Forza Motorsport 4

Forza Motorsport 4 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360

Next instalment in the multi-million selling racing franchise from Microsoft and Turn 10. Includes Kinect support.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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Forza Motorsport 4 screenshot
Forza Motorsport 4 screenshot

Many of the overall tweaks to the established formula are simple but effective. Forza 3's rewind system proved absolutely necessary for amateurs but was unwanted by some more fastidious professionals, so Forza Motorsport 4 now allows you to turn the feature off for a sizeable credit reward.

Another noticeable improvement over Forza Motorsport 3 is in its engine sounds, oddly obfuscated by an overbearing and ill-fitting soundtrack. Yank hard on the vroom vroom trigger in a powerful car and you'll be hit with a meaty, thunderous roar powerful enough to send ripples of delight down your spine, one that makes Gran Turismo 5's effort sound like a handful of aggravated bees in comparison.

The most likely destination for players will be the revamped season play, now dubbed World Tour, with Turn 10 hoping that its considered nips and tucks will make for a smoother user experience, banishing the lumpy and heavyset cycles of multi-stage events and forced championships that caused the third game to devolve into a weary grind by its fifth season. Now you only stop off for one event at each destination as you hop around the globe, consuming an entire world of automotive events like delicate courses of tapas rather than bloated Sunday roasts.

Instead of a chipping away at a sprawling event list, though that is still possible if you’d like, World Tour streamlines the experience by offering you up a choice of three events based on the cars you own. New to Forza 4, however, is an extra bit of spice from different event types, such as autocross, drift, track days, and traffic challenges, and the occasional trip to the Dunsfold Aerodrome to whizz around the Top Gear test track.

Does all this eliminate the dreaded grind inherent to the genre? Not entirely, but it tries - and it's certainly a massive improvement over the nightmarish user experience offered up by Gran Turismo 5. Turn 10 does occasionally make the game victim to unnecessary padding, stretching out its whopping event list with some notably poor choices and creating the numb agony of dawdling slow cars around the zippy Bernese Alps, or forcing brazen, monstrous vehicles around the narrow twists of Fujimi Kaido.

But the overall experience is less fussy, and subsequently more enjoyable to play, than ever before. Manufacturer Affinity, for instance, replaces individual car levels from Forza 3, taking experience gained from each event and pooling it in a manufacturer-specific level, offering significant part discounts (up to 100 per cent) and substantial credit windfalls for those who nurture the contents of their garage.

Forza 4 now offers you a choice of cars opposed to a prescribed vehicle as you level up, RPG-like, your Driver Level, though the implementation is still slightly messy - you’re not allowed to inspect the details of your potential new cars, nor does the game highlight which of its massive roster will be available as Gifts. It is frustrating to spend hundreds of thousands of hard-earned credits (or a handful of Car Tokens, bought with Microsoft Points) on a new vehicle, only to see the car being offered for free minutes later. One level offered me a choice between the Ferrari F50 and the McLaren F1, but neglected to point out that the latter costs roughly five times as many in-game credits. I would have been absolutely livid had I picked the F50.

Turn 10 is also at the front of the pack when it comes to community features, leaving much of the storefront and auction house unchanged. The big push this time comes in the form of Rivals mode, a series of single-player races tracked on a multiplayer leaderboard - Turn 10 has clearly found inspiration from Criterion's Autolog. Some of these events are fixed and permanent, such as taking the Kia Cee'd (more recognised as the Reasonably Priced Car) around the Top Gear Test Track, whereas others are chopped and changed on a month-by-month basis.

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InvalidUser@ dav2612

In the world tour mode in my case and from I have read elsewhere on the internet, the difficulty level is so low it's insulting. It's only in this mode, in other modes it has what I consider among the best driving AI I have seen on a console.

It a totally different game, when I say broken, the design is broken, Turn 10 have made "World Tour mode" a cakewalk so you can quickly fly through the Ford Ka's and earn mega bucks fast.

