Review by feamatar
It could be a great game, but...
First I have to tell you that I played Gran Turismo 4 previously, and one of the main reason I chose the xbox over the ps3 was the Forza series. I love GT4, it has a great career mode, lots of cars, great tracks and so on. It had it fair share of problems as well, like you could not save during endurance races, most of the cars were Japanese, no cockpit view etc. When I first met Forza, it was in the form of Forza 3 at my brothers xbox. We played many races in solo and in split screen, and I loved it. I felt like I get everything I missed from GT.
So I have heard about that there is a great bundle with Forza4, and I planned to buy that, and I put a serious effort to comparing it with GT5, to decide which is better. After much consideration I came to the conclusion that Forza4 is my choice. After a month of gaming however, I think I made the bad decision.
Most racing game fanatics cite physics as the most import part of a racing game, however I don't know that much about car racing to decide which is the better in that regard. There are many other things that every player can notice however. First thing, that there is a Essentials Edition out there which I was not aware of, and my bundle came with that. Whose idea was that? I didn't know about that existence and what that means up until I started to play the game and saw a lot of cars missing. I felt cheated immediately. If you get that edition you have to pay around 20-30 bucks to get all the cars, and that does not include autovista.
You have to pay extra money to see cars in autovista! What a ripoff! So because I want to race cars not watch their showcase, I did not purchase that add-on. To me this gives the feeling like I play an old shareware title. However It is just the Essentials edition constructed in such a way. Still I wonder how many other people fell to the trick...
Second problem with the game is Porsche... Okay, I accept that they had problems with licensing the Porsche cars, but by default you get your usual RUF cars, and If you want to play Porsche go for Forza3 instead, orr buy the 1600 point Porsche DLC...
The third problem is the track selection. Okay, we got some fairly good new tracks. But they removed Rally di Positano, one of the great long tracks from Forza3. Yeah, there new lighting engine could not handle that. But they did not add some new long track instead, what I really miss. I really loved long tracks from Forza3 and now they are reduced in number.
The fourth problem is the career mode, which to tell the truth, don't hold a candle to the one in Gran Turismo 4. I really loved the idea there that you can go to different places, and you could have your own progress. You don't get that here. What a shame.
The fifth problem is that you can't have customized races in single player mode. You are stuck with the quick race option, you can't change the number of laps, you can't change with which classes you want to compete with. The first Need for Speed knew more than that in 1994.
The sixth problem is that you can't turn off visual damage. The representation of damage is laughable in itself, so why won't you let me to disable it? If damage would be similar to Grid or Dirt, than I would say it is okay, but this way...
The seventh problem, which I was aware of before buying, that the game does not feature a full cockpit. The cockpit is more detailed than for example in Grid, but you can't turn your had around.
The eighth problem is racing AI, which is plain lame. The AI drivers sometime get crazy, and drive off the road. They drive boringly and they drive slow.
The ninth problem is no endurance racing. No use of pitstops. No qualifying. This all means that Forza4 is more of a racing game than a racing sim. Even without aids you can control all cars fairly well. I think that this is the way Need for Speed should have evolved after 2000... Maple Valley is almost like a classic NFS track, similar to Autumn Valley from NFS or Home Town from NFS3.
These are my complaints regarding the single player mode. I did not plan to play online, If I had planned, I would have bought a PS3, because there online is free.
All-in-all, the best reason to purchase Forza4 is the car selection, although it lacks Porsche, the rest is great. You have to be aware of the Essentials Editions, which was a stupid idea, one which only Microsoft could come up with. For me the custom races are the deal breaker. I mostly play single races, and that they were unable to come up with a decent race customization system means to me that probably this is the last Forza I have purchased.
Product Release: Forza Motorsport 4 (EU, 10/14/11)
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