October 13, 2011

Forza Motorsports 4 — First Impressions

Forza Motor­sports is an Xbox exclu­sive title and that may push some peo­ple away, but per­son­al­ly, I believe that con­sole is where dri­ving sims belong. I have been a HUGE Forza Motor­sports fan for many years and went and bought an xbox 360 and a copy of the fresh­ly released Forza Motor­sports 4 (rel date 10-11-2011). I will be explain­ing a first impres­sions view of the game and some of it’s recent updates.
The first thing out of the box that jumps out is the discs are almost iden­ti­cal to the pre­vi­ous release of FM3. I had to check the box again to make sure that I had­n’t bought the wrong title. Wor­ry not weary trav­el­ers it is indeed FM4. Upon load­ing the game for the first time the open­ing video dis­plays its most notice­able new fea­ture, Auto­vista. In the Auto­vista room you can explod­ed view the vehi­cle and look at the inte­ri­or and exte­ri­or sim­i­lar to that of a 3d tour and spurts of infor­ma­tion shine out to tell you infor­ma­tion regard­ing the car that you are explor­ing. You can even start the engine and hear that love­ly roar from inside the cock­pit while watch­ing the dash clus­ter come to life in the car of your dreams in an almost sur­re­al real­ism.

Auto­vista is not with­out it’s faults how­ev­er. The most notable fault is that there are only a lim­it­ed selec­tion of cars to auto­vista. You can­not just gen­er­ate a vehi­cle from your garage and explore it as far as I have seen thus far and that is kind of a bum­mer but it is a step in the right direc­tion. This shows the capa­bil­i­ty of a graph­ics sys­tem almost ten years of age.

We have in the past seen the drift­ing com­mu­ni­ty of FM explode in pop­u­lar­i­ty as Forza is the pre­mier in sim­u­la­tion when it comes to sling­ing your fan­ta­sy around a cor­ner side­ways at obscene speeds. This com­mu­ni­ty has asked for a lot of improve­ment in the drift­ing depart­ment and low and behold Turn 10 has brought it to us. We now have not only some of the most want­ed drift­ing machines imple­ment­ed such as, s13 Nis­san 240sx hatch­back, but also crews. You can cre­ate or join a group of folks and have a club/crew/clan and have a shared garage full of vehi­cles that are shared among the group for videos or events. This is what I have always had in mind when think­ing of clan war­fare on the bat­tle of choice and Turn 10 brought it to the fore­front of gam­ing.

Now the fan­boy-dom is over. There is nev­er good with­out bad and here are a few things that I have found and been annoyed with. First off, some of the pre-order free­bies were nev­er sent out or were not avail­able to have. Places like Best Buy who had issues with the release left many cus­tomers with­out their pre­cious pre-order free­bie of a BMW 1 M series. Now, this may not seem a big deal, but peo­ple gen­er­al­ly pick up pre-order pack­ages pure­ly for the free­bie offered by that place of busi­ness and this looks bad on every­ones part.
 


Not only that, but there has been this insane­ly huge issue with Disc 2 not installing or being messed up or not appear­ing as a disc at all to the con­sole. This prob­lem, I am fac­ing as well, has had some peo­ple by the throat as half of the games con­tent is on this disc and requires the instal­la­tion of the sec­ond disc to even access.The graph­ics don’t seem to have been pushed any fur­ther. They are out­stand­ing, shin­ing above and beyond GT5 in every way as far as I can tell, but I was hop­ing for a bit more pol­ished look at dis­tance. The tracks have the same effect, they seem a bit flat and two dimen­sion­al. I under­stand that there is only so much data a sys­tem that is this old can push and I think Turn 10 has pushed this con­sole to the lim­its and should push to expand to oth­er avenues such as PC and PS3 where their beau­ty and intri­cate detail can ful­ly flourish.All in all, the game thus far is amaz­ing, I have found a sin­gle bug that may be patched soon as I don’t see this as intend­ed. Once you race a sin­gle car to lvl 4 almost every item pur­chased for that brand is absolute­ly free. I am dri­ver lev­el 6 with 2 Nis­sans com­plete­ly maxed out with all parts pur­chased. 2 sea­sons and I have 2 maxed out cars, this is not how Turn 10 intends for this game to played, not in the past, and not now I am sure of it.
I will be doing a full review in a week as I progress through the game I will note any keynote dif­fer­ences and bring them to light with my opin­ion along for the ride. Check back often as it may come up soon­er than antic­i­pat­ed, if I am able to peel myself away from the con­troller long enough.

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