME MORE....If you care to count the time it takes from the end of one race till you put your foot down in the next race you won't be happy, half the relevant information is missing, driver/positon/lap time/car used?...NO LOOK AT THE DAMAGE...LOOK AT IT!!
The lovely lady who voices the upcoming races must have had a thesaurus, she needs it for all the "let's go back" and "we return too" as the same races keep cropping up time and time again, this is next generation is it not? Gone are many of the forza faithful favourites, no Nurburging is inexcusable and the rest of the missing tracks makes you cringe for what's to come....MORE DLC. Some of the new tracks are good, some like the Yas Marina circuit are horrible, they look ok but destruction derby is what they turn into within a couple of corners. The loading times are long, way too long for something that's supposed to be "way more powerful" than the previous console, why? It's funny because the online races are actually better than the career, online players actually race, give room (sometimes) and show a bit of respect for corner speed...a complete turn around from FM4.
Bah, I'm rambling here...lets sum this up.
The graphics and sound are superb, true next gen stuff right here (cockpit users may be disappointed by the muffled sound, they are probably trying to reproduce the quiet nature of the interior but it's detracting from the experience) the cars look and sound great however the AUTOVISTA experience is a yawn, you may look at a couple of cars and then it's forgotten about (is there supposed to a voice over? a sweeping view and a bunch of numbers flash up on the screen but it's hardly exciting stuff) the wealth of DLC cars from day one is disappointing, it's inevitable that Turn10 would go this way, not many studios produce games these days without DLC in mind, however to have cars that were previously available in FM4 as DLC is disgusting, the previously mentioned autovista bullshit does not make up for it. The menus are clunky and unresponsive at times, tuning becomes a chore as you upgrade, wait, purchase another item, wait...etc etc. Personally I found it very frustrating after FM4 snappy menus, a minor issue I'm sure but hey....I'M COMPLAINING HERE. The long load times aren't very next gen are they? Here we have a machine that's supposed to be the successor to the 360 with oodles of power and built in everything but...is it the consoles fault? or game design? don't know...don't care but it's disappointing to say the least. The lack of tracks is OUTRAGEOUS, ok so they gave us some new ones and the old ones have had a makeover but the list is abysmal, one can only assume that a big chunk of DLC is on the way in the form of tracks but will they be free? I doubt it...So what did we get for our next generation launch title? A shiny exterior that is marred by clunky menu's, a new physics model that throws everything you have previously learned out the window, day one DLC with a minimal track list that is enough to make you weep....full price game? How much will it cost in the end to have all the track packs and cars I wonder? We all knew this day would come, I just didn't expect it to happen so soon and in a game designed to sell consoles, yes I gave the game a 3 because after the stunning achievement that was FM4 this new game just feels flat, it feels like I'm being set up just to spend more money on DLC if I want the full experience. Ultimately disappointed is how I would best describe my reaction to this game, but hey...it's just my opinion and I like to complain!