Home
OS Scores Explained Forza Motorsport 4 Overview (Xbox 360)
Pros
Deep car customization, huge career mode, 16-player online runs great.
Cons
Lacks weather/night driving, certain wheel peripherals bugged, HUD obscures mirrors on cockpit camera.
Bottom Line
Easily the best console racing game of this generation, Forza Motorsport 4 will please all gamers regardless of their past racing experience
9
out of 10
Forza Motorsport 4 REVIEW

Forza Motorsport 4 Review (Xbox 360)

We have changed how we do reviews and also how we score games!

Want to know more? Read about how we complete our reviews. You can check out the review process here, and then you can scope out the scoring guidelines and scoring rubric.

Day 1: Initial Impressions
Day 2: New Modes Impressions


Games as deep and challenging and Forza Motorsport 4 typically struggle with accessibility.

Ask a gamer with no knowledge of football to pick up the sticks in All Pro Football 2K8, and he'll probably throw down the controller in frustration after a few minutes of getting manhandled.

Developer Turn 10 Studios knows that most gamers aren't certified auto mechanics. The developer's fourth version of Forza Motorsport provides a number of "training wheels" to keep beginner racers on the road, as well as modes like car soccer and car painting, which don't require any knowledge of racing to be fun.

But when it's time to take the racing assists off for some serious driving or car-tuning, Forza 4 crosses the finish line first, offering the finest racing simulator on the current generation of consoles.

Creating a simulation-style game that's accessible and deep isn't an easy task, but it's what makes Forza 4 a sports gaming classic.

Gameplay

Improved car physics and computer AI are among Forza 4's biggest enhancements.

Jeeps and Hummers can now push lighter cars off the track and absorb lots of damage before breaking down. Alternatively, fragile sports cars and coupes can be ruined with only a single collision against a rail or barrier. 




Increased inertia reduces spin-outs on the heavy vehicles, but it also makes turning tank-size cars difficult. Featherweight cars corner easily, but risk over-steering and spinning out if the driver turns too hard or the car's tires lack grip.

The Forza series' trademark lack of grip on muscle cars still feels exaggerated -- to the point that some muscle car models aren't even drivable -- but overall, there's a nice variety of handling among the different car classes.

AI improvements have created a more "human" driving style for the computer. Forza 4's AI drivers protect their racing lines by cutting off pass attempts, boxing out other cars on turns and generally driving more aggressively than in past games. Computer cars even occasionally wipe out on their own by misjudging corners or drifting too close to a guard rail.

The only major fault with Forza 4's on-track gameplay is a nasty glitch that causes certain wheel peripherals to disable all post-race cash/experience. The current workaround is to set wheel sensitivity to "270," but a full fix to the issue is planned in a future patch from Turn 10 Studios.

Presentation

Accurate interior designs and engine sounds make Forza 4's races feel as close to driving a real vehicle as possible. Car models are gorgeous, whether they're fully intact or have lost a few broken parts on the track. Bumpers and mirrors snap off when struck, rear collisions cause brake lights to go out and even the in-car dashboard clocks show correct time.
 


A lack of weather and night driving are Forza 4's only missing presentation elements. Fog, rain and snow were features in 2007's Project Gotham Racing 4. It's inexcusable for the Xbox 360's third edition of Forza to still be lacking weather and night races.

Most tracks in Forza 4 are locked into a single lighting style, such as "sunrise" or "late afternoon," but the differences between the lighting schemes are minimal, and outside of the occasional lens glare, nothing affects the actual driving conditions like Project Gotham Racing 4's weather did.

Not being able to remove the in-game HUD will impact Forza drivers who like to use the cockpit cam. Lap times, car positions, etc., can never be completely turned off, obstructing the mirror views on several car models' cockpit camera.

Career Mode

With 290 total events, Forza 4's career mode will keep racing fans busy for months. Standard races make up most of the career mode. Minigames like "car bowling" and "autocross" -- where you weave through a series of cone gates -- add some variety to the World Tour.

World Tour's 10-season schedule offers access to about half of Forza 4's 290 events. Players can bring up an event list at any time during career mode to skip around or finish up any leftover challenges that aren't covered during the World Tour.
 


