Ask anyone about what the significance of their car is and you’ll get a variety of different answers. For some, a car is merely a method of transport, occupying the same border as a bike, or a pair of rollerblades for that matter. It simply gets them to the places they need to go in a timely and efficient manner, providing a convenient alternative to a tiring walk. For others, it may be a reflection of their person that exemplifies the unadulterated essence of pure, liberating freedom and the fulfillment of one’s deepest dreams and successes.
The raw thrill of revving their engine and displaying its power, the cool breeze flowing through their hair and the intense velocity at which their cars zoom down a road, make them feel like they are at the prime of their youth. For a very select and noble few, it’s an extension of their livelihood, a highly dangerous, possibly rewarding, professional, extreme motorsport career. Suiting up and saddling themselves into a mechanical bull of a machine for a death defying race with the hopes of emerging at the very top, or at the very least, alive.
Forza Motorsport 6 delivers in their promise to provide each player with whatever experience they want to make for themselves in a fully comprehensive way, that is bar second to none in comparison to actually firing up the real cars and driving them for yourself in a variety of different exotic and controlled environments.
Cars are transpositions of mankind’s constant strive to continuously forge technological innovation and they are wholly representative of both beauty and wonder. Forza Motorsport 6 magnificently illustrates these notions as they both feature and celebrate cars that are crafted from coast to coast, culture to culture, from some of the most recognizable brands across the globe.
Each of the 461 unprecedentedly lavish cars are undoubtedly there for a reason, selecting the best of the best from every specific automotive era may at first glance appear as no small task, but to no one’s surprise, turn 10 studios has managed to do the unthinkable.
Their rich historical significance is highlighted excellently for the player upon purchasing, glamourizing, or racing them through the career mode that is 70 hours in girth. Forza Motorsport 6 transcends merely being labeled a game, the player can fully immerse and simulate for themselves a nearly indistinguishable experience to actually getting behind the wheel and stomping your lead foot on the gas to your speed racing hearts content. The games intro urges us to answer for ourselves one simple question, why do we race? My answer, for the same reason you should purchase this game, it is at the paramount of heart pumping exhilaration.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am no racing game guru, but nonetheless I know for certain that they tend to have, and most likely always will be, the most graphically superior titles on any platform, and Forza Motorsport 6 is no exception to that notion. The sixth installment in this legendary driving simulator franchise from turn 10 studios, who conveniently now celebrates their tenth year with Forza, serves as a true test for the hardware capabilities of the Xbox One and allow me to be the first to say, that the system is able to tame this technological titan with ease.
The graphics are predominantly fantastic and are met with an excellent frame rate speed and high definition 1080p resolution. I felt immediately visually, and subsequently emotionally, connected with each of the vast amount of cars in the game because of the sheer realism of how they look and feel. I’m a realist enough to know that sitting down and looking inside a Bugatti Veyron is not exactly something within my foreseeable future, so being able to ogle and drool over its well kempt beauty with immense detail in Forzavista mode was something very special to me.
To add the icing on the already delicious cake, when taken on the track the outstanding lush to snowcapped environments only underscore their unique, curvaceous and lustrous features.
The glare from the looming sun tempted me to put on sun glasses at times only to be reminded by myself that I was playing a video game. Light or lack thereof at times, illuminates and slides along bodywork or blankets your vehicle in pitch darkness, which only accentuates the luminescence of bright red brake and piercing white head lights, and all the battle scars from nudging and colliding into your stubborn opponents from your most recent race serve as a detailed homage to your maneuverability and skill on the track.
However, it is not completely free of kinks, although the rest of the game runs smoothly at 60 fps, I couldn’t help but notice that images displayed in the rear and side mirrors looked choppy and lagged behind in frame rate and resolution. Similarly, I couldn’t help but notice some environmental animation looked a bit lazy, rain animations seemed a tad strange and those were some of the least excited crowds I have ever seen!
They literally have next to no personality and sit stagnantly as230 mileper hour cars whiz by, it just didn’t feel real to me in those respects. They were minor things distracted me from the core purpose of the game which is to convey a feeling of a drivers reality rather than just a simulation.
The audio…gears shift, engines purr and roar, tires screech, metal collides and crashes, rain drops pitter patter on the roof of your car and rubber drags along the windshield to create a sound portfolio that is music to a gear heads ears. All this loveliness is met with an interesting musical score that tastefully varies between swift and booming tracks that set the adrenaline pumping, toe curling mood of a high profile race as well as some soft and luxurious ones for when you are spectating the sheer glory of your car collection or browsing through the games menus.
Throughout the career mode you will become all too familiar with the omnipresent soothing female voice that always guides you in the direction, the dry English wit and speech from the Top Gear chaps, notwithstanding the absence of Jeremy Clarkson’s, who will go sorely missed by fans, as well as some familiar voices from the world’s most legendary and decorated racers.
