Title: Forza Motorsport 7
Format: Xbox One, PC
Developer: Turn 10 Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Release Date: October 3, 2017
The Grade: A
Forza 7 Haiku Review
So very pretty
Plethora of things to do
What is it? One of the best selling and highest rated racing franchises in gaming has returned. Last year players were able to jump into the open world racing of “Forza Horizon 3,” but this year its time for another round of “Forza Motorsport” which returns the action to the track.
Highs: “Forza 7” is bursting with content. The single player component, Forza Driver’s Cup, is where many drivers will spend a majority of their time. This enormous campaign provides gamers with countless hours of gameplay. Not only is it deep, but this mode also offers a ton of variety. The vehicle types range from the expected (million dollar supercars), to the exciting (street racers) to the surprising (Semi race trucks? ATVs?). It requires adaptability and skill to be successful, which leads to rewarding gameplay.
There’s a lot more to do than just the single player campaign. Players can race against other drivers online, join racing leagues, work on collecting the 700+ in game cars, or spend hours fine tuning vehicles to any desired specification. Gamers can even import saved tunes from previous Forza titles into “Forza Motorsport 7.” There are a ton of customization options in this title.
While a deep dive into car culture is easy to do win “Forza 7,” you don’t have to be a gearhead to enjoy this game. In fact, there are a lot of new features that seem to be borrowed from Motorsport’s more personable younger brother, “Forza Horizon.” New assists and mods make this a game that’s fun for drivers of any skill level. There are also hundreds of options for players to personalize their avatars appearance. Local split screen play adds to the “lets just get in a car, race and have fun” vibe.
As you might expect from this franchise, the game presentation for “Forza 7” is first rate. The audio is crisp, with distinct engine sounds and ambient effects. Visually, this game has few equals. Your jaw is sure to drop when you see it running at a beautiful 4K resolution at 60fps. Buildings, crowds, vehicles, and tracks all look spectacular. And the games dynamic weather, which provides a variety of patterns throughout a race, make the visual improvements even more noticeable. “Forza 7” is stunning.
One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about the Forza series is how it’s constantly rewarding you. It’s as if the game is saying, “Here, have a car. Here, have some credits. Need some XP? You’ll get a boatload after this next race." This franchise is always encouraging you to keep playing and “Forza 7” is no exception. After almost every race, some kind of reward is thrown your way. This is a title that’s always pushing you to drive one more event, which makes it incredibly addictive.
Lows: The Forza series is unique because it consists of two different members of the same family - “Forza Motorsport” and “Forza Horizon.” While there are many similarities between the two, Motorsport has a more serious tone and Horizon is a bit more easy going. Both games offer plenty of racing enjoyment, but “Forza Motorsport 7” has more intensity. This isn’t a bad thing, in fact for some fans it’s a welcome change from the more playful Horizon series. And to be fair, “Forza 7” has added several elements to lighten things up. A ridiculously wide range of vehicles to drive, car bowling and showcase events are just a few examples. Just be mindful of the subtle differences in tone between these titles.
The Grade: Microsoft is heavily promoting “Forza Motorsport 7” in conjunction with the launch of their new Xbox One X console and it’s no surprise. Picking a new title from a consistently great franchise that visually shows off the power of the new console makes a lot of sense. But it doesn’t matter whether you play “Forza 7” on the Xbox One X or not. Full of intense action, beautiful scenery and a myriad of features, this is a game worth playing no matter what type of Xbox you have.
Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications including GamePro, GamesBeat, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.