Forza 4 Review
An evolution, not a revolution.
Forza 3 was one of my all-time favourite racing games, and that’s saying a lot considering I’m not a really huge fan of racing simulators. Yes, the Gran Turismo series was always eye candy to me, nothing I could, or would, dabble in. Yet Forza 3, with its ease of use and rich community features, pulled me right in. And when I heard of all the new features of Forza 4, I started wondering whether Turn 10 can make me as grateful for a racing sim as they did with Forza 3.
Let’s start right off with one of the most interesting features of Forza 4: how flashy it is. From top to bottom, Forza 4 is an extremely polished product with production values through the roof. The game feels like a true car lover’s experience, not in the number of cars and tracks it has or even how photo-realistic it may look, but just the presentation of it all. From the menu design to the Autovista to the community features of Car Clubs and the Storefront, everything is designed for players to appreciate cars and racing.
Autovista in particular is a very exquisite addition to the game, where the focus is on one of 24 (for now) legendary dream cars where each and every minute detail is captured for you to appreciate. Not only that, but moving in and around the car you can get various types of information on different aspects of the car, from the engine to the exterior styling to the interior design and everything in between. Also, Jeremy Clarkson. The Top Gear legend lends his quirky views about the car as well, and both lauds and defames the car as he sees fit.
In terms of community features, Forza 4 expands on a lot of features of Forza 3. You have the basic multiplayer (now with up to 16 cars on track) as well as community trading and auctions of cars, graphics & vinyls and tuning setups on the Storefront. One of the new notable features implemented in Forza 4 is the new Car Club where you can create a clan of sorts. Think of it as a personalized lobby where you can get together with friends to go race online, or even trade cars amongst yourselves. Since I don’t have the luxury to choose every car available to me, I usually, and shamefully, depend on my friends to give me the cars I don’t have.
Speaking of friends, the new Rivals mode is great, in that I don’t need to have my friends online to challenge them. Just their ghosts are enough. Upon beating them, I can earn credits as well as bragging rights; the latter not lasting for long. Still, it’s good to know that with every race in Forza 4, I’m always progressing my driver and career levels forward.