Forza Motorsport 4


By: Karl Burnett    On: Xbox 360
Published: Thursday 6 Oct 2011 8:01 PM
 
 
 
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I’ve been looking forward to getting my chubby little hands on a copy of Forza Motorsport 4 since the first title was unleashed on Xbox, way back in 2005. You see, before Forza, there had only been Gran Turismo, and after Forza... well, for a while, there really was still only Gran Turismo.

Forza was a great game, but it fell slightly short of bottling the magic that the PlayStation stalwart had been conjuring up for the last eight years.

Then along came Forza 2... it was better, perhaps even a GT beater in many peoples’ eyes, but it was still not quite what I’d hoped for. The graphics were adequate and the physics pretty darned nice but it still didn’t feel as much of a quality title as the GT series.

Forza 3 set the bar a hell of a lot higher with nigh-on photo realistic backdrops and car models and now, there’s number 4, and it is jaw-droppingly beautiful.

There may be the odd mismatched texture spotted by the eagle eye, and a few unwelcome cardboard cutout onlookers, but for the most part, the visuals are stunning... more so than a naked Scarlett Johansson wielding a taser between her boobs.

Just as stunning is the audio aspect of the game. Never have I heard engine notes so real! From the metallic shriek of the RX7’s 13B rotary engine to the heavy thumping of a fully blown American V8, Forza 4 gets it right EVERY time... just not with the music, which is a bit too Ridge Racer / glow-stick-waving for my liking.

And the game itself, well, that’s almost as exciting. Almost.

You see, the problem I have with games like Forza and Gran Turismo, is that it all becomes a bit “samey”. You visit the same tracks over and over and do the same thing over and over... sure, it’s a racing game and that’s what it’s all about, yet I’ve never had the level of commitment needed to complete one of these “tuner” games as I have had with titles such as Colin McRae Rally. But, in saying that, Forza 4 throws in a heap of goodies to keep the gameplay varied and enjoyable.

As well as the stock-standard races that you’ll find yourself competing in for the bulk of the game, there are extra events such as one-on-one racing through slower traffic, Project Gotham styled overtake challenges, and even bowling on the Top Gear test track.

Yes, bowling. With cars.

And yes, it is as stupid as it sounds. The Top Gear bowling segments see you trying to knock down as many pins as possible during a lap, and it is the only part of the entire game that doesn’t feel as though you need any amount of talent to do reasonably well. It just doesn’t fit within the walls of this otherwise highly polished title.

The Top Gear integration isn’t all terrible, mind you. It’s fantastic fun blasting around the airfield from the show, trying to beat the Stig (you’ll have to look up his lap times yourself), or even try your luck in the “reasonably priced car”.

Of course, once you’ve finished your hot lap, you owe it to yourself to sit back and watch the replay through the eyes of the actual Top Gear TV cameras... okay, they are virtual cameras but they are placed exactly as they are on the show.

It’s incredible to watch, and nigh-on TV quality. On top of that, Jeremy Clarkson makes an appearance from time to time to educate you on vehicles and add to what is quite possibly the best intro to a racing title, ever.

Another worthy addition to the Forza series is the manufacturer affinity system. Win races and - depending on what make and model of car you are piloting - points are added to the affinity gauge, resulting in heavy discounts off performance parts. The more affinity you garner with your manufacturer, the greater the rewards - both monetary and vehicular. It’s these rewards that really keep you coming back for more.

As with the earlier titles, you start off with a choice of fairly modest vehicles. You’ll need to pick one, take to the track, and win coin before you can upgrade or purchase hotter rides. Although it can take quite some time to raise the cash to purchase that brand-spanking Lamborghini, you will be awarded new vehicles for reaching driver level goals, and will soon find yourself within reach of that shiny supercar.

Don’t expect to jump straight into this game and pilot a Bugatti Veyron, or a Koenigsegg CCX, however, as good things take time. Of course, you can drive such hypercars in the free-play mode, but it’s the career mode that you’ll be spending the lion’s share of your time with.

Continue reading on page 2.




 

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Comments (16)

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leopardsqueezy NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Thursday 6 Oct 2011 8:32 PM Posted by leopardsqueezy
I believe the official reason Porsches are out is because EA are f**kheads.
 
 
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MA3LK
On Thursday 6 Oct 2011 10:03 PM Posted by MA3LK
Really wish i had a xbox for this game.

