Initial Release: 3 October 2017

Forza Motorsport 7 does not attempt to redefine the racing genre nor the franchise as a whole, what it does do though is refine what is already a competent fun racing game.

Coming off the back of the excellent Forza Horizon 3, Microsoft’s premier racing series had a lot to live up to and for the most part, Forza Motorsport 7 does maintain the high expectations the franchise has set. That’s not to say though that this game is by any means the best in the franchise’s history. Forza 7 just does exactly what you’d expect it to do, it just constantly felt like I should have been getting more than I did for the 7th entry in a series.
As always, the main draw of the game is the single player experience which this time takes the form of the ‘Drivers cup’, a collection of themed mini-championships built up of smaller tournaments. Completing a tournament equates to a set amount of points, getting enough points within a championship allows you to move onto the next, so to progress to the eventual self-titled “Drivers cup”. Littered in with these championships are Showcase events, these one-off exhibition’s secure a small but substantial amount of points to help towards your overall goal and this is to me where the single-player really shines. One minute I’m knocking down bowling pins with a limo, the next I’m competing in an intense 69 lap endurance race, its reminiscent of the much wackier horizon games and is a brilliant change of pace from the sometimes-repetitive championships. The career mode as a whole is well built and an interesting way to experience a variety of the different cars and classifications on offer but it doesn’t live up to the in-depth RPG-esque campaign of fan favourite Forza 4.

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On the multiplayer side of things, the game hasn’t really changed much at all from previous entries, rather it’s just another way for you to race on the same tracks you have a thousand times before but with the unpredictability of human opponents. Continuing with what was a fantastic addition to the series, player controlled ‘Drivatar’s’ also make a return, meaning that rubber banding is no longer a viable excuse you can use for losing a race. You’re always racing against a human opponent whether it be in the ‘Driver’s cup’ or online. It allows for a realistic racing experience in any game mode (which is a more than welcome feature when compared to the early Forza titles harsh CPU’s). The rival’s mode from Forza 6 also reappears in Forza 7 and it remains unchanged, so if you’re interested in a competitive leader board based mode you also have access to that.

Boasting over 700 cars and 32 racing environments (with a further 42 cars coming in the games season pass) it’s by no means short on content. What you’ve been given here is an extensive, almost museum-like collection of cars, and one that will undoubtedly please everyone in some way or another. As always Turn 10 doesn’t just stick to the most popular cars available either, they’re intent on making sure every aspect of the motoring world is represented whether that be with obscure classic cars, or the latest Dune buggies available. The game is missing, for reasons unknown, Toyota road-cars, which is a shame because with them this would be one of the most well-rounded car line-ups in racing game history.

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I will add that the addition of only 1 new track, Dubai, does to me seem like a poor excuse for new content especially considering most of the car line-up is built from cars that have already appeared in a Forza game one way or another. Not only that it’s been 2 years since Forza 6 which would have led me to expect a more substantial amount of new additions than were given. With Forza is becoming an almost yearly series now, the effects of time restraints are starting to become more and more obvious with each entry.

Despite the fact that the game is lite on new content, the content it shows is in itself jaw-droopingly gorgeous. Whether it be speeding through the deserts of Dubai or drifting around the streets of Prague, Forza 7 Raises the bar on racing graphics. The introduction of dynamic weather effects and a day-night system make what was already an insanely good-looking game even more beautiful. It’s hard to not be taken a gasp by the look of every drop of rain that hits the road in front of you or by the sheets of sand that fly past your windscreen. The constantly changing weather effects do also help lift the fatigue you may be feeling from racing on the same tracks you’ve been on for the entire series, it’s a clever way for Turn 10 to make old tracks feel new. This may be the best looking the franchise has ever been but I did notice some significant frame-rate drops when switching to the dash cam, especially in the aforementioned rain. It was an irritatingbug that rendered the much more detailed immersive experience of being inside the car almost unusable.

Of course, no current release would be complete without the addition of loot boxes and Forza is now jumping on this money siphoning trend. Used to obtain ‘Racing mods’ (gameplay modifiers which force you to complete a task to obtain a boost in credits), new cars and driver gear, these loot boxes are made out to be a pivotal part of the single-player experience. In an effort to sample what the drop rate of items was from the boxes I spent a significant amount of credits on them and what I found was a pleasant surprise. The drop rate of actually useful items and cars is quite high, but even with good rewards I can’t help feel like I could/should be spending my hard-earned credits on the cars I actually want rather than a random selection. It never reaches the depths of pay to win however it does feel like an incredibly unnecessary addition to the game. Thankfully at the time of reviewing, these loot boxes are only available for in-game currency and can’t be bought with real money.

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As a whole package, it’s a very fun, very well-made game, its customisable difficulty and easy to play, hard to master approach is still appreciated 7 games in, but its lack of new content drags down the entire experience for me. Forza Motorsport 7 does not attempt to redefine the racing genre nor the franchise as a whole, what it does do though is refine what is already a competent fun racing game.

Verdict – 7 Out of 10

Written by Dawson Roberts (Freelance)

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