Forza 6 Cover Art.jpgIt’s been ten years since the first Forza Motorsport game was released for Microsoft consoles, and the team at Turn 10 Studios is marking the decade milestone with one of the most ambitous titles the racing genre has seen to date. Featuring 460 meticulously detailed cars, 26 famous destinations, and some of the most realistic racing experiences ever created, Forza 6 is available for the Xbox One right now

Forza 6 is developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft Studios

Release date: September 15, 2015
Rated: E (Everyone)
Genre: Racing Simulation
Consoles: Xbox One

The most realistic racing simulation yet

Unlike its sister franchise, the Forza Horizon series, the proper line of Forza Motorsport games are all about realism, and Forza 6 definitely takes the cake when it comes to making you feel like you are right behind the wheel of some of these incredible cars. Starting with appearance, each and every one of the 460 cars available to you can be inspected inside and out in your personal garage, before you even hit the pavement. You can inspect your ride from every angle, open the doors and climb inside, start the engine, and even enjoy an audible history.

But the strict attention to design and accuracy doesn’t stop once the garage door opens – Forza 6 really succeeds in creating an intensely genuine driving experience to go along with the stunning detail of its catalogue of vehicles. On the track Forza 6 is definitely one of the most realistic physics-based racing experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Not to mention that the deep customization available to you through the in-depth tuning feature offers significantly notable control in further tweaking just how each and every unique car drives in a variety of racing conditions.

Forza 6 Wet Track.jpg

Careful, it gets pretty slick out there
It’s (not) always sunny in Forza
Forza 6 sports 26 different destinations for your racing pleasure, and while everybody enjoys a sunny day in the stands at their local circuit, some of the neatest experiences from a driving perspective are the night time and wet-weather conditions, which really stand out across the game. Racing by headlights alone in the black of night definitely contributes to a heightened sense of tension, but for me the most impressive environmental feature far and away was racing on a rainy day. The rain coming down on the windshield and the pools of water collecting on the racetrack not only look gorgeously realistic, but they behave that way too. Puddles don’t just make a big splash or slow you down as you plow through them, they cause a genuine hydroplaning effect, essentially changing the entire dynamic of the race.

Forza 6 Charger.jpg

Drive everything from classic cars to the newest innovations across the history of racing

Different ways to play

When a game succeeds in aesthetic design as well as Forza 6 does, it looks and feels so good that you might be happy simply racing around for fun in free play – but luckily if you are looking for some more specific gameplay modes, there are a few different offerings. The game features a lengthy 70+ hour career mode, which serves to highlight the entire breadth and diversity that Forza 6 has to show. Personally, while I enjoyed this guided tour through the vast plethora of content packed into the game, that’s definitely what it felt like to me – more of a “tour” than a “career” per se. Again, this series is founded on simulation and realism, so it’s not particularly surprising that there isn’t really any sort of fictional story or scenario shoehorned in, but I still must admit that I never really felt the motivation to “progress” through my career. Outside of earning credits and growing my collection,these races just felt like the same scenario over and over – “Start mid-pack and finish in the top 3, rinse, repeat”. Again, it was a wonderful mechanic for browsing through all of Forza 6‘s content, but not a particularly inspired one.

Luckily the sensation of victory is better incorporated in the online features of Forza 6. With huge 24 player races and “Leagues” which offer scheduled competition with other players of a similar skill set and temperament, I definitely found that those with a thirst for challenge and victory are much more likely to find that variety of thrill when racing with the online community. Of course, some elements of the driving habits of your friends and peers does carry over into single-player modes, as once again the AI racers are informed by Forza‘s “Drivatar” system, which uses the Xbox Live cloud to help recreate driver skill and behavior, but there’s still nothing quite like the sheer excitement of real-time competition with players from all over the world.

https://youtu.be/0O1OrTcfqBI

Share your creativity

Another way to connect with the robust online community with Forza 6 is through your own in-game creations. The game features in-depth tools for creating and customizing your own car designs and paint jobs, which can be shared with the community at large. Tunings and photographs can be shared as well, and uploading your greatest creations will not only earn you fame and credibility, but in-game credits as well, as you are rewarded every time another player likes or downloads your user-generated content.

Forza 6 Engine.jpg

Take a peek inside some of the most exciting race cars in motorsport

A few new odds and ends

Overall Forza 6 is a very classic experience, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a few more innovations outside of the obvious upgrades to graphics and performance. “Spectate Mode” mode, for example, is a new feature to Forza 6 that allows you to drop in and watch open multiplayer races, which is a great way to appreciate the stunning beauty and detail of the game without the distraction of having to pay attention to driving your own car! Another neat addition that I particularly enjoyed were “Mods” – game modifiers that allow you to affect performance, conditions, and subsequently rewards on a race by race basis. Three types of mods exist in Forza 6: Dare, Crew, and Boost. Dare mods will often restrict your performance, but provide in increased credit payout for doing so. Crew mods are persistent improvements that will benefit you, particularly in tough races. Finally, Boost mods will often offer incentives for outstanding performance, such as a big credit reward for hitting a certain number of perfect turns in a given race.

Final Thoughts

Forza 6 is easily one of the most realistic racing simulators that the current generation of consoles has yet to offer. With 460 unique cars and 26 world-famous locations to race them, the scope of content available is extremely satisfying. Career mode feels like little more than a guided tour of the game, but everything is so perfectly put together that this might not seem like much of a hinderance, and there’s always the vast online community for those who are seeking that competitive edge. It’s the attention to detail that really makes Forza 6 stand out however, from the detailed interiors to the environmental effects of dark or rainy conditions, Forza 6 offers a unique experience that sets the standard in its genre.

+ Incredible amount of detailed cars and tracks
+ Night & wet driving conditions

+ Online Leagues

– Career mode could use more features/motivation

OVERALL

Gameplay: 4.5/5
Graphics: 5/5
Sound: 4.5/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5

Overall Rating 4.5/5 (90%)