Studio711

Forza 6 Review

forza6My gaming time has dwindled to almost zero, but the Forza series is still going strong in my house. Forza 6 launched in September and I jumped in. I was unimpressed with the changes in Forza 5, but 6 really is a great step forward. Here are my bulleted impressions:

  • The visuals are incredible, but you need to hit pause to notice all the details. You should be focusing on your driving, not watching blades of grass whiz by.
  • The addition of nighttime and rain modes adds a lot of challenge. My only complaint is that rain mode is REALLY wet. There are huge puddles of standing water around the track and they realistically change from lap to lap so it can be a bit of a crap shoot.
  • The game has always been very light on story/guidance but I felt like 5 was pretty bad and 6 regains some ground.
  • The AI is fantastically good. One of the frustrations of racing up through the pack has always been that AI cars will be super aggressive (or just dumb.) Unless you’re being ridiculous, the AI does an excellent job of staying out of your way in this version of the game. (DrJeffS, is that your code? If so, thank you!)

And of course, if you had anybody a piece of software, they’ll enjoy it for 5 seconds before spouting off a list of feature requests.

  • I can’t find any way to get updates on how many seconds ahead or behind my nearest competitors are. All I get is a display about how many feet ahead or behind they are. Really? Who cares about feet. I need time. The only situation where distance is useful is when I’m very close to another car. It helps me know if someone is right beside me without looking over.
  • Forza 6 makes it easier to see the leaderboards after a race, but it’s still not as good as it used to be. As soon as I finish a race, I want to see the top time for the track, my time for the track, what rank that is and what percentile I’m in. I love the thrill of posting a top 50 or top 100 time!
  • You start every race mid-pack. Why not use my Drivatar data to pre-qualify me and give me a better starting spot? I’d probably crank the difficulty up to max if I didn’t have to pass a dozen cars just to get to the front. It’s fine if you don’t want to put me in the #1 spot, but at least let me get in the top 2 or 3.
  • When I was doing go kart racing around the turn of the century (how’s that for making me feel old?), we had a system on the kart that would map out the track based on gyros and overlay a bunch of stats like when you were on the gas or brake, etc. You could compare your lap times and look at characteristics that might have led to those lap times. Forza has all that data and more! Give me a screen where I can see something like that and maybe even have an AI coach that will point out where you could gain time.

And then there are some ridiculous/futuristic dreams:

  • Imagine this game in virtual reality. I don’t care too much about VR, but I would buy a VR setup just to play Forza. I already play on a 110″ screen, but it would be incredible to be able to look around by turning your head while having a full field of view. Couple that with a full driving rig (seat, steering wheel, pedals, etc) and you’re closer than ever to the real thing.
  • The tracks in the game are great, but we have all this real-world map data available. What if you could pick a car and tear off on streets that you drive every day?! Obviously the scenery would be difficult to match exactly, but if you just got the curves and elevation changes right, I’d have a blast. Yes, I know that Forza Horizon is an open world game, but I want to drive on streets that I know. There are some roads that where I’ve always dreamed about setting up a road course. This would be the way to make it happen legally and safely with unlimited budget. Maybe one of the PC racing games has some sort of feature/hack to make this work. I should look into it…

If you love racing simulators, you probably already own this so I don’t have to tell you that it’s worth your money. In Forza 6, I finally feel like the graphics, physics and audio are so perfectly tuned, that any improvements will probably not be noticeable. I’m happy to be proven wrong, but I’ll also be happy to see how the series can branch out into other areas (like the driving coach or VR?) to keep us buying the next versions.

Thank you Forza team!