If you are a driving fan like myself, and you’ve been lucky enough to bag yourself a Day-One Xbox One console with Forza 5 thrown in, then you are in for a treat come launch day.
Forza 5 continues Turn 10’s exclusive racing franchise for the Xbox. To some it might look like a polished Forza 4, and I see where you are coming from, but getting behind the wheel in this next-generation racing sim will uncover all the joys you don’t get to experience from a couple of screenshots or some hyped YouTube video.
The most striking thing to experience is the Xbox One’s new rumble triggers. Feeling the grip of your car is paramount in racing, which is easy to experience in real life, however unless you are equipped with a force feedback wheel in hand, there is no other way to experience this with a controller, that is until now. Thanks to the Xbox One’s new vibrating triggers you are given tactile feedback of your vehicle’s grip on the tarmac.
Other exciting feature I experienced in the game was the new Drivatar system. I won’t bore you with the technicalities, but the game’s new AI behaviour system, and how it generally works, really does make for a more thrilling racing experience than I’ve ever seen in past racing titles, on any platform. Cars take on their own characteristics, making their own (natural looking) racing lines, make their own mistakes (incorrect out-braking rather than colliding off other dumb AI cars) and they even attempt to close the doors on any moves to pass them on the inside line. With a few months of racing data on their servers I am sure this will get better and evolve over time to make racing offline feel like you are racing some real seasoned professionals.
There were a few downsides to this playful joyride of a game though. Playing the preview build I noticed that Easy mode is, well, a bit too easy. To a point where it all felt like you were on rails, and if you didn’t want to follow the racing line I noticed a serious jolt from the highly overzealous racing assists nudging you, literally, back on track. Don’t fret though racing fans, professional and veteran modes will have you racing under full control, and with the latter switched on, and with all the assists off, you best have a set of wheel and peddles connected, otherwise, with the rather sensitive Xbox One controller you’ll making grass donuts in no time!
Froza 5 had plenty of cars on offer. Maybe not the amount gamers have been accustomed too in previous versions of the franchise, with vehicle counts in the two hundreds rather than the five hundred found in Forza 4. The reason for this is that Turn 10 has focused on quality rather than quantity, building new high-poly vehicles from scratch or importing and improving existing high-poly vehicles from Forza 4. Expect 50 additional cars to follow via DLC, however, to best honest, the amount of variety in the stock cars on offer had me struggling to make a final decision on what car to drive next – there were so many classics to choose from!
One disappointment with the preview was with the tracks, or lack of. You could count the total amount of locations with just two hands. Once again Turn 10 announced that their past tracks were no longer accurate and many had to be rebuilt. The few tracks on offer had a number of alternative route and reverse options available to them, such as the many configurations of the Top Gear test track, but it is very clear that racing fans will no doubt be asked to pass over more cash for extra tracks over the months to follow after the game’s release. If you want the complete experience of Forza 5, I think you best save up for that Season Pass.
Forza 5 releases alongside the Xbox One console at launch on the 22nd November and also comes bundled for free with the Forza 5 Day-One Xbox One console.