When the Xbox One launched in 2013, Forza Motorsport 5 was one of its launch titles.  Much like the console itself, the game also had a rocky start in the new era.  While the gameplay in Forza 5 was as good as any other racer in my opinion at that time, its lack of content including cars and tracks made it suffer somewhat, which is really the backbone of any capable racer.  I know looking back at my review score in which I scored Forza 5 an 8.5, in hindsight at that time, I had no new-gen racer to compare it to.  But now we’ve seen an array of popular and well developed racers since that time, such as F1 2015, Project Cars and of course Forza Horizon 2.  So now with the arrival of Forza Motorsport 6, I can look at this game more objectively in comparison and it’s fair to say, that this is the racing game that Xbox One owners have truly been waiting for.

Straight off the bat, when you are fired straight into the game with the new Ford GT, you will feel just how well this game handles, with each and every car feeling more unique then its last, especially so when testing out the variety of classes that Forza 6 possesses.  With Forza 5, while I enjoyed my experience with the game, it didn’t really test your abilities all that much, unless you set the difficulties to its highest settings.  Now I openly admit that despite loving the Forza series, I am somewhat average at the game.  Even when set on a Normal difficulty or just slightly above, winning races came very easily (I have no hope however on the hardest setting).  But what I really appreciate about Forza 6’s settings is that even when I choose the “Above Average” difficulty, the game tests me.  In many cases I may not win a race, some I might win easily, it all really comes down to the car that you are handling and the current driving conditions, such as heavy rain.

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These kinds of variables are empathised even more so with this instalment and when I find myself finishing 2nd or perhaps 3rd (sometimes even finished 4th), I feel no need to hit the restart button and I accept my top 3 finish, especially when some races can accommodate up to 24 cars in a single race, giving some events an extra competitive edge.  I believe the reason for this is that because your skills are tested more so then in Forza 5, not winning all the time is somewhat acceptable and I think that says a lot about the challenge of Forza 6, especially with the ever evolving and A.I standard setting Drivatars.

The career mode has also been revamped, judging from the user-interface; it may seem that not a whole lot has changed.  But once you get indulged into this extensive career mode, not only is it fun, but it’s a lesson on many beloved cars and disciplines from yesteryear, right up to the present day.  The career mode is billed as the “Stories of Motorsport”, which is spanned across various volumes of disciplines. And inbetween the career mode, now and again you’ll have a Showcase Event that will allow you to race a unique car in a unique race, in most cases you’ll get to drive a legendary vehicle.  The Showcase Events do a great job in giving the already extensive career mode even more spice.  You can take on these Showcase Events as soon as they are revealed, or indulge at a later time.  Obviously you have all your other modes that includes free race, time trial and various online modes.

One of the other new additions to Forza Motorsport 6 is the Mod Packs.  You can choose from a variety of Mod Packs, some ranging from cash payouts and XP bonuses, to extra grip or bumping you up a little further at the starting grid.  Some of the more pricey packs will have a risk factor, such as only being able to use the driver seat view, or having no TCS (Traction Control System) or ABS (Anti-Lock Breaking System) and more.  By using these more risky mods, you will be granted with extra bonuses.  Spins have also made their way over from Forza Horizon 2, giving you a random bonus each time you level up.

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Forza Motorsport 6 is also arguably the best looking racer in this new era, which is an impressive feat considering we’ve already had the visual delights from the likes of Driveclub on the rival console.  It’s hard to put into words just how stunning this game looks, seeing really is believing, which is why it’s a wise idea to download its playable demo from the Xbox One Marketplace, if you haven’t already.  Fans of the series and racing in general will instantly recognise their favourite cars, all created with the utmost attention to detail and even with the ones you do not recognise, you will likely find new, unheard of favourites.  In total, Forza 6 has more than 450 cars at launch, in comparison to around 200 at launch with Forza 5.

The same can be said about the many tracks within Forza 6, each recognisable, created to a near perfected level of precision.  Forza 5 had less than 20 tracks, whereas Forza 6 has 25 tracks, 9 of which of new, which include the likes of Brands Hatch (a personal favourite of mine), Circuit of the Americas, Daytona, Lime Rock Park, Monza and Watkins Glen.  Old favourite’s locations also make their returns with new tracks from Rio de Janeiro and Indianapolis, along with Forza 4’s Hockenheimring and Sonoma.  So if content was an issue with Forza 5, it’s certainly not the case with here.

One gripe that I have with Forza Motorsport 6, is the over theatrical in-game music during a race.  However, just like the previous game, you can switch that off via the in-game menus, which I gladly did.  Thankfully this minor gripe is just a drop in the ocean, as the audio is one of Forza 6’s finest assets.  If I’m being truthful, this is something that Playground Games never get wrong, but the sound of each car is wonderfully recreated into its digital form and not only do they replicate their real-life counterparts, there’s also something incredibly therapeutic about them too.

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Its great listening to the car engines purr and roar during a race, but they sound even better when admiring one of your finest replay videos.  The sound is probably a subconscious factor as to why racing games continue to be popular among Twitch viewers, and I’m sure Forza Motorsport 6 will be no exception.  Oh and if you have a quality headset or sound system, then make sure you use it when play this.

After being somewhat generous with my score of Forza 5 (for reasons explain earlier), I wanted to be a little more cautious with Forza 6.  But restricted a score based upon past burns would be very unfair, especially with such a fine gaming experience that Playground Games have provided.  We’ve been blessed with some sublime racing games over the last 12 months or so and I know it all comes down to personal preference, but in terms of the more realistic games within this genre (so I’m putting Forza Horizon 2 to one side); Forza Motorsport 6 is the best of that bunch in my opinion, its reminded me of why I love the series.  This is a game at the pinnacle of its genre and if you’ve been looking for a reason to invest into an Xbox One, then you’ve just found that very reason, as Forza Motorsport 6 sits proudly at the pier of the podium.



Author

Richard Lee Breslin
Richard Lee Breslin

Gamimg has been my life for 30+ years and will always be my passion. I have a BDes Hons Games Development and Digital Media, and I hope to one day turn my passion for gaming and writing into a living. My favourite gaming series are Resi Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Assassin's Creed, Uncharted and The Last of Us. I collect gaming merchandise, comics and movies. I love football (namely Aston Villa) and WWE. I can also often be found wondering the outskirts of Raccoon City. Follow me on Twitter @Solidus5nake