October 13, 2011
Forza Motorsports 4 – First Impressions
Forza Motorsports is an Xbox exclusive title and that may push some people away, but personally, I believe that console is where driving sims belong. I have been a HUGE Forza Motorsports fan for many years and went and bought an xbox 360 and a copy of the freshly released Forza Motorsports 4 (rel date 10-11-2011). I will be explaining a first impressions view of the game and some of it’s recent updates.
The first thing out of the box that jumps out is the discs are almost identical to the previous release of FM3. I had to check the box again to make sure that I hadn’t bought the wrong title. Worry not weary travelers it is indeed FM4. Upon loading the game for the first time the opening video displays its most noticeable new feature, Autovista. In the Autovista room you can exploded view the vehicle and look at the interior and exterior similar to that of a 3d tour and spurts of information shine out to tell you information regarding the car that you are exploring. You can even start the engine and hear that lovely roar from inside the cockpit while watching the dash cluster come to life in the car of your dreams in an almost surreal realism.
Autovista is not without it’s faults however. The most notable fault is that there are only a limited selection of cars to autovista. You cannot just generate a vehicle from your garage and explore it as far as I have seen thus far and that is kind of a bummer but it is a step in the right direction. This shows the capability of a graphics system almost ten years of age.
We have in the past seen the drifting community of FM explode in popularity as Forza is the premier in simulation when it comes to slinging your fantasy around a corner sideways at obscene speeds. This community has asked for a lot of improvement in the drifting department and low and behold Turn 10 has brought it to us. We now have not only some of the most wanted drifting machines implemented such as, s13 Nissan 240sx hatchback, but also crews. You can create or join a group of folks and have a club/crew/clan and have a shared garage full of vehicles that are shared among the group for videos or events. This is what I have always had in mind when thinking of clan warfare on the battle of choice and Turn 10 brought it to the forefront of gaming.
Now the fanboy-dom is over. There is never good without bad and here are a few things that I have found and been annoyed with. First off, some of the pre-order freebies were never sent out or were not available to have. Places like Best Buy who had issues with the release left many customers without their precious pre-order freebie of a BMW 1 M series. Now, this may not seem a big deal, but people generally pick up pre-order packages purely for the freebie offered by that place of business and this looks bad on everyones part.
Not only that, but there has been this insanely huge issue with Disc 2 not installing or being messed up or not appearing as a disc at all to the console. This problem, I am facing as well, has had some people by the throat as half of the games content is on this disc and requires the installation of the second disc to even access.The graphics don’t seem to have been pushed any further. They are outstanding, shining above and beyond GT5 in every way as far as I can tell, but I was hoping for a bit more polished look at distance. The tracks have the same effect, they seem a bit flat and two dimensional. I understand that there is only so much data a system that is this old can push and I think Turn 10 has pushed this console to the limits and should push to expand to other avenues such as PC and PS3 where their beauty and intricate detail can fully flourish.All in all, the game thus far is amazing, I have found a single bug that may be patched soon as I don’t see this as intended. Once you race a single car to lvl 4 almost every item purchased for that brand is absolutely free. I am driver level 6 with 2 Nissans completely maxed out with all parts purchased. 2 seasons and I have 2 maxed out cars, this is not how Turn 10 intends for this game to played, not in the past, and not now I am sure of it.
I will be doing a full review in a week as I progress through the game I will note any keynote differences and bring them to light with my opinion along for the ride. Check back often as it may come up sooner than anticipated, if I am able to peel myself away from the controller long enough.