Forza Motorsport 7 – Seven things we learned in the first 21 hours
The leviathan that is Forza Motorsport continues with its seventh installment in the franchise, and we’ve been playing it almost non-stop for 21 hours to find out if it’s any good.
All in the glorious details
The sheer level of detail in the track environment is staggering; every background detail is exquisite looking which all helps give you that immersive feel when racing, the sense of realism is strong. The scenery is gorgeous, assuming you’re going slow enough to take it all in (you won’t be).
All those gorgeous backdrops are complemented by the huge array of highly detailed cars on offer, when racing on one of the internal views the bumper to bumper action is immense looking and full of detail while remaining stunning in motion.
Single player mode from hero to zero
Racing against AI cars in a game of this type usually yields either the dumbest drivers of all time or the most aggressive. Forza 7 manages to be a mixture of both, with the rewind option useful if you make a hash of things or if you simply want to exact revenge on an AI racer.
On occasions the AI cars can be a little dim-witted, there is nothing like holding the racing line which is then quickly followed by a massive nudge from a competitor sending you into a spin.
Don’t get me wrong though, the overall racing experience is fully immersive and involving with single player mode giving the player and the "Forza Drivers Cup" offering more than enough to keep solo players occupied for a long time.
Mod’s Done Easy But At A Cost
Across the many modes, you can modify your cars as far as your cash will go. This system is huge and could confuse casual players who are unsure of what parts to upgrade first. The most straightforward and cheapest way is to delve into the settings and find what works for you with suspension, brakes and tyres being good places to start.
If you’re feeling rich though you can just go for the full homologation option which offered me over 1000bhp straight out of the box along with a massive array of modifications, taking this option removes all the guesswork but is costly and could disqualify your car for use in certain races.
Great Bad Weather Forecast
For the first time in the series, rain can now occur randomly during a race. When it does fall down the results are stunningly detailed. From the drivers POV camera the thick spray dominates the view ahead.
If you find yourself trailing close behind a competitor, the view becomes even more haphazard with brake lights becoming your marker for where you shouldn't be as you brake hard into a what's become a lake of a corner.
Sheer Scale is Everything
Forza Motorsport 7 is huge; players can now own and race in over 700 cars – boasting pretty much every major carmaker, including the likes of Audi, BMW, Aston Martin, Honda, Ford, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Peugeot, Porsche, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz alongside many more. Racers now get over 30 tracks to test their skills to the limit (and beyond), these include such iconic circuits as Laguna Seca, Mugello, Le Mans to name but a few highlights.
A familiar user experience but with some gripes
For those familiar with the Forza franchise then this new version will be mostly familiar to you, the usual sections are all here including the much-vaunted livery editor, car trading market and live multiplayer setup.
Here it’s all in the details, the fact that players can carry forward their liveries from previous titles is great, the online auction system is also a brilliant concept (as with prior titles) and adds a further level of depth to the gameplay as a fun way to add cars to your garage.
The only thing that really still defeats me though is the livery editor; this is not for the casual user and is quite time-consuming while remaining clunky. Kudos to those that do edit and create some amazing work, but if you’re not that way inclined, download your preferred livery as designed by another player and hit the track instead.
The grind annoyance and prize crates
In single-player mode, the grind to unlock cars and races is real. While in the first 21 hours it was enjoyable as you do discover some epic cars, for some this could get old quickly. The Forza Drivers Cup is fairly linear in format, but as previously stated there is more than enough content to keep the experience fresh and new as you work your way through the trophies.
The tiered unlocking system which allows players to buy new cars as they progress is well staggered, even if you find yourself grinding to purchase a particular high-end model, the effort feels worth it the moment it lands in your garage.
One thing that did annoy me was the random prize crates; I am now aware that these have caused uproar amongst the community and I would agree that they are an annoyance with the higher end ones costing 150,000 to 300,000 in-game credits which is too higher price for random rewards.
The virtual racing genre is furiously competitive in 2017, and Forza Motorsport 7 is up there amongst the very best of them. What the series has done is take the brilliance of the sixth installment and improved it in a huge number of ways.
Despite the small number of annoyances, Forza 7 remains a benchmark title that will keep both solo and multiplayer gamers entertained for ages, thanks to the immersive gameplay and the huge amount of content on offer it remains the title to beat.