Turn 10 Studios
Microsoft Studios
PC, Xbox One, Xbox One X

Forza Motorsport 7

review by 
Alan Walsh
January 5, 2018
Turn 10 Studios
Microsoft Studios

Forza Motorsport 7

review by 
Alan Walsh
January 5, 2018

The Most Ambitious Forza Game Yet

Forza Motorsport 7 has been out on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC for over 3 months now, and I’ve been playing it non-stop since its release. From the experience of driving a GT3 race car in thunderous rainstorms to kitting out my driver with some new gear, Forza Motorsport 7 introduces new features and changes that make it a worthy upgrade over its predecessor.

This review isn’t being based on how the game launched on October 3rd, however. Instead, we’re reviewing Forza Motorsport 7 from the latest version available. Turn 10 has released several updates for its track racer since launch, and these have fixed many issues that players have encountered in the game. For example, the launch day issue that prevented players from hosting online private lobbies has been rectified, whilst a new 2x VIP Credit Bonus has been introduced across all race events in response to fan-feedback.

Welcome to Forza Motorsport 7. Where Dreams Are Driven.

Turn 10 has also introduced some new features into Forza Motorsport 7 that weren’t available at launch, including the Auction House, Forzathon, and Forza Racing Leagues – and our review accounts for all of those additions, with most of our time being spent with the latest Xbox One X Enhanced version of the game. With all this, I have been able to dive deep into Turn 10’s latest racing game and test all the major features found in Forza Motorsport 7.

Let’s get started. First of all, this is the biggest and most ambitious Forza game yet, boasting 32 track locations with more than 200 ribbon configurations and a whopping 715 Forzavista cars. All tracks feature dynamic skies, whilst select others include dynamic weather conditions with rain and night configurations. Driving the Nissan GT-R race car around Suzuka in thunder and lightning will send shivers down your spine, whilst watching daybreak occur on Circuit of the Americas offers an awe-inspiring feeling.

Experience fierce thunderstorms with lightning for the first time in Forza Motorsport.

From all the content included as well as the new customizable driver options to the expansive Forza Driver’s Cup Career Mode, Forza Motorsport 7 is also a massive game. This is by far the most complex and technically advanced Forza title to-date, and whilst on the outside it all sounds incredible, there are definitely issues on the inside. For starters, there are still bugs. From server issues in online to graphical glitches in gameplay, as well as sluggish UI navigation and in some cases, even game crashes and odd performance hiccups. These don’t break the experience, however, but they are a nuisance and something I hope developer Turn 10 addresses soon. I should note, however, that the experience is much smoother on Xbox One X, with faster loading times, less slowdown when navigating menus, and a more pleasant experience overall.

I should also mention the fact that there’s not a huge number of Multiplayer Hoppers as of reviewing, and class-based Rivals events and Hoppers have been mostly replaced in favour of Homologated events. The addition of Homologation is highly-welcomed, as it groups cars based on their division and competitiveness whilst offering a set of upgrades for them to make these races as fair and close possible, however it shouldn’t replace the old system, but instead compliment it.

Forza Motorsport 7 focuses on the Driver and the cars you own, even in the menus.

Despite these issues, however, Forza Motorsport 7 remains an incredible game. These are problems Turn 10 can resolve in future updates, as the core gameplay experience we all know and love in Forza remains as we remembered it. I’ve spent the entirety of my time in Forza Motorsport 7 unlocking new trophies and cars in the Forza Driver’s Cup, increasing my Collector Score by adding new rides to my garage, and racing competitively with my friends in the Online Hoppers and Leagues available.

When Forza Motorsport 7 performs as expected, it’s a fantastic experience. It really is my favourite game out there currently. When I discovered the dazzling evening conditions on Hockenheimring after a thunderous rainshower in my Jaguar F-Type from The Fate of The Furious Car Pack, I was in awe by how beautiful and realistic it felt – and this was on base Xbox One hardware. The result from both a technical and gameplay perspective is simply outstanding.

The biggest line-up of cars and tracks make for the most comprehensive Forza game yet.

I initially reviewed Forza Motorsport 7 on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and I’ve played it on Xbox One X at a number of different events, but since getting my review unit for the new system, I’ve poured hours into the 4K enhanced version of Forza Motorsport 7 on both a 1080p display and a 4K HDR screen, and overall, I’m extremely impressed with all versions of the game. The level of detail shown in Forza Motorsport 7 at its native resolution is incredible, and everything just shines and feels more alive than ever . Even smaller areas such as the reflections on car paintjobs, and especially the windscreen, look crisp on Xbox One X, whilst shadows look more detailed and accurate than ever before, thanks to the increased horsepower of the new system.

From the supersampling benefits of 4K resolution on Xbox One X and PC to the Xbox One delivering a fantastic visual upgrade over Forza Motorsport 6, there’s a lot to be impressed here from a technical standpoint. It’s also worth noting the Xbox One X offers a faster user interface for Forza Motorsport 7, reducing the slowdown and hitches that would frequently occur on base Xbox One hardware, and resulting in a much smoother and more pleasant experience overall.

Every car and track in Forza Motorsport 7 is built for 4K resolution with the Xbox One X in mind.

There’s a lot of aspects to Forza Motorsport 7 we’ll be exploring in our review. Starting with the Forza Driver’s Cup and working our way through the gameplay experience, the cars and tracks, the new dynamic conditions, and the online multiplayer and community features included. We’ll also talk about Driver Gear and how the PC version shaped up. As I mentioned already, Forza Motorsport 7 is no small game; it’s the biggest one yet from Turn 10 Studios, and it also boasts the largest car roster available on current-gen systems.

The Forza Driver’s Cup

The Forza Driver’s Cup places emphasis on one thing and one thing only – you, the driver who competes on the track in every race event of this championship-driven career mode. Before you can make your own history, however, you’ll step into the shoes of three legendary drivers who won the championship in the years prior. These include Michael Muller in the 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS – the cover car of Forza Motorsport 7 – on showcase track Dubai, Maria Rossi in the Mercedes-Benz Tankpool Racing Truck on returning track Mugello, and Ukyo Takagi in the Nissan GTR Race Car on Japanese fan-favourite Suzuka in thunderous wet weather conditions.

You read that correctly. M. Rossi is indeed a woman. A nice bit of Forza lore there.

This all happens within the first 15 minutes of the Forza Driver’s Cup, and it’s definitely one of the more exciting periods within the Career. You’re experiencing the epic racing victories of these iconic drivers, each of whom are introduced with a stylish cinematic. It’s a really wonderful opening, but don’t expect any cinematics after this. Once you move into the meat of the campaign, it’s all about the racing and carving your own path to success.

The Forza Driver’s Cup is divided into six unique championships: Seeker, Breakout, Evolution, Domination, Masters, and the Forza Driver’s Cup, which acts as the finale of the campaign. Race series and Showcase Events within these championships offer SP Points, and a certain number of SP Points is required to progress to the next championship. Unlocking new championships and completing Showcase Events will also unlock rare cars, including Forza Editions, which are essentially the Horizon Editions from Forza Horizon 3, but now ready for the track in Forza Motorsport 7 with widebodies and bonus modifiers for extra credits and XP.

