GAME NAME: Forza 5
DEVELOPER(S): Turn 10 Studios
PUBLISHER(S): Microsoft Studios
PLATFORM(S): Xbox One
GENRE(S): Racing simulator
RELEASE DATE(S): November 22, 2013
Forza 5, developed by Turn 10 Studios is the latest and most popular racing franchise out on the Xbox One. Some people like cars for their utility and others marvel at vehicles as they are art, and some are pure racers. People who love the thrill of the race, high speeds and yearn for victory. This game is for the latter.
Forza 5 is one of the most beautiful games I’ve seen in a while. Detail views are immaculate. You can rotate around the vehicles and see inside them. It’s fun to look through all the vehicles alone without even getting to the gameplay portion. For major car enthusiasts, this game will keep you occupied for hours, days, and possibly weeks. There are over 200 vehicles in game which is shy of the 600 from Forza 4, but don’t be put back by that, I’m pretty positive more vehicles will be emerging in upcoming DLC’s. Not only that but Turn 10 Studios has selected cars with rich and deep histories, so there are a lot of amazing options to pick from and master.
For those of you like me that were lucky to get the collector’s edition, you’ll get the following vehicles within the Day One Car Pack: 2010 Audi TT RS Coupe, 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera, 2013 Ford Focus ST. As well as the Limited Edition Car Pack: 2011 Audi RS 3 Sportback, 2012 Aston Martin Vanquish, 2013 Shelby Mustang GT500, 2013 SRT Viper GTS, 2014 McLaren P1. These models are all cutting-edge and beautiful. The best part in my opinion is that you need to work to unlock vehicles, they just don’t give you all the vehicles up front to joy ride drive. The rarity of each vehicle dictates how many credits or car tokens you’ll need to unlock it, so normal sedans compared to racing legends will reflect differently.
The cars not only look great but they drive just as beautifully. On the racing track the cars are just as impressive. From the gleaming light sliding down the metal to the rubber hitting the road there is so much attention to all the small details. The sound is just as impressive as the visuals. Whether its revving your engine, the shifting of gears the squealing of tires, a lot of attention was put into the audio as well. If you setup the game for surround sound you can hear cars whirling past you, helicopter cams in the sky, you honestly feel like you are there racing.
The Xbox One controller feels smooth and the triggers for accelerating and braking are extremely responsive. The great thing about Forza 5 is you can adjust the way you race. If you are a beginner you can activate guides and brake assist and you can highly tweak what is active and what isn’t for advanced players. The less assistance you have active the more credits you’ll earn during a race. Another thing to note is that the less you use rewind, the more credits you’ll earn as well. For instance if you crash and spin out you can rewind back to before you crashed however you’ll take a ding in credits at the end of your race.
In terms of customizing your vehicle, you can paint, tune, and upgrade your vehicle. I personally suggest holding off on some upgrades until you finish certain circuits because if you upgrade your vehicle too much it will naturally bring you up to a different racing class. One cool feature is that you can create custom paint jobs with vinyl’s and special liveries. You can either do you own paint job or use a popular one that someone online has created. If you start to notice other people’s designs are tasteless and you find yourself racing with hot wheel vehicles you can de-activate opponent designs while racing which is a nice feature.
A new feature that’s extremely intuitive and adds a lot of replay value is Drivatar. It’s where the game learns how you drive and when you aren’t playing races for you to help earn you credits. When you race on tracks you are racing against other player’s Drivatar’s including your friends so you always have some unique challenge and someone to beat. The AI is extremely well tuned and unique because everyone you are racing are real people and their Drivatar is tuned to exactly how they drive which always provides an awesome challenge. They also have rival challenges, so if you are head to head with someone’s score you can race against them to beat their time.
One thing that is slightly disappointing is the lack of changing weather. In real life conditions change so it would have been an awesome thing to see. It doesn’t take away from the game because all the tracks are unique and drive well with each of their challenges but for a future title it would be a great feature to see added. In total there is about 14 tracks and locations to race on. So you will play all the tracks quite a bit but they react differently with each vehicle and there are some fun road challenge and passing games they throw in the middle of a series to change it up and add variety so gameplay doesn’t get stale.
If you like racing games in any way I highly recommend Forza 5. Not only is it gorgeous and contains smooth gameplay but it’s for beginners and advanced players. Forza 5 has such a high replay value that it will keep you busy for quite some time and will most definitely be a go to game for Xbox One.