Forza Motorsport 4 is a racing game designed for those who love driving, tuning, and customizing cars. The amount of options for customizing not only one’s car but also one’s gaming experience might be daunting to some gamers, but Turn 10 and Microsoft Studios have turned Forza 4 into an incredibly accessible game for both the casual and hardcore markets. The casual gamer can enjoy driving around in their favourite cars with the easiest difficulty settings in place, which will have the game assisting the player with braking and turning, making the experience potentially more enjoyable and less frustrating. For the hardcore gamer the developers have included a number of difficulty parameters and customization options that the player can adjust to challenge their driving skills in cars tuned to the exact type of performance they want. As well, the game boasts a huge selection of online options that makes for intense and challenging racing experiences with other players. Overall, Forza 4 is a car enthusiast’s game that also offers any racing game fan some fun and fast-paced gameplay.
Forza 4’s career mode, called “World Tour,” puts the player through a series of increasingly difficult racing events in order to unlock new cars and in game credits. Driving around the same world famous tracks during the game’s career mode seems like it should get boring after several hours of gameplay. However, the game’s leveling system constantly gives the player XP and rewards, such as new cars or in-game credits, which helps to keep the gameplay relatively fresh as each new vehicle can perform drastically different from the one before. Doing almost anything in the game earns the player XP, which helps to give a nice sense of progression to the overall game. Furthermore, the game offers a variety of race types that help keep the game from getting stale. The game’s A.I. drivers also adapt to how well the player is driving and will become more aggressive in the presence of a skilled player. The adaptive A.I. can help to create dynamic races with drivers that feel different in each new event. Unfortunately, the A.I. is not perfect and the player will still find moments where races can seem either too easy or too difficult. Also, even though the game features a variety of different races and cars, the game can begin to feel repetitive at times, especially since the player will revisit the same tracks over and over. Thankfully the game’s focus on controlled and precise driving is surprisingly fun and even if one prefers a more arcade style of racing game, as opposed to Forza’s simulation-based racing, one should give Forza 4 a try just to engage with the games polished mechanics and to experience the joy of driving a powerful real-world vehicle around a twisting track.
Beyond racing around a track Forza 4 also gives players ample options for upgrading and customizing vehicles. One can use the credits they have earned during singleplayer and online play to purchase upgrades that can dramatically alter the performance and handling of a car. The player can also customize the look of his/her cars with custom paint jobs and decals found both in game or created by the Forza community. As well, the game features the new Auto Vista mode that lets players examine select cars in greater detail to get extra information about the given vehicles. Upgrading/tuning, customizing the look of one’s car, and Auto Vista help add some extra content to the overall package of Forza 4 but are not essential to completing the game. Nevertheless, the upgrading/tuning/customization can become rather addictive and one may find themselves spending a long time testing out new upgrades in order to get the optimal performance out of his/her car. On top of the racing, Auto Vista, and customization options the game also features a robust online multiplayer suite that adds hours of new gameplay and community experiences to the game.
Forza 4’s huge online component is where a player’s racing skills are really put to the test, as players compete in 16 player matches in order to get the best times or the top scores. While online, player’s can find standard races, drifting competitions, drag racing, and more arcade-type options like soccer and tag. The number of online game modes ensures that a player will rarely be bored with their online experience. If one gets tired of one game mode then one of the many other online modes are always available. Along with the race types and customization options found online, the game also features two new multiplayer additions to the series: Rivals and Car Clubs. Rivals is a game mode that pits the player either against their friends best time/score on a track or another random player’s best time/score on a track. If one beats the rival’s time then they move up the leaderboard and earns in-game credits and XP. Rivals is a surprisingly addictive gameplay feature and is a great way to introduce new players to Forza 4’s online gameplay. Car Clubs are a new community feature where player’s can join together to create a Car Club which allows players to share cars and pool their tuning and driving skills together to help their club move up the leaderboards. Car Clubs will not be for everyone but creating a Car Club might be a great option for one wanting to share their creations and love of cars with others. Overall, Forza 4’s multiplayer suite is incredibly robust and offers nearly every kind of competitive gameplay a gamer could hope to find in a racing game.
Forza 4’s massive amount of content and customization options will satiate both the drifter’s and drag racer’s desire for speed and precision. If one is new to the Forza series, or new to racing games in general, Forza 4’s vast selection of cars and options can seem daunting, but if one likes cars then there will certainly be something in Forza 4 to enjoy. Additionally, the game’s robust online multiplayer suite makes Forza 4 an incredibly rich and fulfilling game. In short, Forza 4 will offer any gamer with a love of cars a great driving experience.