Having found that I can win almost every race against the computer cars after learning the tracks and behavior of my car, I normally would have shelved the disk and only brought it out now and then. That would be a real shame with Forza because it offers a very good Xbox Live multiplayer mode. Forza will allow online races of up to eight cars. When racing online, it is possible to configure many options such as number of laps, effects of damage and tire wear, fuel consumption, etc. Microsoft has also provided a lot of assistance in finding appropriate people to race against. There is a ranking system that will help you find other racers at your skill level, and it is possible to set up and/or join car clubs. This will avoid one of the major frustrations incumbent in online play: dealing with players that may or may not take the game as seriously as you do (or don't, for that matter).
So, while Microsoft Forza Motorsport is still more console-ish than a PC-based racing simulator, it clearly demonstrates the possibilities of the newer, more powerful consoles. The graphics, sounds, and physics are very close to matching PC capabilities already. With the addition of a true force feedback controller and an in-car cockpit view, something like Forza could offer the ultra-realistic racing simulation available on the PC, but without the cost and complexity inherent in dealing with Windows, graphics boards, and the myriad other details associated with PCs. Forza is quite likely to be the pinnacle of racing sims available on today’s Xbox, and certainly demonstrates the level of quality and realism that we can expect from the next generation of consoles.
With Forza Motorsport, Microsoft Game Studios makes their first
entry into the console-based racing simulation genre with what may
ultimately prove to be the most realistic, innovative, and downright fun
racing title available on the Xbox.
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