Review – Forza Street

It’s always tricky to talk about F2P (free-to-play) games. We all know they are made with monetization schemes in mind. We all know they constantly feed you with small incentives and presents to make you want to play it every single day, even if just for a couple of minutes. We all know they are usually as shallow as a puddle, with a poor art direction and overly simplified controls to appeal to the biggest amount of potential whales as possible. That was my concern when I found out Microsoft was planning to release Forza Street, a F2P version of Forza Motorsport for PCs and mobile.

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It might look somewhat exciting, but there’s little gameplay involved.

I know I shouldn’t expect much from a F2P, but there’s always an exception to the rule. Fallout Shelter is very entertaining and doesn’t force you to suck your wallet dry in order to fully enjoy it. I was expecting for Forza Street to be, at the very least, as decent as its main F2P racing competitor, Gameloft’s Asphalt 9. I was expecting decent graphics and any semblance of racing mechanics. I got neither of those. I was actually shocked to find out how terrible Forza Street ended up being.

Let me be honest: Forza Street can barely be called a racing game. There’s very little racing involved in it. This is more of a quick-time event fest than an actual racer. You don’t steer. You don’t brake. You don’t deliberately drift. There isn’t any strategy whatsoever. All you need to do in here is hold the space bar (or the mouse’s left button) to accelerate and remove your big fat finger from it when the game tells you to do so in order for your car to perform a turn. After a few races, you’re allowed to press yet another button to boost every now and then. Exciting. I know mobile games are supposed to be simple and easy to play, but this game is so devoid of gameplay it’s insulting. This game makes other terrible F2P titles like Pok√©mon Quest look complex in comparison.

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Getting cars through lootboxes. Yaaaaaay….

While there is a sizeable roster of licensed in here, there is very little customization to be done in Forza Street. Cars are (obviously) obtained via loot boxes. Instead of the classic Forza method of upgrading them and categorize them on lettered tiers, they act more like expendable cards. All you need to pay attention to is the big fat number engraved on the card. If it’s higher than the opponent’s, you’ll most likely win without a sweat. That means that a Mustang can easily beat a Japanese tuning car on a drift race as long as its number is higher. Any semblance of realism is thrown off the window.

Of course, being a F2P game means that there are egregious monetization practices in here. Some of Forza Street‘s money packs can cost up to one hundred bucks. Weirdly enough, that doesn’t even infuriate me as much as I would expect. The gameplay alone, or lack thereof, is so horrendous that I could barely remember about the game having expensive microtransactions in its storefront.

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Those automatic camera angles were supposed to make Forza Street feel more like an action movie. They actually make it look like an amateurish video recording.

Forza Street is one of the most insulting F2P experiences I have ever seen. I am aware this game isn’t supposed to be played on a computer, as it is tailor made for mobile audiences, but even mobile players should feel offended with how shallow and simplistic this game is. There is nearly no gameplay in here. The fact that Microsoft barely releases first-party games nowadays is annoying enough, but to get something like this during this terrible dry spell feels like applying salt, alcohol and lime juice to an open wound. This game is, without a doubt, the disgraceful black sheep of the Forza family, and most certainly doesn’t deserve to have “Forza” in its name.

 

Graphics: 6.0

The car models aren’t exactly ugly and there are lots of neon signs onscreen, but the framerate is far from ideal. Asphalt 9 this is not.

Gameplay: 1.0

You don’t steer, you don’t drift, you barely do anything. All you do is press one button to accelerate and press another button to boost. It’s so simple it’s insulting.

Sound: 5.0

Repetitive and generic menu songs and generic engine sounds when you’re “racing”. It’s not awful but it sure is forgettable.

Fun Factor: 1.0

Weirdly enough, Forza Street‘s F2P practices and monetization methods aren’t the worst aspect of the game . The fact it’s a racing game devoid of actual racing is a lot more insulting than its 100 dollar money packs.

Final Verdict: 2.5

Forza Street is available now on PC and mobile.

Reviewed on PC.

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