Forza Motorsport 6 Review – A Definitive Racer with Room For Improvement

It has been almost two years since Turn 10 released their first Xbox One exclusive racing game Forza Motorsport 5 to the masses as a launch title, and now here we are with the arrival of Forza Motorsport 6. Offering more vehicles, extra tracks to race around, night racing and wet weather effects alongside the slick interface players are used to and it’s more of the same but with added levels of polish. The question one has to ask, is there enough of a difference here to warrant getting excited all over again?

In short, there’s certainly a big element of familiarity with the game as it seems Turn 10 are sticking to a tried and trusted formula they have built up over the last 10 years. As always, players can jump in to a lengthy career mode, trying out a number of vehicles under various conditions with the aim of unlocking more cars by way of random spins, and earning money – of which to purchase more cars. You get the point here that the end goal is building up a collection of over 400 vehicles to then pick and choose where and how you race them either offline or online with friends and the wider community. Obviously, gamers will have their favourite go-to cars to stick with, but in the career – which although offers plenty of choice – it’s an encouragement to branch out quite a bit to experience the complexities of racing in varied vehicle classes and selections. There’s really little change to this overarching formula, but considering it gets the job done and provides a neat sense of accomplishment and progression, there’s no faulting its inclusion here. The rest of the core game remains the same, with a free race option so players can jump right in without having to spend the time unlocking stuff, leagues, test drive and a return of the rivals so you can remain competitive in set challenges with friends and the like.

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The real driving force behind warranting Forza Motorsport 6 as an essential purchase if you’ve already invested the hours in the previous game is the inclusion of the aforementioned night racing and wet weather effects – sadly the two don’t combine as there’s limited use of each where only a select few circuits allow these options. That said, racing in the dark offers a new set of challenges which will be familiar to those who have played Forza Horizon games. In fact, night racing is nothing new in video games but due to the sim nature of the Forza series means there’s some neat contrast between the day events. It’s simply another natural layer to have as an option here and a welcome one too as it does break up some of the monotony of the other races especially when tackling the hours eating career mode.

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The real star of the show here though is the wet weather racing, again this is nothing new in video games but has been handled really well providing an exhilarating sense of danger to races aside from the overly aggressively tailored Drivatar AI opponents of which their numbers have been increased to a whopping 24. Aside from the splashing of water on the windscreen when racing using the interior viewpoint, there’s pre rendered puddles on the track which have to be avoided each lap. Sadly, there’s no dynamic rendering which means there’s less of a random element making the location of puddles fixed and easily avoided on subsequent laps. Still, as an additional layer to contend with it pushes the game ahead of its predecessor quite a bit and makes for a welcome addition to the series. Hopefully, this will be developed further in future games where dynamic lighting and weather become the norm across all circuits.

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In terms of visuals, the game boasts a rock solid 60 frames per second which is fantastic and results in a silky smooth operation throughout. There are some very minor dips on occasion but for the most part the game delivers on all fronts. There’s perhaps little difference graphically compared to the last game, but if you pay attention you’ll notice some extra effects which add to an already great looking game. As before players can tune vehicles with as much depth as they desire and there’s the now standard paint customization options for those who want to spend hours creating new looks for their fleet or share with others.

Audio is also of the highest quality with a vast array of sound effects for the cars and menu narration from the likes of Top Gear’s James May to add a bit of extra character to the vehicle class showcases. It all very welcoming and slick as expected.

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In terms of longevity, players can sink as many hours into the game as they choose. There’s enough scope to just jump in for a short burst if time is a factor, or spend hours working through the events to reach some sort of completion, days, weeks or months later. There’s a real sense of completing the game at one’s own pace which is refreshing to not be rushed. As always, players can tailor the difficulty to suit and choose to have aggressive AI or more laid back opponents, there’s also the option to take to the online sphere and prove your worth against real players which is a fun way to experience the game.

To conclude, on the surface Forza Motorsport 6 feels like a hybrid version of the previous game taking familiar elements and regurgitating them again in a more polished fashion. There’s definitely a lot of familiarity here as players race at speed on the same tracks, in the same cars they’ve had for the last two years or longer, but really this is the definitive version as a culmination of efforts past. Much like yearly sports games, Forza Motorsport 6 is the new kid on the block using unchanged tropes. Although adding new elements such as wet weather and night racing, stat changing optional mods, and a random flavour to gaining cash and cars each time you level up and its enough to give it an edge over its predecessor. If you like racing and are a car enthusiast or casual fan then this is stellar effort from Turn 10 well worth checking out. The game still has room for improvement though but is reigns it in as possibly one of the best racing experiences you can have right now on any console, and that’s saying something considering there’s some stiff competition out there.

Score 9/10

Review code supplied by Microsoft Xbox.

Written by: Rob Cram

Rob Cram has hundreds of video game reviews, thousands of articles under his belt with years of experience in gaming and tech. He aims to remain fair and free from publisher/developer influence. With his extensive knowledge, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement with his views are entirely optional. He might have a bias towards cyberpunk.

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