September 18, 2015.
Forza 6 is so passionate about cars and racing it’s contagious. It’s abundantly apparent that developer Turn 10 gets it when it comes to motorsport. Understanding that special feeling and surge of adrenaline that comes with racing, it understands the beauty car enthusiasts see when they look at a car, and the excitement one gets from driving them. It celebrates all of this unabashedly and shares the passion with such meticulous attention to the presentation and mechanics that the game transcends the ordinary and verges on the spectacular.
The Forzavista mode is the perfect representation of this passion. It showcases a huge array of cars from the extensive roster of over 450, showing one model at a time, recreated with absolute precision. Rendered to an awe-inspiring level of realism, the shiny paintwork begs to be touched as you move the camera around the vehicle. Additionally, you can highlight parts of the car to bring up narration on its performance and design, as well as taking a closer look at the engine, boot, wheels and view from the driver’s and passenger’s seats to really appreciate it up close. The authenticity and enthusiasm is superb, even for non-petrol heads it can conjure up a powerful desire to race these mechanical beauties, which is precisely the experience Forza 6 provides.
The primary mode is Career, which sends you on a journey of events across five volumes that cater to a different discipline and set of competitions: Super Street, Sport Icons, Grand Touring, Professional Racing and Ultimate Motorsport. Each volume and their series of races take you across a wide variety of locations, as you earn money and rank to climb in fame and expand your collection of purchased vehicles. While the competition can be fierce on the tracks, overall the mode feels a little more laid back than in previous titles, allowing you to enjoy the journey and concentrate on the collection of cars rather than titles and fame. This is further enhanced by a spin to win reward system similar to Forza Horizon 2, which grants you a random amount of cash or even a new car each time you increase in level. It’s a neat way to reward your continued play with significant cash and car gifts that you’d otherwise have to grind for to achieve.
Each discipline gives you the opportunity to try different manufacturers, tracks and vehicles types, keeping things fresh during your progression, and the differences to how each vehicle controls, feels and sounds is stunningly varied. The familiar sounds of a streets car match precisely what you hear in real life on your daily commute. Meanwhile, F1 race cars match your expectations based on what you witness on TV. It’s remarkably authentic.
Feedback in the controls is equally superb. Subtle use of the controller’s rumble feature, the sound of your engine and tyres, and the feel of your car informs you of exactly what’s happening on the road, giving you the chance to counter any problems or, at the very least, learn from them. You can feel a spinout coming as your control loosens when careening round corners, and hear your engine chug and your tyres moan if you have a collision or head off-road. It also highlights the subtle differences between cars as well as when you tune a car’s components.
This is further explored with the feature of night racing and rain weather effects. The cool concrete when driving at night reduces your grip slightly and plays a significant difference in braking and turning at speed. Meanwhile, rain changes the feel of the surface completely, and as puddles accumulate they add an additional threat of compromised control if you speed through them. It’s spectacularly realistic and makes the elements as big a foe as any of your fellow racers. Moreover, the lightning effects from headlights make night racing look all the more realistic and the sense of speed even more exhilarating, while drops of rain pool on your windscreen and react to speed wonderfully. It’s technically impressive, visually stunning and results in brilliantly informative feedback that will turn advanced players in to expert ones.
However, the Forza series has always sported great accessibility and Forza 6 continues that trend. A number of assists can be activated and deactivated to adjust the overall difficulty and make the experience as accessible or technical as you desire. On the easiest setting speed is automatically determined and driving lines are present to guide your position, as well as the rewind ability returning which allows you to rewind time if you should mess up a particular section. The hardest setting leaves everything up to you, strips away the rewind ability and has damage affect your car’s performance realistically. You are also encouraged to turn more of the assists off by an earning’s multiplier that increases as less assists are activated. And regardless of which assists are activated you’re also incentivised to drive better by receiving additional credits for passing other vehicles without crashing, and taking corners precisely. Whatever your skill level, Forza 6 can be adjusted to match it and grow with you as you improve.
A new feature called Mods has also been introduced, where you collect cards and activate up to three of them for each race. These Mods add a variety of effects, such as boosting your grip, increasing the experience points or cash you receive from a race, or even challenging you to use a specific camera or race with a specific handicap. They act a lot like Burn Cards in Titanfall, providing that extra opportunity to test your skills or increase your level or cash flow.
Once again Forza 6 doesn’t feature any Porsches, but the 450-plus cars run the gamut of other manufacturers so you’re likely not to miss them, with a large selection of newer models joining the roster among familiar ones from the previous titles. Meanwhile, 26 circuits offering an impressive 90 tracks provide a wide variety of locations to enjoy, all stunningly recreated in 1080p 60fps. It’s a massive improvement in content over Forza 5.
Test Drive, Free Play and Rivals return, with the former two offering you the opportunity to test out any of the cars and tracks, or even setup a split screen session with a local friend. Meanwhile, Rivals provides a set of leaderboard-chasing challenges for you to compete in. The new Leagues mode offers dynamic leagues you can compete in based on your skill level. Finally, Multiplayer offers standard racing for up to 24 players across different car classes, as well as Tag, Drag Racing, and Unlimited Drift where you compete for points by drifting around bends. It’s a nice variety of racing options, and playing against a full lobby of 24 racers is wonderfully exciting.
However, thanks to the Drivatar system, whichever mode you play seldom feels lonely, as AI facsimiles of your friends race against you, imitating their style of play to a terrific degree of accuracy, as well as providing an all-important sense of dynamic racing that allows for realistic jostling for position, crashes, and general mistakes. Trying to achieve the perfect overtake to net these extra credits is a difficult challenge, with aggressive and responsive opponents blocking your advances and even aiming for you, meaning to take you out. Drivatar still proves to be a brilliant take on AI opponents and shows remarkable personality.
Indeed, Forza 6 is a content-rich and superbly tweaked version of the motorsports title we’ve fallen in love with over the years. The simulation racing has never felt so real, the roster is once again magnificently abundant, the visuals truly breath-taking and the new rain and night driving a treat we’ve been clamouring for for so very long. It’s a spectacular package that meets the high expectations of race driver wannabe’s the world over. If snow and sleet were added to it, it’d be perfect.
Night and Rain have significant effects on the race.
Back to a huge roster of cars.
24 player racing is insanely fun..
Still no snow and sleet effects.
A spectacular package that meets the high expectations of race driver wannabe’s the world over. If snow and sleet were added to it, it’d be perfect.