Top critical review
40 people found this helpful
Not as improved as it should be.
on 21 October 2011
Let me start by staying I was a big fan of Forza 3, and so this isn't a fanboy bashing, or a lack of knowledge of the games past, as I think I did nearly every achievement in Forza 3.
Firstly, on forza 4 I don't hate it, and it does have some good upgrades from Forza 3, but the simple truth is not enough, and in some areas just plain lazy from Turn 10 in my opinion. I'll list my good points and the bad and maybe my thinking will be clearer as to why this is.
The graphics have certainly been updated for Forza 4, and there is likely not a better looking set of cars and scenery in any racing game currently out there. The sound is also very good, though the car sounds are definately not 100% accurate to the real cars in many cases, even if close to it largely. I thought some sounded better in forza 3, but can't say I've heard enough in Forza 4 so far to be totally fair on how all the cars sound.
Car Handling. It's pretty good. Not like driving the real thing of course, but there are many features to turn on or off that will make it easier or harder to do, and if done with all the driving aids off and in simulation steering its not bad at all in a one off race and will be as reasonable as any other driving sim out there, and better than a large percentage of them. The cars do feel a little similar in a lot of cases to drive, but then thats not uncommon when you have a game thats filled with as many car types as Forza is. And to be honest a lot of real cars can feel quite similar to drive, but you will notice it playing the game, and so I note it here.
The AI is supposed to be improved in F4 over F3, but not by a lot as far as I can see. The cars will still be really slow to see that you having the racing line and not just crash into you. Unlike what another reviewer said they do seem to improve how fast they drive based on how you drive, and I'm assuming this will be only if you are consistant, which prehaps he wasn't. Certainly I destroyed the races in early races of careerer, but they started getting closer and closer after that. Because of this feature you can't actually pick an AI level like in most racing games, and only when I've played more than the 12% of career I have so far will I really know if this is great, really horrible or somewhere in between. I do hate though that in career mode the game chooses the grid order. I mean seriously? I'm fast enough to win, but I suck at qualifying? Sure some race meets do give random grids, but all of them in forza do, so come on this is a bit annoying in a racing sim.
Community. I think this is one area that Turn 10 do a great job over a lot of other games. There is options to make clubs so that you can share your cars, tunes, and paint jobs etc. Auction houses to buy and sell your cars, and storefronts where you can buy/sell anything from tunes bodywork art or full paint jobs. This is great, as lot of racing sims you have to do your own tuning if you want to stand a chance against other online players, even if you really hate doing this aspect of games. So at least with Forza you can buy tunes that other people have done. So the online is pretty good as far as racing sims go with all the options there are.
Autovista is a new thing with Forza 4 and lets you look over the inside and outside of the cars with voice commentary if you click on various parts of the car. To be honest this to me is an area I'd like to have seen scrapped in favour of something more to do with playing the actually racing part of the game. While it is fun to look over a couple of cars it will for 95% of the people that play this game become a boring feature within a day or so, and then likely never visited again. Might be your thing, but for me this was a kind of pointless feature that disc space could have been better used on.
Tracks. This for me is one of the huge let downs in Forza four and part of the reason for my low score. There aren't that many tracks, and 90%+ of them were in Forza 3. This means it can get a little boring racing the same tracks, even if there are the usual variations you get with the courses. Yes, they have added the top gear track, and couple of others, which is nice and fun, but its not enough. They should have added more tracks, and this would have been one thing I'd have had every day of the week over autovista. Add to that the fact that they have been so lazy that they haven't even updated silverstone to the new configuration and it makes you wonder if they bothered much at all with the old tracks other than graphic makeovers prehaps.
Other additions. Adding in bowling and football modes (taken from Top Gear) is ok to a degree as it adds a fun factor, but does it have a place in a racing sim? And this is supposed to be one. Seems wierd when I'm going through career mode and go from a race in one event to having to knock over bowling pins in the next "race", which seems a little ridiculous even if it is quite fun to do. I wonder though if that might get old fairly quickly and it will just annoy me later on in the career. Racing modes are ok for the most part giving you the option to do career, hotlaps or quick races. You can get leaderboard scores based on hotlap times or best drift scores for each track, which is the same as Forza 2. The annoying thing is if you do a quick race you can't change the amount of laps you do, which to me is a mind boggling error on Turn 10's part not to let people decide how long a race they want to do.
Big missing aspect to many is the fact that yet again Turn 10 have forgone on weather effects, and all races are dry races and all day ones even if at various times of the day. I've got to assume this is so they can have the really pretty visuals for the cars and tracks, which does make it a hard one to be to harsh on. And maybe its because a lot of people do prefer to race on dry days, but still it does feel like racing constantly in the dry is very unrealistic, as how often you see a dry race season in most motor sport?
Anyway, I gave it 3 stars because I felt let down about how much of an improvement I felt this was over forza 3 and the lack of things I believe should have been added over the things they actually decided to put into it. I guess I could stretch to 4 stars, but I did feel let down a fair bit. Variety is great Turn 10, but most people want tracks not little gimmicks that bore quickly.