Preliminary Forza Motorsport 6 impressions

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isomeri

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Edited By isomeri

I'm one of the crazies who went and bought the Forza Motorsport 6 Ultimate Edition, giving me access to the game more than a week before its official European release date. Since I've already been able to spend a handful of hours with the game, I thought that I'd jot down some of my earliest impressions for y'all.

Day-to-naaaaaaaa, let's go away!
Day-to-naaaaaaaa, let's go away!

Even with all its flaws, Forza Motorsport 5 was quite revolutionary in regards of how well it made use of the Xbox One controllers vibration functions. Forza Horizon 2 honed this feature to an even finer edge, and at least for me the ability to feel everything your car is doing through the trigger rumble motors has made it very difficult to go back and play racing games on any other console or controller. It's something which is very difficult to describe in text, but once you get used to it reacting to the various rumble inputs becomes second nature. With Forza 6, this method of communication has been improved upon even further. Overall the game is much better at telegraphing what your tires and suspension are doing at any given moment. Every surface in the game, from different varieties of tarmac to grass, sand, painted surfaces and varying curb types has a very distinct feel. You can immediately tell when your tires have moved from the top of the curb over to a painted runoff area or into the grass.

Limited nighttime visibility is a real challenge.
Limited nighttime visibility is a real challenge.

Not only do these surfaces feel distinctly different, but they evolve through temperature changes and especially in the rain. A corner which you would be able to slightly cut in a daytime race might slow you down or spin you off during cold nighttime temperatures or in wet conditions. The introduction of varying weather types is of course the most important new addition to the game, and I don't think I've seen them implemented better in any other game. Sure the rain in DriveClub for example might look more impressive graphically, but in terms of gameplay effects nothing comes close. Rain especially has usually just been felt as a slight reduction in mechanical grip in other games. In Forza 6 every surface reacts differently to water, puddles form and react naturally and in longer races dryer lines start to form along the racing line. Nighttime conditions lower track temperatures, reducing grip and tire wear. Racing at night also forces you to memorize the tracks more than you otherwise would have to, since you often can't see the braking points in upcoming corners. That is, if you have the racing line turned off.

There are also morning and evening races, which bring their own challenges when you have to contend with the glint of a rising or setting sun in the windshield of your car. Morning races especially are among one of the most beautiful looking in the game. In Mount Panorama for example you can see a faint morning mist hovering over parts of the track. Nice visual touches like this have been added to other tracks as well. Some tracks have smoke rising from grills in the paddock area and Laguna Seca has trails of sand blowing over the track, which not only look nice but effect grip as well.

More cars on track, more fun to be had.
More cars on track, more fun to be had.

The car models themselves seem to be the same ones used in Forza 5 and Horizon 2, but the details in these models really pop with the new improved lighting engine. It's also very impressive to see a full 24 car grid thundering up a track with the game maintaining a fairly consistent 60fps at 1080p. I have seen the framerate hitch a few times, maybe once every three races. This seems to be something that could be addressed with a patch at some point. With a 24 car grid I would however like to be able to do a qualifying session, especially on fast tracks where grid position is pretty key. Luckily the Drivatars are pretty well realized this time, at least on the higher difficulty settings, so racing your way up a pack of cars is extremely fun and rewarding.

There are roughly two times as many cars in Forza 6 than there were in five, and twice the amount of tracks as well. The progression system should be fairly familiar to anyone who's played a Forza Motorsport game in the past, with a few evolutionary changes. One criticism I would level against the game is the necessity to finish in the top 3 in every race in order to progress. I feel that the points system in Forza Horizon is much more dynamic and forgiving. Having to restart the race just because you whiffed the last corner of a track and finished fourth, even though you've won every other race in the "series" is very frustrating.

That being said I don't see myself getting bored with the content or the progression any time soon here, and as great as this year has been for games I can already see clear arguments as to why Forza 6 belongs in my top three come December.

I haven't been able to try all the features in the game yet. Split-screen multiplayer for example is something I spend a lot of time with, but I've not had a chance to try it yet so I can't comment on things like if the cockpit view in split-screen has made a comeback yet or if you can get AI drivers on the track.

