If you thought mainline Forza games were in a bad place after Forza 5, you’d be sharing many of the concerns that I personally had. It wasn’t as polished as I had come to expect from Turn 10, and it had less cars and tracks then I’d hoped for. In addition, it seemed like they really wanted to push for people to purchase cars with “tokens” instead of in game credits. As a Forza die hard I was crushed, and didn’t really enjoy the title as much as I would have barring these issues.
But, Turn 10 didn’t let complaints like these fall upon deaf ears. They’ve come back swinging with their latest installment in the Forza Series, Forza 6.
When I say they’ve come back swinging I meant it. Not a single one of the issues I had with Forza 5 is present in Forza 6. They really took the criticisms the community lobbed at them to heart. The biggest criticism, the content has been absolutely resolved. Forza 6 launches with 461 Cars, a massive improvement from the 208 cars that Forza 5 launched with. In addition to the cars it launches with 26 environments and 104 tracks, up from the 14 environments and 42 tracks at the Forza 5 launch. So effectively Forza 6 almost doubles the amount of content that was offered in Forza 5. So on the content front alone it might be worth a buy to anyone who enjoys the Forza series, but Forza 6 offers so much more than just an increased amount of content. It offers significant core changes to the series that easily make it the best Forza game that Turn 10 has ever released.
Let me just preface the core changes stating that Turn 10 are technical wizards. They have managed to keep the game locked at a rock solid 1080p60FPS, barring the intentional 30FPS (meant to allow for better visuals) during things such as pre-race cutscenes, replays and more. In my experience I did not notice a single frame drop. There are few games that manage to accomplish an unwavering 60FPS experience, but Forza 6 pulls it off.
With Forza 6, two types of long requested racing are finally making an appearance in the series. The first of which I’m going to touch upon is night racing. Finally, you can race any track in the game at night time. Which can lead to some crazy experiences. Going 150MPH on a unlit track like the Nurburgring Nordschleife track is absolutely an intense and gratifying experience. On other tracks that are lit the lighting is pretty clearly pre-baked and does offer an interesting experience, but it’s hard to match up to the sheer thrill that the unlit tracks, which are only lit by the headlights of your car and others. The other new type of racing that Forza 6 brings is wet and rainy racing, and unlike many of the other racing titles I’ve played over the years it actually feels incredibly realistic. While I do take issue to some extent with how fake some of the wetness on areas like the grass look I can entirely forgive it because of the experience it offers. Using their technique of scanning each track in the game it allows for them to create realistic, 3D puddles that actually cause significant hydroplaning! I went into a wet race not knowing quite what to expect and ended up completely wiping out on the first large puddle I came across. As a somewhat seasoned Forza fan I was caught completely off guard.
Now while I think both of these modes are fantastic, unfortunately the tracks are not dynamic. Meaning that you’re either driving during the day, at night, or while it’s raining, with no changes during the race. It’s not an entirely needed feature, but, other racing games such as Drive Club offer this functionality and I’m inclined to say that it would have been a fantastic addition that would have tied things together in a more interesting way then is currently presented in the game.
Another common complaint with Forza 5 was that the new AI, Drivatars, were overly aggressive and inconsistent. In my experience with Forza 6 I’m happy to say that Drivatars appear to be incredibly refined. There’s still a certain amount of aggression in the AI, but no longer is every driver as aggressive as the famed M. Rossi of prior Forza titles. If you still find the refined AI to be a bit aggressive for your tastes Turn 10 has included the option to limit aggression, which makes the AI much tamer, allowing you to race fairly unscathed.
Making its return in Forza 6 is the Forzavista feature, which allows you to explore the inside and outside of all 461 vehicles (to varying degrees). Every time I purchased, or won a vehicle it one of the first things I would do is go admire it in Forzavista. Seeing all of the intricate details Turn 10 puts into each vehicle can be breathtaking at times.
As a note for Top Gear fans, if you were worried about the potential loss of the partnership after the Jeremy Clarkson incident, I’m happy to say that the Test Track and events like racing the Stig are available in the game. In addition to that Richard Hammond and James May provide a significant amount of the voice over work. Jeremy Clarkson is notably missing, but I don’t think anyone can feign being surprised over that fact.
To say Forza Motorsport 6 is anything less than the needed step in the series would be an understatement. While it clearly shares much of its driving physics and feeling with Forza 5, it’s undoubtedly the step up that was needed. After the mess that was Forza 5, it feels like an apology of sorts, but it’s certainly an apology that hits all the right notes. I would recommend that if you’re into racing games that you should absolutely consider going out and purchasing Forza 6. If you have an Xbox One consider downloading the demo for a very hands on test of what makes Forza 6 a great game.
Forza 6 comes out on Tuesday September the 15th, but if you’re a diehard Forza fan you can always purchase the “Ultimate Edition” (Which includes VIP and the Car Pass) and get a head start on September 10th.