* Best Racing Game of 2011

All tuned up we step into the driver seat of gamings number one car sim, Forza Motorsport 4.

Heading into Forza a little late, most car connoisseurs have already purchased what is being jubilated as the "best car game ever made." Since its debut Turn 10 Studios proprietary racing sim has been unstoppable. In 'Forza Motorsport 4' we see more of everything. Leaping from its humble 231 cars in the original, 'Forza Motorsport 4' includes over double that quantity. It's not only cars that have been doubled, Forza has leaped from 17 tracks to an impressive 32 tracks in Forza 4. Really, what else could a car lover want?

Forza 3 representing
Before you get behind the wheel you will have the chance to importing your profile from 'Forza Motorsport 3' (given you played it.) This "Thank You" to the fan is an splendid touch that makes it feel like you didn't waste over 100 hours enjoying Forza's last outing. The transfer and rewards are based on your level, credits and cars you owned in 'Forza 3.' Starting with a race in the games cover car, the Ferrari 458 Italia, you will quickly see how stunning 'FM4' looks. Although this is to be expected (Forza has always looked great) it is refreshing in comparison to other vehicle based games.

A new World Tour
From here you select your wheels and hitting the track. It shouldn't be a surprise 'FM4' is loaded with options. Car customization is maniacal. The number of cars is staggering and the depth of the World Tour career mode (Formerly know as Season Play) is equally stunning. This new inclusion takes you around the world starting with Amateur Division and ranking up as your proceed. Starting with a “City Car” isn't overly beseeching, however with a little work, Forza lets you play with the real speed demons. Forza is all about a constant level of progression and the fourth installment is no different. Additionally, Forza has some tricky adaptive A.I. in the World Tour mode (other modes have four settings) that learns and modulates to give you a tougher challenge as you progress. It's not always about finishing first, sometimes it's simply about having a good race, and good races are a plenty in Forza.

More cars, quicker!
As you progress through races you will unlock new vehicles and tracks just as you did previously. However this time the level-cap has been broadened to 150 with shortened intervals between leveling up. This means you will get more cars quicker, which in-turn should keep the gamers pressed for time very happy. Still, Forza isn't about getting in and getting out. It's about the love, the practice and the accomplishment of unlocking. In an effort to make unlocking even more appealing you can now choose between your “reward” vehicles, a nice switch from simply getting rewarded a car you might not even care to drive.

The levelling system has also undertaken some adjustments. You now earn your normal driver XP across all levels, not just the season mode. Secondly the vehicles didn’t max out a certain level, now you gain a “Affinity Level” with a manufacturer of the cars you race. This levels offer different rewards/discounts as you progress, and go up to level 50. The best part about the new XP system is sticking with one “brand” and watching your level increase. It's a real tribute to all the fans of a manufacturer out there. Everyone is a little bias these days.

More than advancing through races, Forza is about collection, it's about fine tuning, trading and competitive racing. Basically, Forza is racing. Going into depth on these options is redundant, just let it be known that there are so many cars that you be able to find something for everyone. Forza is packed. We already stated we are dealing with over 500 vehicles, so lets broaden that further, add in 80 manufactures from all around the world. Dang! That's Forza huge.

Looking under the hood
Touching base on the production, we once again see the clean navigation panel return along with elaborated vehicle models and a new lighting engine. The alterations are subtle, yet noticeable, making Forza seem even more realistic. Although one inclusion is sadly still missing from Forza is night time racing and dynamic weather effects. Several other racing games have been excelling at these features for years, so it's offsetting to why Turn 10 hasn't included this in their automotive masterpiece. I guess they're saving that one for number five.

Expanding Foza's car-care is the newly highlighted Autovista feature that allows you to inspect "certain" rides right down to the finest detail. In screen comparisons between the Forza and the real-world counterparts you would be hard to guess the fake. Voiced by Jeremy Clarkson, you will even gain more inside (usually with a humours spin) that is better than looking at some ill-presented statistics. The list of cars that can be viewed is rather short and need to be unlocked which feels unnecessary. Autovista is the right idea, but maybe they should have waited until at least one car from each manufacture is represented.

Attention to detail carries over to the handling within Forza 4. Forza is authentic and now the dynamics of each vehicle can have been improved thanks to the upgraded physics engine under the hood. Thanks to the help from 'Pirelli Tires,' a good amount of detail has gone into making the road grip those tires to perfection. This is most noticeable in RWD vehicles and can easily cause you spin out. However, don't let that scare you. You can still race with all the assists on, or adjust them to your liking. “Assisted Heavy” racers will still be able to smash your way to that first place if that is your thing. This merges into the revamping of controller pressure, which lets you do those burn outs easier because with more precision on how hard you press the analog stick. Of course this works with the Force feedback wheel too.... and for Kinect, we're not even going to go there. Aside from silly hands free racing, Turn 10 is going for total precision control and they are so close to nailing it.

The audio is sharp and predictably in place. Meeting expectations and sounding effortlessly droning. The sub-techno beats are nothing to write home about, but that's not why we are here. You want the music down and the purring of the vehicles turned up. The vehicles' engines have been painstakingly recreated and are near erotic when cranked up on surround sound. Some of these beasts have a pitch perfect growl to them.

A bitter rivalry is brewing
Finishing up this review we have the multiplayer fragment. Fundamentally the same as Forza 3, Forza 4 introduces a new 'Rival Mode' that can be played online or offline. Borrowing slightly from the 'Need for Speed' Autolog feature, the 'Rival Mode' you can try to beat your friends/rivals times, which are represented by a ghost car. Not only will this ignite some interesting rivalries, but it will notify your rival when you have beaten their time on a track. Better yet, credits are rewarded in this mode too. I wouldn't be too surprised if this is how the majority of gamers boost up their credit account. Surprisingly the 'Rival Mode' is the prize inclusion in FM4, second only to the cars themselves.

'Forza Motorsport 4' is a celebration of our four-wheeled friends that give such a wide range of emotions that you would believe they are human. An accumulation of over 6 years of love poured onto disc, 'Forza Motorsport 4' is an easy purchase for any car enthusiasts with a Xbox 360.

  • New Rivals mode is the perfect addition to Forza
  • World Tour mode is a improvement over the old season standby
  • Adaptive A.I., improved handling, and tweaked controls. Forza plays even better
  • Long lists of activities, unlockables, cars and tracks. This one is packed
  • The little things count; Increased level cap and picking your reward vehicle
  • New manufacturer based Affinity Level makes being a loyalist more rewarding
  • Autovista feature not necessary
  • No night racing or weather effects
Quote: "An accumulation of over 6 years of love poured onto disc, 'Forza Motorsport 4' is an easy purchase for any car enthusiasts with a Xbox 360."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 11.01.11

Similar Games: Forza Motorsport 2 (9.0) | Forza Motorspor 5t (9.0) | Forza Motorsport 3 (9.5)


Forza Motorsport 4


Turn 10 Studios


US Release
October '11



Players 1
Co-Op 2-3
Online MP 2-16
Dolby 5.1
HD 720-1080p
D/L Content
Online Clubs
FF Wheel Support
KINECT optional