Feel free to shoot any questions my way or share and compare your own impressions of the game.

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rethla

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#1  Edited By rethla

Good writeup, i will probably check this game out later on when i got more time. I enjoyed Forza Horizons 2 alot, it was by far the best handcontroller driving experience i have had.

Your gripes with this game seems to be in line with my gripes for most racing games. Its a shame there is no qualifying and there is no reward for just "finishing in the points". Im getting really tired of the old arcade videogame trope "Start at the back of the field and crash your way through to P1 in 3 laps or you are finished", thats not racing. There so much more a game with motorsport in the title could explore in racing. Even in Horizons 2 you where pretty much doomed if you didnt finish constantly on the top of the podium, there was always that one fast car that took all the P1s you missed, you basicly just raced one car and the rest of the field was obstacles.

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pweidman

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I felt that this version of Forza will be the best since 3 after playing the demo. The campaign looks to be really extensive, huge car and track list, no micro obnoxiousness, etc. 24 car fields, and the rain and dark are great variables too. If you turn down the 'aggression' in the drivatars it's far easier to pass and drive entire races pretty clean. Looking forward to getting started this Tuesday.

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vaportra1l

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I'm really liking it so far, huge list of cars, lots of real world tracks. Kinda disappointed that there's no stock cars, especially since they have Daytona now. Reminds me of when Forza 4 got Indy, and then it had no Indy cars. Now we have Daytona with no stock cars. Also would've liked to see some Daytona Prototypes in there since we have many of the tracks the Tudor series runs on now in the game. I guess that's why we have DLC. I'm also excited for the forthcoming Porsche pack for sure, after playing with them in FH2 I miss them a little bit now. I do wish the weather and day/night were dynamic but oh well, I guess there's FM7 to look forward for that, not a huge deal.

Also the load times are pretty manageable, which was my biggest gripe with FM5 when it launched. The load times in that game do seem a little better now but I think that's because I upgraded to a usb 3.0 external HDD.

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ThatOneDudeNick

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One of the best racing games I've ever played, but didn't Forza used to give more specs on the cars? Like raw numbers?

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johncallahan

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Spent about six hours with it so far. I god damn love it. First non-Horizon Forza game to grab me since 3.

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j3ffro919

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@thatonedudenick: Do you mean raw numbers like horsepower, torque, and weight?

If so, you have to toggle them. Depending the screen you have to press Y or up or down on the D pad. That shows you those numbers instead of the ratings.

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HadesTimes

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I'm also one of those crazies. I have found some weird difficulty spikes here and there. Also, I often find that there are only one or two cars per volume that are really good and everything else is a struggle to get in the top 3. This can be solved with Mods but it seems to take away from the point of the game. At least in my opinion. The drivatars are better than in 5 but they are still as unpredictable as in Horizon 2. Which isn't necessarily bad, but when I'm lapping the pack and people are still trying to block me, it gets a bit annoying.

I'm definitely enjoying the game, the showcase events are great and even the multiplayer isn't awful. But I guess these are still early days. I'm roughly twice as far as Jeff was in the Quick Look. 2 races into the volume "Pure Motorsport."

I was luke warm on 5 and I really loved Horizon 2. Thought it was FAR better than Horizon #1. I would put 6 around the same area as Forza Horizon 2. But I might have a hard time staying committed once I've done everything once. I hope there is some REAL reason to go back through using different cars. Definitely looking like around 2-3 months more of content then I'm either going to have to go back through with different cars or become interested in online(hard to believe, but I liked DriveClub's online so ANYTHING is possible).

Would love to see some kind of championship DLC, but that seems a like a bit of a stretch considering Turn 10's history. Horizon 2 seemed uber popular right up until around a couple of weeks ago and they only did one big content pack for that. Three if you count the Porsche Pack and the Fast and Furious Pack. But I don't see that happening as easily with this game. Even though the modular nature of it certainly seems made for that kind of thing.

Well, see you all on the track, after Tuesday. Unless there are still some crazies out there. Then, I'll probably see your Drivatar trying to run me off the road. You will defintiely see mine. LOL!

