Forza 5 is every motorhead's dream racing game
I am going to start by saying that this game is a work of art, from the sweet driving physics and vast number of cars to the insane beautiful graphics and crazy attention to details. It's just great and is a must buy for every racing game lover and Xbox One owner.
Racing games have not been always my forte. Sure I like and play mostly of them, but I don't really invest true time in them or say " I'm going to play Need for Turismo: Motorsport 5 when I get home". But somehow I have said that for Forza 5 in the past couple of days...
I am in love with this game. The driving physics are just fantastic. And when combined with the cockpit view, You really feel like you are driving a real car. How the car handles in a straight way going at 200kmh, the understeer and oversteer on corners, acceleration and breaking, everything feels like the real deal, not that I know what driving a real Ferrari might be, but that's how I imagine it being like.
But this doesn't mean that Forza 5 is a racing sim and that is crazy difficult to master. Sure turning off all of the help like driving assist, traction control etc. and going the STIG way can be quite difficult to master, but it's all up to you. You can play it on "arcade" or "sim" and whatever mode you choose, it is still a heck lot of fun.
It's a lot of fun to race around real life tracks like Laguna Seca or Silverstone which by the way look great and are carbon copies of the real thing meaning that every bump or imperfection they have IRL is in the game. As I said these looks great, but not as fantastic as the Prague or Swiss Alps tracks. I loved driving my Ferrari 250 GT California across the Swiss Alps track, seeing the small lakes beside the road and the beautiful mountains in the distance with lens flares that would make jealous even JJ Abrams. I enjoyed this so much that I stopped just to inhale all that beauty and I was kinda disappointed that the game didn't have more tracks like this or the Prague one.
Maybe they will "fix" this with a DLC and I really hope so cause there are some great cars in the game, especially some old ones that Would be perfect to ride in let's say a Costa d'Amalfi track, so Turn 10 get on it!
As for the cars list I can say that the roster is very big, maybe not as big as previous Forza games, but still big. So you have cars from reasonable priced cars and hot hatchbacks to american muscles and hot sports cars. And the best thing is that you'll use most of them because of the way the competitions work. To enter a specific competition let's say a muscle cars only, you have to get a muscle car. Once you finish and win the races or the competition, you earn cash you can use to buy new vehicles or upgrade the current ones.
There are different challenges, test drives, driving school challenges and other different game modes, apart from the old finish first races, which make you play without getting bored. Of course, this is a racing game and repetition is in their DNA, but the guys over at Turn 10 are doing a great job in fighting that repetitiveness.
Another thing that helps in fighting the age old plague of repetitiveness in Forza 5 is the Drivatar technology behind the opponents AI. It calculates and saves the way a player drive and it utilizes that data to create an AI that copies your driving skills and it uses it on the career races. And the best part of it is that it actually works. Depending on the difficulty you set for example if it's a lower one, you will see AI take corners using the wall or that will crash brake into you just like real players do. But when you crack the difficulty to the max then you will see another set of AI, you will see that of really good players or drivers that know what they are doing and will quite a challenge to beat. It is really a revolutionary technology at makes every race feel cool and unique as it gives you the feeling that you are playing against real players, every time.
There is also split-screen which is awesome and a nice thing to see. Sitting in a couch with my friend and leaving him behind 10 seconds feels uber satisfying. Multiplayer is also present, but the whole matchmaking stuff where you have to select a specific car type in order to join a lobby and then wait for that lobby to fill is kinda a nuisance and I wish there was a easier way.
In terms of presentation this game feels next gen. Starting from the tracks which look really good and some are just plain fantastic like the two I spoke above. The cars are just as incredibly good looking as the real ones and the improved Autovista where you can see the car from every angle, open doors and trunk and even get inside to look at the dashboard is just fantastic. The incredible lighting, textures, materials coupled with the fantastic narrations from the tree Top Gear hosts make Autovista one of Forza 5 strongest points. Also it runs at a steady 60 fps which doesn't really need anymore to say.
What else there is to say? The engine sounds are realistic, the force feedback on the controller triggers is a nice touch and immerses you more into the experience of driving. Oh I almost forgot, the micro-transactions. Now, as in Ryse: Son of Rome, these are not intrusive, but also are completely stupid. This means that you can still unlock the cars except from some old Mercs, Audis etc. by just playing the game, collecting currency then buying them. Now I get it for the old cars which are basically DLC and you have to pay more to get them, but why is there a way to buy all the other cars, again for a second time?! It just doesn't make any fricking sense, what is this, a free-premiun mobile game?!?!
Forza 5 is one of the best, if not the best, racing game I have ever played. The gameplay is fantastic, it looks incredibly good and the Drivatar and Autovista are the cherries on top of the cake. It has some minor problems like the lack of cool tracks, the multiplayer kinda sucks and the micro-transactions don't make any sense, but these will not really hurt your experience. Forza 5 is the best game for the Xbox One out there at the moment and I encourage you to give it a shot.