The Forza Driver's Cup is full of unique Series Divisions and Showcase Events.

SP Points within the Forza Driver’s Cup also carry across different series and Showcase Events, allowing you to work towards one goal in many different ways using the cars you enjoy the most. Once you earn enough SP Points in a particular championship, you'll be able to move onto the next one. The Forza Driver's Cup also gives players plenty of choice, and doesn't require them to beat every individual series within a championship to progress onto the next one. You can also revisit older championships and series events if you wish to complete them to unlock more rewards, including additional cars and gear.

The Seeker Championship is where you’ll begin, and here you’ll find series such as Exotic GT, Historic Road Racing, Modern Hot Hatches, Rise of the Supercar, and more, as well as Showcase Events like Top Gear Limo Bowling and Audi Models. The former speaks for itself – you’re driving a limo on the Top Gear Test Track slamming into bowling pins! You can’t get much better than that! The latter sees you in the Audi Flying Lizard race car, driving your way to success by catching up and beating older models in its class. 

Taking the Audi Flying Lizard Race Car for a spin around Brands Hatch.

There’s also Gymkhana Focus, a one-on-one against professional Hoonigan driver Ken Block in his Ford Focus RS RX on Long Beach. Completing these Showcase Events also rewards you with the car you used in them to add to your garage, which is a very nice incentive to trying out these events as it’s the only way you can unlock these cars. Some will require more effort, however, especially the endurance races, which will each take up a few hours of your time.

Each championship within the Forza Driver’s Cup also includes its own ‘Open Division,’ which allows players to race whatever vehicles they want on a range of preselected tracks. This is a nice addition, where you can create your own championships based on the classes you enjoy the most. Want one dedicated exclusively to Fast & Furious or Hoonigan cars? Done. How about Formula One or GT3 Racing? Done. Perhaps you prefer IndyCar or V8 Supercars? Also done.

From NASCAR to Forza GT and Formula E. The Forza Driver's Cup has it all.

Of course, Forza Motorsport 7 includes series for all these real-world race classes anyways, but if you’re looking for even more action in these race cars, or perhaps your own unique idea for a racing series, then the Open Division has you covered. A welcomed addition to the Forza Driver’s Cup. Speaking of customizability, there’s also the option to adjust your race length from ‘Normal’ to either ‘Long’ or ‘Extra Long,’ allowing for far more time on the track.

I started the Forza Driver’s Cup in the Rise of the Supercar series, where the game offered me my first car at no additional charge. Of course, I had to opt for the Ferrari F50. This one is a dominant classic, and performs brilliantly on the track. If you want a good car to start with that doesn’t cost you anything, this is definitely one to choose. Of course, you can choose to begin your Campaign in any of the other series within the Seeker Championship. That’s the beauty of the Forza Driver’s Cup, you race in the events with the cars you enjoy the most, and the game will reward you for it.

There's a lot of content here to keep you occupied for hours... and hours.

Completion of the Forza Driver’s Cup will also give you the chance to revisit other series events with even more prizes to win, including super rare Forza Edition cars. As you progress through the Forza Driver’s Cup, some of the other noteworthy series include Formula E, V8 Supercars, Forza GT Racing – which is mainly GT3 cars, Forza GP – which is their take on Formula 1, Sport Coupé, Vintage GT, Muscle Rebirth, Sport Touring, the Birth of Gran Prix, and many more. These are all fun series, and many of them are based on real-world events. Showcase Events, meanwhile, break up these championships, and include endurance racing, car bowling, and 1-on-1 races, as well as autocross and spec-class racing events.

Once you work your way to the finale of the Forza Driver’s Cup and beat it, you’ll be able to revisit and enjoy all the championships and showcases you skipped over – with some new series and Showcase Events unlocked for you to discover. The SP Points for each division will be increased, allowing you to reach ‘Elite Tier’ status in each of them. There’s also more prizes up for grabs too, including rarer Forza Edition cars and specially-branded Driver Gear. Work your way through all of the series and Showcase Events in each division and max out the SP Points to become the Forza Driver’s Cup's most elite racer.

The Forza Driver's Cup highlights the dynamic skies and weather systems in Forza 7.

Finally, the Voices of Motorsport are also back to guide you through the experience. There’s names such as Gymkhana star Ken Block, professional rally driver Tanner Foust, and Porsche legend Magnus Walker, as well as ForzaRC Presenter Shannon McIntosh and IndyCar racer Josef Newgarden. These automotive personalities don’t appear within the championship series, however, and are instead exclusive to the Showcase Events, where they discuss their experiences of these events in the real-world. It’s a nice touch to these special events, but I can’t help but wish we had the original Top Gear crew in there as well – Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, as we did in Forza Motorsport 5.

Overall, the Forza Driver’s Cup is the best Forza Campaign in the business. It offers the most variety and flexibility ever found in a Forza career mode, whilst putting the emphasis on you, the driver competing for fame and glory in worldwide series events. You race in the classes you enjoy the most, and when you want something new, check out the Showcase Events, which are the highlight of the overall career experience.

Unlock exclusive Driver Gear suits and Forza Edition cars by beating championships.

The introduction of SP Points also adds a new layer of progression, and makes it feel like a proper championship where every podium finish matters more than the last. Turn 10 has done wonders with the Forza Driver’s Cup, though I do wish there was more cinematics as found in the introduction to make it more alive and story-driven. Having the Voices of Motorsport star in the series events as well would also have been a nice touch. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic Career experience, and you can tell it’s one that has been carefully crafted by the development team at Turn 10 Studios.

Gameplay – The Best Physics in Forza Yet

Forza has always been known for its excellent and accessible handling model, and it’s only better in Forza Motorsport 7. Not only is it realistic and customizable, but it also allows for a fun racing experience. It’s everything we know and love from Forza, but it’s also been enhanced for the latest entry in the series. The updated physics can take a little bit of getting used to, but once you’ve adjusted to them, you’ll find an all-around better driving experience. I’ve never felt like I’ve had more control of my car in a Forza game before. The handling in Forza Motorsport 7 feels precise, snappy, and is all-around excellent.

Improved handling and physics with dynamic weather headline Forza 7's gameplay.

The accessibility factor is also retained in Turn 10’s latest racing game with all the adjustable assists we know and love, as well as some new ones. The Friction Assist, for example, can be used to retained friction when your car goes off the track surface. This is a great addition for both new and younger players who want a more fun and accessible driving experience without the worry of going off track and slowing down dramatically.

Turn 10 has also introduced a new “Super Easy” option for Traction Control, Stability Assist, and Steering, preventing your car from sliding our or the driver from losing control when on full throttle across turns and corners, chicanes, and all-around the overall track. Players no longer earn additional credits in Forza Motorsport 7 from disabling assists – this is handled by the Mods system instead, but bonuses are earned by increasing Drivatar difficulty.

