Forza Motorsport 4 review Pt. 1
Am I blinded by childhood nostalgia, or is this really where the Forza Motorsport series peaked?
Forza Motorsport 4 was released on October 11, 2011 on the Xbox 360. Making this game just a year shy of being a decade old, ten years is a pretty long time. Now, let's do a little math; if Turn 10 studios releases new Forza titles on a 3-year cycle, that would mean they have released three Forza Motorsport games between 2011 and now. Three chances to improve, to build the Motorsport series into something greater with each new game, to evolve the game, make it a more immersive experience and harness the power of newer tech to push the series forward. Turn 10 had 3 strikes, and they struck out. Despite the fact that the newer Motorsport games ran on new hardware at the time (the Xbox One) it felt like the improvements weren't fully taken advantage of. For instance, Forza Horizon 2 felt like a major step up from Horizon 1 whereas Forza Motorsport for the most part felt the same, it became stagnant and stopped evolving. Enough rambling now, let's get into the review.
Section 1: Sights & Sounds
My NSX positioned for a photo.
Forza motorsport 4 is an Xbox 360 game, so the graphical limitations of a decade-old console are definitely present. However I wouldn't call the graphics a downside, despite the limitations of the 360 all of the detail you expect in a Forza game is still present. Tracks still feel very alive and the cars are detailed. Interiors of cars are lifelike in their aesthetic and functionality. Time was well-spent here and the developers made the most of it despite being limited by aging hardware. One aspect of FM4 that definitely wasn't limited was the car sounds. They are godly. Despite having my (and your own) personal preference when it comes to engine sounds, I can say that every car in FM4 sounds like it should. Race cars have straight-cut gears that whine, Exhaust upgrades actually make your car noticeably louder, stripping weight from your car makes it louder inside, upgrading your engine internals warrants a difference in sound, turbos and superchargers are more dramatic, and last but certainly not least: your car idles in FM4. I find this so infuriating when i'm playing a newer Forza game, whenever I stop my car, it just sits silently. Come on, seriously? it just makes no sense. The attention to detail with idling, the engine sounds, and how they drastically change based on modifications is unmatched in Forza to this day.
Section 2: The cars, because it's a racing game...
The Delorean, one of the many obscure cars that dissapeared from Forza after Motorsport 4.
I think it's obvious that Motorsport 4's roster of cars is going to be smaller than newer games, but by no means makes it boring. To me, the main appeal of Motorsport 4's car list is all of the cars that you can only find in these earlier Forza games or Motorsport 4 exclusively. Stuff like the Panoz, Joss JT1, Toyota Altezza, Toyota Soarer, various economy cars, SAABs, SEATS, Peugeots, Saleens, Alfa Romeo MiTo, Suzukis, Ford Taurus SHO, Crysler Crossfire SRT6, I could go on and on and on. Motorsport 4 was the first title in the series to have more fun, albeit stupid cars in the car list. "Want to drive a Prius? go right ahead!" If you enjoy having dumb cars like the P50, Unimog, and Honda Odyssey in new Forza games, you have Forza Motorsport 4 to thank for that.