Forza Motorsport is the greatest racing game series on any console, full stop, end of conversation. The graphics are gorgeous, the sound is superb and the handling model is second to none. This means that Forza Motorsport 6 has a LOT to live up to. So, does Turn 10’s latest entry in the series keep this legacy going? The short answer is yes, very emphatically yes! Nearly everything in the game has been tweaked and improved.
When you start the game up, the first thing you notice are the graphics. Forza 5 ran at 1080p, 60 fps and looked better than every other racing game available. Forza Motorsport 6 carries on this tradition by keeping the same resolution and frame-rate but throwing far more things on the screen. The sides of the tracks look far busier, there are some great particle effects with smoke from tyres and catering vans, fog and spray from the weather effects, and clouds of dust from the wind picking up sand from the side of the track or other cars running through it. Talking of weather effects, Forza 6 takes the rain simulation from Forza Horizon 2 and improves it. The rain is incredibly realistic and puddles mean your approach to each circuit has to change. Silverstone for instance has a few puddles that are on the racing line. If you hit these puddles, they massively affect the trajectory of your car, so you have to drive slightly different lines around the circuit to avoid these hazards. Refreshingly these puddles also have the same effect on your opponents as they do on you. Speaking of opponents, there are now more than ever. Each standard race has 24 cars on track at one time; this can make the races really busy.
One of the other new additions in the game is the use of ‘Mod cards’. I have to say I was concerned when these announced. I was worried that they were going to be overpowering or useless and wreck the finally tuned difficulty of the game. I’m happy to report that Turn 10 have got the implementation of this new feature, just right. There are three types of ‘Mod cards’, Crew, Dare and Boost. Crew cards boost certain aspects of your car and have unlimited use. They can improve your grip, power, braking, or reduce weight. Dare cards challenge you to still reach your objectives while adding difficulty and also have unlimited use. This could be something as simple as putting you right at the back of the grid, to reducing your grip, braking power, or reducing the power of your engine. Boost cards can grant you extra credits or XP, and remove collisions for one lap or an entire race and are single use items. You get ‘Mod cards’ by purchasing them with in-game credits. You can use up to three cards at any one time, though you can only use one crew card at once. There are multiple levels of packs available, ranging from the common packs that cost 30,000 credits, through to super rare packs that will set you back 300,000 credits.
The career mode has also had a much-needed overhaul. The Forza 5 career was massive, intimidatingly massive. I have put well over 110 hours into Forza 5 with the majority of that being in career mode and yet I still haven’t completed the career mode. The career mode in Forza Motorsport 6 is far more streamlined, this doesn’t mean it’s short, but it is significantly more focused. The main body of the career is branded as ‘Stories of Motorsport’. This is split into five volumes, ‘Super Street’, ‘Sport Icons’, ‘Grand Touring’, ‘Professional Racing’, and ‘Ultimate Motorsport’. Each volume is split into 3 sections with increasing numbers of races. When you select a section you are given a choice of 6 different categories of cars to drive. This is very welcome, particularly as someone who doesn’t like muscle cars (the only tracks without corners are drag strips!). As you progress through the career you will unlock special ‘Showcase’ events. These are events like 1-on-1 races against ‘The Stig’ or races with everyone in the same car. They do offer a nice change in pace and compliment the career very nicely.
Multiplayer is pretty much the same as Forza Motorsport 5, but this is no bad thing. Online play in that game was superb with rock solid servers and enough options to please even the fussiest of racers. Split-screen makes a welcome return after skipping Forza Horizon 2, as do the various online hoppers that allow you to race in whatever category you’d like. One thing that has been improved since Forza’s last outing is the player count, like the offline mode you can now race against 23 other racers. The increased number of cars on the grid is both a positive and a negative though. While it’s great that you are racing against that many other people, it does mean that the loading times for each race are quite long. This is a minor irritation though, on an otherwise brilliant online experience.
Forza Motorsport 6 takes the solid platform of the previous game and improves on it in all the ways that that game was lacking. It is quite simply sublime. The best racing game I have EVER played. I promise you, this is not hyperbole and not some videogame journalist trying to make a point, it really is THAT good. There isn’t much more that the series has to do to be flawless (maybe dynamic weather and times of day). The graphics are great, the gameplay is fantastic, the single-player is brilliant, and the multiplayer is among the best there is. Forza Motorsport 6 is an absolute must-buy for anyone into cars, racing games, and pretty much anyone who has an Xbox One.