‍Assists cater to more players than ever before, but disabling them doesn't offer more credits.

Of course, Drivatars are the AI in Forza Motorsport 7, which are designed to be based on how your friends drive, Turn 10 says. They also use the Gamertags and Driver Gear of your friends in race events as well. Sometimes, they can race well, other times, they can crash each other out a lot. I’d say they’re a step up over Forza Motorsport 6, and are somewhat competitive in races, especially as you increase the difficulty. You can also disable their aggression on the track if you want them to race cleaner as well. However, their driving adequate isn’t always the best, and they could do with some further optimization tweaks to make them more exciting and fair to race against.

In an effort to push players to disable more assists and improve their driving skills, Turn 10 has increased the important of Mods in Forza Motorsport 7. As a small behind-the-scenes feature in Forza Motorsport 6 for Career and Free Play, Mods allow you to earn bonus credits and XP from performing various tasks in races. These include challenges that require the player to complete good overtakes, turns, and passes, race in wet weather or night conditions, and finish in a certain position or above it whilst attaining a certain number of metres from the Drivatar behind you. Completing these challenges will give you credit and XP bonuses, and some of them extend to disabling certain assists whilst maintaining skill in race events. It allows players to push themselves harder whilst getting rewarded at the same time, and it’s a good addition for both newcomers and hardcore fans alike.

Mods are back and better than ever before – a huge step-up from Forza Motorsport 6.

Mods are acquired via Prize Crates, a new addition to Forza Motorsport 7 which has caused some controversy in the community. These are essentially Loot Crates or Packs we’ve seen in other games such as Call of Duty, Halo, and Gears of War, but there’s no microtransactions to purchase them with yet as of reviewing. Instead, these are purchased using in-game credits earned from race events, and there’s a variety of different crates to choose from.

Not only is there Mod-only crates, but there’s also more expensive variants that include cars, badges, and Driver Gear for your racer. Some crates offer a higher chance of earning ‘Legendary’ rated cars or Driver Gear, whilst others promise better mods. The prices range from 15,000 all the way to 400,000, so if you want to the best of the best from these crates, then you’ll need to save up. I’d recommend opting for the cheaper ones at first to earn bonus credit and XP Mods that can be used to greatly increase your rewards after race events.

Loot boxes arrive in Forza 7 as Prize Crates, but you can't buy them with real cash... yet.

I quite enjoy the suspense and chance of opening a crate, and I don’t have an issue with them in Forza Motorsport 7. It adds to the layers of progression without the need of grinding, whilst also relying on a little bit of luck. They’re also optional, so you don’t need to use them either, but I think they add to the overall experience without introducing a pay-to-win mechanic. If Turn 10 continue to fine-tune Prize Crates to make them more balanced and fair, which they have done since release based on fan-feedback, and don’t add super rare items exclusive to these crates, then I’m very happy with their inclusion in Forza Motorsport 7.

One of the things you’ll notice immediately when playing Forza Motorsport 7 is the new camera shake and HUD movement. This is what Turn 10 calls the “simulation camera,” and I found it immersed me even further into the experience. Others have said it left them feeling nauseous, and in that case, it can be disabled, however I felt it really added to the overall racing experience. The updated HUD also looks more visually pleasant and fits in with the game’s focus on competitive racing, cars, and the driver behind the wheel. Speaking of the wheel, there’s also a new excellent wheel-less cockpit view, which is a great addition for wheel users and even works well on controller for some cars. A nice update to the experience all-around.

The wheel-less cockpit camera is a niche, but appreciated addition nonetheless.

There’s also “Caution Ahead” prompts which notify you of crashes nearby or drivers who are extremely close to you. The proximity arrows also return, so you’ll always be aware of when another driver is nearby. Turn 10 has also updated how the car reacts to various surfaces it’s driven over, as windshield wipers, spoilers and more shake and rattle from bumps and close neck-to-neck racing action. The damage models for vehicles has also been upgraded slightly as well. On the Xbox One X, you'll also clearly notice the lights from the dials inside the cockpit shining through the back window on certain cars when playing with chase camera.

Not only does Forza Motorsport 7 have the best handling in the business, but the graphics are simply unbeatable. It's by far the most beautiful game on Xbox One, and could well be the best-looking racing game ever made. I’m incredibly impressed by how Turn 10 Studios has managed to squeeze out every ounce of power from the Xbox One to make their most visually-impressive game to-date. In addition, much of the Xbox One X’s texture and lighting improvements, as well as track detail, have been transferred to Xbox One as well, which benefits all players.

There's no denying it: These are the best visuals found in a racing game to-date.

This is an awe-inspiring game. It looks so slick, it feels incredible, and the experience of driving a GT3 race car down the backend of Le Mans on the Mulsanne Straight in a thunderstorm with heavy rainfall and lightning literally sends shivers down your spine. It's perfect, almost. Turn 10 have done a wonderful job of dynamic weather in Forza Motorsport 7 on the tracks it’s supported on, and the visual detail and performance isn’t affected or reduced for these weather effects.

If anything, it’s a noticeable upgrade over what we had in Forza Motorsport 6 with far more detailed droplets and water effects, as well smarter use of puddles that shrink and grow based on the track conditions. Remember, this is all on base Xbox One hardware, an achievement in its own right. There’s a lot of visual upgrades here taken from the Xbox One X version of the game, which benefits all players, and the result is super impressive.

The definitive Xbox One X showcase title is Forza Motorsport 7.

From the highly-detailed droplets of rain on the windshield to the awe-inspiring lighting effects, Forza Motorsport 7 is a stunning racer. Those on Xbox One S or Xbox One X with a compatible TV can also experience it in HDR, which offers more luminous colours and a higher contrast ratio, resulting in deeper and more realistic colours overall. It also adds depth to the skies, which have never looked so real before in a video game.

With the launch of Xbox One X, fans can enjoy Forza Motorsport 7 in native 4K resolution at 60fps with higher quality assets utilized to make the most use out of the hardware. As someone who has played Forza Motorsport 7 on both systems, I can say it looks eye-melting good on the Xbox One X, however the Xbox One version is still mighty impressive, and Turn 10 has done a top-notch job for visuals and performance on both.

It's not just about resolution, but also the smaller details that refine the overall experience.

Of course, all tracks are brought to life in Forza Motorsport 7 with drastically improved skyboxes and lighting effects. Track surfaces feel more alive. Take the mud for example on Road Atlanta, with stains scattered across the tarmac, or even the beautiful evening sunsets found on Daytona Speedway, Nurburgring and Yas Marina Circuit before the transition to the utter blackness of night. Then you have those gorgeous deep blue skies across Dubai, Prague, and Maple Valley.