Porsche is out because EA doesnt want to license it out.
 
 
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PandaJenkins NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Thursday 6 Oct 2011 10:51 PM Posted by PandaJenkins
I need the money for this game... Forza 3 was fantastic and 4 may be even better from the sounds of it.
 
 
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Antmannz NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 7 Oct 2011 9:43 AM Posted by Antmannz
6 October 2011, 08:32 PM Reply to leopardsqueezy
I believe the official reason Porsches are out is because EA are f**kheads.
... and they have been for a very, very long time.
 
 
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NZHippo
On Friday 7 Oct 2011 6:43 PM Posted by NZHippo
As much as I love GT5, Forza 4 looks amazing and is one of the very few exclusives that make me want an Xbox 360.
 
 
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havicdavis NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 7 Oct 2011 7:50 PM Posted by havicdavis
Anychance NZGamer will be reviewing "that fancy new wireless wheel"?
 
 
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emetic NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Friday 7 Oct 2011 11:51 PM Posted by emetic
7 October 2011, 07:50 PM Reply to havicdavis
Anychance NZGamer will be reviewing "that fancy new wireless wheel"?
I can tell you it's got no LB/RB and no headset jack.
 
 
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Manta
On Saturday 8 Oct 2011 12:02 AM Posted by Manta
7 October 2011, 07:50 PM Reply to havicdavis
Anychance NZGamer will be reviewing "that fancy new wireless wheel"?
I did request the wireless wheel... alas, it didn't show up with the game discs :( Hopefully I get chosen again when one is sent out, though! lol.
 
 
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ironfist92 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Saturday 8 Oct 2011 1:57 AM Posted by ironfist92
Does it have V8 Supercars Falcon and Commodores like Forza 3?
 
 
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ironfist92 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Saturday 8 Oct 2011 1:58 AM Posted by ironfist92
6 October 2011, 08:32 PM Reply to leopardsqueezy
I believe the official reason Porsches are out is because EA are f**kheads.
If you want Porsche, then play Shift 2, its awesome as.
 
 
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Manta
On Saturday 8 Oct 2011 11:01 AM Posted by Manta
8 October 2011, 01:57 AM Reply to ironfist92
Does it have V8 Supercars Falcon and Commodores like Forza 3?
Yeah it has a bunch of the Aussies in race form. Only road car is the w427, though. Bit of a shame, really. Some HSVs and FPVs would be awesome! Seems the rest of the world doesn't care (or know) about these amazing cars.
 
 
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leopardsqueezy NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Saturday 8 Oct 2011 9:58 PM Posted by leopardsqueezy
8 October 2011, 01:58 AM Reply to ironfist92
If you want Porsche, then play Shift 2, its awesome as.
I can live without them, but it's still a jerk thing to do on EA's part - the mental little RS Spyder was a racer's racer, and a LOT of serious players will miss that car very much, me included. Not to mention the 962.

Each to their own, but I played Shift and all I can say is the title would be more apt if the 'f' hadn't slipped in there somehow. The Porsche license is wasted on EA's games.
 
 
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aramoe
On Sunday 9 Oct 2011 12:15 PM Posted by aramoe
i agree i hav played all the forza series an if it gona b better then forza3 i cant w8 gran turismo just dont cut it when it stacks against forza3 so bring on forza4 played the demo online an so far it up ther with forza3
 
 
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brettz0r NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
On Monday 10 Oct 2011 8:17 AM Posted by brettz0r
Nooo Don't get Shift 2. That was a terible, terible game. Just the first one.
Codemasters need to make a Grid 2 - that will be an amzing game.

Forza looks good but I just sold my opened Slim 360 Elite that I won - unopened :)
 
 
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jbl316 NZGamer.com VIP VIP
On Monday 10 Oct 2011 7:52 PM Posted by jbl316
Great review you have here. Just one question, is the reviewer "Nick" from Shortland Street? His name is Karl Burnett as well...
 
 
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Manta
On Monday 10 Oct 2011 9:53 PM Posted by Manta
10 October 2011, 07:52 PM Reply to jbl316
Great review you have here. Just one question, is the reviewer "Nick" from Shortland Street? His name is Karl Burnett as well...
That's a name I haven't gone by for many years... SHHHHHHH!!!!
 
 
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