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isomeri

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#8  Edited By isomeri

I entirely neglected to mention the audio design aspects, which have also been greatly improved. I'm still not a fan of the in-race orchestral music which they brought over from five. However the music Turn 10 have used for the menus is quite fitting, and clicking through everything sounds as pleasant as ever. Clarkson has been booted from the game, but you still get commentary from James May and Richard Hammond as well as a number of other racing commentators, drivers and reporters. Before each race and after buying each car "the Forza lady" tells you some interesting facts of them. She still butchers the pronunciation of Silverstone though, which drives me mad every time.

Every car sounds distinct of course and Turn 10 have put more effort into the sounds of the gearbox and downshifts. The pops of a P1 downshifting in Yas Marina sounds like gunfire echoing off the walls, where as something like a BAC Mono just gives you more of a gargle. You can hear the crowds as well, especially in spectator heavy tracks like the ovals of the USA. And road noise is different per car as well. In cars with less soundproofing you can hear marbles clinking off the car, where as in some of the luxury GT cars the experience is much more quiet.

Finally here's a quick pic I nabbed last night, showing quite clearly the effects that aquaplaning can have in the game, especially when you only touch half of your tires in the standing water.

No Caption Provided

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PizzaSauce

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I'm enjoying it so far (I also got the ultimate edition). The handling feels sharper than in 5, the rumble in the controllers triggers is awesome.I am also very impressed by the wet weather racing. The feeling you get when the car starts aquaplaning is awesome.

The most difficult car I've had the pleasure of ramming into a sidewall so far is the Catherham R500. That thing is an absolute monster to drive!

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isomeri

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An update regarding split-screen. I played the game for around 4 hours with a friend last night and here's the lowdown. It's all pretty much the same as in Forza 5. You can't play night or rain races in split-screen. You also can't have any AI drivers on the track or use the in-car view. This is all slightly disappointing, since AI drivers in split-screen were a thing back in the 360 days and Forza 4 allowed you to use the cockpit view when playing with a friend.

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notnert427

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Count another crazy who bought the Ultimate Edition and got it early. This game feels phenomenal. The driving is sublime, thanks largely to the haptic triggers. In the rain with the puddles especially, it feels freaking awesome, far beyond any game I've played with a controller. It's a pretty terrific-looking game as well, save a few lowlights like Lime Rock where some sub-par trees stand out, but that's offset and then some by how good the cars and most of the other tracks look, especially the rain/night tracks. As Jeff mentioned in the QL, the game menus and the like feel pretty damn dry. Following the brilliant Horizon 2 that upped the "fun" factor, this stands out even more. What little personality they tried to add in Forza 6 is largely a huge whiff like the racing/war comparison in the QL or the laughable opening "why do we race" video. I fucking love cars and racing, and I still found that shit completely ridiculous.

Overall, I think Forza 6 feels polished and complete, thankfully shedding the aggressive microtransactions of Forza 5 and working in some of the fun like wheelspins from Horizon 2, but sadly mostly retains the tepid "here it is" presentation of Forza 5, which is my only real knock on the game. If you need to be wowed by slick interfaces and whatnot, pass on this and consider giving Horizon 2 a look instead. If you're wanting some quality racing, a great list of cars/tracks, and a pretty game, definitely pick this up. I must admit that I enjoyed Horizon 2 more (it's my favorite racing game of all-time), but Forza 6 mostly succeeds in the areas where 5 didn't, and is a really good game that would be great if the presentation simply was better than it is. For Forza 6, the style isn't there, but happily, the substance is. Driving on a console with a controller has never felt or played better.

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handlas

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#12  Edited By handlas

I like how in the demo I was always in 2nd place until the last lap and then the first place car would take a turn really poorly and wreck completely out of the blue :). I was playing on average AI difficulty though. Ended up getting the standard edition today.

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isomeri

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Here's an interesting little detail I've noticed. The stitching on your racing gloves changes according to the paint job you've selected for your car.

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Seikenfreak

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#14  Edited By Seikenfreak

Been playing it for a couple hours now I guess.

