Rain, high speed, stunning visuals and super fast cars. What more could a car enthusiast want? This year marks the 10th anniversary to the first Forza game. To mark this great milestone the developers over at Turn 10 Studios have created this phenomenal addition to the franchise: Forza Motorsport 6. In my opinion this is the first iteration in the franchise that truly feels next gen. For those unaware theForza franchise has been exclusive to the Xbox platform, this is the second game to be solely developed for the Xbox One (The other being Forza Motorsport 5). Yet, this game finally delivers in my opinion when it comes to the amount of content and the overall feel of the game.
The Forza series at its core is a racing simulator. The RoundUp’s very own Editor and Chief, Blake Delong ’16, describes it as “very visceral and tactile experience due to the audio and physics.” This is a practical interpretation of the series. Every turn of the steering wheel, just the slightest touch of the breaks has a domino effect on the track. In other words this is by no means a casual racing game. Sure the game gives the player the option to set racing difficulties to novice and even allows players to rewind in real time to correct an awful turn or pass. However, if a player wants to be any good at this franchise, the player has to know their own limits when it comes to reaction times and the limits of their current car. These are the minimal requirements to being mediocre at this game. The mere attention to detail Turn 10 Studios put into this iteration is mind boggling. For example, cars have less grip at night due to a cooler tarmac, this tiny detail is even reflected in the gameplay. Another small detail is how water pools in certain parts of the track, this creates spots of low traction. The developers went to each circuit and mapped all of the low points on every single track in order to provide this realistic aspect. Combining all of these features with countless others provide the foundation to a solid racing experience.
Now to the actual racing in Forza Motorsport 6. The typical race features a grid start with up to 24 other racers. The majority of your opponents are the “drivatars” or avatars of other real racers in the game’s community. These can even at times be your friends if they have ever played a Forza game. Most races require intense concentration, this is due to the shear havoc a driver can encounter on a circuit. These range from simple 2 lap sprints to endurance races that require several hours to complete. The first type of race mentioned is incredibly easy for new players to jump into. Meanwhile, the latter of which call for far more experience and general knowledge of racing. Other details and effects that do not effect short races such as tire wear, fuel consumption, and dynamic weather all contribute to the greater difficulty in these endurance races. Tires losing grip will more than likely be the first challenge racers will encounter on the circuit. This will force players to literally get better or quit this portion of the game altogether. Tires in this iteration of Forzaabsolutely matter. Fuel honestly isn’t that much of a problem, if you as the player notice that your fuel gauge is low, simply enter the pit stop. Yet, deciding which lap one should stop for gas on is entirely up to the player. My suggestion is you enter the pit stop during a long race sooner rather than later. This allows you some time to catch up to the other racers.
The most difficult aspect when it comes to racing in Forza Motorsport 6 is building experience and mastering the ability to drive in heavy rain. Rain is absolutely unforgiving in Forza. A powerful horsepower filled beast such as the Audi R8 or Pagani Zonda can be reduced to a chunk of scrap metal by simply breaking to much or too little in the rain. The team over at Turn 10 Studios as previously stated went to each individual track and got the precise measurements for the track. This allowed them to properly place where on the track pools of water occur in heavy rain fall. These pools can honestly be a racers worst nightmare since they can lead to hydroplaning and a loss of stability. To make things worse, the player must also watch out for other drivers that may hydroplane themselves and then obscure or block the track. In other words player awareness should be double what it normally is in non wet conditions. Possibly the worst conditions to race in are rainy tracks at night. My experience’s during those kind of races were by no means pleasant ones. This added difficulty in turn tested my abilities as a racer and proved to be absolutely worth it. After mastering (in my opinion) racing in wet conditions, racing in dry conditions proves to be second nature and even easier than before.
Challenges make a return in this iteration of Forza. These challenges are a decent break from the typical racing. One of my favorite challenges puts the player in a super car and they are tasked with passing as many cars as possible. I personally find this enjoyable considering the cars you end up passing are either old VW Bugs or old Fiats. These challenges are also where players can find endurance races and challenges in exotic cars. The challenges as a whole are a nice piece of additional content to a game that already has a fantastic single player experience. The multiplayer is more of the same that the single player is but the drivatars are replaced by actual players so it is nothing ground breaking. However, I find that this isn’t a bad thing to the slightest degree. In fact it is nice that the developer didn’t half make a crummy multiplayer system.
Forza Motorsports 6 is probably my favorite installment in the series or at least ties with Horizon 2. The precise and calculative gameplay is only matched by Gran Turismo but that series is yet to have a next gen installment. If what I have said earlier doesn’t convince you to get this game as a racing fan what I am about to say will. I LITERALLY BOUGHT an Xbox One to play this series. My Xbox One is my Forza & Halomachine. In other words, I was willing to pay the money to just be able to play these two game franchises because they are that good.