Dynamic skies are supported across all three main track configurations in Forza Motorsport 7 ‘Day,’ ‘Rain,’ and ‘Night,’ but the latter two aren’t available on every circuit, which is a shame as I’d love to race on Prague at night and Mugello in the rain. Though Rio de Janerio and Sonoma Raceway do offer some of the most impressive evening skyboxes to be had, especially when played on a HDR display in 4K. It's truly spectacular.

The sunsets in Forza Motorsport 7 offer some of the best Photo Mode shots.

It’s not just the visuals, however, as the audio has also been drastically improved in Forza Motorsport 7. From the brilliant new upbeat and rock-themed soundtrack – which has replaced the more dramatic and orchestral-style sounds of Forza 5 and Forza 6 – to the excellent engine notes, the sound quality of Turn 10’s latest racing game is the best it ever has been. Not to mention the ambient sounds and attention to detail the studio always puts into the audio of its game. Just take a listen to it for yourself at the bottom of this post in our video review.

The Forza 7 Soundtrack takes the excitement and adrenaline rush of racing and puts it into music – making for one of the best composed scores in the franchise yet. It represents our love of cars and car culture, racing and motorsport, and it’s something I haven’t been able to stop listening to. I bought it on iTunes, and I also enabled the soundtrack to play throughout races as well. Music also blasts through the speakers in-game, both trackside and in the garage, resulting in a more dynamic audio experience – one which blends excellently into the overall experience.

Forzavista – Cars and Customization

When it comes to a car line-up, Forza is usually the best in the business. Forza Motorsport 7 has the most cars to be found in a current-generation racing game, with more than 700 Forzavista cars and the largest collection of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Porsches ever assembled. Those stats are very impressive, however, very few cars new to the franchise have been introduced. Most of the list compromises of cars from Forza Motorsport 6 and Forza Horizon 3, as well as their Car Packs and expansions, with a couple fan-favourites returning from Forza Motorsport 5, Forza Horizon 2, and Forza Motorsport 4.

No, you can't spawn all of your cars in your Garage like this, but it does look cool.

It leaves us with only a handful of brand-new cars to the franchise. You may remember over the Summer as Turn 10 did their annual weekly car reveals for the latest game in the series, there was very little to excite fans. It was all predictable cars we knew were going to be in Forza Motorsport 7 already based on Turn 10’s trends with how it adds cars to the franchise. In a way, none of this actually surprised me. Forza has always added most of its “new to franchise” cars via Car Packs and expansions, and this will be no different in Forza Motorsport 7. However, to see a lack of new GT3 and BTCC cars in the game – besides one new vehicle in each class from 2017 – was very disappointing, especially when Project CARS 2 and Gran Turismo Sport both have a bulging list of race cars. Since launch, Turn 10 has added the awesome 2017 Porsche 911 RSR, which is an incredible race car to drive, and can be earned for free from Bounty Hunter and Leagues.

Hopefully even more of these are added soon. Otherwise, it leaves Forza fans having to reuse the same models they have raced time and time again in Forza Motorsport 6. Sure, there’s a bunch of new Formula E, IndyCar, and NASCAR vehicles, but most of these are simply livery changes and take up a fairly decent chunk of the car roster. It’s better to have them there than not to have them, however. Microsoft’s 2017-sponsored Formula 1 car is also in Forza Motorsport 7 in the form of the Renault R.S.17, which a highly-welcomed addition. There’s also plenty of classic Formula 1 cars and pre-war cars as well, which allows for some vintage racing events, and let me tell you, these are some of the best sounding cars out there. There’s nothing like taking a classic out onto Maple Valley for some black and white photography.

Forza Motorsport 7's car line-up is so varied and diverse, there's something for everyone.

Despite the lack of new additions to the series, the car roster in Forza Motorsport 7 is still very good, and one that’s extremely hard beat. In comparison to Project CARS 2 and Gran Turismo Sport’s line-ups, both of which feature over 160 cars, Forza Motorsport 7 obliterates the competition when it comes down to the numbers. It’s only in terms of new race cars where Project CARS 2 and Gran Turismo Sport manages to pull ahead, but the Aston Martin Vulcan and Lamborghini Centenario are welcome additions, as is the Acura NSX, BMW i8, and Pagani Huayra BC. However, the lack of Lexus and Toyota are noticeable omissions, but one that Turn 10 isn’t to blame for, but rather the manufacturers themselves.

Many of the widebody kits from Forza Horizon 3 have made their way over to Forza Motorsport 7. From Rocket Bunny and Liberty Walk to Porsche tuner RAUH-Welt Begriff, players have a variety of kits to choose from on supported rides – including the return of Upgrade Heroes. There’s also a series of new rims and tire compounds to compliment the bodykits, and many of these can be found on the new Forza Edition cars.

The Upgrade Shop hasn't changed from previous Forza titles besides Homologation options.

There’s also safety lights, which can be attached onto select cars if you want safety cars in online racing leagues, whilst other cars have widebodies and new aero parts that have never been seen before in a Forza game, and it’s something that will please many diehard fans. Forza Editions also come equipped with some very unique modifications and designs, whilst others include blowers and Forza-specific parts to make them more unique and competitive in race events. However, there are no customizable horns or number plates to be found in Forza Motorsport 7, and the excellent shopping cart system from Forza Horizon 3 has also been removed and replaced with the older and slower upgrade purchase system from Forza Motorsport 6.

Now here’s another issue with Forza Motorsport 7’s car list – out of the 715 cars in the base game, a total of 39 cars are Forza Editions. That’s far more than anticipated and a fairly big chunk of the car line-up. However, these cars do look incredible, and have a lot of uses. Some of them may even come in handy for various racing series. As well as custom widebody kits and wheels to some dazzling liveries, these cars have been fined-tuned by Turn 10 for all kinds of four-wheeled fun, including special built-to-drift models, and they also have built-in multipliers to increase credit rewards and XP gained from events.

Forza Editions are some of the best cars in Forza Motorsport 7.

Forza Edition cars can be obtained as rewards in-game via the Forza Driver’s Cup, the Auction House, the VIP Membership – more on that later – and of course, Forzathon events, which have only recently begun in Forza Motorsport 7. These events feature a series of challenges that must be completed in sequence order, offering unique and rare cars for players, similar to Forza Horizon 3, as well as Driver Gear suits. Forza Editions, as well as a selection of regular cars in the game, are considered as 'exclusive cars,' meaning they cannot be bought with in-game credits from the autoshow, and must instead be earned from participating in community events like monthly Bounter Hunter challenges and the Forza Driver's Cup. You can learn more about these and how to unlock each of them from our detailed guide.

The Forzavista experience is the best it ever has been in Forza Motorsport 7 thanks to the ability to explore cars trackside and take photos pre-race. This applies to all 715 cars in the game, but there is a major caveat to Forza Motorsport 7’s iteration of the Forzavista exploration mode, and that is the fact that voiceovers have now been removed. No longer will you hear about the history of a particular model or manufacturer. Instead, this has been replaced with a voiceless cinematic of the car that feels a little dull and uninspired.

