“Forza, where dreams are driven”. This has been the loud war cry from the Microsoft camp in the battle for the “best driving game” title. It’s an entirely true mantra, reflective of the complete package that Forza 5 presents.
Forza has always tried to go above and beyond the call of what people expect in a racing game, and that’s due to the fact that it is something far more than that. Forza is at heart a simulator, and as such utilises the Xbox One’s power to deliver some of the best graphics in this new generation. The team at Turn 10 have made their best effort with limited time, succeeding in building the best possible next gen experience for driving fans. I have driven many cars in my life, some of which are in this game, and seeing them digitally represented with the utmost attention to detail is nothing short of amazing.
The game features 14 tracks and 200+ cars, which is about half of what Forza 4 offered, but even though I weep for the lost of the Nurburgring and Fujimi Kaido, I understand that it was due to the need to be ready for Xbox One’s launch (case in point: the delayed DriveClub). It certainly helps that all the tracks that did make it are now more realistic and feel significantly improved over Forza 4‘s versions, thanks to the intense level of detail displayed by each car and track, along with the new mechanics of the game as a whole. Some may say quantity over quality, and whilst I do agree that porting over every single car all the way back from the original Forza would have been wonderful, it’s undeniable that in the end, the game would have suffered for it by degrading the final product.
Is Forza 5 a worthy game of the year? Without a doubt. It gives players what they want, doing so in a true to life manner with the way cars look and feel, and it does so by listening to everyone in the Forza community and adding the things that people actually want, not the things that people sitting in a meeting think should be added.
It’s these reasons, plus many more that can’t be described, that make Forza 5 so special. The true game can only be felt by going down the stretch of the Old Le Mans circuit in a painstakingly modified Nissan GT-R, bombing down the track at full speed, the Talkingship bubble etched into the car’s surface. These moments, or others such as beating a friend on the last turn of a long race, are what make Forza 5 shine, and result in it earning its place on the game of the year list.