Forza 7's audio is astonishing, the trackside sounds and realistic doppler effect making for an authentic aural landscape. The game's rock music is great too.
Fantastic lighting, stunning vistas, gorgeous cars... what more can you say about Forza 7's looks? It's simply jaw-dropping even at 1080p. It's set to be a real visual milestone in 4K on Xbox One X.
An array of options to customise the experience makes the latest Forza as difficult or as casual, as deep or as straightforward as you like. The handling remains exemplary, while the always handy rewind button alleviates any frustration.
A huge range of iconic racing venues, over 700 cars and a plethora of events combine to make this another characteristically immense Forza game. Every bit of it has been lovingly implemented too, the presentation second to none.
While Forza 6 mustered a serviceable, varied list, relatively light on grind, 7 goes in the opposite direction with a selection of boring, grind-packed achievements. Turn 10 really needs to try harder with its achievement lists. This one's rubbish.
September 30, 2017
Forza Motorsport 7 is far and away the most beautiful entry in the series yet, if not the sexiest racing game of all time. But then it probably goes without saying by now that Forza looks pretty. It always does. Obviously what really matters is how FM7 feels from behind the wheel, and on that front, Turn 10 has delivered once again. Forza Motorsport 7 is the accessible face of racing sims, gently coaxing you in with its good looks before revealing a dizzying array of options, loads of super-detailed circuits and a garage of over 700 cars to choose from.
It's collecting these cars that's the lynchpin of Forza 7, serving as one of your primary objectives throughout a career that spans a number of different driving disciplines and race types. Forza 7's career mode is a cut above what's gone before, with a driver avatar to dress up in dozens of different suits, some of which are a little bit offbeat. Want to dress up in a tux or as a deep sea diver? Then you can, alongside racing gear in an array of pretty colours, as well as vintage racing garb, goggles and all.
Ken Block being beaten by a VW Beetle? That's a bit embarrassing.
It's all about the cars, however, and as such, collecting them feeds into a tier ranking, granting access to new tiers of car as you level up. And the sheer variety of vehicles on offer this time around means you can dabble in all manner of different race types. There's even truck racing in this mix this time around, while the game's weather effects not only keep things interesting, but also make for a genuine challenge in some cases. Hitting a puddle at full pelt, for instance, will see you skidding off the track and into the gravel, if you're not careful. At least you can still rewind the action if and when you do screw up.
Career itself isn't particularly adventurous, consisting of the usual procession of races, although you can choose which order you want to complete them in. There are Showcase events, like Top Gear bowling (again) using a limousine or a police car, historical open-wheel races, passing challenges or special manufacturer events like a race involving sexy Porsches. It might seem a bit familiar, but it's all very nicely presented, as always. Forza 7 is a complete racing experience, as ever, with all sorts of options to fiddle with, from the usual driving assists to tuning sliders and upgrades.
You can also ramp things up by increasing the drivatar difficulty, throwing tyre wear, damage, fuel and pit strategies into the mix, tailoring the experience to your liking. Project CARS it ain't when it comes to the sheer number of customisable settings, but then Forza Motorsport has always straddled the line between arcade racing and simulation, so it makes sense. There are no penalties for rewinding or for failing to turn in a clean race this time around too. Only passes, drifts and corners are tracked, with corresponding consumable mod cards that can be applied before each race challenging you to fulfil certain tasks to earn bonus XP and credits.
Forza 6 already did much of this, including the rainy weather and night racing, so there's not a lot in 7 that's particularly surprising or genuinely new. What sets Forza Motorsport 7 apart is the massive garage of cars divided into 8 different tiers to collect, the increased emphasis on dynamic weather with thunderstorms, fog and other conditions, the jaw-dropping visuals, glorious lighting and always shiny Forzavista vehicles. While it might not be massively different, the increased effort that's gone into making the career mode slightly more interesting does go a long way.
Titled 'Forza Driver's Cup', the entire career is built around making progress through six different championships, all leading up to winning the eponymous trophy. You'll work through Seeker, Breakout, Evolution, Domination, and Masters Championships, that all take into account the tenets of speed, versatility, adaptability. You'll earn points to reach a target in each championship, completing it to then move onto the next one. The credits you earn can be used to purchase new cars or buy crates that contain new driver gear, rides and mod cards, so there's a constant, rewarding sense of progression.
As you level up, you can also choose from one of three rewards: a bundle of credits, a discounted car or a new set of driver gear. And with Formula 1, Formula E, rally, hoonigan, drag racing and loads of other race types all covered in the Forza Driver's Cup, there's hours of fun to be had in completing everything the career mode has to offer. Of course, it helps that Forza Motorsport 7 remains ultra-satisfying to play, the handling model, sense of speed and overall game experience as a whole proving incredibly gratifying and ludicrously addictive.
Nice face bandana and goggles combo there.
Online, there's a range of multiplayer hoppers (classic street muscle, modern hot hatch, historic road racing, rise of the supercar, and track toys) through which you can compete against a full 24-strong grid of other drivers, and like always, there's jostling and ramming at every turn. Winning is often a case of being lucky enough to come out of a pile-up clean, then sticking to the racing line and holding your nerve. Connecting to a race is super-quick and painless, but if there's a race already in progress, the wait can initially be a bit protracted. And with no spectator mode, you're just left staring at a lobby screen until the race is over.
Consequently, the grind presented by the game's multiplayer achievements is made all the more difficult, especially with one objective tasking you with battling from the back of a full grid of 24 players to win. Ridiculous. Multiplayer Leagues are also set to return, but at present they're greyed-out as 'coming soon', alongside the Auction House and Forzathon. That means some achievements are currently unobtainable. All in all, this latest list is a step backwards, returning to dull, formulaic grinding above all else.
Thankfully, Forza Motorsport 7 itself is a stride forwards for the series, albeit not a massive one. Both the career and multiplayer remain comprehensive, even if this latest iteration does tend to play it rather safe for the most part. Still, there's no faulting the superb handling and wealth of content that's been crammed into FM7, the attention to detail truly impressing in its myriad cars and tracks. It's not quite the 'wow' sequel that Forza 6 was, but Forza Motorsport 7 is proof positive that there's still more than ample fuel in Turn 10's tank.