The McLaren P1 GT-R is one of my favourite track cars. Absolutely love it.

Furthermore, the engine stats don’t display anymore within Forzavista – though this appears to be a bug rather than a feature removal. The removal of voiceovers is likely due to how large the roster of cars is in Forza Motorsport 7, but it still disappoints me nonetheless. However, the ability to use any of the more than 200 track configurations in the game as a Forzavista homespace pre-race and swap cars before the start of an event leaves me extremely happy. Not only can you take awesome pit-side photos, but also scenic ones when using the smaller configurations of tracks like Rio and Homestead.

Of course, you can also use the main garage homespace for Forzavista as well, and many cars such as the 2017 Ford GT and Subaru Impreza 22B STi offer improved Forzavista experiences – with both of these now featuring fully-modelled engines in Forzavista for the first time. In fact, most cars in Forza Motorsport 7 can be fully explored, including detailed engine bays and the ability to sit inside the vehicle and start up the engine. I always enjoy revving my favourite rides inside my garage or pre-race, before having a look under the hood as engine bay details shine and sparkle. The machine scratches on the inside of wheel-wells are clearly visible in 4K when viewing cars up close, showing both the imperfections, as well as the perfections. Though I do still wish all cars were fully Forzavista detailed with narrator explanations. Heck, even Forza Horizon 3 included the voiceover, narrated by Australia’s very own Warren!

The attention-to-detail in all 700+ Forzavista cars is simply astounding.

If you haven’t realized already, car collecting is essential in Forza Motorsport 7. It’s in fact one of the new methods of progression in the game – the more cars you have, the better the rewards you’ll earn each time you level up. When you do hit a new rank, you’ll be offered a choice between bonus credits, a discounted car, and a race suit. The wheelspins system from Forza Motorsport 6 is no longer present, so don’t expect to rake in expensive cars and tons of credits as fast as you did in that game as Forza Motorsport 7 emphasizes progression as a key feature. Adding cars to your garage increases your Collector Score, with all vehicles in the game being designated one of the first five car collector tiers.

The rarer the car, the higher the collection tier it’ll be. If your Car Collector Tier isn’t high enough, however, you won’t be able to purchase that car for your garage. It’s worth noting though that this only applies to buying cars, as all cars – including Forza Editions – can be enjoyed in Free Play or the Car Rental system in online, as well as in split-screen, which is back in Forza Motorsport 7. In addition, there’s also more Car Collector Tiers above Tier 5, and whilst no new cars are available beyond that milestone, the rewards do continue to get even better.

The Car Collection screen in Forza Motorsport 7 is the ultimate sticker book for petrolheads.

Of course, all cars in Forza Motorsport 7 can be customized with upgrades, tuning, paints, and liveries. Whether you want to import an older paint you made in an another Forza title on Xbox One or download a new one from the community, it’s all here! Though I will say the new painting environment for the livery editor is a little dull to say the least, which I hear has caused painters some trouble when making designs. Otherwise, the tools are exactly as you remember them, but Storefronts unfortunately didn’t make the leap over to Forza Motorsport 7 from Forza Horizon 3.

Living Tracks That Come To Life Every Time You Race

With a total of 32 track locations and more than 200 individual race ribbons, many of which support wet-weather and night conditions – but not all, Forza Motorsport 7 has the biggest roster of track locations ever in the franchise. However, only one of these are new to the franchise – Dubai, with three more returning from Forza Motorsport 4 – Maple Valley, Mugello, and Suzuka. The remaining tracks all return from Forza Motorsport 6. As mentioned already, all tracks support various dynamic sky conditions, with some boasting wet weather and night conditions.

Dubai leads the way as the showcase circuit in Forza 7, and it shines on Xbox One X.

The remastered Maple Valley circuit is different to how you remember it, and can take time to become used to it – but it looks beautiful. It’s also fantastic we finally have Mugello and Suzuka back as well. These are the circuits you’ll probably be spending most of your time on in Forza Motorsport 7. Dubai, meanwhile, is one of the most beautiful in Forza history, and for me, it’s become a personal favourite for photography or even just a relaxing drive across the Hafeet Mountain Pass. In addition, Turn 10 also uses an impressive modelling technique known as photogrammetry to build the materials seen in the game and to map out real-life environments.

Whilst the addition of more tracks was expected for this latest entry in the franchise, the drastically improved weather and sky effects do bring all tracks to life in Forza Motorsport 7. For example, Hockenheimring now supports wet weather conditions for the first time, whilst Circuit of the Americas and Silverstone have both added support for night racing. Furthermore, tracks have also been updated for a better driving experience, with the kerbs being nowhere near as punishing as they once were.

Circuit of the Americas looks lovely at night time, with beautiful sunrise and sunset transitions

In Forza Motorsport 6, night racing would always mean pitch black surroundings – unless you were racing in a well-lit environment like Daytona or Yas Marina. In Forza Motorsport 7, you’ll experience dynamic skies change up night racing with evening sunsets and even sunrises tossed into the cycle, reducing the overall darkness of night, but retaining the effect during races. The skies here use the same technology as Forza Horizon 3, which saw developer Playground Games capture the real-life Australian sky over an entire season, and is designed to replicate the skies above each of these tracks in the real-world. Unfortunately, the standard day and night conditions can’t be customized by the player, those are handled entirely by the game itself and vary based on the track and number of laps in a race event.

Meanwhile, the dynamic weather effects can be customized in Free Play, but these are predetermined in the Forza Driver’s Cup and Hoppers to create a “dynamic” effect. In Free Play, however, users can change the weather effects for the start, middle, and end of the race. The longer the event is, the longer the transition will be between each of the different conditions chosen. For example, you can set the race to start with clear skies, transition into rainfall, and then conclude with a massive thunderstorm. Or you can begin with lighting and transition to clear skies with mist effects across the track. Perhaps you can have a cloud-filled sky eventually lead to buckets of heavy rainfall as a much larger thunderstorm brews, or a summer drizzle after an evening sunset.

The fan-favourite Maple Valley returns, and its never looked better before.

There’s a lot here to choose from, and these are available on all tracks which support rain conditions. If you want a beautiful evening sunset after a massive rainshower with mist on the track, you can do that – though the time of day for the skies is always determined by the game, however. It’s unfortunate that players cannot customize the time of day to their liking because some tracks offer awe-inspiring skies that are randomized. These are simply jaw-dropping, and it would be nice to set these to our liking in Free Play and Private Lobbies. Rio de Janeiro offers a lovely evening sky, as does Prague and Maple Valley, but you have to reload the track over and over again in the hope you get that variation as there’s also sunny and cloudy skies as well, which seem to occur more frequently.

