Forza7_Xbox_NZDadsIt’s another year, which naturally means it’s time for another Forza, and this year it’s the next iteration in the Motorsport series with Forza Motorsport 7. With a high bar set with the series to date, the question that remains with an iterative series like this is if it is worth your while upgrading.

Forza Motorsport 7 does the same as the previous titles in that there is no hamming a story in, it’s purely about the racing. Single player has six cups which are made up of a selection of race events, and a few gimmick challenges. You can pick any of those events which usually consists of around six races, so long as you own a car for it, and completion of an event gives you points towards promotion to the next cup. The odd challenge mixed in there does help keep the game fresh, such as knocking over bowling pins or driving a truck between barrels, which helps provide some variety when you’re doing race after race.

That’s what the game consists of, races, races and more races. If you are unfamiliar with the motorsport series or dabbled with the Forza Horizon series you will notice it doesn’t use the open world format the series is known for. Instead this is more like a racing sim with the ability to tinker with your car a bit, but you’re driving consists of making your way from start to finish of a race.

The one thing that the Forza series shares across both games, making them unique is their rewind feature. Players of the series will be aware of this mechanic, but for those weighing it up for the first time, the rewind feature allows you to rewind time by a few seconds. This makes the game a little more casual, but a lot more fun, as it encourages you to have a crack at a corner at speed as you can redo it if you fail and lose your place.

Like many racing sims the real upgrade is in some new content, but a graphical overhaul. Forza Motorsport 7 looks gorgeous, even on an original Xbox One, and this is supposed to be even greater on Xbox One X. Everything from the cars, to the tracks to the weather looks utterly fantastic. Though the weather is something else entirely. It’s not a pattern in the sky, but changes through the course of a race, where it can start raining, or the sun can disappear and it became dark. It’s these little things that add up to making the new Forza a worthwhile purchase.

The biggest snag and hesitation in Forza is the microtransactions/loot boxes. You can buy loot boxes in the game which provide a random car and some other things like mods or outfits. These are in place, and I bought a few, but thanks to the RNG nature of them I found myself not using them often. For the most part, you should be able to buy cars for most races, or earn them, without having to spend too much time grinding. If you are enjoying the game, and use higher difficulty levels, you don’t need to touch these.

This is one of the things I have liked about the Forza games, is the use of difficulty level cash bonuses. Depending on how difficult you set your opponents, will give you an extra boost to the difficulty. Anyone who is a little familiar with a racing game should breeze through on easy, and so changing this to higher difficulties nets a higher percentage top ups on wins.

Forza 7 NZDadsThe other way to increase your bonuses are with the mods. Using different mods, which are modifications to the race, increases your winnings by a percentage. These mods are unlocked in the loot crates, which annoys me a little as to get these you need to use in game (or eventually real) money to buy these crates and hope the ones you unlock are worthwhile. This may not bug others the way it bugged me.

The game is full of the other features the series has been known for including Rivals. Rivals puts you in an indefinite run of a course of your choosing and you need to get the best times you an. Each lap it gives a ghost and time of another racer, it is then your job to beat that. It’s scary how quickly you can lose an afternoon to one track in this mode.

9/10 – Forza Motorsport 7 is pretty much more Forza Motorsport. With its graphical overhaul, it is worthwhile for fans of the series, with it’s simple and fun gameplay it is perfect for newcomers to the series. Its biggest detraction is its slow load times, but I was playing on an original Xbox One so can’t say for sure if it is better on a newer console, but regardless it’s still a fantastic entry in the series.

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