Rain drops keep falling on my head.
The Forza Motorsport series may have started out as just an answer to Sony’s ultimate driving series, but over the years it has evolved into its own thing. Car customization and a superb attention to detail continue to drive the series forward. Not only that, but it’s more accessible approach makes it easier for casual racing fans, like myself, to enjoy its wealth of content. Forza Motorsport 6 is the product of all these ideas finally realized for the Xbox One. Borrowing ideas from its arcade counterpart Horizon, as well as building on the already established staples, this entry is the best the series has been since its inception.
Car selection has always been a highlight for the series. Forza 6 brings the thunder with over 460 cars to choose from. All of them are of course customizable, and the decals return. The designs remain top notch; creators are still light years ahead of my blocky logos. The variety is also stellar. From Indy cars, to classic favorites, no stone is left unturned. There is even a bonus car for each Forza game I played, the one from Horizon 2 being a truck. I love the amount of choices, and the career mode mimics that open-ended mentality.
Price I’d Pay: $59.99
The game opens up with a series of races to choose from. After each section I was able to move around at my own pace, picking the series that interested me. There was always something new to try, and even races that let me test out other types of cars without having to own them. The progression is much better than it was in Forza 5.
Levels return as well, including driver and affinity levels for each manufacturer. Taking a page from the Horizon playbook, players are now rewarded with a spin after reaching a new level. Rewards range from credits to brand new cars. It is a great system; on my first spin I won a million credits, which allowed me to purchase plenty of machines for my garage.
Affinity levels remain the same. Racing with the same car manufacturer earns levels, and credits towards new cars. It is a novel system, but one that hasn’t changed much.
The biggest new addition to the structure is mods. These are like packs of cards that add modifiers to races – anything from a better starting grid position, to bonus XP upon finishing the race. Thankfully, packs can be purchased before the race with in-game credits, and there is even a quick-equip to add the best possible for the race. It is a neat system that changes up the dynamic of races. Also don’t fret, it doesn’t work in online mode, so races are always fair.
Handling has always been super tight in the Forza games. This iteration is no different, and brings to light that the Xbox One controller feels designed with the series in mind. The force feedback on the triggers gives the player a sense of the road beneath them. For the first time in the series I found the in cockpit view the most responsive, and as always there are a host of assists and difficulty settings to tailor the game to any skill level. Even the Drivatars feel more refined than last time, not to mention they also have their own setting for difficulty, as well as a new setting for excessive bumping during races.
New to Forza 6 are night races and weather. Now I scoffed when I first saw the bullet point calling out 3D puddles during rain, but this is a game changer. The dynamic of hitting these puddles when racing at top speed is terrifying. Hydroplaning happens easily as the wheels touch the dynamic puddles. It sounds ridiculous, but the first time I hit one at full speed, I learned to respect them. Driving at night is equally terrifying as vision is truly limited. It changes the dynamics of otherwise similar tracks, and I absolutely adore it.
Visually the game is as stunning as ever. Car models are insanely detailed, and all viewable in the Forzavista mode. The attention to detail is uncanny, and the sounds are vastly improved. Hearing the engine roar while inside the car as opposed to a replay is night and day. It also gives great awareness of where cars are around me when driving. This is one I definitely recommend finding a good pair of headphones for.
Forza Motorsport is a game I rarely get excited about playing, but almost every time I dive in, it gets better. Forza 5 was a disappointment on many levels, but it feels like the team at Turn 10 fixed everything that was wrong, borrowed what was perfect from Horizon 2, and somehow crafted the best racing game available on Xbox One by far, and quite possibly the best Forza game in the series to date. Fans of racing, casual or otherwise need to check out Turn 10’s latest creation. It is by far one of the highlights for the system this fall.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.