It’s also unfortunate that not all tracks support wet weather or night conditions either. Turn 10 says it has enabled these configurations on tracks where “it makes sense,” though I don’t believe there’s any location in the world where night time simply doesn’t exist. Project CARS 2 has a roster of more than 60 track locations, all of which support day, night, and weather options. From rain to snow and even blizzards – it’s in Project CARS 2, and you can even set the time of day with any weather conditions you want, and it’s all extremely customizable. If you want a race that goes from day to night with rain and thunderstorms in between before a blizzard occurs in the pitch darkness of night, you can do it. However, these effects can definitely reduce the frame-rate massively on consoles, and sometimes even PC. This is where Forza Motorsport 7 shines, as its performance remains at a rock-solid 60fps, and despite a few hitches I’ve noticed in my experience, it’s mostly been solid.

The skies in Forza Motorsport 7 have a layer of depth that isn't present in other games.

Despite some of the shortcomings, the track line-up in Forza Motorsport 7 is extremely hard beat. From the fantasy tracks like Dubai, Maple Valley, Rio, and Prague to the world-famous locations of Brands Hatch, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Nurburgring, Long Beach, Road America, and Suzuka, this is a roster of track locations that no one can disapprove. Furthermore, the tracks that do support dynamic effects are something to behold – which turns this into a quality over quantity scenario. These aren’t simple rain effects or thunderstorms, but they feel dramatic and exciting. Whilst not supported on every track, the way Forza Motorsport 7 handles wet weather and night conditions is simple unparalleled to any other racing game. Not to mention the impressive dynamic skies as well. Whether it’s a massive thunderstorm or an evening sky with fog covering the track, the dynamic conditions are a colossal step up over the static rain and night effects found in Forza Motorsport 6, and alone, make Forza Motorsport 7 a worthy upgrade over its predecessor.

It’s safe to say you’ll be using Photo Mode a lot to capture these stunning scenes, and whilst the feature hasn’t changed over its predecessor, it still retains everything that’s needed to do the job. There has been a couple of small tweaks in recent updates, however, allowing players to disable damage before snapping their picture and changing the position of the watermark. Replays also return in Forza Motorsport 7 as well, so you can create and share videos of your favourite races backed by the dynamic conditions.

From evening to night transitions all the way to sunrise.

Unfortunately, live pit crews still aren’t featured in Forza Motorsport 7. Despite being highlighted in the “in-game” E3 and launch trailers, there is no live pit crew. You simply drive into the pits and will be presented with a screen of the current progress of your repairs and race statistics – such as your time in the pits and the distance from exit. You won’t see a pit crew run out to your car and swap the tires or refuel it if you were hoping for that. Instead, that all happens behind-the-scenes, which is unfortunate as Project CARS 2 has an excellent live pit crew integrated into the game. Upon exiting the pits, the game will also tell you what has been repaired or replaced. Whilst you will see drivers and crew hanging around the pits pre-race, they won’t be there during the actual event itself. However, there is a Pit Crew Driver Gear if that’s more up your lane.

Driver Gear – Customize Your RaceR How You Want

Speaking of Driver Gear, it’s the latest initiative being pushed by Turn 10 Studios for Forza Motorsport 7. Whether it’s from Prize Crates or the Forza Driver’s Cup, players will unlock new racing suits for their in-game driver that can be used across all modes in the game. This is the first-time players have been able to customize their Drivatar before in Forza history – unless you include the few selectable characters in Forza Horizon 3 – and there’s over 300 racing suits that can be unlocked. At the beginning of Forza Motorsport 7, players are prompted to choose between a male or female Drivatar, and can then customize it a selection of pre-unlocked outfits. But that’s only scratching the surface. From authentic racing suits to manufacturer and track-branded outfits, there’s a bunch of Driver Gear to choose from!

That Driver thinks he's cool. It's a shame I have the best gear.

Some of the fan-favourites will likely be the pop culture outfits, such as the Tuxedo, Biker, Firefighter, Cop, Crook, Astronaut, and Samurai suits. These are oddities for a racing game, but they do appeal to the more casual fanbase and those who enjoy showing off their wackiest suit that they’ve unlocked ahead of online races. There’s also team suits, outfits to represent your favourite automaker, country, and track, as well as pattern suits, Forza-branded outfits, and finally, gear that represents popular names in the automotive world like Ken Block and Tanner Foust, as well as names within the world of Forza like Michael Muller, Maria Rossi, and Ukyo Takagi – the former Forza Driver’s Cup winners.

Suits are also divided by rarity, and each time you rank up in Forza Motorsport 7, you’ll have the chance to unlock one of the Driver Gear suits in the game. The higher your Car Collector Tier, the better the chance you have of unlocking rarer suits from levelling up. Of course, these can be acquired from Prize Crates and the Forza Driver’s Cup as mentioned earlier, and your Drivatar will always use your equipped suit when racing in other player’s solo sessions – which continues to earn you credits in Forza Motorsport 7. Players will also see you rocking your Driver Gear trackside ahead of online events, and you’ll see them in their racing suits of choice as well.

The E3 Driver Gear Suit is exclusive to folks who played Forza 7 at E3 2017.

Finally, it’s worth noting some Driver Gear can only be acquired via download codes, such as retailer-branded outfits from pre-ordering Forza Motorsport 7, and my personal favourite E3 Driver Gear, which I got last June from attending E3 2017 for the reveal of the game. These outfits are ridiculously rare and are exclusive to those who have codes for them. Since the launch of the game, Turn 10 has also added new outfits from Gears of War 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, which were unlocked by participating in time-based Rivals events.

Overall, I do see a lot of potential in Driver Gear, and I think of ideas such as team-branded outfits for popular racing teams in the community like F4H Motorsport, EVR Motorsport, and Japspeed Racing. These would be great with the return of the Forza Racing Championship, and I hope Turn 10 continues to expand on the number of suits available as Driver Gear in Forza Motorsport 7 with both community suits and more real-world automotive and team outfits from global racing championship events. For now, I’ll be trying to collect as many of these outfits as possible. Driver Gear is a great addition to the Forza franchise.

Online – Hoppers, Leagues, and Community

The online experience in Forza Motorsport 7 has been somewhat limited since its release, but has expanded in more recent months with new features like Forza Racing Leagues and the Auction House. However, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. There’s currently a total of 16 public Hoppers as of reviewing – including Exotic GT, IndyCar, Endurance Forza GT, Classic Street Muscle, Modern Hot Hatch, Historic Road Racing, Classics Never Die, Hypercars, P Class, S Class, and A Class Breakout Hoppers, and a Lamborghini Super Trofeo Introductory Hopper. There’s also Unlimited Drift and Drag Racing Hoppers, including Nostalgic Drag Racers, which were added a few weeks after release, as well as Hoppers for Unlimited Virus Tag. Turn 10 even had one dedicated to the Mercedes-Benz Tankpool Racing Truck before later replacing it.

Welcome to Hoppers... but don't expect all of your class-based favourites.

These take advantage of the new Homologation system in Forza Motorsport 7, which upgrades (or downgrades) cars to make them competitive with one another in the same class. Whilst this has led to much fairer and tighter racing in my testing, the car choices can sometimes feel limited. There is only a few class-based Hoppers that fans know and love from Forza Motorsport 6, and Turn 10 has yet to say if the rest will return anytime soon.

