Few game on the consoles give me unlimited replay-ability and driving games are one of those few. I remember when I was younger continuing to play Rockstar Games' Midnight Club over and over even after I had unlocked every vehicle up to the elusive Vector. More recently with game like Dirt 3 and Grand Turismo 6, I find myself continuing to try to beat my own records on every course. I think that somehow I feel that it in many ways is making me a better driver in the real world, and the Spike TV show GT Academy has already proven this is often true.
The thing about racing games is there are three types, first is the pure arcade ones which are all about doing the impossible, and the joy of driving with ridiculous goals and challenges to conquer. These include Midnight Club, the Need for Speed franchise and Burnout Paradise to name a few. Then there are the pseudo realistic games the Dirt franchise which try to be somewhat realistic with real cars, semi-accurate car specs, game physics and sometimes realistic damage. The last are those that aspire to recreate the real driving experience. In these games which include Forza Motorsports and Grand Turismo, the tracks, the cars the environments are all attempting to be as accurate as they possibly could be to the real world. In some case real race car drivers use Grand Turismo to study their courses for actual races and car makers use GT to test the handing of future car not even in production yet.
Damage still not as real as I’d want it.
However, if you are expecting a real driving experience with complete 100% true to life damage, then neither Forza 5 or GT6 are there yet. We tried crashing two formula 1 cars at 210 mph head on in a straight away and watch them both pop up and go right back to driving as usual, certainly not the "Rush" inspired fiery shredding of metal as we would have hoped, but hey reality probably would just get too frustrating after awhile for most gamers, after all this is supposed to be an escape right?
What I like about Forza Motorsport 5
We first off the graphics are superb and breathtaking. At times as I glide through the track I can see the sun shining right into my eye pretty much blinding my visibility and I find myself shifting up in my seat as if I would in a real car. The handling really depends on the the game style you like. We tested out Forza 5 on both the controller and the new TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition. The controller handling is very easy to control, the car generally moves as if it is heavier handling turns better with less over-steering and spin-outs. The racing wheel however seems to have a lag where a hard turn even a full rotation does not put the car into an over powered slide yet in straightaways, even the slightest touch will send the car fish tailing and heading towards a wall. Compared to GT 6 I'd say Forza 5 definitely wins on the graphic realism side but the car handling is probably too inaccurate in my opinon. I mean if I'm going 200 Mph in a Lotus and give the car a full wheel rotation, I'd expect it to immediately slide and spin out as opposed to slowly creeping in that direction.
What I don’t like about Forza
I'd say that as a driving game... the driving part, it is great. The things that I don't like are more just little annoyances such as the long drawn out narrations by Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond. I mean they are interesting but sometimes, I just want to start driving and instead I have to listen to 2 to 3 minutes of back story followed by Forza AI narration right after that about perhaps the track or the type of race. Lets just say sometimes I'd have to wait 3 minutes which in game time feels like forever. Another thing is just the general XBOX One interface which is extremely confusing, especially when you want to play with friends. You would think it would be as easy to just go to versus mode and have the second player press start but instead the other player has to log into XBOX and go through endless hoops before they can join.
Best so far, but far from perfect8
Graphics score 9
Gameplay score 7
Difficulty score 8
Freshness score 7
Replayability score 8