Seems like it still has the flat/saturated toy-ish look to the cars that the Forza engine has always had IMO. Other then that it looks pretty good and runs well.

First goal was to buy a R32 GTR to compare to my own recently acquired one. Unfortunately, the game still does the exaggerated crazy engine/intake/exhaust sounds. It sounds like some 600hp, big turbo, loud spool up, bov poofing race car right out of the box. Completely unrealistic and frustrating. It was the same for the Impreza STIs as well. They get the engine sounds right for the most part, but none of these cars sound like this stock. They've always decided to just make one engine sound for each car, regardless of level of tuning, vs Gran Turismo's system of going with a base, stock sounding engine and sort of making a change with a "Sport" or "Race" exhaust. Neither is a great solution but I personally prefer GT's system.

They also still do not have BBS LM wheels, which I think is probably one of the most common classic aftermarket wheel designs around. It just points out that they've continued to just carry the same wheel selection from game to game since like Forza 2 or 3.

Sorry. Had to vent. Game seems fine other than that sorta stuff which has irked me forever about this series.

Edit: Actually.. sitting here at the menus, I kinda feel bored with this game already. Or maybe I'm just not in the mood for a driving game. I have this weird depressed feeling having bought a couple cars I'm interested in and feeling like this is exactly the same as the prior Forzas. I skipped 5 because I didn't have an Xbox One at the time. And I kinda used 6 as an excuse to finally get one. Obviously not just for this one game but other Xbox exclusives. But yea... It all feels like the same thing but a little bit prettier.

It's a great driving game.. for people who have never played Forza before or specifically love Forza?

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#15  Edited By Dewar

My first impressions are that the RX-7 they give you as an option at the start is tuned very very bad, and Drivatars (on medium at least) seem to brake at random times which makes it tough to get close since they suddenly brake and you rear-end them.

Edit: They are hitting the brakes in the Indy500

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isomeri

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#16  Edited By isomeri

@dewar: Yeah even on "expert" difficulty most of the Drivatars brake in ovals and up Eau Rouge. It can be pretty frustrating at times, but you learn to avoid hitting their asses pretty quickly.

I hope everyone's noticed this sweet GB Formula E livery someone made.
I hope everyone's noticed this sweet GB Formula E livery someone made.

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Deccman

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It's a good Forza game so far. I don't think it is anywhere near as good as Forza 4 yet, it's missing too many memorable tracks like Suzuka, Mt Fuji and Mugello as well as other features like car specs (engine size, displacement) and car clubs.

The car selection is good so far, better than the emptiness that was Forza 5. Microtransactions seem to be gone, which is good.

My main gripe is the small number of tracks that have night time racing or wet racing. The way Turn 10 was pushing those features I thought that every track will have that. Hopefully they'll release Bathurst in the wet in a future DLC or game update.

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notnert427

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#18  Edited By notnert427

@deccman said:

My main gripe is the small number of tracks that have night time racing or wet racing. The way Turn 10 was pushing those features I thought that every track will have that. Hopefully they'll release Bathurst in the wet in a future DLC or game update.

I was wondering about if they'd be patching in wet/night versions of some of the other tracks later as well. I mean, the code to do wet/night effects exists already and should seemingly be able to be applied to other tracks. Theoretically, it should just be a matter of creating some new art for the sky/setting the lighting effects accordingly, applying different traction values, and deploying it. I'm sure there's probably more to it than that, but it certainly seems like something they could do. IMO, the wet/night tracks are the real deal and are the highlight of the game, so why limit it to a select few?

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m1k3ines

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Haven't played a Forza game since Forza 3. Really interested in getting this, but still playing Mario Maker and MGSV. Really hate this time of year for my wallet.

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Dewar

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i get the feeling that puddles are placed manually, rather than dynamically, so it might be more difficult than that.

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rethla

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#21  Edited By rethla

@dewar: Yeh they are put there "manually", just like the shadows and reflections. They dont have an 100% realistic weathersimulator with fluid dynamics buildt into the game. Maybe Forza 87 will have that ;)

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