The Forza series celebrated its 10th anniversary this Tuesday with the release of Forza Motor Sports 6. The series is Microsoft’s personal franchise for their Xbox consoles and this one is leading the way for the start of Microsoft’s newest bids in the console race this season. I have to say it was a great start especially for Forza fans since 5 seemed to fall a little flat to most people with lack of content. This entry, like most, has a lot of detail and content that the series was really in need of for its next step in the genre. Everything runs smooth and there is an impressive amount of content and control over the customization of your personal experience.
The game starts out at launch with 460 cars already in the game for the standard edition and a lot more to come through DLC. Car types included range from formula 1 cars, luxury sports cars and powerful oldies to a basic Honda. The game has already won a best racing award at Gamescon as well as best simulation when it was displayed. The game runs very smoothly and there is no frame rate drop to mess you up when you’re about to overtake your opponent. There are also 26 tracks with a little over a hundred different layouts that are available. On top of all that Forza 6 will have constant DLC updates to add in new cars and car packs including some for free, including a ten-year car pack you download as a thank you for buying the game the first time you load the game.
There are night and day variants of the tracks as well as weather that will effect the grip of your tires when racing. The AI in this game are called Drivatars and they use data from your friends and other players to determine their skill level and how they drive or respond to your car. You can also customize and tune your car to deal with these or give yourself a harder challenge or even just to make yourself go faster, everything can be tweaked to your liking. The control options are detailed down to how much control you have over your car. You can choose to drive automatic or manual, give yourself a huge handicap in breaking and turns, or even make it so a child you let play the game can drive a car like it was nothing by turning all handicaps on and editing the AI level to 0% difficulty. The game is completely open to customization to your skill and preference for your car. There is also an option for re-winding parts of the race with the press of a button in case of slip-ups or wrecks that are out of your control to make sure the game doesn’t have an unfair advantage.
There are a few different types of race series you will come across. The first and easiest is vanilla day time races that have no hurdles or challenges to drive around. Second you have weather races where the race track is littered with puddles that can cause you to hydroplane off the track or into the other cars. Thirdly there are formula one races that are high speed only and rely on your motor skills and reaction times to pull you through to victory. These are scattered out through the story mode to give you more of a challenge and are of course available for online play with your friends to mix things up a bit.
The modes in Forza are pretty straight forward. The story mode has you racing to become a professional in all types of different races including streets races, hatchback, and of course muscle cars. As you go through each segment and event type the story mode gives you a narrative history of the events you have chosen and on racing itself. The more you race the higher your player level becomes, your car affinity raises and you receive credits as an in game currency; for every level reach you also get a spin on a prize board that can give you any of a variety of prizes. The multiplayer lets you jump in to online races with random players or friends to test your skill, and you can even make a racing team to earn competitive points. There is also an incredibly in-depth and time consuming mode for making designs to customize your car and put online for other players to enjoy and if you’re into just looking, you can browse art and download it to use. Lastly there is the Autovista mode that lets you take a closer look at every car and gives you in-depth details when you click on the different parts of the vehicle.
The art, music and controls of this game are very well done and make the courses and cars pop. The Forza team is great at recreating the scenic routes you drive as well as the basic tracks without missing any of the little details. The music score is very reminiscent of an action movie and always adds to the tension of keeping or getting the first place spot. The cars themselves are all very detailed with even the interior being completely accurate. When you are driving different cars you can feel the difference between each one and the pulls of the road perfectly. The controls are as smooth as they can be on a basic track and are the perfect flavor of rough on a track covered in water. Overall everything is just right where it needs to be for this game and it feels great; especially the feel of the cars when you are racing.
So who is this game for? The racing genre has always been marketed more toward men but I feel that it is a great chance for any women who are interested in cars to jump in thanks to the amount of control and history the game gives you. This game is great for any gamers that like competitive games and going for long drives. This is the type of game I also feel any age range can pick up and enjoy since it’s pretty modest in itself and doesn’t really have mature themes. I also of course recommend this game for anyone who is a fan of any type of racing game thanks to the wide range of available modes and car types.