Saturday, October 8, 2011

Forza 4 Impressions

Right off the bat, let me state that I am not a lover of racing games. I do believe that the last racing game I seriously played was Burnout 3: Takedown in 2004. I've played several Gran Turismo games, but I could never fall in love with the realism driven harsh gameplay. Forza Motorsport 4 makes me reconsider all of my preconceived notions about realistic racing games. This game seems to cater to two crowds, the kind of gamer who just want to race, relax and enjoy the visuals, and the kind of gamer who want a realistic difficult experience. If you haven't seen nay previews or videos for Forza 4, let me tell you that the graphics are truly superb, to the point where I am amazed the the Xbox 360 can handle it. Forza 4 is made by Microsoft Studios and Turn 10. It supports Kinect, but I am not sure how that works. It is also an Xbox 360 exclusive.

All of the game modes in Forza 4 are pretty typical for a racing game, but they all change depending on the difficulty and modifiers you choose. There are four difficulties: easy, medium, hard and expert, but you can also go into an advanced option mode and tweak it however you want. The difficulties really matter in Forza 4, allowing you to create whatever kind of experience you are comfortable with. The expert and hard difficulties undoubtedly make the races/driving very challenging and slick, while normal mode has all kinds of assists on to help make the experience more enjoyable for those who don't care for super challenging realistic driving controls. You have options for all kinds of assists, assists that help and don't hinder. You can have on brake assists, stability assist, speed assist and a guide system that shows you if you are going to fast. As a racing newbie, I love all of the difficulty options. I care little for realistic driving, but Forza 4 on normal was very fun and relaxing, while the hard difficulty was still fun but too challenging for me. One of my favorite options in the game is the rewind system. At any point during a race you can rewind to a certain extent. Not only can you rewind, but watching the race in reward looks fantastic. The controls in Forza 4 are slick, responsive and smooth, I cannot find any fault with them.

As fun and versatile as the gameplay is in Forza 4, the graphics are also a major factor. It takes a while to get used to how gorgeous the cars look in Forza 4, come on, just look at this screenshot and tell me that it makes you question for a second whether or not it is a screenshot.

Even the inside of the car looks gorgeous, I don't quite understand how they made this game look so good. I always thought the Gran Turismo games had top notch car and race track graphics, but Forza 4's graphics are the best I've ever seen. The race track maps are extraordinary looking as well.  You may be thinking that I'm overexaggerating, in which case I suggest you try the demo on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The demo only gives you one map to mess around with, but you can try out six different cars and two different game modes. If I had a magical surplus of money I would probably get Forza 4, especially with the favorable reviews it has been getting. If you are interested I implore you to check out the demo. The game comes out on October 11th and for $60, unfortunately. Amazon does currently have a $10 promotional credit for pre-order though. Thanks for reading and I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

-Written by Sean Cargle


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