We’ve gotten to the point where a new Forza game is expected every year as inevitable as a new Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed title. So does that mean Forza Motorsport 7 is a paint-by-numbers entry that shows signs of franchise fatigue?
Let’s start with the visual department being a strong point for Forza Motorsport with each entry (save for FM 2 though). This year’s title looks as fantastic as ever featuring 1080p/60fps visuals on the base model Xbox One — much like Forza Motorsport 6.
I’m hard-pressed to point out any particular visual improvement over the previous FM title on base hardware save for HDR if you’ve got an Xbox One S. In saying so after a trip back to the previous game I can say that Forza 7 looks a little less jagged and the clouds look a lot better the latter ostensibly due to an emphasis on HDR by the dev.
What’s new with gameplay?
Forza Motorsport 7 continues the basic gameplay blueprint set by Forza 5 and expanded on by Forza Motorsport 6 as you chuck your car around various tracks while fending off over a dozen”Drivatar” AI drivers.
But the game has introduced a semblance of dynamic weather to proceedings making for a handy change from Forza 6’s “it either stays wet or dry” formula. And in a cool touch the one-off races let you tweak weather for the beginning middle and end of proceedings. It’s still no F1 2017 in this regard which sees cars dancing at the very edge of their limits in the wet or late-race pit stops as the track dries out but it’s a fun visually enthralling experience nonetheless.
Forza Motorsport 7 isn’t all that different from Forza Motorsport 6 it has to be said
Moving to the actual cars themselves Forza Motorsport 7 now offers a ton of Porsches and the 2017 crop of Formula E and IndyCar machines to name a few. It also offers another racing option in the form of trucks being beastly fun machines harking back to TOCA Race Driver 3. In any event the sheer variety of cars is the polar opposite of GT Sport‘s more anaemic car collection.
It’s worth noting that there’s a tier system in place for buying/collecting cars your collection level and tier being raised as you expand your garage collection. The biggest disadvantage here is that even if you have the in-game credits you can’t just buy that monstrous 2017 Porsche 919 Hybrid — that would be preposterous. You have to buy other cars to reach the collection level associated with the desired ride. Two thumbs down from me.
The Forza Drivers Cup is a great career mode though offering several tiers to work through — much like Forza 6’s career mode. Each championship tier features regular cups and a couple of unique events akin to Forza 6‘s Showcase events. You don’t need to complete all cups and Showcases to move to the next tier either but completionists will want to do so anyway.
The Forza Drivers Cup is a fine addition but it would be great to see actual racing championships in the game or even the option to choose one discipline (open-wheel GT etc) ala GRID. While we’re on the motorsport junkie trip the ability to qualify for races would be a neat overdue bonus too. But if you’re one of the millions who don’t care for motorsport enthusiast trappings Forza 7’s career mode is fine and dandy.
Prizes or loot crates?
Forza 6 brought Forza Horizon‘s spin-wheel mechanics into play granting players a casino-style spin after levelling to possibly unlock cars or credits.
Forza Motorsport 7 does away with this letting you choose between a free (or heavily discounted) car credits or cosmetic items for your driver. Then you have the prize crates…
In any event I found I was able to proceed fine without opening these crates in case you’re wondering (levelling up delivered cool cars and some credits anyway). And they aren’t too badly priced in terms of in-game credits. But completionists will certainly be using a few of these crates down the line. We’ve enquired about micro-transactions in the future and will update the review accordingly although a statement to Ars Technica points to Turn 10 enabling real-world purchases down the line. Disappointing.
Forza Motorsport 7 feels like a by-the-numbers sequel though Turn 10 seemingly content to evolve the franchise rather than substantially change things up.
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