Set to be released in the next two weeks, Forza Motorsport 7 could very well be the most important entry in the franchise’s history. On top of flaunting the new Xbox One X console, Forza Motorsport 7 is also being released in a hotly contested year for racing games.
Based on the brief hands-on time we had at a recent preview event, Forza Motorsport 7 comes across as an incredibly broad and varied racing game that has the potential to be a truly top offering for racing game fans in 2017.
There’s certainly little to find fault with in terms of the content being packed into Forza Motorsport 7. With over 700 vehicles included in the base game from launch, covering a broad variety of car types and motorsports disciplines, there’s plenty for players to get their teeth stuck into here. If you claim to be a car enthusiast and don’t have your interest piqued by any auto in the game, you really need to re-evaluate your petrol head credentials.
Likewise, the 32 venue-strong track roster in Forza Motorsport 7 is also a healthy upgrade over the location selection in its predecessor. Though it’s a shame not all of the circuits in the game come with the new dynamic weather system, the collection of tracks is still nothing to be sniffed at, and it’s certainly great to see Mugello, Suzuka and the fabled Maple Valley back in a Forza game.
Further encouraging this sense of progression are in-game items that are only unlocked upon completing specific elements of the game, as well as the array of showcase events that can only be accessed after a first full play-through of the career mode. Needless to say, it seems completionists will have a proper field day with Forza Motorsport 7.
Online play has been a staple of the Forza franchise almost since its inception, and Forza Motorsport 7 looks set to build upon that long-running tradition. As well as the tried-and-tested hopper lobbies and Rivals lap time leaderboards, Forza Motorsport 7 will also include the broadcasting tool functionality that was first introduced in Forza Motorsport 6 – which will likely be very handy when the next Forza Racing Championship esports competition commences later this year.
Sadly, there will be omissions from launch day in comparison with what was included in more recent Forza games, though fixtures such as the Auction House, Forzathon challenges and the more structured League online lobbies will be added to Forza Motorsport 7 in the weeks after its 3rd October release date.
Arguably the true headline-grabbing aspect of Forza Motorsport 7, though, are its graphical attributes – especially when the game’s running on 4K-capable hardware. Though it can perhaps be argued that there isn’t as big an improvement in graphical fidelity considering it’s such a focal feature of the game, Forza Motorsport 7 regardless is a true sight to behold; comfortably ranking right up there as one of the best-looking (if not, the best-looking) racing games released to date.
Far more noticeable, however, are the additional audio aspects in Forza Motorsport 7. On top of the already sublime engine sounds, loads of ambient effects have been included over what was present in Forza Motorsport 6. These are best heard when playing the game in one of the two cockpit camera perspectives, where the more prominent shake and vibration effects help further accentuate aspects such as transmission whine, loose trim fitting vibrations and the violent crash sounds caused by collisions with other cars and trackside barriers.
Overall, then, Forza Motorsport 7 looks pretty special on paper, with a package that few other titles can rival with regards to its breadth and variety. We’ll reserve further judgement until we get our hands on the finished full game, but Forza Motorsport 7 is certainly looking fairly promising at this stage.