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

Rivals is exactly the multiplayer mode Forza needed, especially when many of the other online events can (and do) prove so daunting for less experienced players. There's also the option to join Car Clubs, essentially Forza's take on clans, which offers both a shared garage and a more personable relationship with the game's busy online world. You can, for instance, invite your whole Club to a game of car football.

Many events, and much of the game's presentation, is inspired from past episodes of Top Gear, and Turn 10's creative partnership with the show, complete with an introduction and voiceover work from Jeremy Clarkson, allows the game to lighten its tone, layering personality and humour on top of a game that has been criticised for sterility in the past.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Autovista, a fascinating curio of car exploration that originally grew out of a much-derided Kinect demo from E3 2009. It's a gorgeous showpiece, peppered with precise nuggets of information, and the kind of high-class camera work that you'd expect to see on episodes of Top Gear itself.

There's an obvious whiff of car porn about the whole thing, but the 25 cars on offer form an intriguingly eclectic mix, including offbeat choices such as the DeLorean DMC-12, Bentley 8 Litre, and Hummer H1 Alpha alongside obvious inclusions like the Enzo Ferrari. Using either Kinect or your controller, you can view and interact with the vehicles, stunningly rendered using the game's new trick of image-based lighting, and pick up factual information alongside Clarkson's more colourful diatribes.

Consider Autovista in a traditional sense, as a mode you have to bash through in order to win the game, and it will be a failure, a flash little party trick that burns out after the first go. It's a shame that Turn 10 feels the need to bolt an arbitrary challenge onto most cars before they can be viewed, then, perhaps too worried of an audience that would rather play racer than curator to its spectacularly ornate museum piece.

While many, like me, will just plump for the 458 Italia, the game also revels in its left field choices, turning the game into a celebration of the eclectic unicorns to fan the flames of those with a genuine passion for unexpected automotive creations. There's lord knows how many cars spread across two discs and almost fifty manufacturers (though sadly lacking Porsche due to a licensing dispute with EA), and if the post-release DLC content for Forza Motorsport 3 was any indication we can expect to see plenty more offbeat vehicles added down the line.

Codemasters might offer a better damage model, Polyphony Digital can still champion itself when it comes to on-track authenticity, and it's a massive shame to see a lack of weather effects and different track conditions. But Forza 4 trumps the competition by creating an experience much more than the sum of its parts, one that comfortably cements its position as the king of racers.

Alongside manifold technical improvements, Forza 4 brings a noticeable spark of excitement to the series. Where former entries in the series took themselves a little too seriously, this game likes to humour, dazzle and entertain, losing none of its technical competence but swapping stoic sterility for fun. Forza Motorsport 4 is fiery, passionate and thrilling - much like the 458 Italia on the front cover.

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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
ReadySteadyGo's Avatar

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
dav2612's Avatar

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: 453 26
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