Review – Forza Motorsport 7
The wait for a proper Xbox One exclusive published by Microsoft is over now that Forza Motorsport 7 is finally among us. After last year’s amazing Forza Horizon 3, it seemed nearly impossible to beat that game in terms of overall quality. Well, thankfully, I was very wrong. Forza Motorsport 7 is unbelievable. This is quite possibly the best racing game ever made.
Yes, Forza Motorsport 7 is just that good. After two somewhat disappointing installments in the Motorsport series, developer Turn 10 has finally managed to make a a game good enough to dethrone the masterpiece that was Forza Motorsport 4. Most additions are pretty subtle, with the exception of one big improvement: the visuals.
My oh my, the visuals. This is amazing. Perfection. How on Earth is my Xbox One S pulling out those visuals? Those might be the most realistic and breathtaking graphics I’ve ever seen on a console video game. Yes, it’s just that good. The level of detail is borderline maniacal, the lighting effects are astonishing, and the framerate is always constant. No matter how much chaos is onscreen, no matter the weather (by the way, fantastic rain effects!), it’s always a constant 60 frames per second. Congratulations Turn 10. We all know the Xbox One’s hardware isn’t exactly the most advanced thing out there, but you guys have, somehow, managed to make gold out of straw.
When it comes to the sound department, there’s not much you can expect from a racing simulator other than realistic engine sounds and a nice soundtrack when in between races. Forza 7 does this, for the most part. Even if the soundtrack itself isn’t fantastic, nothing as epic as Junkie XL’s soundtrack on the first installment, it does its job relatively well. The engine noises are on par: Ferraris roar like they should, Diesel engines have their characteristic sound and electric cars are, well, silent. The only issue I had was with occasional sound effect glitches: my car would crash violently against a wall, and not a single noise would be produced. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen very often.
Forza 7 isn’t just a pretty game. It plays as well as it looks. The controls have always been good in games from this franchise, so there’s not much that you could do to improve them. Tweaks were minimal, therefore it’s still great. One main detail I have to point out, however, is that the game is initially set as if you’ve never played a racing game in your life, therefore all possible assists, such as auto brake and brake lines, are turned on from the start. This makes the game stupidly easy for anyone who has ever played a racing game before. In order to turn all these perks off, however, you can’t simply go to the options menu. For some weird reason, you can only turn these perks off before a race, on a setup menu of sorts, which felt too complicated for no apparent reason.
The game’s career and overall progression system were revamped. There is a bigger focus on car collecting, to the point you level up and acquire experience points by buying cars. Forza 7 wants you to unleash your inner car maniac and buy as many cars as you possibly can. The game is also kind enough to either gift you a rare car or offer an expensive one at a huge discount every time you level up.
One of the main changes, however, comes in the form of mods. Instead of being able to increase your prizes by making the game harder or less mechanically helpful, Forza 7 ditches this in order to promote the use of mods that are essentially cards which increase the amount of money or experience points you earn for the next few races. This is quite a controversial addition, but I didn’t see much of a problem with this system in particular, given that the game is actually very generous with the money you earn per race, as well as the amount of extra money you earn with these mods.
And then there’s the elephant in the room: loot boxes. Yes, Forza 7 features loot boxes, and their presence is actually very significant. You can spend from 20,000 to 300,000 on loot crates which can give you a wide variety of rewards, from cars to driver gear to the aforementioned mods. And that’s the issue: it’s all random. While the cheapest loot crate guarantees you at least four decent mods that can easily make you recover your investment money in just a single race, the most expensive ones offer you cars which can vary from a nice coupé to something forgettable like a 1945 Jeep or a Mazda. This is the biggest problem: it’s all random and the prize almost never justifies the cost. When it comes to those loot crates, you can ignore their existence, but if you don’t want to, stick to the cheapest one. You will actually start enjoying using those mods. And for the love of Enzo Ferrari, don’t waste real money on those loot crates.
There’s no other way to put it: even if it has a few issues like occasional sound glitches or any type of loot crate besides the cheapest one, Forza Motorsport 7 is still a fantastic game, a magnificent achievement in gaming and one of the, if not the best racing game ever made. This is car porn at its finest, a mandatory title for both automotive enthusiasts and anyone who owns an Xbox One or a capable PC.
Reviewed on Xbox One.
Also available on: PC