Forza Motorsport used to be one of Microsoft’s flagship franchises, but for various reasons, they haven’t released a new installment since Forza Motorsport 7 in 2017. So, needless to say, fans were excited to hear about a new entry coming in October, and it’s almost a masterpiece, if it weren’t for some issues.
It’s important to note that Forza Motorsport will now be released and maintained as a live service game, so Microsoft has dropped the number from its title. Despite the recent track record of live service games having poor quality, Forza Motorsport still manages to satisfy the craving for a realistic racing simulator that fans have been waiting for over the last six years. To be fair, Turn 10 has put a lot of effort into making Forza Motorsport more player-friendly. In the world of hardcore racing simulators like Assetto Corsa Competizione or Project CARS, players often find themselves overwhelmed by the complexity. On the other hand, arcade racing games are seen as too easy and lacking challenge. Forza Motorsport takes a page from GT 7, aiming to create a racing simulator with a more player-friendly approach by providing various assistance options, making it accessible for both newcomers and arcade racing enthusiasts.
However, before you can hit the track, you have to go through a lengthy tutorial and practice phase. Forza Motorsport introduces a skill system where you earn skill points and upgrade parts based on your driving skills and performance on each car. While this is an attractive idea, it’s all part of a long tutorial, and you’re forced to go through various test drives (which you can’t skip). The game includes Practice laps that serve as training sessions to familiarize you with the track and the car you intend to use. While these sessions are initially appreciated, they can occasionally be quite irritating since you’re spending a lot of time with a specific car, even if you’d like to try out different ones.
However, no matter how you feel about this, the Career mode does its job well by providing the opportunity to own multiple cars by participating in various races worldwide. This is necessary for you to familiarize yourself with the over 20 different racetracks in the game before engaging in online multiplayer races. These tracks are designed to be well-balanced and closely resemble real-life race circuits, which is a significant plus for players who frequently follow real-world racing events.
Once you’re on the track, you’ll be amazed at the level of detail in each car’s model, the way light reflects on their intricate curves, and the high-quality visuals that portray the high-end sports cars in all their glory. But it gets even better when you play the game for a while, and you can experience racetracks in various weather conditions and lighting conditions. Many gamers on social media can’t understand how Forza Motorsport replicates weather conditions so realistically. To experience the game at its finest, I recommend playing it in Performance RT mode on Xbox, as this ensures smooth gameplay with Ray Tracing effects for a more vibrant environment. However, on PC, it’s a bit of a letdown as the optimization isn’t great yet. Even if you have a high-end GPU, the game can struggle with frame rates. In terms of sound, the engine noises are faithfully replicated, each car having its distinct engine sounds. Currently, the game is available on Game Pass for free. So, if you’re into realistic racing simulators, this is a game worth trying.