This is Microsoft’s answer to the ‘real driving simulator’ with the superb Forza Motorsport series from developer Turn 10 Studios. The latest title for the Xbox 360 – Forza Motorsport 4 – features Kinect support, which can track your head movement while racing and when exploring the inner beauty of your desirable exotic cars in Autovista mode.
Even though I am a fan of Sony’s Gran Turismo series, I felt the latest instalment on the PlayStation 3 lacked something… the feeling of competing wheel-to-wheel in a race and fighting for track position in a highly competitive field of cars. Sure, the sensation of driving is quite accurate with realistic handling in terms of tyre grip and performance but in terms of game play, Gran Turismo 5 felt a little sterile and to be brutally honest, dull.
It took me over a hundred hours to fully complete Forza Motorsport 3, unlocking faster and powerful cars while progressing the World Tour Mode. The sense of achievement in winning championship races or endurance events was a great feeling and I love the idea in which you can customise any car with colourful liveries and decals.
In addition, the Xbox Live multiplayer mode was fantastic and I remember spending hours racing against my mates fighting tooth and nail to be number one! The Xbox Marketplace was also the place to download new cars, tracks and liveries thanks to the enthusiasm of Forza Motorsport fans.
The level of detail was astonishing with beautiful rendering of the cars and tracks. The game play can be fully customise to provide a challenge and for once, competing against the AI rivals felt like you are actually racing instead of follow the leader and sticking to the racing line…
With the news that Forza Motorsport 4 for the Xbox 360 is out in October, it will be fascinating to see whether the new features will improve the quite excellent Forza Motorsport 3 even further.
Well, first impressions are the visuals (check out the YouTube videos of the trailers above). It looks fantastic, in particular the interior shots. The new Autovista mode, which features Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson giving his opinion about the cars, reveal the true attention to detail that the developer Turn 10 Studios has focus on in this new game.
In fact, Turn 10 Studios has scored an exclusive deal with the BBC with a multiple year partnership with the popular motoring show. The content provided by the BBC’s BAFTA award-winning television show Top Gear, will include narration from presenter Jeremy Clarkson during the virtual showroom navigation (Autovista), the Top Gear test track at Dunsfold aerodrome plus the ability to take part in the ‘Star in a Reasonably Price Car’ challenge in the Kia Cee’d. Not only that, Forza Motorsport 4 will include the classic Top Gear ‘Car Football’ as part of the World Tour Mode, plus a Top Gear bowling mini game, both set on the official Top Gear test track.
It all sounds so good with the Top Gear partnership and yet Turn 10 has spoil us even more with the news that the game is officially partnered with the American Le Mans Series for two years. This new arrangement will see in-game ALMS themed events featuring the cars and tracks raced in the series.
I have already pre-ordered the Limited Collector’s Edition off Game.co.uk which features exclusive downloadable content including a dashboard theme and various car packs available on Xbox Live. Not only that, a 96-page volume entitled ‘Cars of Forza Motorsport 4 Presented By Top Gear’, written by the editors from Top Gear magazine.
Roll on October 14 (European release date) for Forza Motorsport 4!