All of these admirable voices created a personable and memorable experience that will give players a deeper glimpse at the rich culture associated with an automotive aficionado and an educational look at the heavy significance of each passing volume of the career and the cars that you race your way through it with.
It should come as no surprise that every single car, regardless of its make model or old age, handles graciously and undoubtedly surpasses previous installments in the franchise in terms of seamlessness and fluidity of control. Across all vehicles in the game you will notice that underlying feeling of magnetic traction between the asphalt, and dirt, that is if you venture off the beaten path or screw up many a time like I did. Correspondingly, you will notice that your triggers and controller will notify you when you’ve overshot acceleration on a turn, or when you have lost grip with the ground underneath while heavily braking, which allows for a more realistic experience.
You will notice overarching changes in the profile of your car upon adding another crew or vehicular modification, creating fresh experiences while driving all the while gaining a tactical edge on your opponents in the process, or at times it may lead to evident failure and the ultimate decision to stick with what has got you on the podium in the past.
Variance in the way individual cars drive is quite apparent, the sensitivity and risk factor of weaving around opponents in a 230 MPH Indy car on the oval shaped Indianapolis Motor Speedway, compared to driving an Audi TT through the lush cityscapes of Rio de Janeiro Brazil, means that becoming comfortable with one specific driving technique is completely impossible, flexibility and adaptability is an absolute must.
The same goes for the AI the game forces you to play against in the career mode which are again facilitated through the Drivatar system brought back from Forza Motorsport 5, something I was slightly apprehensive to hear was making a return.
If anyone remembers that debacle, the game pitted you against AI that were representative of fellow players and mimicked their performance to a tee, including their screw ups, over aggressive behavior and random, side swiping stupidity. Although to my relief, they have now implemented a functional professionalism option that diminishes the amount of griefing and invigorates that realistic racing feel that players should expect from a racing simulation game. As usual, Drivatar difficulty can be adjusted to cater to the player’s skill level or provide them with a more initially frustrating, yet eventually rewarding, victory.
If you can sacrifice your pride and top placing ego for just a moment, huge benefits and payouts will follow suit as you will earn higher profile prizes if you defeat more unforgiving foes.
An interesting aside, Forza caters to the risk taking gambler in all of us and provides players, upon leveling up, with the chance to try their luck and possibly win huge sums of million credit prizes and luxury hyper cars to add to their collection.
Any of the possible 600 cars you are permitted to hold in your garage at a time, that you’ve either won or purchased, can as usual be modified, tuned, painted and liveried to your liking, or if you’ve grown tired of them, can be sold back to the game for half its market value in credits, those cheap bastards…
However in other aspects they have been more than generous. We have been provided with a whopping total of 26 different venues to race on, including some returning fan favorites, alongside 10 entirely newly built and scanned tracks, all of which are incredibly dynamic and loads of fun to do countless amounts of laps on, as immediately boring as that may sound.
You’ll give Jackie Chan and the merry group of misfits in his crew a run for their money. Around the world in 80 days? Hah! Try around the world in 70 hours, with each stop along the way showcasing and celebrating several circuits and makeshift race tracks that have gained notoriety throughout the lifespan of motorsport’s history. Although they have still stubbornly decided not to implement dynamic time and weather features in their tracks, they do feature individual map specific time and weather changes, partnered with new obstacles for the driver to overcome, which is better than nothing at all I suppose. Driving at night heavily reduces tire friction, and driving in the rain translates into making turns and braking precise as possible to avoid the “risk” of hydroplaning, but you will never see these two features together as one.
You will need to master every last one of these tracks in order to further yourself through the six career volumes found in the game. Not only that but along the way you will be granted access to a total of 80 invitational showcase races where you will get a re-playable chance at sampling some pretty horse power heavy vehicles. From a different school of thought, I found that these showcase events made you anticipate the future of your career, but left you feeling slightly bored with the volume you were currently playing in. With that in mind, once you’ve completed the career in its entirety, rivals mode has made a vibrant return where you can compete on a host of different tracks trying to rack in the quickest time against a phantom like representation of other racers for ultimate bragging rights.
Or compete in a live race against 24 players of similar skill level and progress through driving leagues to become the crowned king of the virtual online road.
Forza motorsport 6 is a love letter to all things automobile. Its graphics will leave you dumbfounded with awe, minus a few minor kinks, and its sound quality is absolutely enthralling, despite some integral voices that left an unfilled gap in our hearts.
The games controls are beyond true to the driving experience, the gameplay is pretty immersive and I can guarantee this title will have a full life before it descends into the dusty pits of your shelves. Overall it creates something that’s whole is greater than the sum of its parts and is quite difficult to find major flaw in, other than their foolish choice to once again neglect the need for universal dynamic time and weather.