We’ve been playing the latest installment of Microsoft’s big hitting racing franchise, Forza 6. Here’s everything classic fans need to know
We don’t usually cover video games on Classic & Performance Car, but seeing some of the fantastic images from Forza 6 gave us cause to pull out the Xbox and see if the game can live up to the hype.
While every installment of Forza Motorsport has had its great points, for many it is the fantastic selection of classic and interesting cars that has really impressed over the years. It might not have the mammoth selection seen in the Gran Turismo series, but a quality 460 is not bad at all for the latest game.
At first glance the selection of older cars in the latest game seems fantastic, and for some of us, the choice of great cars can make or break a game. While there’s a good selection of classic road cars, it’s the legendary racers that really get the pulse racing – especially if you like the idea of re-living some of the greatest moments in the history of motorsport. More on this later…
How does it compare to Forza 5?
Firing up the game for the first time is interesting, especially for any Forza veterans. The game feels fresh, but ultimately very familiar. If you’ve played any previous Forza games, expect a number of virtual four-wheeled rewards to be heading your way.
One thing that was fairly obvious after a couple of hours, and that is how easy it is to earn in-game credits. With a couple of lucky spins on the (new) in-game prize wheel, you can easily pick up a few million credits.
Forza 5 was a launch title for the Xbox One, and in providing some fantastic graphics to show off the new console’s power, you can’t help but feel that developers Turn 10 compromised on the finished article. Almost two years down the line, Forza 6 feels like the game Forza 5 always should have been.
One new, and much anticipated aspect to the game is the addition of wet weather conditions. Unlike some other racing rivals, this isn’t a dynamic weather system, and it only applies to some of the circuits in the game. Disappointed? Don’t be, as the wet circuits are absolutely thrilling. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the depth of some of the puddles, which can be extremely challenging to navigate, and simulate aquaplaning with buttock-clenching accuracy.
With grid sizes of up to 24 cars, there is some fantastic racing to be had, and AI difficulty ranges from the pathetically easy to a ‘humbling’ professional setting.
How do the cars drive?
Unless you can afford the luxury of a full steering wheel set-up (which is well worth it if you can), the game majority of players will use the standard game pad – which is what we have used for this review.
Naturally, all the cars feel softly rounded off, and fairly uninspiring with the game’s built-in driving assists switched to their default on position. Any semi-experienced gamer will feel much happier with the all of the systems switched off, except for the perhaps ABS – which makes late breaking maneuvers a possibility.
Pick something reasonably humble to begin with, like the Alfa Romeo GTV6 we bought, and you will soon find yourself immersed in the game. As any driver knows, the key to speed is smoothness. Learn to be gentle with your inputs, and the cars will reward you. Become a little bit heavier with your trigger finger though, and there’s a lot of fun to be had…
Forza might not be a simulation in the eyes of iRacing and Project CARS patrons, but for a console racing game, there are some impressive physics models at work. The way that the cars feel is largely the same as Forza 5, which is no bad thing at all. Trying various cars, from 1960s classics like the Alfa GTA to more modern four-wheel drivers including the Toyota Celica GT-Four and Subaru Impreza, they all behave exactly as they should on track. Try to drive the Group B Metro 6R4 like a hot hatch and its short wheelbase and mid-mounted engine will bite you.
As you progress up the food chain, the classic F1 cars and other serious racing machinery becomes available. Where the relatively low-powered hot hatches can feel like a bit of a handful on the wet circuits, James Hunt’s 1976 McLaren M23 is alive, squirming and struggling to put down its power off the line. Once again, it’s challenging enough to be fun, without being too tricky to put off more casual gamers.
Perhaps one of the nicest features is the new ‘Legends of Motorsport’ game mode, which places you in an iconic racing car of the past, and puts you in some of motor racing’s most memorable races. This includes the Ford vs Ferrari battles at Le Mans, as well as one of James Hunt’s best battles with Niki Lauda.
Compared to its predecessor, Forza 6 feels like the complete package. There’s a lot to keep any enthusiast entertained for hours, while all of the most interesting cars and tracks are available to drive right from the off if you don’t have the time to progress through the game’s career mode.
If we were a video game review website, Forza 6 would get a solid 9/10. But, as we’re not, we’ll simply give this game our stamp of approval.