Review: Forza Motorsport 7 — Outstanding in every way

Forza Motorsport 7 is quite possibly the most in-depth racing game we’ve ever played. In order to cover the game and experience it as much as possible, I played the title with my friend Xian who’s an expert at the sport. According to Turn 10 Studios, Forza Motorsport 7 is the most comprehensive, beautiful and authentic racing game ever made. After playing it for hours on end—even staying up to make sure we got through the campaign—we definitely agree. The title not only looks better than Forza Horizon 3 and Forza Motorsport 6, it’s also more thrilling. The combination of the updated soundtrack and the reimagined career mode does wonders for the game and makes even a simulation title more appealing to everyone. Before we started playing Forza Motorsport 7, we thought it would just be a rehashed version of Forza Motorsport 6. That couldn’t be further from the truth because Turn 10 Studios have managed to make the franchise feel new again.

Single-player mode has been overhauled dramatically in Forza Motorsport 7. Instead of tedious and repetitious championships that force the player to play through the same tracks using different vehicles, Forza Motorsport 7 freely allows the player to progress through each series—if the requirements are met—without having to grind through unenthusiastic races. For those who played Forza Motorsport 6, the endurance race that lasted for more than 3 hours is still featured in this installment, but it’s very limited. There’s a new mechanism that allows the player to customize the length of the game, so that those who really look forward to a true endurance challenge can set it to Extra Long and earn a handsome 50 achievement points during an endurance Showcase Event. Giving players the choice is important to make the title more accessible and feel less of a grind.

Forza Motorsport 7 is more collection-focused this time around. Aside from earning credits, the aim of the title is to increase your vehicles and reach the highest collection rating. During the hundreds of hours you can spend playing the title, you can collect and race more than 700 cars including trucks and other bizarre creations. The track variety is also astounding because you can experience tracks across 30 well-known locations. The best part is that due to the new dynamic weather system, racing conditions change every time you return. This adds a new level of challenge because it’s especially difficult driving when there’s a torrential downpour going on. You don’t know what you’re in for because it might be raining deceptively gently at first.

Mods and VIP status have also undergone significant changes from past Forza Motorsport games. Being a VIP member grants the player VIP chests that contain legendary vehicles and high quality items and Mods. It’s worth mentioning that Forza Motorsport 7 heavily emphasizes the experience of customizing your Drivatar. Not only do we have two genders of drivers, there are hundreds of driving outfits to collect.

Some are rewarded either as loyalty or VIP benefits, but most are acquired through the newly-introduced mechanic of prize crates. Players can spend hard-earned credits on buying those crates that vary in price and content. This new addition is quite clever because we all can enjoy the gratifying sensation when something epic becomes a part of our collection. It’s as addictive as getting loot in Destiny 2 or Diablo III.

As of writing this review, we have yet to see Forza Motorsport 7’s other features unlock such as the Auction House and Forzathon. These will be added in the coming weeks it seems. These features seem like a necessary way to prolong the playable lifetime of the game because the single-player mode is quite short. We were able to progress through about 40% in just 10 hours. Maybe the developers hope more players can engage in the multiplayer mode since collecting all the cars and gear can be a very taunting task if one only plays single-player races. However, just as past Forza Motorsport games, we are very likely to see expansions that broaden the scope and diversity of the game in the near future.

Forza Motorsport 7 runs at a fixed 1080p 60 FPS on Xbox One. We also played the game on an Alienware 17 R3 laptop running Windows 10. Even then the title ran at 1080p 60 FPS flawlessly except it didn’t look at good because the machine only features a 4 GB graphics card. The biggest improvement in Forza Motorsport 7, in terms of visuals, has to be the lighting—particularly reflections—and the environmental detail. The world looks photorealistic and it’s especially noticeable in the rain. We used to think that Driveclub on PlayStation 4 was the best-looking game out there but Forza Motorsport 7 manages to surpass it in every way even though it runs at 60 FPS compared to Driveclub’s 30 FPS.

We could go on and on about Forza Motorsport 7 but the fact is that it’s the best racing game we’ve ever played. It draws you in and makes you heart beat faster because of the tense races. Hardcore racing fans can enjoy it by turning off all the assists and newcomers won’t feel like it’s an impossible task to win races. Racing games should be inviting and Forza Motorsport 7 definitely does that. This is definitely the gold standard out there and we can’t wait to see what Turn 10 Studios does in the future.

10/10

Xbox One and Windows 10

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