My problem with this is, they provide a "world tour" difficulty setting which compared with playing the game through "season event" or "quick play" is evidently jarring, so bad I question it's existence, I think it's broke.

They want people to breeze through the game, that was my point it's dumbed down, why dilute my game, world tour mode has no challenge, and soon becomes a chore, I find racing boring on my own.

I tested the easiest level I was close to lapping the field in the 3rd lap of a 3 lap race, to me that is rather broken.

The unlocks and XP mega calculator is Black Ops all over again in another skin.

Turn 10 have said "world tour" gets harder as the season's progress, and it does I get a race to the fifth corner.

I didn't want to spoil other people's game, they may be fine with this, we are all of a different standard, I am a very average racer. Other people have questioned the "Destruction Derby" qualities of the AI, something I have no problem with.

I would not hesitate in recommending this game whatsoever, but if world tour was the only SP offering and if like me you avoid online because of stupid griefing it would be an instant trade in or buy with caution.

Finally why do I have to create a private online game to run a custom race with the number of laps I want in the year 2011.

Apart from these silly oversights I would score the game 10/10, it's 9-9.5/10 for me with serious underlying issues which fortunately don't destroy the game.
Posted 16:11 on 20 October 2011
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dav2612@ InvalidUser

I'm not sure how you feel you have spoiled anything with what you have said but regardless of that, is the AI broken or do you simply find it too easy?
Posted 08:59 on 20 October 2011
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InvalidUser@ ReadySteadyGo

Are you for real?

OK I will spoil it for some,

RE: "broken" - the AI.

The AI is totally broken in world tour mode, and in world tour mode only thankfully. It's not broken in what many others moan about as the paint swapping, it's totally BROKEN in racing full stop.

The first two corners of a race, are the race, after that an average racer like myself without any baby reigns zooms off into the sunset, for the dullest race ever witnessed in modern gaming.

The AI occasionally runs off track to add realism, but more common is the train line far back in the mirror. THEY EVEN SLOW DOWN.

This is not as big an issue in other modes otherwise it would be totally broken.

RE: Toybox.

This is nothing new to Forza, and according to Turn 10 no one wants to play a game where they cannot win. This is why in world tour mode on the hardest of difficulty modes it's a Sainsbury's run. It's design choice and a very bad one, add the XP factor, and the gamer ego rush cannot get any more flush. It's as much a paintshop now as it is a racer, you have taken the toybox comment way too seriously.

Seems the tarot cards creep out again, Kinect? did I mention Kinect?

There are too many links and i'm not your PA. Take a look around forzamotorsport it would be a good start.

So now gamer's ( AKA beta tester's) who question the product THEY PAY MONEY for are moaning for the sake of it.

LULZ
Posted 18:11 on 19 October 2011
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ReadySteadyGo@ InvalidUser

Quote:
Did I mention anything about frame rate or the online component?

You said it was broken and not much else and assumed "broken" meant the game didn't work, we are not mind readers.

Quote:
I am not going to spoil what for some maybe a very enjoyable game, I will only say in one portion of the game it's stops becoming a race which defeats the purpose of the core game.
How? You need to explain your conclusions if you want people to listen to you because to me. If you are talking about the Top Gear challenges then just say untill then you are still making little sense.

Quote:
It also adds salt to the claim that the series is veering towards a toybox and not a driving simulation, further proof is the levelling and XP which is thrown at the player in abundance.

So because it's levels up it's more of a toy and not realistic...
So using the Kinnect device to move your view in the drivers seat is going more to a toybox than a simulation???

Quote:
BUT I did not write a review, I comment merely because within the first few hours of Forza it is clearly abundant that there is an issue and there was no mention in the review.

I must admit when I experienced this issue I did comment in haste, I apportion some of the blame to the countless glowing F1 2011 reviews in circulation which I dispute a lot more.

Again what is your issue with the game and what is broken? and if it's easily found on the net post a link then if you can't even bothered to mention what the issue is....

and at first you say it's broken but finish off with

Quote:
Even with this problem Forza 4 is arguably the best racer this generation.


