Friday 17 January 2014

Forza Motorsport 5

In 2005 when Turn 10 Studios released the original Forza Motorsport, the gaming world went silent and took notice. You see, up until then many considered Gran Turismo to be the unchallenged heavyweight of racing simulators. And with Gran Turismo being a exclusively Playstation brand, and Forza Motorsport being featured only on the Xbox, there was an intense rivalry between them. Now, with Gran Turismo 6 out and kicking up a storm, the rivalry has come to ahead once again. However, does Forza Motorsport 5 stack up against it?

Developed once again by Turn 10 Studios, Forza Motorsport 5, right from the opening montage narrated by Jeremy Clarkson, is clearly about celebrating cars, motorsport and racing. It won't take you long to work out that Turn 10 Studios didn't just aim to make another racing game or Gran Turismo rival, but rather bring to fruition a perfect depiction of something they truly love.

The first noticeable thing about Forza Motorsport 5 is the insanely stunning visuals. This is how you do a launch title for a console, folks. This game goes balls-to-the-wall with presentation, as everything from the tracks, cars, and the fine detail on every car’s bodywork right down to the deliciously styled interiors, look flawless. While this all can be appreciated during races, it can thoroughly be enjoyed during ForzaVista mode. This mode essentially lets the player zoom in and out of every car, and lets every microscopic detailed be drooled over. Yeah, it's basically Forza porn, but none of us are complaining. If you're a fan of all things cars, Forza Motosport is almost worth buying if only for this feature. It's stunning.

However, what will surely disappoint long time Forza fans is the fact that when it comes to track and car count, Forza Motorsport 5 trims what its predecessor offered. 600 cars are now 200, while 24 tracks are now 14. I know what you're thinking, and you'd be right to assume that cutting back on cars and tracks on offer is a step backwards. However, Forza Motorsport 5 has merely trimmed the fat, and ultimately offers quality over quantity. That said, in the car department everything is covered. Whether you want to kick back and cruise along in a 1969 Nissan Fairlady, or go full throttle in a Lotus E21 Forumla 1 car, Forza Motorsport 5 has you covered.

The car handling has been slightly refined here, and ultimately makes for a fantastic playing experience. This also ties into the fact that your personal cars can be upgraded, painted and fine tuned throughout the game. This offers a level of customization never seen before, as you'll soon find that your car is rather unique, whether it's from the funky paint job or how the suspension handles tight turns. And that's the ethos that Turn 10 Studios are going for, and do their best to give the player a unique, varied and memorable experience.

With a bunch of game modes to enjoy, a truly excellent multiplayer to take part in with friends and an enemy A.I that is based upon the actions of real world players, Forza Motorsport 5 is a truly excellent game all round. While the constant exclusion of night races and diverse weather is a little annoying, the game comes together quite nicely in the end to deliver a formidable package. Though a completely different beast than Gran Turismo 6, both games are near perfection when it comes to racing simulators. Whatever console you owned, buy one.

Forza Motorsport 5 hits 5th gear with an 8.5/10.

Denis Murphy

Forza Motorsport 5 at CeX

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