The Adjudication System Turn 10 talked about in June has also yet to be implemented in Forza Motorsport 7’s Hoppers, as infuriatingly, there’s still plenty of rammers and dirty drivers in online. Fans expected this feature was likely being saved for the return of Forza Racing Leagues, but as of reviewing, it still hasn’t been implemented into the game. Leagues act as the “stepping stone” to the Forza Racing Championship eSports series, returning in 2018. Adjudication, meanwhile, promises to penalize players who attempt to purposely crash into other players and cut corners and will “take them down.” We’ve yet to see the feature in-action, but it does sound promising.

When the action is smooth, the racing can be excellent.

So far, the experience with Hoppers has been mostly positive once you forgive the dirty drivers. The trackside lobby experience is a huge improvement, and allows me to change cars and tunes on the fly. I do wish, however you could walk around the pits and see other players by their cars and rocking their Driver Gear. It would also be nice if Forzavista and Photo Mode could be used here like it can be in solo events, and whilst you can download tunes pre-race, it would be handy if manual tuning and upgrades were available from the Hoppers pre-race screen.

Other features available whilst waiting for races to begin trackside include the ability to change your Driver Gear, buy and open Prize Crates, view other players' cars and drivers via an interactive player list, change assists, swap tunes, view your car collection, change your in-game badge, and adjust game options. The latter here is a very nice addition, as it means players can change between clutch and handbrake on A button with ease!

The Hopper Lobby screen in Forza 7 can be slow, but it offers the most functionality yet.

Furthermore, tracks do load into races quite fast for multiplayer, and its much quicker going from race to race than it was in Forza Motorsport 6. However, if you do join a Hopper for an in-progress race, you can expect to be waiting in the pits for quite some time. Once a race concludes, players vote on the next track configuration, which is now integrated into both the post-race and trackside experience. With the interactivity of the loading screens in Forza Motorsport 7, it does mean that there’s no period in the game where you can do nothing at all. There’s always assists and options you can change trackside, including your car.  

With the release of Forza Motorsport 7’s first patch on Tuesday, October 3rd, I’ve been able to host Private Lobbies with my friends, and the experience has been great when it works and the options you desire are there. The modes available include Custom Play, Circuit Race, Timed Race, Drift, and Multi-Class. However, you can’t start a Private Lobby by yourself, and if everyone else in a private session leaves and it’s just you, the game will kick you out due to “a lack of drivers.” It was limited at first, but the Xbox One X Enhanced Update released in November added Drag Racing, as well as fun modes such as Tag and Virus, which are played on the open space of the Test Track Airfield. It would also be great to see Turn 10 bring back Car Soccer from Forza Motorsport 4, and also allow us to enable Drivatars in Private Lobbies, which were strangely removed from this year’s game.

Equip your best Driver Gear and show it off in your favourite Hoppers.

There is also currently no Spectate Mode in Forza Motorsport 7 either, which is odd considering how updated it was in Forza Motorsport 6 for eSports. On a more positive note, Private Lobbies do have the same customizable rain conditions as found in Free Play, and the host can even adjust the probability of certain rain scenarios occurring. In addition, the host can also set race events to any homologated car division of their choice, or enable complete freedom to players! I had a blast earning Achievements and trying out various car and track combos with my friends in Private Lobbies, and like in Hoppers, there’s no loading screens either as there’s always an interactive menu experience at your disposal, but this can be a reminder of how slow and sluggish the UI can be to navigate on base Xbox One hardware, especially when browsing cars trackside when it takes ages to load.  

I did also notice one weird issue in a race, however, where our 2017 Nissan GT-Rs spawned with different liveries in the race event when really, they were stock orange. So, whilst my vehicle looked fine to me, on my friend’s screen it had a livery. How odd. Wrong liveries showing in races have proved to be another frequent issue. I’ve also noticed the menu interface will sometimes load up Forzavista cars in a random colour, specifically when trackside. For example, when browsing vehicles to purchase, they could load in blue instead of their default manufacturer paintjob. Similarly, the car selection screen can sometimes show the wrong vehicles in the thumbnails, and this can often to confusion, for both the player and the game itself, where the race event may load you in with the wrong car choice.

Disconnected. Prepare to see that word a lot in Forza Motorsport 7.

Another critical issue in Forza Motorsport 7 are the server problems. From high latency messages in online races to massive lag spikes and disconnection issues, Forza Motorsport 7 isn’t the smoothest of racers in online play. Across my testing in both Hoppers and Private Lobbies, I’ve faced numerous disconnection issues, and have been pulled out of the middle of races and before an event begins whilst waiting trackside in the lobby. There have also been moments where drivers will go off-track before suddenly re-appearing in front of you, often leading to accidental crashes or unusual hiccups with gameplay performance.

These issues show that Forza Motorsport 7 isn’t fit yet for competitive online racing as of reviewing, which is a shame as the potential is all there. Turn 10 dubbed this as the “ultimate eSports racer” back at event demos, so one would expect these issues to be ironed out as quickly as possible. More than 3 months after release, however, and these disconnection issues continue to plague the online experience. Whilst Turn 10 issued a patch in December to tackle the disconnection and black screen issues, it still isn't perfect. Private Lobbies now perform much better, and friends can finally race together with ease. As for connectivity in regards to Leagues and Hoppers, a lot of work still needs to be done.

Rivals in Forza Motorsport 7 is a lot of fun, but lacks the class-based leaderboards.

Rivals are also back in Forza Motorsport 7, but in a limited form. This time there’s only homologated and stock ride events, and unfortunately the class-based Rivals events and leaderboards have been removed. It’s currently unknown if these will return in the future, but the events on offer so far are excellent. There’s a Porsche 911 GT2 RS Spec Challenge on Prague, a Nissan GT-R Brands Hatch Spec Challenge in the Rain, various Track Day events for GT, Prototype and Historic Road Racing, as well as Autocross and Drift events. Turn 10 will continue to add more in the future, so lookout for those over the weeks and months ahead.

With the Xbox One X Enhanced Update for Forza Motorsport 7, Turn 10 added the Auction House – where users can buy and sell cars with custom parts and liveries. Players can once again wheel and deal with the community in the hope of scoring a sleek new ride or a windfall of credits. From the Auction House menu, you can start a new auction from your garage, view featured auctions, discover cars with elite designs, and find deals chosen by Turn 10 for some cheap rides. Annoyingly, the Auction House does showcase a lot of 'Monster Energy' designs for some reason, and it also doesn't let you specifically search for 'exclusive cars' in the game.

The Auction House makes a welcomed return in Forza Motorsport 7.

There’s also some other community features available in Forza Motorsport 7, including the competitive Forza Racing Leagues, as well as Forzathon events, which offer rare cars acquirable via in-game challenges. There’s also a Specialty Dealer, which also offers rare cars for a limited time. These must be purchased, however, and the price varies on the cars available for sale. As for Clubs and shared Garages, as well as the ability to gift and share cars and credits – well, as you can expect, those haven’t returned to the franchise yet.

