When Forza 6 starts you at a track they have made themselves, you know they must be proud of what they have to show you. They plop you in the bucket seat of the 2017 Ford GT, and they line you up against some of the most impressive GT cars in the world. You line up on the grid, the boost behind you building on your right trigger, holding the brake with the left. The other engines of the other cars rise to crescendo as the game counts you down, and as the lights go green, you race away, pounding through the gears and hearing the lovely whoosh and whine of the EcoBoost in your Ford GT. You snake through traffic, racing amongst the mountains. You see Christ the Redeemer as you pass for the lead. That is how this game starts. This is the hook they give you. Welcome to Forza Motorsports 6, it’s going to be a fun one.
After that amazing intro, you are taken on a tour of the settings and assists you can use throughout the game, letting you pick and choose how you want the game to help you. For example, I turn off almost everything except traction control. And the amazing thing is with Forza, you can turn off a lot of assists without ending up spinning and winging up in the wall. And even if you do? You can always rewind and go back before the accident started and get another shot at whatever happened. This level of accessibility is unmatched in other racing games and is another reason why Forza has become such a beloved franchise. You can be anyone, car nerd or not, pickup the controller and do amazing things. Need help braking? The game can do that. Need a little bit of steering help? Done. It wants everyone, no matter the skill level, to come here and do anything they want to do with a car.
And speaking of the cars, there are 460 of them, all fully rendered and up to snuff. All cars can be viewed in the ForzaVista mode, returning from Forza 5. The cars are a perfect mix of classic cars, 80’s and 90’s hero’s, and the modern supercars and sportscars that have been blowing our minds. The tie in with Ford is evident, but that doesn’t mean there is an unfair focus anywhere. (Get it? Unfair focus? Ford? Eh? Eh?) Anyways, it has everything you want, Hellcats, Z06’s, the 650S, all the way up to the new Audi R18TDI, and great GT3 cars for your endurance needs. You will be given a choice of a free car for the first series, and if you have played previous Forza games, you will be given money, cars, and rank in the Forza Rewards app. It’s a nice touch, and something that definitely feels like something the team at Turn 10 devised to keep long term fans coming back.
The career I believe is something that will also have people coming back for a long time. Turn 10 proclaim a 70+ hour career, with more showcase and endurance events on the side. I believe it is the best career mode that any racing game has had in a very long time. Starting you with sport compacts and street legends, it slowly ramps up to sports cars and track toys, to then getting the super and hyper cars that we lust after to do battle with one another… like a great episode of “Best Motoring”.
Then you get to real racing, like touring cars, V8 super cars, Formula E, and LMP1 cars. All of which have great moments and battles, thanks to the second generation Drivatar system. I was playing a race in the “Birth of the Supercar” series, which was introduced by James May, where I had the lead in an Enzo, when all the sudden, I found myself being overtaken on the inside of the corkscrew by an F40. It was fucking awesome, and these moments aren’t rare. They often happen thanks to this unique way to do AI.
Among the career mode, you will find races that feature the games two big new features over Forza 5. The rain and night driving found in Horizon 2 have been put in the game, and upgraded. Along with the 26 laser scanned tracks, you get all of those realistically at night, and how they react to heavy rain, which means realistically placed puddles that you will hit and hydroplane. It’s no gimmick. In a few races I ended up backwards facing the oncoming 23 cars I passed getting to the front. And that’s another new feature, the player count has been pushes to 24 online in multiplayer and in the career mode. It adds a lot of passing, chaos, and more strategy to getting around those you need to battle for the top spot on the podium.
Forza plays it’s magic here more than anywhere. Driving a C7.R under the lights of the banking at Daytona is a dream that comes true thanks to this game. Lapping a LaFerrari at Spa in the rain is a breathtaking challenge. And of course, battling the rain and night at LeMans during a long race is taking the step that few of us ever get to experience for real. Forza is a dream maker, it fulfills the dreams of grandeur that we all have while watching our favorite racing. Finally being able to lap COTA is anything I was is a dream come true. Winning at the 24 hours of Daytona? Racing the hilarious Bentley GT3 car? It’s in there.
Everything that is in there feels like a major apology after the sort of bungled launch of Forza 5. More cars, more tracks, new ways to play, and more experiences than ever before. The few things I don’t like are fairly minor. I feel like the garage is a tad disjointed, and there are a few jarring things in the Showcase mode, such as Tanner Foust introducing the Stig challenges. I know that having Clarkson in the game after everything that happened was impossible, but it was jarring to hear Tanner over Hammond or May. The other issue I have with the game, is the new Mods system. These are trading cards you can equip to make your car faster, have a bonus grid spot, or even turn the entire field into ghosts that you can drive right through. They remind me of the perks in Call Of Duty, and they feel pretty out of place. Something more suited for Horizon than Motorsport.
But, when you get down to it, this is Forza Motorsport. And even though it has that name, it is a celebration of everything driving and racing. I get the same pleasure out of playing Forza that I do when I actually take my car for a drive. It brings out the same joy of pushing a car towards it’s limit, and hanging over the ragged edge. Except of course you can smash up your million dollar car in Forza, and just rewind it, rather than becoming a top news story on all the buff blogs. Forza invites all into the temple of racing, and either teaches those who are new to the love of the automobile, or a full on celebration for those of us that love the smell of gasoline and oil. Forza is the cheapest way for one to drive the machines they love, and get the experience of being an ace driver. With all the improvements, new features, new tracks and cars, Forza Motorsport 6 is a must buy for anyone that loves cars, driving, and racing.
And keep a lookout for more Forza coverage in the coming weeks and months, as this is a game that is sure to have me, and I hope you, coming back for a long time. You can add me on Xbox live as McChiken116 if you want to race against my Drivatar. Our very own Jeff Glucker is BabyMaker420. No he isn’t. I made that up. He is HooniverseJeff, and he is a perfect gentleman to race against. Associate Editor Jason Connor is PrecisionBoost. Add us, race against us, and throw your gamertag in the comments so we can add you back.
And, I would love to try to set up a Hooniverse league if you all would be interested. But again, if you have an Xbox one, I can’t recommend the game enough, and hope to see your virtual self out there.
[Disclaimer: Turn 10 provided the game for review.]