GAME REVIEWS

Game review: Forza Motorsport 6 will leave the competition eating dust

Turn 10 Studios’ new driving title is simply the greatest racing game ever – nothing else comes close

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 October, 2015, 8:01am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 October, 2015, 8:01am
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Forza Motorsport 6 (Turn 10 Studios)

It’s been nearly two years since the last Forza Motorsport, which was a launch title for the Xbox One. As is the case for the majority of launch titles, they’re great for showcasing a new console’s advances over the previous generation, but they don’t exactly showcase its full ability, nor the full ability of the studio working on it. With almost two years under its belt since Forza Motorsport 5, Turn 10 Studios is releasing Forza Motorsport 6. And after playing countless hours, I can say this isn’t just the game to showcase Turn 10’s capabilities: it’s also the best driving game I’ve ever played.

While Forza Motorsport 6 – available exclusively for the Xbox One – doesn’t have the open-world vibe of the Forza Horizon series, I never felt like I was constrained with what I could do while playing. From the moment I started the game, I was given the opportunity to access a large number of game modes: a campaign spanning across five volumes telling the story of motorsport; a free-play mode that allows me to drive any of the more than 450 vehicles available in the game with the option of split-screen play; and a multiplayer mode that has several match options including an “All-in Tag” match, with players infecting each other with a virus, and several others. All while earning credits, driver experience and affinity experience depending on what car manufacturer I’m using.

If I want to take a break from putting the pedal to the metal, I can spend my time gawking at the vehicles in my garage through a new ForzaVista mode. That’s one of those things that doesn’t sound that exciting in text, but experiencing it first-hand is completely different. I can view nearly every inch of each vehicle and learn more about it and the manufacturer’s history through visual cues. I can get inside the car and view its dashboard, seats, gear stick and other areas. And it’s all in beautiful 1080p running at 60fps, just like the rest of the game.

Variety is the spice of life, and I could get bored with the look and feel of a vehicle. But the inclusion of both modes to customise and tune my ride keeps things feeling fresh. Nearly everything on my vehicles can be changed to fit my personal driving style, or I could let the game do the work for me by automatically tuning my vehicle to meet the needs of future races. While I don’t consider myself a gearhead, I can certainly appreciate the option to give players the power over nearly every aspect of their vehicles that could help improve performance.

The customisation doesn’t end there, as Forza Motorsport 6 introduces modifications that can be introduced prior to the start of a race. While in the pit stop, I can purchase mod packs that will offer random mods depending on what kind of pack is purchased. Each pack varies in price, but the more I spend, the more likely I’ll receive a Super Rare mod. The inclusion of mod packs opens a whole new way to play Forza, as I found myself constantly checking to see if using a certain range of mods could help me gain an edge over my competition.

Once I hit the road, I was impressed by the amount of work Turn 10 put into the tracks that are based on world-famous locales. I got to experience the thrill of racing on the Daytona International Speedway, driving through the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, and gained access to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after its extensive track renovations were completed in 2014.

The most surprising experience I came across was how well weather effects and night driving were portrayed in Forza 6. The water droplet effects are incredible to see, and for the first time in my experience, puddles on the track have a noticeable effect and can impede how my car performs. As for night driving, I was either in nearly complete darkness if I was driving on a track that was far from spectators, or the track had a fluorescent hue to it due to the shine from lights illuminating it. Night driving doesn’t just mean different visuals – the cooler temperatures affected handling, as my tires wouldn’t stick to the road as well, causing me to drift more than I would during the day.

The sense of speed is also impressive in Forza 6. I worked my way through the game’s campaign, which gave me access to more powerful machines to drive. But I decided to jump from a Category D vehicle, which is quite slow, to a Category X, which is insanely fast, just to see the speed difference. I learned a valuable lesson: I should never think about driving a Formula One car at Daytona. The number of casualties from my joy ride would easily reach the thousands.

Forza Motorsport 6 is what I always wanted a next-gen driving game to be. It offers beautiful visuals and a wide variety of options, and uses real-world physics to dictate how vehicles perform. I could easily see myself playing Forza 6 for several months, or even years. I’ve never experienced a driving game with this level of polish, and it’s unlikely anything will unseat it in the near future.

Tribune News Service