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Forza Motorsport 5 (Video Game Review)

Forza Motorsport 5 is the third of the three exclusive launch titles currently available for the Xbox One. Along with Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5 pushes the limits of the Xbox One to produce some of the highest quality graphics seen on any video game console ever. Luckily for racing games fans, Forza Motorsport 5 also produces some very entertaining gameplay scenarios, while casual racing fans will enjoy the assists and other customized options that make the game plenty of fun to play no matter how experienced a player is. Forza Motorsport 5 is obviously a must own title for some players, and it's a great game that most fans should definitely try out with such a limited number of games currently available for the new console.

The storyline of the game features the narration of Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson. From the moment the game begins, players will find plenty of interesting commentary that sets the stage for some exciting racing action. The game takes cars seriously, and the commentary constantly reflects this theme. After the opening scene, players can begin their racing career by entering tournaments, purchasing new cars and completing series of races to earn bonus racing credits. Each new tournament features additional commentary that typically gives a quick history on the model of cars used in the tournament as well as some additional humorous quirks. Players are also treated to additional narration between races by a woman that introduces each track while it's loading, though the few amount of tracks in the game means players will have heard all of the intros by the end of the game's first tournament.

Before races begin, players can adjust assists and other driver difficulty. These settings allow players that aren't as experienced in racing simulations to fully enjoy Forza Motorsport 5 alone or with friends. Some of the assists include automatic braking and handling. Assists allow all gamers to feel like great drivers, and they actually do improve a player's skills over time when gradually removing the assists as winning races happens more often. While the assists definitely make the game much easier, it doesn't make players that use the assists unbeatable. Often times, assists can lead to breaking too much during turns or not quite enough on some of the more extreme berths in the game. There are obvious benefits to utilizing assists in the game, but removing them will increase the amount of credits earned after each race, and turning up the game's difficulty also nets a greater payout.

Assuming the game is being played online, Forza Motorsport 5 features Drivatar AI that takes data uploaded by other gamers over Xbox LIVE to make other drivers act much more like players online than programmed AI. The completely new feature is an amazing innovation that makes playing offline just as entertaining as online. Drivatar racers may drive extra aggressive, take unnecessary brakes or even crash going into certain turns to match the tendencies of the player the AI is based on. As previously mentioned, Drivatar difficulty can be adjusted before races to earn additional credits, and one other added benefits used to encourage players to upload their Drivatar data to the online servers gives even more credits to players based on how well their AI selves perform in other players' games. Bonuses are awarded daily, so Forza Motorsport 5 definitely encourages players to load up the game each day to earn more credits and unlock even more cars and upgrades.

Forza Motorsport 5 is one of the best looking next generation titles available for any console. The cars in the game obviously look amazing and are incredibly detailed. Cars in the game are already upgraded to the best parts in their class, but they can be customized with better parts that will increase their class to make them usable in tournaments later in the game if players choose. All decals and paint schemes are available to download and use for free. Players can also upload their customized vehicles to the online service to share with other players and earn additional rewards. Forza Motorsport 5 will automatically recommend new designs when purchasing a new vehicle, so players can always find a style that suits their preferences easily.

The environments in Forza Motorsport 5 are amazing to see as well, but much of the game is seen while speeding down the road at high speeds in a blur. Crowds come to life at the end of races, stadiums look pretty impressive and features such as the asphalt and dust clouds are finely detailed to bring some added realism to the game. One disappointing factor in the game's graphics is the lack of diverse setting for the game's selection of tracks. Weather effects are almost non-existent in the game, and there aren't any night tracks available to play in the game either. For a game that boasts such impressive graphics, it would be have been nice to see a bit more done to see the game reach its full potential.

There are 14 tracks available to play in Forza Motorsport 5 from the moment the game is loaded. The tracks in the game are fairly diverse and includes a special test track inspired from Top Gear that offer some of the most interesting race variants including racing one on one with a special AI opponent and another where players try to bowl over pins scattered around. There are also some new maps not included in previous versions of Forza Motorsport that boosts replayability, and the available tracks do have some alternate routes that make races a bit different across different races, but the limited amount of tracks is still a big bummer. There are still some really good tracks with what is included in the game with most being better than not including the amazing architectural structures featured in Prague.

Forza Motorsport 5 is a great looking game, and it knows it, almost to a fault. In addition to the commentary that attempts to be impressive at every opportunity, the game's soundtrack has plenty of epic themes that seem cool at first but eventually begin wearing on players after playing the game for several hours in a row. Forza Motorsport 5 is a great game, but we don't need to be heralded by a chorus of angels after every triumph in a race. The game also makes sure to zoom in on vehicles after races just to make sure everyone in the game knows your car looks nice. The rest of the in-game menus and heads up display looks nice and are easy to navigate as well.

Forza Motorsport 5 features plenty of vehicles from the most popular manufacturers in the industry to unlock on disc. Additional cars are available for purchase as DLC in the game, and microtransactions are available to get experience points and affinity level boosts to earn more credits even faster. No matter how you feel about microtransactions in video games, you can be sure Turn 10 Studios and Microsoft are looking after their customers, and a recent update made winning races drop more credits and makes purchasing cars in the game cost less in-game currency. One additional feature for Forza Motorsport 5 allows players to join the Forza Rewards program to earn additional gifts in tiered ranks that includes a variety of different in-game content just for playing games from the Forza series. There is a lot of content packed into Forza Motorsport 5 for fans to enjoy beyond simple races, so gamers definitely get plenty of gameplay for their money with this new release.

It's easy to see Forza Motorsport 5 is an impressive looking game for the next generation, but luckily, it has great gameplay to go along with its great graphics. Players that enjoy the career mode can battle against Rival drivers with similar online leaderboards rankings in special events or practice the game offline in races outside of the game's career mode as well. Forza Motorsport 5 also features plenty of unique online multiplayer modes including infection, where players attempt to not be hit by infected vehicles, and more classic race modes to see who can reach the finish line first. All of this content combines to create a wonderful racing experience for the hardcore racing fans and even gamers that only casually play racing games. Forza Motorsport 5 makes racing fun for all player skill levels, looks incredible and is packed with loads of content. Needless to say the game is a great launch title and a must play for all early Xbox One adopters. Check out Forza Motorsport 5 only on Xbox One today!

Forza Motorsport 5 is now available exclusively for Xbox One and can be purchased from all major retailers for the MSRP of $59.99. Forza Motorsport 5 is rated E by the ESRB for Comic Mischief. For more information on the game, check out the official Forza Motorsport 5 website.

Game Features:

  • Online Multiplayer (1-16)
  • Drivatar Competition
  • Unlock New Levels and Cars or Purchase Faster Progression
  • Earn Forza Rewards
  • Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer: Turn 10 Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Available exclusively for Xbox One (reviewed)
Release Date: November 22, 2013

Score: 8 out of 10
  • Stunning graphics
  • Immersive gameplay
  • Unique online multiplayer modes
  • Annoying camera angles
  • Repetitive soundtrack
  • Limited amount of tracks
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