Racing games have developed to the point that we can no longer count how many times we’ve raced along Road America’s straightaways or driven the twists and turns in the Bernese Alps.
This only goes to show the value of certain racing games, when they can make us return to the old roads over and over again. Since it offers considerable additional features that reinforce the familiar, Forza Motorsport 6’s arrival is one more reason you’ll want to get back behind the wheel.
Stories of Motorsport
Forza 6 is good in many areas but especially so in Stories of Motorsport, the main mode of the game’s single-player, goal-driven experience. Tidily arranged in groups of five motifs, the game’s central racing disciplines are presented in imaginative ways and provide entertainment while you’re getting accustomed to a variety of car class combinations and tracks.
Forza 6 manages to effectively sell “the journey” of advancing through eras and car classes with fitting rewards, both superficial and practical, accompanied by a sizeable feeling of accomplishment.
The Drivatars of Forza 6, A.I. racers that imitate the driving habits of your friends, teach you to be ready for the unexpected. Drivatars can even veer off track, similar to how you might on a bad day. In the same way, the first-place driver can make a bad move, giving you an indisputable lead for the remainder of the race.
On the other hand, a driver could just as well navigate any of the tracks flawlessly, leading from beginning to the end, with you in the rearview mirror.
One reason why Forza is commonly regarded as a considerably more approachable racing simulator than games like Gran Turismo, for example, is the way penalties are handled. Like a lenient parent, Forza 6 opts not to hand out punishment. Rather, it rewards the player with points, based on your difficulty level.
If you’ve played the series from the beginning but were never able to turn assists off completely, Forza 6 allows you to skip the embarrassment for receiving some assistance with the controls. With a promise of bigger rewards along the way, it also provides encouragement to become a smarter driver.
Night races and rainfall are also introduced to the series in Forza 6. Not only do these look amazing, they also provide new canvases for core gameplay. People who have a preference for an interior camera while they race may be won over by the impressive cockpit view while driving in the rain. Naturally, the new weather patterns cause driving conditions that are more difficult, like hydroplaning, but with such a great view, you don’t care if the tires don’t grab the road as well, you just enjoy being there.
However, it’s worth mentioning the static nature of these conditions. There is no variation in the level of rainfall from one race to another, and each time you go out on a track, the puddles will be identical in size and location. Other realistic touches in Forza 6 include a pesky reflection on the dashboard in sunny races and specks of dust on the camera.
Mods are one the best additional features in Forza 6. While catching up to the lead car is a challenge already, launching a mod that awards bonus credits for each perfect turn is yet another layer of difficulty. This sense of multitasking brings with it an appreciated, if unexpected, depth to the game. Mods don’t alter the primary designs of Forza racing but complement them.
Forza 6 has a few flaws. The visuals in the replays as well as in pre- and post-race sequences run at fewer than 60 frames per second. While Forza Horizon or Grid 2 weren’t hurt by peaking at 30 frames per second, transitioning between the smooth feel in the race to less fluid pit scenes in Forza 6 is jarring. Additionally, the liveries are low-resolution, and while they look good when they’re ripping around the track, they look less impressive in the showroom.
Forza Motorsport 6 maintains the high standards that were set in Forza 5. Various difficulty options make Forza 6 extremely user-friendly for newcomers, and the weather effects and mod system are more than enough reason for Forza 5 enthusiasts to give this game a shot.