I give up, just moaning for the hell of it to me.
Posted 11:33 on 19 October 2011
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InvalidUser@ ReadySteadyGo

Did I mention anything about frame rate or the online component?

I am not going to spoil what for some maybe a very enjoyable game, I will only say in one portion of the game it's stops becoming a race which defeats the purpose of the core game. It also adds salt to the claim that the series is veering towards a toybox and not a driving simulation, further proof is the levelling and XP which is thrown at the player in abundance.

My problem with the game is easily found elsewhere on the internet if you decide to investigate this further, to some people it's not an issue, and merely highlights the rapid change in game design over this generation.

I have found a solution to the problem, salvage.

In fact I would score Forza higher than this review, it leaves it's previous incarnation a mere shadow with one to two paragraphs on the "broken" aspect, with an argument to counter balance the broken claim.

BUT I did not write a review, I comment merely because within the first few hours of Forza it is clearly abundant that there is an issue and there was no mention in the review.

I must admit when I experienced this issue I did comment in haste, I apportion some of the blame to the countless glowing F1 2011 reviews in circulation which I dispute a lot more.

Even with this problem Forza 4 is arguably the best racer this generation.
Posted 15:45 on 18 October 2011
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ReadySteadyGo@ InvalidUser

I think this very firmly disagrees with you. The only times it drops 60fps is when the user switches camera for starters and thats also with playing 12 cars in game and 16 online, sounds like a very good game to me and is not "broken"...

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/di...a-motorsport-4
Posted 11:50 on 18 October 2011
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Clockpunk@ InvalidUser

Perhaps you'd care to elaborate on which functional details of the title you found to be sub par, in regards to its technical perturbation beleaguring the experience so descried by yourself...?
Posted 20:47 on 17 October 2011
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InvalidUser@ WhoIsThePresidentNow

Yeah suck it up fool, like some regurgitation from a GAME employee in store.

Pillock.
Posted 20:06 on 17 October 2011
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WhoIsThePresidentNow@ InvalidUser

Yep it's another invalid post from InvalidUser like.

Great review :)
Posted 13:59 on 15 October 2011
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InvalidUser

Yep it's another 9/10 review for a fundamentally broken game.
Posted 23:44 on 14 October 2011
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Wido

Love the demo and love this review! God damn you to hell Martin for making me want this game even more than I do!

I urge all fellow VG members to use #AlwaysBetOnVG in your tweets. :P
Posted 13:36 on 06 October 2011
ReadySteadyGo's Avatar

ReadySteadyGo

Yeah from the edemo it's improved again with just the three cars to choose from it felt far more polished which suprised me as Forza 3 was that good!
The football mp sounds like a potential awesome laugh with mates :) but I agree with the dragging as it did this in Forza 3 when you have raced all the tracks and all they do is make you the same tracks again in the last two seasons but with a silly ammount of laps like 10-20 when before it would be something like 7.

Still loved it though even taking that big negative into account :)
Posted 11:28 on 06 October 2011
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InvalidUser

F1 2010 got a 9/10 a bugfest and somehow got a release on the PS3.

Which means?
Posted 11:27 on 06 October 2011
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dav2612

All sounds rather good but I feel I've only really scratched the surface of Forza 3 so going to stick with that for now, no need to move onto 4 just yet.
Posted 10:27 on 06 October 2011
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pblive

My pre-order for the collectors edition is safe. Thanks for the great review Martin.

Might get a few comments on the "Polyphony Digital can still champion itself when it comes to on-track authenticity" remark, though.
Posted 08:54 on 06 October 2011

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Forza Motorsport 4
9
Out of 10
Forza Motorsport 4
  • Improved handling
  • Autovista mode is an unexpected delight
  • More entertaining than ever
  • Becomes a bit of a grind in later events
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 14/10/2011
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Turn 10
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Racing
No. Players: 1-16
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 337
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