REVIEW: Forza Motorsports 5

Rev up your engine

Forza Motorsports 5 is an Xbox One exclusive game that is sure to please any racing fan. It features gorgeous graphics, fine-tuned game mechanics said to mimic real life and drool worthy cars.

First off, this game is beautiful. The graphics are crisp, the colours are vibrant and the cars look almost real. Everything on the race track is awe-inspiring, everything around the race track is where Turn 10 and Microsoft Studios saved some production time. The biggest let down is the crowd which is literally composed of pixelated 2D mostly static images. I didn't notice how some of the background elements were flat until I completely lost control of my car and crashed into a rail. The crowd did not scream nor run away and the railing looked unscathed. My car, however, was dented and scratched. Like I've said before, the more realistic the game, the more the mistakes and the bugs will stick out and hinder my immersion into the game.

Forza Motorsports 5 is a very technical game clearly catering for racing fans. Microsoft boasted how the game incorporates technical specs given and validated by car manufacturers and how the developers actually went on location to measure and capture every inch of the race tracks included in the game. Casual gamers, have no fear, the game's difficulty is completely customizable and can be played in a more arcade style. Racing game veterans will find the challenge they crave by playing the game in simulation mode.

The controls on the new Xbox One controller feel great and Forza uses every haptic feedback available. The triggers are as your gas and break pedal and will feel differently depending on the car you're driving. When breaking, you'll feel the left trigger vibrate when the ABS kick in. When driving on cobblestone in Prague, the whole controller will vibrate. I honestly was pleasantly surprised with the controls and didn't feel the need for a steering wheel accessory.

The game offers a wide variety of vehicles for players to buy, upgrade and race. However, I found the choices in every specific series to be limited with only about 6 cars to choose from, some only offering 3. I found the tracks to also be limited. 14 locations may seem like enough but as after completing 2 or 3 series, you'll have visited them all at least twice. I think Forza Motorsports 5 will greatly benefit from upcoming downloadable content.

I think the biggest innovation in this iteration of Forza is the Drivatar feature. As you race, the game creates a ghost racer based on your performance. When you're not playing, your Drivatar will appear as an opponent in other players' races, earning you credits. Its performance is largely based on your actual gaming style and results. The better you are as a racer, the better your Drivatar will do and earn you more credits. Each AI opponent in Forza are shaped by players from around the world which I find both awesome and creepy at the same time.

Forza Motorsports 5 is far from flawless but it is still one of the best racing games I've played. Automotive fans will appreciate the accuracy of the cars and locations. It's great for any racing game fan, from beginner to veteran.

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