I was on the fence about whether Xbox One X made any sense until I played Forza Motorsport 7. The game has, hands-down, the best graphics of any game I’ve seen, and it’s only going to look better on Microsoft’s upgraded console in November.
Forza Motorsport 7, releasing on Xbox One and PC today for those who pre-ordered the ultimate edition, is the newest version of Turn 10 Studios excellent racing sim. It returns, for all editions, on October 3rd, with a variety of new tricks up its sleeve. Chief among them are the gorgeous dynamic weather and all new Driver Gear.
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During the opening sequences players are led through a beautiful lap that begins with a storm and ends with sunlight bursting through the clouds as you cross the finish line – hopefully in first place — and this shows off the beautiful weather system that really has to be seen to be believed.
Playing the game in cockpit view, from the perspective of the driver, is a revelation in realism that had me slamming into side rails more than once as I was distracted by things like a ferris-wheel’s lights glowing through the fog or puddles forming across the track. The light and reflection effects on windshields are mesmerizing and I can’t wait to see what they look like on a high-end computer monitor.
Forza Motorsport 7 not only supports 60 FPS and HDR on Xbox One S — with a free upgrade for Xbox One X owners in November — it’s also one of Microsoft’s Play Anywhere titles, so buying the digital version unlocks a free copy on Windows 10 PCs.
The tutorial races had me starting from the default chase view and I caught myself admiring the silver Porsche I was driving for half a lap before I made the switch to my preferred inside-view. I didn’t get the opportunity to play it with a steering wheel setup, sadly, but it was incredibly responsive to my Xbox One controller and, as always, the vibration feedback was fantastic.
The game gets more than just the graphics right, but I’m not going to shut up about them. I’ve played Forza since the early days (when Gran Turismo was still relevant) and I’ve watched it try and push the edge on graphics, but there’s always been a sense of “almost” in each iteration. Forza 7 changes that, because this year it blows away everything else out there, visually.
The game play is tight and it feels natural. Over the years Forza has dialed down the “floating soapbox racer” feel into something that feels like it’s made out of metal and fiberglass that roars and shakes. You can feel the rubber on the road and the weight of the car as you slide through puddles or burn around corners.
There’s nothing close to Forza in terms of physics or graphics, but the most impressive thing about Forza Motorsport 7 is its attention to detail. Every piece of the game’s interface is dialed-in to perfection. The developers must have approached the entire game like a complete tear-down of a race car in order to shave milliseconds off of its quarter-mile time. This is the Forza that the company must have dreamed of creating when it first imagined making a realistic racing simulation.
Forza will launch with several single-player modes, including it’s excellent campaign “Forza Driver’s Cup Challenge,” that has you driving numerous vehicles over the course of a career. It features driver-crates that can be purchased using in-game cash to unlock outfits and accessories for your driver. And while I’m not a huge fan of loot-crates, the game didn’t break my immersion by begging me to purchase anything. The items that come in the crates are cool and add a layer of personalization and collecting to an already spectacular game.
After launch the game will have several multiplayer modes, leagues, and community-driven events designed to keep it fresh. Turn 10 studios has always treated the Forza games as launch-platforms that it continuously releases events, expansions, and DLC for. It’s one of the few companies that get it right when it comes to post-launch content.
No matter what version of Forza Motorsport 7 you purchase, between the standard, deluxe, or ultimate editions, you’re getting a complete game that has an excellent single-player mode and a polished and well-crafted multiplayer experience for players of any skill level.
You can tune, upgrade, paint, skin, and customize to your heart’s content in Forza 7. It features a robust toolset for creative types that includes a picture-taking mode with settings that rivals those found on a DSLR camera.
With over 700 cars and more than 30 tracks it represents one of the largest and most diverse collections of cars and environments in any racing game. With Forza Motorsport 7 Turn 10 Studios gets everything right, and I can’t find anything I don’t like about the game — even the difficulty controls have a ton of options to tailor the game to my style.
Forza Motorsport 7 is a serious contender for game of the year and the first tangible reason you may want to go ahead and pre-order an Xbox One X.