Forza Motorsport 6Overview -
One of the biggest names in racing games and in platform exclusives is none other than 'Forza,' and this year sees the release of 'Forza Motorsport 6.' Billed as the "biggest game" in 'Forza' history, 'Forza Motorsport 6' promises several firsts for the preeminent racer. It's the first core 'Forza' title to feature wet-weather and nighttime racing, and this time out, the cover star is the lovely 2015 Ford GT.
Nearly every one of 'Forza 6's promised features is an extension of the series' strengths. There are more cars, more tracks, more racers and more ways to play offline and online as well as more ways to personalize each and every Forzavista car.
I have often referred to 'Forza 5' and 'Forza Horizon 2' as must-have demo material, but that is in part in because I respect the gameplay so much. 'Forza Motorsport 6' checks in at 1080p, 60fps, and never seems to miss a beat. Yes, there are some parts, like the rearview mirrors and track intros, where these numbers dip, but the overall presentation is blisteringly consistent.
The lighting and certain tracks details in particular are greatly improved from 'Forza 5,' and there is a welcome reduction in lens flare effects. That said, 'Forza 6' does what 'Forza 5' did, but better, with more cars on track.
The bump up to 26 proper tracks (with loads more ribbons) with the addition of famous circuits like Watkins Glen and Brands Hatch does wonders for extending the game's visual slate.
Nighttime lighting exhibits a smart global value while maintaining eye-pleasing shadow depth and falloff. (Daytona at night looks great.) The wet-weather tracks call to mind the 2013's 'Rush' wet-weather sequences. (I recommend watching 'Rush' and 'Senna' in preparation for playing' Forza 6.')
One thing that radically affects the visuals of 'Forza 6' is the growing presence of Liveries.
In-game Drivatars come with their liveries (this can be turned off), and community liveries are the first thing to see when buying a car. I prefer to keep my cars' stock paint, but the variety of liveries available and visible in the game is nonetheless impressive. Though not to my taste, it's one of 'Forza 6' most important features and goes well with the theme of being able to customize each car through different parts, different set-ups, and different decaled paint schemes.
Photo mode is a wonderful part of the game, and I'm gald it is a standard for the series.
More so than any other aspect, the audio of 'Forza 6' feels like business as usual. (The same fireworks sounds that didn't work in 'FH2' are here in force.) The sounds of revving engines remain dominant but not the deafening things of real-life. While I have no doubt that the sound of a car as prominently featured as the new Ford GT has been lovingly attended to, I'm not able to discern its specific signature. In effect, I've been spoiled by 'Forza' in the audio department when it comes to the cars.
The sounds of the menu and the game's music are equally innocuous to my ears, which is probably good. I spent hours with the game using a headset, and never found a single grating piece of music or button sound.
Richard Hammond and James May are on-hand for 'Top Gear' voiceovers. With Clarkson absent, and 'Top Gear' where it is right now, this is at best bittersweet, however, many of the other cameo intros in the Showcases are a real joy.
'Forza Motorsport 6' is much more evolutionary than it is revolutionary, but it is nevertheless a significant upgrade over 'Forza 5.' Key features, like the Drivatar system, can't be found outside of the franchise, and the stealth feature that looks to have serious legs is the addition of Leagues. 'Forza 6' is more serious, deeper, and more demanding than 'Forza Horizon 2,' but I expect many players will embrace both games while others are polarized. The Stories of Motorsport career mode is a welcome change, but still feels in need of a more major shake-up. Even so, the look and feel of racing in 'Forza 6' in dry or wet, offline or online, makes the game a crown jewel offering for the Xbox One platform, and it's a game that feels teeming with content.
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