The event list also includes selectable difficulty settings, which are disabled during World Tour mode. "Adaptive AI" is exclusive to the World Tour, withForza 4 automatically tweaking the computer's difficulty based on gamers' performance.

Customization

Most racing games' "car editor" feature includes little more than changing the paint job from red to blue. Forza 4's car editor is so in-depth, artists can create pixel-perfect decals -- from the Batman insignia, to McDonalds' golden arches or South Park's entire cast of characters.

Left-brained gamers who don't feel like dipping a virtual paintbrush can simply buy completed masterpieces from the online auction house and apply art to any of their existing cars.

Gamers who believe it's "what's on the inside" that counts can add parts or tune-ups to their car, with each tweak affecting on-road performance. Gearheads will want to do their own work, but gamers who can't tell a powertrain from a soultrain can download the best setups online.
 


Online

Despite doubling Forza's online capacity to 16 drivers per race, lag is never felt during multiplayer contests. Aside from the added "synchronization" delay before the flag drops, online driving feels identical to the offline modes.

Losers' lame excuse of "you only beat me because you had the better car" is now invalid, as friends can upload and share cars among themselves via a club garage. After smoking whiny opponents in a same-car race, further embarrassment can be attained by uploading the replay to forzamotorsport.net for the world to see.

Autolog-style online leaderboards for the monthly Rivals challenges will have score-attack aficionados busy trying to keep atop their friends' times.

With tons of tracks, car restrictions and game varieties to try, Forza's online component will stay fresh for months, if not years.

Final Thoughts 

I have to go back to 2009's million-selling Xbox Live Arcade hit, Trials HD, for the last time a racing game gripped me this much. 

Even if your knowledge of cars doesn't go beyond a childhood Hot Wheel collection, putting down Forza Motorsport 4 becomes impossible once the "just one more race" syndrome takes over.




Visuals: Forza 4's graphics are the best seen in a sports game to date. No weather or night driving, however, will disappoint players of Project Gotham 4or Gran Turismo 5.

Audio: Muting the bad techno soundtrack is mandatory. Thankfully, it can be replaced with a custom playlist or the violent sounds of the road.

Control Scheme: For a simulation racer, Forza 4's controls are surprisingly simple: brake, gas and rear-view mirror buttons are all that's needed. Being able to customize the controller layout is a plus, as the default placement for the rear-view mirror button (right bumper) is awkward.

Learning Curve: Simply staying on the road is a challenge at first, but the numerous driving assists make the transition to simulation racing as smooth as possible.

Score: 9.0 (All-Time Classic)

What does a 9.0 Mean? 9.0 - 9.5 (All-Time Classic) -- These games are the type of games we talk about for a long time on OS. They are great in nearly every way, and while they have a minor flaw or two, they are easily overlooked because of the level of greatness present here. These are rare, but they are quite awesome when they come around. A must buy for any sports fan.


Forza Motorsport 4 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 VladCanada @ 10/18/11 02:50 PM
Best Game EVER!
 
# 2 2kjunkie @ 10/18/11 03:14 PM
Forza pawns all
 
# 3 Tomba @ 10/18/11 04:49 PM
Best controlling racer since FZERO GX. "yeah I said it!"
 
# 4 mercalnd @ 10/19/11 11:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentKiwi38
It's just too easy...
1)The difficulty ramps up as you progress through World Tour mode.

2)If you access career races through the event list, you can manually set the difficulty.
 
# 5 rainmaker2 @ 10/20/11 10:49 PM
Can you customize the body of the car?
 
# 6 CaptainZombie @ 10/23/11 09:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by G35skyline
I am not bashing Forza, it is a great game, we as simulation enthusiasts need a game like Forza to put some pressure on GT because GT has been king for a long long time and they really have gotten lazy with how they do things, very long times YEARS between releases, etc....so hopefully Forza 4 will be that slap in the face wakeup call....
and last thing i wanna do is start some kind of internet argument with an internet know it all like i'm friggin 15 years old or something....
so being a man, imma present it to you in real man terms not just a bunch of crybaby fanboy banter you just spat back..... firstly right off the bat not to pull out the big gun card and i could give a flying fcksickle if you believe me or not, but truth is I personally know a guy who works at the TURN 10 studio in Redmond Washington, he belongs to a local Nissan car club of ours here in Vancouver.. last time I spoke to him was a few months around summer when Forza 4 was in the final stretch of release, and from his own mouth bro, they all know at Turn 10 that they can't replicate GT's car physics and car modeling, that's why they put so much effort in every other aspect of the game, give it everything that GT doesn't have to separate itself from a comparison that they know they will not win at this time, maybe in the future, but not now, because they know that Kazunori is like a mad fuggin scientist when it comes to physics and the way their cars look

