Forza Motorsport 7 car porn
The car splayed to show the extra detail

For a nearly a decade now, Forza has been in pole position in the racing genre. With Gran Turismo easing up on the quality for a bit and newcomer Project Cars being too hard for most people, Forza could have coasted and still not lost their place atop the podium.

A lick of paint

Forza Motorsport 7 is not their greatest leap forward and Turn 10 clearly had their eyes on new heights of visual mastery rather than momentum on the track. Forza 7 is still a great racing game that will hook a petrolhead for months and even on a standard Xbox One, it’s probably the best looking game on console as of today.

Each weather pattern has profound effects on lighting, shadows and colours… morning and evening races are almost life-affirmingly beautiful

Visual fidelity has always been biggest Forza’s strength and the addition of incredible lighting and weather coupled with modular vibration on the cars themselves is magnificent. FM7 has four slots with which to pre-plan or randomise a weather pattern. Each one has profound effects on lighting, shadows and colours and these really round off Forza Motorsport 7’s visual quality. Morning and evening races are almost life-affirmingly beautiful.

Each of the game’s 60 frames a second is oozing with detail you can barely witness at high speeds. Each vehicle displays the faintest stylistic choice to nigh-on perfection. Forza 7 looks amazing. It also moves Forzavista from the garage to the trackside. A player can now enjoy their neon pink Mini Cooper up close in the inclement weather they are about to drive in. Another less marquee addition is active loading which allows tuning or mods to be altered and applied while the game’s many long loading sessions are underway.

Behind the wheel

Driving in FM7 is anywhere from insultingly easy to realistically difficult depending on which assists you choose and whether you use ABS or traction control systems. The game uses ‘drivatars’ again which basically creates AI drivers using your friends list, the ability of the AI is user-controlled and grants bonuses for taking on more skilled virtual opponents. At Unbeatable, the AI is actually wholly beatable and this grants a 100% CR bonus, jus’ sayin’.

Prize Crates add an unnecessary grind to have but a slim chance to obtain something you actually want

The mods system also returns. A player can limit their assists or bet (albeit risk-free) they can perform certain fancy manoeuvres on the track. Mod cards are found in ‘Prize Crates’ which are bought with in-game or real currency. ‘Prize Crates’ also contain cars, driver suits and logos for playing to collect.

Forza Motorsport 7 driver's cup
The long road to the top has enough variety to keep most happy

The ‘Prize Crates’ system is not a huge cash-grab from Turn 10 as everything is available with in-game currency and Forza Motorsport 7 doesn’t scrimp on the doling out ‘CR’ – especially during the ‘Driver’s Cup’ career mode. It isn’t pay-2-win at all either. However, it’s still an extra unnecessary grind to have only a slim chance to obtain something you actually want.

People ruin everything

Forza Motorsport 7 drift
Drift challenges are a nice way to learn how to diff

Online is as good as it can be – as in, it works. A player can find races, challenges or series very easily. While the waiting times for races is a little longer than many would like, the aforementioned ‘active’ loading screens improves the flow. The other racers are not Turn 10’s fault but they need to implement a better reputation system as almost every race I played was a demolition derby where using me as a cornering aid was apparently mandatory. I don’t want to have to race as a ghost but the world seems to be forcing me to do so. Unless you have 23 friends to play with, you may never get to fully enjoy Forza Motorsport 7’s online multiplayer.

Every online race I entered was a demolition derby where using me as a cornering aid was apparently mandatory. I don’t want to have to race as a ghost but the world seems to be forcing me to do so

There are over 700 cars in Forza Waterspout 7 with diversity and depth to match sheer quantity. The ability to drive iconic Formula 1 machines of the 1960s then hop into an Abarth Punto is not just for novelty. Mastering all the of the line-up’s variety of driving variables is a something that the casual racer may miss along the single-player campaign but a true racing fan will appreciate greatly.

With the right level of difficulty, 4th can feel better than a win

Good timing

Forza Motorsport releases at a great time for Microsoft. On the eve of the Xbox One X’s release, Forza Motorsport 7 is THE game to show off that 6 teraflops we have heard so much about. This games journalist played FM7 on an Xbox One X and a standard Xbox One on the same day and could certainly see a worthwhile jump across the half-generation. Particle effects and the detailed reflections on puddles or chrome being the biggest disparity between the two. 4K textures are just not as easy to see at 250KM/H.

Forza Motorsport 7 plays it relatively safe under the hood, keeping the improvements on the outside for all to see. The added peril of heavy rain does give stormy driving a new feel and the active loading is a tidy addition. While Prize Crates avoid being nearly as bad as they could be, many won’t appreciate the grind or the gamble.

Xbox One/Windows – Play Anywhere enabled

Reviewed on Xbox One, review code provided by publisher