Is it time to proclaim Xbox One as the console king of racers? Forza 6 is here to prove if it is.
If I were of the ability to explain every detail placed into Forza Motorsport 6, from its multilayered menu system, expansive online multiplayer, and plethora of both cars and tracks, it would take more skill than even I am capable of writing (if I am allowed to toot my own horn — pun intended). With that being said, I shall focus on the more important factors, that of which make Forza Motorsport 6 an enthralling ride (more intended punnage).
Forza 6 begins much like Forza 5 where we immediately get placed into a preparatory race against several A.I. drivers, or “Drivatars.” It is from this moment we get to experience a multitude of layers. But first, there it is. Being behind the wheel of a steel blue, 2017 Ford GT really had my heart pounding. Seeing the build up of this model from car shows all the way to Microsoft’s E3 presentation where it infamously dropped down from the ceiling on a platform, it was time to show these tracks what this GT was made of. What I was made of.
Following the opening track and given score card, it sends us off to begin Career mode, or freedom to explore the whatever is on the Forza menu. Diving into Career mode we see a truly expansive single player campaign. Breaking in at over 70 hours the driving experiences in Forza 6 feel more alive and real than in the previous version of Forza 5. Distinct challenges make it not just about constantly coming in first place. Finishing with certain styles, and achieving certain goals during those races allow Forza 6 to really stand above other simulators. Plus, if the games too hard, changing difficulty is a breeze.
"Being behind the wheel of a steel blue, 2017 Ford GT really had my heart pounding."
Forza 6 has a truly evolved menu format that seems to expand and go on forever. At first, Forza’s menu is a bit overwhelming, a bit intimidating, and a bit overstuffed. Main menu categories such as: Home, Go Race, Cars, Tune, Customize, and Options each have its own submenus and subclasses. For example: Home consists of Career, Message Center, Forza Hub, and Prize Spins.
Though each category may have a large quantity of other options, I never had a feeling of getting lost within screens. Each menu is very clean and very clear. Finding a menu option, followed up by a subcategory, then clicking on said subcategory will prompt a voiceover explaining what option was chosen. It’s a nice touch and allowed me to quickly navigate through many given locations I was questioning with its smooth design.
I was able to spend a short play session of online multiplayer with the game’s developers before actual release. What is stated here may or may not hold up to actual conditions of true launch day online sessions that come with thousands of new players packing within the servers. Joining an online multiplayer session was quick and effortless. Load times were negligible, as I was able to hop from game to game without much delay at all. The menu system, again, was well fitted, even for multiplayer. The developer host chose different play styles such as A Class, where high performance vehicles take to the tracks, and D Class of more modern standard builds.
Frame rate maintained a crisp, flawless 60 FPS. No blurring or jagged edges to be seen, and all at 1080p as promised. Drifting around corners, long stretches of road, high end graphic scenery (including both foreground and background), and even 24 cars all on screen at the same time; crashing, spinning out, swerving; everything maintained a brilliant, lag free, and stable frame rate. Frame rate also held up solidly in R Class, IndyCar racers going over 200 MPH.
Maintaining those graphics and frame rates in multiplayer felt natural. Nothing was taken away from the quality look and feel of Career mode. Nothing was dumbed down, buffed out, or lowered in order for mutliplayer to accurately feel precise. Completely stress free.
"Frame rate maintained a crisp, flawless 60 FPS. No blurring or jagged edges to be seen, and all at 1080p as promised."
As in Forza 5, vehicles (with the exception of the starter car) must be earned through racing, Prize Spins, or purchases with real or in-game money. Experience (or XP) is earned through various challenges after each race. Prizes Spins include credits, rare cars, performance items, etc. This allows cars to become available much quicker than traditional racing alone.
Now, more about those cars! Forza 6 boasts 460 cars from the start. That is more than twice as many cars as any other racing game this generation. Every car is viewable through what is called “Forzavista,” a mode where the player can look over every minute detail by opening the doors, hood, trunk, fins, start the motor, and examine it in fully, fleshed out, remarkable detail. Every car can be damaged by either simple aesthetics (those that do not effect performance), and real-time physics based damages (those that hinder car performance; such as being off balance, blown tires, etc.). And let’s not forget performance and stability. I felt that each car had a team of its own working on it, precisely designing everything from its weight down to its handling.
I could definitely feel the love that the designers at Turn 10 Studios put into making these machines by the way each car performed different from the last. Turns and straights while riding in the 2017 Ford GT had to be taken in a manner differently than that of, say, a Civic Type R. But there was no doubt, after coming from Forza 4 and 5 that each car would feel as accurate as possible to its real life counterpart.
Each car can also be customized through additions such as performance enhancing tires, bumpers, spoilers, etc. Or simply just a color change, or social custom art work from the community.D o you want to know more about each car? Well, that could take a while as each one has a detailed audio experience for every make and model. Every car was modeled with extreme care, and with so many options for 460 cars, it feels nearly limitless.
"I could definitely feel the love that the designers at Turn 10 Studios put into making these machines by the way each car performed different from the last."
In a racing simulator there should be no track untouched and no corner unturned. That is exactly what you get in Forza 6: 26 locations including some of the most famous like Nürburgring and Daytona International Speedway. Many of the tracks include different layouts, weather effects, and day and night cycles. Of course the easiest to race on for myself is a sunny day with no chance of rain. I tend to spin out a lot under pressure!
Playing a night time, non-stadium track mounts to that pressure as well. By only being able to use headlights to see whats ahead with no overhead street lights for guidance, my skills were put to the test. Rain looked unbelievably believable and so polished from previous Forza games.
Remember Turn 10 Studios touting those “3D puddles” in Forza 6? Well, they’re there and they’re real. Those puddles gave me a run for my money. Each puddle is collected in dips and lower end swells of any given track where weather effects is available. Driving through said puddle is not like in any other racer before Forza 6. Hydroplaning is now real. Puddles effect speed, turns, and stability. This brought an ultra real feel under my tires as I went careening into a tire wall losing a lot of time and placement. Luckily, that Rewind feature is still in tact. Making my run look perfect!
"Remember Turn 10 Studios touting those “3D puddles” in Forza 6? Well, they’re there and they’re real. Those puddles gave me a run for my money."
There are so many more features in Forza 6. Many new ones such as Spectating, multiplayer challenge Leagues, and more were not available at the time to review. However, so much interactivity and fun social features were enough to really showcase Microsoft’s diamond racing series.
If this is how a first party, simulator racer can ship every other year, with the highest of quality, sounds, visuals, and online features improving time and time again it really brings a thought: What is going on with Sony not being able to release just one Gran Turismo game in almost two years? At Forza’s pace, including the Forza Horizon series, Microsoft’s Xbox One is currently the console king for racers.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox One.
Improves upon Forza 5 in nearly every way. With a massive roster of 460 cars, trucks, and more, there's something for most everyone to enjoy. Did I mention it feels so real and crisp at 1080p 60FPS?
Even on easy settings this game is a simulator and not an arcade racer. Some may be turned off by that. But that doesn't make it bad in any way. Without full online interaction to fully scrutinize, it's hard to say how well it will truly feel at launch.
Forza Motorsport 6 is a game that should be a Day One purchase, and on every kid's holiday list. It should be celebrated by its leaps forward in the racing simulator genre and its attention to realism and physics. It should be yours.