Forza Motorsport 7 is finally with us and, after the first few hours of playing the game, it’s an absolute cracker. We’ll have a full review for you on Monday, but initial impressions are that everything that was wrong with Forza Motorsport 6 have been fixed.
For starters, the AI is far more balanced, nobody races off into the distance, and races are far more enjoyable as a result. The main flow of the game is just as steady, but seems even more assured, maintaining a solid 60fps during racing (30fps in replays), with zero screen tearing and incredibly high-quality visual effects like lighting and wet weather spray from every car. And this is all on a bog-standard Xbox One – Xbox One X will undoubtedly take the game to even more extreme levels of detail and realism.
It delivers what looks – so far – to be the best racing experience of the current generation
Control is far superior to Project CARS 2, and even with stability management switched off, the cars are far more sure-footed, enabling you to get the back end to step out without ending up spinning into the gravel. It never feels artificially stabilised (and I’m playing on full sim settings so it shouldn’t do) – it’s more that you can feel how the car is settled on the track, and allowing you to drive accordingly to stay on the black stuff.
The career mode is split into locked tiers. Each one contains a selection of races from which you can play as many as you like, until you reach the required level to progress to the next tier. Some events are locked away behind vehicle collection levels, even in unlocked tiers, and you need to collect cars to fill up your virtual garage in order to experience all of the event types the game has to offer.
The presentation is superb. While the initial few introductory events (the same as those in the demo) are surrounded by hyperbolic cargasm commentary, once you settle into the game itself, everything is explained vocally in plain English, without pretension but with a clear charisma. It’s very slick and welcoming. The music is more guitar-based, echoing earlier Forza titles, and the atmosphere is all the better for it. Again, it’s the lack of pretension that works wonders for the game’s likeability.
Damage in minor dings and scrapes is exemplary, although early indications show that more major accidents are less-impressive. That’s to be expected, as the series is about racing, not crashing. But it’s still a shame to see it’s relatively restrained.
After reviewing Forza 6 and experiencing a deep, nagging feeling that the game simply wasn’t very enjoyable, Forza Motorsport 7 is a very welcome surprise. If ever there was suspicion that Turn 10 Studios would focus on making the best-looking showcase for Xbox One X at the expense of making a truly great racing game (and fixing the problems of its predecessor), then we feel bad for entertaining that idea.
Unlike the all-too-familiar-feeling Project CARS 2, Foza Motorsport 7 feels like a true sequel. One that fixes nagging, outstanding issues, pushes ahead with truly awesome weather effects and vast track and car counts, and delivers what looks – so far – to be the best serious racing experience of the current generation. Gran Turismo Sport might have met its match before it’s even entered the ring.
Check back on Monday for our full review.