Forza Motorsport – High Performance (No-Longer a Review in Progress) – Wccftech

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Forza is a series I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, the Horizon games are simply outstanding, with me having reviewed Forza Horizon 3, Forza Horizon 4 and Forza Horizon 5 for the site and giving them a 9, 9.5, and 9.5, respectively. On the other hand, Forza Motorsport 7 was still a 7.5, but it certainly had flaws. Indeed, the game essentially killed the main series of Forza titles until now. Introducing Forza Motorsport. No, not the one that came out in 2005.
This was originally a review-in-progress that life prevented me from returning to for a long time. I will mark in the review where the in-progress ended.
So, before we start, this is a review-in-progress at the time of writing. I never thought I’d be doing an in-progress of a racing game, but Forza Motorsport made me do two things. The first, I went and played more Total War. The second, linked to this, is that I ordered a new graphics card. Meet my new Radeon RX 7900 XTX, an admittedly significant upgrade on my previous Radeon RX 5700 XT.
Why did Forza Motorsport make me do those two things? The reason for both is simple: Turn 10 has not done an excellent job in terms of performance. While I could fault my old card at first, I had to run the game on a tiny resolution, not my native of 3440×1440. It barely chugged along on anything more than low settings. In-race now, it’s as smooth as a button on even the max settings, but there are still issues.
Performance is still an issue. I’ve launched the game four times since installing my new GPU, and each time, the game has had to optimise its shaders. This hasn’t been a change of location on my PC; it’s still installed on an SSD, so I can’t see a need for the optimisation beyond the first launch after the GPU. The problem I have here is that it isn’t a short wait. I would argue that at least two races were lost each time I waited. It adds up if you can’t get mammoth sessions in and have to drop in and out a lot.
Another performance-related issue is just outside of the race. Forza Motorsport shows many clips of your driver walking to the car, clips of cars racing past a known point on the track, and other similar things. These may as well be on an etch-a-sketch. At first, I thought it was due to issues with my computer, but this most certainly can’t be the case now. While these aren’t major issues, they take out of the experience. I have to admit, now I have a GPU powerful enough to give me that experience; it certainly is one.
Forza Motorsport looks outstanding. The game features a level of detail that goes above and beyond, and I can only liken it to that of Gran Turismo 7. The few cars I have been able to get hands-on with look immaculate; the attention to detail, the reflections, and the lighting all make for nothing short of visual joy. The same can be said for the audio, from what I’ve experienced so far, with the same attention that the visuals got.
If I have any issue in terms of detail, there is very little to praise regarding the damage system – specifically the aesthetics of it. You could essentially fire yourself off of the Grand Canyon, and all it does look like is that you’ve been on a particularly rocky road, where the stones are loose and prone to chipping your paint job. While nothing major, it does indicate a lack of ambition to push that bit further; at least, that’s how I perceived it.
This marks the end of the original review-in-progress.

This is strange because Turn 10 shows ambition in other areas. It’s a rare move for racing games, but Forza Motorsport has an RPG-lite aspect in levelling up a car as you use it. As your car levels up, you’ll unlock more categories to upgrade, allowing you to spend car points to buy the same upgrades that other racing games would have you purchase with money (in-game or otherwise). The upgrade system works well; the game clearly shows how the changes will impact your car, with an auto-update option that balances upgrades well.
It’s also worth noting that these upgrades carry over to the online races, underlining how key this new system is. I wouldn’t think that would work, but it does to a large extent. It could be seen as a negative that upgrades (parts) for your car are locked behind its level, but I’ll take it, and I did find it reasonably enjoyable when moving forward through the career. However, I must admit the customisation options in terms of aesthetics are somewhat limited – likely linked to the poor damage model.
Let’s talk racing. First and foremost, Forza Motorsport is pretty lacking in tracks. Microsoft has only recently released its first DLC track, bringing the number to 21. By all accounts, that is pretty low for a significant release, with the primary competitor you could think of – Gran Turismo 7 – launched with 34 tracks. There are multiple courses on these tracks, but I can’t help but feel that the lower number impacts the game negatively.
Another slight negative is one I seem to raise every year at the F1 series, which is around penalties. I understand the game wants to penalise you for cheating, cutting corners, and smashing into another car to gain an advantage. The problem is that the system does not make sense or deliver punishments accordingly. I can be hit by somebody else and get penalised when I was struck by somebody coming from behind, but another time, when I did cause a collision, nothing happened. Every racing game with these penalties fails to make the system work.
I will give Turn 10 the praise it deserves because the tracks are just as exquisitely detailed as the cars you race in, with them changing as the race proceeds, making them feel like the real thing. Add to this the changing of your car as the tyres wear, your depleting fuel level, and your tuning, which all impact the feel of your car, and you have some genuine racing excellence. Strong AI particularly enhances this, one that will look to block you, one that takes varying lines around the track. It means the races feel genuine.
For several reasons, finishing this review in progress has taken me a long time. First and foremost is simply life and a few illnesses, which means that getting back to it hasn’t been quick and easy. The other reason is that while Forza Motorsport is a good game with more than enough things going for it, there’s something that just isn’t that exciting. Forza Motorsport is a good game, and it’s a return to form for the core Forza series – one that seriously faltered while the Horizon spinoff went strength to strength.
If, for an odd reason, you have yet to pick this up on Game Pass (or otherwise), then take this as a recommendation. Forza Motorsport is a very good racing game, a return to form for the series, and a good sign for the future of the series.
PC Version reviewed. Copy provided by the publisher.
Forza Motorsport is a strong return to form for the core Forza series, with exceptional visuals, outstanding racing and what is a strong game throughout. While lacking in tracks, which is noticable, this is still a game worth recommending.
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