- Platform: Xbox One
- Published by: Microsoft Games Studio
- Developed by: Turn 10 Studios
- Genre: Racing
- ESRB Rating: E For Everyone
- Number of Players: 1, Online multiplayer 2-16
- Release Date: November 22nd, 2013
Microsoft put Turn 10 Studios in a difficult position. The Xbox One needed a racing title for its launch, but it’s always difficult to put out a title when you’re on a hardware schedule. The one thing you could count on this past generation was that Forza Motorsport was going to be the best racing game every time one released, and it was important to have that type of quality right out of the gate for the Xbox One.
One of the things that impressed me the most about Forza Motorsport 5 is the fact that Turn 10 didn’t take the easy way out. They could have imported cars and tracks from previous Forza games. The competition does it, and nobody really seems to bat an eyelash. So the temptation must have been pretty heavy to do the same. Thankfully Turn 10 has built the game from the ground up for the Xbox One.
Right away you’ll notice how absolutely stunning this game looks. Yes for all you technical nuts Forza Motorsport 5 runs at native 1080p resolution and at a silky smooth 60 frames per second. There is no slowdown or any hiccups in the frame rate. Even the 16 player multiplayer is silky smooth, no lag, no slowdown and no issues whatsoever. That is the power of The Cloud. It’s not just a buzzword folks, it’s the real deal in every single way.
Microsoft’s Cloud isn’t just for dedicated servers, it also brings things like Drivatar to the table. Drivatar is where individual gamer’s habits are uploaded to The Cloud and your racer can earn you credits by showing up in other people’s offline career. This is an amazing feature and just goes to show you what the Xbox One is capable of and what it will be capable of in the future. It was very interesting to race against the likes of Major Nelson and have his car react the way he would if it were actually him at the helm. I personally race a little recklessly and tend to bump into people. I’ve been told by my friends and family that my Drivatar actually rams them off the road quite often, so it’s not just buzzwords, it’s something that is actually tested and works beautifully.
There are over 200 cars from 50 manufacturers and 14 tracks to choose from. There are noticeably less tracks and cars in this version of Forza, which goes back to them not actually importing anything from previous games. There is a ton of content and races to pick from. The career mode is actually the deepest it has ever been, and that’s saying a lot. Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond from BBC’s Top Gear do the game’s commentary when choosing a new event, championship, or league. This is one of the little touches that helps Forza Motorsport 5 ooze with class from top to bottom.
The online is simply the best racing you can find on any console. For the first time in my life I forgot I was actually racing online. It’s that smooth when you play the multiplayer. And considering that it’s 16 player multiplayer it makes it seem all the more impressive. Let’s face it, 2013 is almost over and we’re about to usher in 2014. All games should be running this smooth and on dedicated servers. This was one of the reasons I was so excited for the Xbox One in the first place. As we get more and more online oriented we needed a console that caters to that aspect specifically.
All of the customization that Forza Motorsport is known for is back and better than ever. And since your car will be showing off via the Drivatar you’ll want your car to look its absolute best at all time. You can also fully tune and adjust your car. These are staples that set Forza Motorsport 5 above the competition. Forza Vista is back, and you can get in and start up any car you want. These cars have never looked better, and popping the hood and getting a look at what these high end engines look like is an amazing feeling.
Kinect is back and works great for headtracking as well. You aren’t forced to use it, but it’s a nice feature to have as an option. It worked well for me every time I enabled it for my races. One of the new things added to this game, and for the first time in a Forza title is the addition of open wheel cars and Formula One cars. This is something that a lot of people have been asking for and I’m happy to see the game get even more content.
At the end of the day this is probably the best Xbox One launch title. it’s definitely the most steady game through and through. It rounds out a pretty solid launch lineup that has a lot of different genres to offer people. You could make a case that there weren’t as many cars, or that there are Micro-transactions. But I think it’s better to focus on the fun you can have with the game as is. However, I am glad Turn 10 went back and fixed the credit payout that you made in the races, and they started gifting cars again. Bravo to Turn 10 and Microsoft for listening to the community as a whole. Considering Forza 5 is a launch title, it offers a great deal of fun, content and the heart pounding racing excitement that you’d expect. I highly recommend Forza Motorsport 5 and think if you own an Xbox One, you’ll want to own this game as well.