I remember back in the days of the Genesis and Super Nintendo most did not care about racing games. I mean, there were kids who played them – but even those who were fans of the genre only occasionally pulled out their copy of LOTUS II for a bit of fun. Times have changed now and we have so many different brands trying to pull into first. With the release of two Forza titles already this generation as well as Drive Club, Project Cars, and so on- the racing simulation bandwagon is getting pretty packed across Sony and Microsoft consoles as the fan base is there. These titles are system sellers. Forza 6 is now here to slam its foot down and make a statement though, bringing quality and finesse back with the accessibility that everyone can get behind on the Xbox One. Does it do enough, or is this race over before it begins? Let’s find out.
How fast can you go? Why do we race? How many modes can one game deliver? These are the questions that players are greeted with upon booting up Forza Motorsport 6, and right from the very first ride the player will quickly discover how polished this racer has become. Before I hop into the core of the game though I think it would be best to speak on the specific side entrees that build this racer into the beast it is. The first are Drivatars, which essentially is the artificial intelligence system that pits you against your friends who all operate differently. The purpose of the individually assigned AI is to create a diverse race and keep you on the edge of your seat as the AI can easily make mistakes that can cost anyone the race. I have had several races where a driver would make a mistake and cause me to wreck due to a sharp turn – while other times I would just watch as they flew by, taking advantage of my own error.
Speaking of a uniqueness, Forza 6 also boasts more of about everything this time around. There are over 400 cars and 26 different tracks for this entry, making it the most varied of the entire franchise. If that wasn’t enough, players can earn mods to vary their own challenge. Sure, there are difficulty settings and the famous rewind feature within 6 to appease accident prone drivers, but mods add a new layer by allowing players to gain a boost in credits, earn rare rewards, and even get new challenges that are sure to keep you on your toes. Dares are cards that come in these packs, challenging the player to have at a track with a handicap in place or change up the stats a bit to give you an edge over the opponents. Spins are also awarded, but kind of felt to be a bit out of place entirely. I mean, why offer mods if you could just give them away in a wheel? Sure, its a quick way to get high dollar vehicles, but once you get them all the spinning is rather pointless.
The gameplay – or the driving I should say is where Forza has been known to perform. Thankfully, this is still a very smooth game with tight controls. The feel and grip has tightened up a bit since I last gave the game a go, but most will be pleased by the handling and how easy it is to hop in and drive from the start. That is also my problem a bit here. I talked up a lot of what I liked early on in this review because Forza Motorsport 6 is a lot like an oreo. The outside defines the taste but while you still come for the middle to start with, its still the same old vanilla that you have had for years. I am sorry I compared your game to a cookie, Turn 10, but I feel that comparison is relevant. Outside of the exhilarating F1 races that are a blast to play, I found most races to feel just like the next. Sure there are plenty of cars, sure the AI acts in different ways, but the core is so much of the same that it is almost boring to a degree. Multiplayer changes this as it adds in competitive flavor but once you master the formula for a Forza race, you kind of stay on that track and continue to win. That is why the mods and AI are so important to talk about first as if you are coming for Forza, you are going to get it but if you are coming for a new racing sim, those two options are honestly going to highlight your experience.
That being said, the sense of speed within Forza Motorsport 6 cannot be matched. I am not a die hard fan of this genre but I have played and reviewed a good lot of Forza’s competition. Sure, the others add in their own flare to attract an audience, but Forza simply cuts the player’s teeth by putting them into a car that they would never pick otherwise and somehow has you know the odds and ends of that vehicle and actually grow attached to it through the storied career mode. I feel like that is definitely an endearing and compelling quality to have as I certainly enjoyed getting behind the wheel of several cars that I would laugh at the thought of driving in real life for competition’s sake. Oh yeah, stop with the Top Gear stuff. I get it, you’re cars, their cars, ads and such – but I felt it was a bit cheap to see the logo and other bits plastered frequently throughout the game.
Breathtaking. That is the best word to describe the visuals in Forza Motorsport 6. The weather system makes conditions seem incredibly realistic and you will be staring at every drop of water during the rain, trying to see if you can spot one broken pixel. Yes, it is a beautiful game, but one that has taken detail and coated it in polish to create nothing but a pure, visual experience that is both realistic and jawdropping. I have had so many current gen titles that I expected to take it to the level that Forza 6 has completely let me down, so you could even call this gem the Xbox One’s finest from a graphical perspective. Of course the cars look great too, with beaming light coming off of reflective surfaces such as hoods and fins, and that pavement is equally as impressive, showing details such as sealing on the road and grass that you can see each blade of even at high speeds.
The audio is great as well, but I am not a car person so aside from different ratios of loud – I cannot tell you how crystal clear that engine was compared to the next, but I do know that the game does sound audibly correct (how’s that?). The female narrator of sorts (who I presume is from Top Gear as well) is also on point and makes you feel like this is a special title and definitely the most prestigious in the market for what its worth.
Forza Motorsport 6 is an excellent entry in the franchise that brings with it the most variation one could ever need in a racing title. The visuals are absolutely amazing and are worth the price of admission alone, as even if you are not that interested in picking up the best racer on the Xbox One, at least consider this as it is definitely the best looking game on the platform. Aside from mods and a few tweaks, Forza hasn’t really evolved a lot in terms of a core experience, but for you longtime fans – that will not be an issue. Forza Motorsport 6 is a more polished and plentiful offering of everything we love, acting as insurance to keep us in the driver’s seat until the next installment.
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