Forza Motorsport 4 is the fourth installment to the popular racing simulator series.
If your searching for the most authentic and detailed racing sim on Xbox 360 you will most certainly come across Forza. Turn 10 and Microsoft have done a tremendous job creating the most realistic racing experience of it's current generation. Each title in the series has upped it's game with new content, tweaks and stunning visuals. Forza Motorsport 3 was released in 2009 and it became the best racing sim available on Xbox 360. So Forza 4 has a lot to prove if it wants to be the best and outdo it's predecessor. The question is, does it succeed ?, of course it does.
Your first time behind the wheel begins promptly. Instead of going to the menu when you boot up the game you are instead, racing a red Ferrari at the Bernese Alps. It gives you a quick taste of the mighty speed and realistic handling you will experience throughout the game and you are struck with visuals and sound that are simply breathtaking. From the sun glare bouncing off the roads and bodywork to the mighty roar of the engine, the presentation that Turn 10 has produced in Forza 4 is phenomenal and it's without doubt the most detailed Forza yet.
Lets begin with the stars of the game, the vehicles. The Forza series is known for it's large collection of cars but Turn 10 have really nailed it this time. There's nearly 500 vehicles available to drive in Forza 4 and they range from old classics like the Aston Martin DB5 to sporty dream cars like a lamborghini for example. Each vehicle can be fine tuned from top to bottom. From the tire pressure, gear ratios, suspension, breaks and more. Whilst these setting will appeal to more experienced players, casual players can also enjoy upgrading their vehicles. Just like it's predecessors you can purchase upgrades for your cars with credits you earn in-game. From engines, tires, rims, bodywork and much more. The customisation is huge and can keep you busy for hours.
A new addition to Forza 4 is the AutoVista. Here you can get up close with a range of luxury sport cars and look at every nuck and cranny. Each vehicle you view allows you to move around them by moving the analog stick. You can open the bonnet and even sit inside to view the interior. If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to sit in your dream car AutoVista should do the trick. You can also find out information on the vehicles and Jeremy Clarkson has a few witty comments to add aswell.
If your new to Forza or not, there's always options to help you get into stride. If you are experienced with the series you will probably not need the assists the game starts you with. Auto breaking and racing lines appear automatically when you start the game but these can be altered if you wish. I remember using these assists when I was first introduced to Forza but now I have breaking assists and racing lines off. These options really help for newcomers and it's nice to know that developer turn 10 care about the casual and hardcore gamers.
World Tour is where most of your time will be spent in Forza 4. Here you will travel across the world at set locations and compete in a variety of races. You first start off with a small class car but as you progress further in you will earn higher classes. It will become much tougher as time goes on, with longer tracks, more races and the occasional endurance race. A neat new feature to the World Tour is the options you can choose before each race. As you select a race you are given the options to earn an increased Driver Level, Affinity Bonus and even extra credits. Depending on what you choose you will receive the bonus at the end of a race and it's a great way for people to hang around the Tour Mode much longer.
Rivals is another great feature. Here you can compete in challenges and try to beat target times set by online rivals. As you race you are given a ghost outline of the vehicle you need to beat. It offers a great set of challenge and for people who like competing and trying to earn the best place on leaderboards will enjoy what Rivals Mode has to offer.
Big brands like Top Gear make a feature in Forza 4. Jeremy Clarkson lends his voice for the games introduction and also talks you through the cars when viewing them in AutoVista. You can also send your cars for a spin on the Top Gear track and complete challenges that have featured on the show, like Bowling and Car Football. It's a welcoming addition to the Forza series and anyone who is a fan of the show will think so too.
The community will just be as big in Forza 4 as it was before. The Auction House returns and from here you can bid on and sell vehicles that the community have created. You can also purchase vehicles that other people have customised by heading to the Storefront and it's great if your wanting a highly tuned car or a slick new design. The layer option is also back with the ability to create your very own logos and images etc. You can add up to 1000 layers on each vehicle and it's sure to last a lifetime.
Turn 10 have done it again. Creating the most authentic racing game available on Xbox 360. It's improved visuals, tweaks and added content make this the best Forza yet. There's no turning back to Forza 3 now.
Review by Gareth Smith