Game Review: Forza Motorsport (2023)

    Analysis: Forza Motorsport: A Disappointing Sequel

    One thing that has always fascinated me about the Forza games is the ability of both Turn 10 and Playground Games to consistently produce impressive titles in a short amount of time. However, after waiting six years for the sequel to Forza Motorsport 7, I am disappointed with the end result.

    The game’s career mode is where the disappointment stems from. While a shakeup was needed after the controversial upgrade system in the previous game, the hardcore reboot of the career and progression system seemed unnecessary. Most racing simulators follow a straightforward formula: start with a mediocre car, win races, earn money, and invest in new cars or upgrades. Forza Motorsport adds a slower system focused on earning experience points for each car, making the upgrade process tedious and time-consuming.

    This emphasis on car bonding and leveling up feels out of place in a racing simulator. While Forza Horizon 5 implemented a similar experience point system, it was more focused on unlocking buffs and bonuses. Forza Motorsport, on the other hand, restricts upgrades to the leveling system, significantly lengthening the campaign and affecting the game’s pacing.

    Despite these flaws, the gameplay itself is still enjoyable. The physics have been revamped to provide a more realistic driving experience, though it may be less accessible to newcomers. However, the game offers various accessibility options to cater to different skill levels. At its core, Forza Motorsport remains a great racing game.

    Unfortunately, the game lacks the passion and celebration of car culture that was present in previous Forza titles. The narration feels bored, and the UI and soundtrack are lackluster. Visually, Forza Motorsport falls short of expectations, especially on the Xbox Series S, where it looks vastly inferior to other racing games. Given the six years of development time, the graphical discrepancies are surprising.

    In conclusion, Forza Motorsport is a disappointing sequel. The focus on unnecessary gameplay elements and the lack of passion in its presentation hinder what could have been a return to form for the series. With a cumbersome campaign and questionable design choices, Forza Motorsport falls short of expectations.

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