Ok folks, as a huge fan of both series of Forza games, it’s easy to see that Forza Motorsport 7 is the biggest Forza Motorsport released on Xbox One to date. If this is your first foray into the world of Forza you won’t be disappointed, however as a long time fan I have some mixed feelings that I’ll get into in a bit. For now let’s just start off with the facts.
Developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft Studios, Forza Motorsport 7 features 700+ cars and more than 200 track configurations to race on. Fan favorite locations, Maple Valley, Mugello, and Suzuka have been brought back from Forza Motorsport 4 and a new fictional road course in Dubai rounds out the locations that also include everything from Motorsport 6. The Turn 10 team has also taken and improved upon the dynamic weather system that players got to enjoy in the Forza Horizon series. Driver appearance is customizable now as well, making the customization options for Motorsport 7 the deeper than any other racing game I’ve played. Toyota street production cars are sadly absent from the game this time around due to licensing issues but the company’s race cars are still available. On the plus side Volkswagon has returned after an absence in Horizon 3.
Now let’s get into the actual game. The solo career has been improved upon previous Forza games in my opinion. Instead of having to finish with a particular medal to unlock the next race, drivers will accumulate points over the course of a number of races to win a series within each championship tier. You must accumulate enough points in order to unlock the next tier. With each tier you unlock you will find that there are more races within each series and more series within each tier making progression easy at first but ultimately more satisfying as you go along. As usual, multiplayer games are quite a different story. At the time of this writing there seems to be less multiplayer hoppers than in the past.
Hopefully this changes in the future. Public lobbies tend to be a crash fest but this is nothing new and is no different than any other racing game. I suggest finding like minded racers and add them to your friends list if you want to try and race clean otherwise it’s a total free-for-all heading into the first turn. I still hope for the addition of public player hosted lobbies where you can determine the restrictions and allow players to join based on your racing style. The Looking For Group option on Xbox Live is helpful but not the most efficient way to fill up a lobby, in my opinion. Prize crates, another addition, is really just another way to get mod cards, driver gear, and even cars. They come in a variety of types and value and hold items ranging from basic to super rare or legendary.
Now let’s talk customization. As I said earlier, Forza Motorsport 7 has the deepest level of customization of any racing game I’ve played. As always you can tune your cars any way you like and have a large variety of after market parts you can use to really make your car your own. In the paint booth ( which is where I spend a lot of my time, by the way) Turn 10 seems to have stopped innovating. It’s pretty much the same exact options as every Forza game before it. I have a number of suggestions for improvement. And a number of other top Forza artists have asked for some new features as well. One thing I would love to see is a painters companion app where artists could perhaps draw with the use of a stylus or have some more tools available like an eraser. It would be nice if layer groupings could be skewed and stretched in the same manner as single layers.
Also give us more color options for layers like the special colors that are available for the base color of the car. Please, Turn 10, consider these suggestions because the paint booth is starting to feel a little stale. Driver customization could have been even better if it weren’t just a number of preset skins for your driver avatar. Separate items like helmets, scarves, goggles, and jackets would have been better than the exchange one suit for another option that is currently in the game. Gameplay physics are top notch, toeing the line between being super sim and arcade style racing. With a little practice, beginners should easily be able to jump in and enjoy the game. On the other hand, experienced racers can still challenge themselves by turning off any number of assists in the options menu. Sound design is vastly improved. Collisions have more thump to the bump and engine noise feels more authentic. Tire noise changes with road surface and you can hear the wind at high speed.
All in all, Forza remains a very solid racing title and deserves a solid 8 of 10 for it’s visuals, flexibility in difficulty, incredible sound, and deep customization. But coming from Motorsport 6 it feels more of a glorified expansion than a full new release. Hopefully this will change with some new track DLC because there is definitely no shortage of cars. For new players, you can’t go wrong with picking up this title but veteran Forza players may choose to wait for a price drop as there might not be enough new content to justify the price right now.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.