So your banter has got no ground to stand on, why ? because the opinion on physics i stated isn't just mine, it's shared by hardcore racing simulation enthusiasts all over the world, go to any real simulation forum and start a thread asking the OG's to see which physics they prefer, F4 or GT5 and report back homie......
they ALL know what Gran Turismo does with car physics, and you got ACTUAL race car drivers that speak on behalf of the realism that exists in GT5..... while on the other hand Forza 4 had to hire a bunch of race car drivers JUST to get the physics to even mimic real life, look into it brah

and in any case you just invalidated your whole argument when you put Indianapolis in the same breath as the 'Ring, bro... racing fans all over the world yearn for the 'Ring like a teenager yearns to pop a cherry on prom night, it's this mythical beast that every red blooded man hopes to tame one day, it's like a Mecca for every automotive enthusiast somewhere you MUST go at least once in your lifetime..... and Indy ? *insert troll face* nobody gives a flyin frig about Indy aside from a few southern rednecks...

oh and btw, I hit up the ring personally few years back when I drove through Germany, $20 euros a lap in my uncles turbocharged alfa romeo..... I'm pretty sure that qualifies me a bit more to speak on the Ring than some random internet fanboy warrior with an opinion
As much as GT5 does bore me to death at times, you do make a point about how it still provides some of the best physics around. Reading around the different sites you have many hardcore enthusiasts saying the same thing. Where Forza trumps all the other racing games is in the fun department. Shift 2 for me came rather close to being fun until the stupid A.I. keeps trying to run you off the road and cause an accident, which is not racing. I can rant all day about darn GT5's lack of focus, but I'll give it to you on the physics.
 
# 7 Rules @ 10/26/11 08:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by uknowme
And , in defense of the OP, here's where you lose credibility. If lap times in a game and real life are "identical" then something is DEAD WRONG with the game. Simple fact that people in a game will do things and take chances that real life drivers would never do. That alone will skew times but if GT5 is forcing identical times then the game is NO simulator. GT5 is not the gold standard of anything on a console. Sorry but for physics Race Pro, a 360 game that received little fan-fare is the gold standard, well I might have to say was because Forza 4 , I believe has taken that crown.

I own both and GT5 was not all that people claimed it to be. Funny thing about it is the 2.0 patch came out and changed up the physics some in GT5 and guess what. It actually made it closer to Forza 4/ Race Pro than anything. The only thing GT5 has over FM4 is weather and night racing. And the weather isn't all that either. Snow physics are garbage.

And dude, the "also the Ring looks horrible" statement is already old. I'm not saying you are, but that's the GT5 Fanboy rally cry. Mention the Ring, mention the Ring. Ring looks BEAUTIFUL in FM4 , the only quirk is they scaled it up , on purpose, to encourage better racing online. What's up with GT5's Indy Road course layout? The almighty GT5 had time enough to fix it but didn't. That's "horrible". *Actually it's not horrible, it's their priority, but see how tired saying "horrible" gets when it's NOWHERE near due*
This is where you all lose credibility. Look no further than Mario Cart Racing for the most realistic physics ever.

With that said, sounds like I need to put Forza 4 on my Christmas wish list.
 
# 8 racingfan1234 @ 01/17/12 08:35 PM
Forza has finally passed up gran turismo!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
# 9 PackerBacker123 @ 01/18/12 06:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by racingfan1234
Forza has finally passed up gran turismo!!!!!!!!!!!!!
no it didn't I don't know what your lookn' at!!!!!!!
 

Post A Comment
Only OS members can post comments
Please login or register to post a comment.