I’m not much of a fan of simulated driving, but I do appreciate it. To aid me in my impressions of Forza Motorsport 4 I had my driving enthusiast friend Oliver Usher play the game so that I could get a firsthand account of how a hardcore car/race lover responds to a game like Forza Motorsport 4. Oliver started off with the Ferrari 599 GTO on the Alps track; before the race he chose to turn all driving aids off, because that’s how real drivers ride.
Now once the two lap race loaded we got to see how crisp the visuals looked, not only that but the sounds of the car were authentic, a pleasure to anyone who knows their cars. Once the race begun my Forza expert Oliver immediately noticed that controlling the car was a little off, this was due to some slight under-steer. This also caused the in car view to look unnatural, as the wheel wasn’t representing the movement being input on the controls. However I am happy to report that in the next race Oliver did he simply chose ‘Simulation Mode’ and this was exactly what he was after, the steering was much more responsive, correctly representing the movement he input on the controller. So it seems like the default settings of Forza 4 are designed to assist non sim players, urging all sim buffs to use a completely different mode.
One thing that was super impressive was the A.I of the other drivers. If you somehow manage to swerve or even stall just a little, you’ll see your competing racers adjust their position (assuming they’re behind you). It gives racing in Forza 4 a more fluid feel as opposed to the A.I feeling too mechanical in their movements.
Other cars available in the demo were the Mercury Cougar, Impreza 2011 and the BMW M5 which Oliver drove on his second time around on the F1 Circuit. Although it’s hard to notice when you’re concentrating on cars, the tracks and environments look unbelievably beautiful, and I am certain that circuit scenery is something that is overlooked in not just Forza but all of the top racing games.
Overall the demo on show at Eurogamer Expo was only really a taste of what the full game will bring for Forza Motorsport 4. It also must be noted that the game feels like it would be better played with the official steering wheel peripheral that will be launching alongside the game. Although I had my expert Oliver helping me out, it was clear for even me to see that this game was lightyears above Gran Turismo 5…Uh Oh!