Forza Leagues – Experience Competitive Online Racing

Forza Racing Leagues are scheduled online events in Forza Motorsport 7 that act as the “stepping stone” to the Forza Racing Championship eSports series. These are featured events that are updated regularly. This is where Turn 10 encourages competitive and skilled racing, and I can confirm it has delivered some of the most enjoyable online races in the game.

Forza Racing Leagues will be your path onto the Forza Racing Championship.

Leagues give players the chance to compete with others of a similar skill level and earn rewards along the way, such as bonus credits, exclusive cars, and unique Driver Gear suits. Players can earn these rewards by simply participating in League events, whilst even more credits are available for podium finishes. Turn 10 has also revamped the overall Leagues experience since its debut in Forza Motorsport 6. 

Leagues in this game are organized into scheduled timelines called Seasons, and each League Season will typically last for four weeks in duration – that’s a full month in total – and will be comprised of four week-long Series, which are then made up of Events. These are traditional online race lobbies like we see in Hoppers, but they operate under specific rules and use a variety of vehicles from the relevant class or division. These include Hypercars, Exotic GT, Supercars, Historic Road Racing, Hot Hatches, NASCAR, IndyCar, and much more, spread across Ghost, Simulation, and Spec-Car Racing events, with some featuring either full or cosmetic damage.

The Leagues welcome screen has all the info you need before hitting the track.

Leagues also organizes players into five skill Bands. Everyone begins at ‘Grassroots’ and can work there way up to ‘Pinnacle.’ Each Band also contains five Ranks – with ‘5’ being the lowest and ‘1’ being the highest Rank within a particular Band. Players can move up or down in Rank and earn promotion – or even demotion – between Bands by earning League Points. These are earned after each League race, where players will either see an increase or decrease to their total League Points score.

League Points are calculated in three different areas – Finish Position, Starting Position, and Opponent Skill. As implied, Finish and Starting Position award points based on where you start and where you finish, and are scaled by the number of players that you start a race with. That means if another racer drops out before the race finishes, players will still be awarded the points based on the number of players who where on the grid at the start of the race.

‍Not only can you gain points in Leagues, but they can also be subtracted as well.

To discourage players from leaving events early, the game will enforce a last place negative points payout – resulting in a massive decrease in League Score. Annoyingly, this also occurs when you disconnect mid-race, and given the instability of Forza Motorsport 7’s servers, it can be a big deterrent for playing Leagues where progress earned over the course of several races can be lost over a disconnect caused by the game.

Then finally, with Opponent Skill scoring, points are awarded to players based on their Trueskill ranking compared to the rest of the lobby. This isn’t visible to the player, and is instead “a behind-the-scenes rating number,” which is how Turn 10 describes it. This means if a player’s rating is lower than average of the lobby, they’ll receive more points for higher race finishes than they would if their rating was at the average or higher than the average of the lobby. It's a little confusing, but it works.

Sports GT... Not sure of that one. I do know a Super GT, however. He usually finishes in 6th.

One area of Leagues that received a massive improvement in Forza Motorsport 7 over its predecessor is the online matchmaking. Players would frequently find themselves in empty lobbies on Forza Motorsport 6, but this isn’t the case anymore. During my testing, League lobbies have been always almost full – with several races usually featuring a full grid of 24 drivers. Thankfully, the ghosted events prevent chaos from ensuing, as we all know too well from Hoppers.

All League Bands in Forza Motorsport 7 have “an increased population,” Turn 10 says, which means players will find larger lobbies that settles them into the skill level that’s right for them. Usually, players will be matched with others of the same Band and Rank, but sometimes players from adjacent Ranks will help fill in the gaps if required.

Leagues offers the best online racing outside of organized events in Forza 7.

Overall, Leagues offer the best online racing experience in Forza Motorsport 7. With clean, competitive lobbies filled with players of a matching skill, racers can expect neck-to-neck and professional driving on the track. However, the disconnections can be a nuisance to deal with, and the loss in progression due to this can be extremely frustrating. Hopefully Turn 10 continues to iron out issues from the online aspect of Forza Motorsport 7 and develop Leagues into the ultimate destination for competitive racing in the game.

Forzathon – Beat Challenges, Earn More Rewards

Forzathon events first debuted in Forza Horizon 3 as weekly challenges where players could earn a variety of prizes, including bonus credits and XP, as well as exclusive cars. These in-game events have returned in Forza Motorsport 7, with not only a better structure and extended periods to beat challenges, but also more varied prizes, with rare cars and Driver Gear leading the way.

The Forzathon screen has all the details you need to beat each event.

To beat each event and claim its reward, players need to complete challenges in sequence order. Most events consist of three or four challenges, and there’s usually multiple Forzathon events live at once. Some challenges range from completing a certain number of laps in a vehicle from a particular car division, whilst others require you to win races or beat Rivals. It’s as straightforward as it sounds, and players can often have up to two weeks to beat the current challenges and reap it prizes.

Speaking of prizes, these have consisted of exclusive Forza Edition cars, rare vehicles normally only available from the Specialty Dealer, and unique Driver Gear suits. From the 2016 Mercedes-AMG 63 S Coupe Forza Edition to the 1995 Nissan NISMO GT-RLM, as well as the Astronaut Modern Driver Gear, there’s been several prizes on offer in Forzathon, and similar to those in Leagues, they can only be acquired from Prize Crates and the Specialty Dealer, as well as other in-game events and the Auction House.

Earn legendary classics, bonus Forza Editions, and new Driver Gear in Forzathon.

Forzathon hasn’t offered any must have prizes yet as of reviewing, however, the new sequence challenge system is a significant improvement over Forza Horizon 3, with shorter, more fun tasks issued to players that can be done across the Forza Driver’s Cup, Online Multiplayer, and Free Play. It is worth noting, however, that the Forzathon events so far have often required players to beat each challenge twice in order for the game to track it. This is an issue that will likely be fixed soon, but it adds to the lengthy list of issues that can occur in Forza Motorsport 7.

Forza Motorsport 7 on Windows 10 PC

With the debut of the Forza franchise on Windows 10 PC with Forza Motorsport 6: Apex in May 2016, Turn 10 brought its technically-accomplished ForzaTech engine to the PC platform for the first time. Forza Motorsport 6: Apex was an excellent free-to-player racer that offered a decent selection of the content from its Xbox One counterpart.

This is the best Forza experience yet on Windows 10 PC.

It also performance reasonably well – much better than Forza Horizon 3, which was a struggle to hit 60fps unless you had an incredibly beefy CPU. Turn 10 is back on the platform once again with Forza Motorsport 7, and it’s safe to say this is a colossal step above its other attempts. I’ve had nothing but pleasure with the PC version of Forza Motorsport 7. The big highlight for me is the native support for super-sampling, allowing me to run the game in 4K resolution on a 1080p display and benefit from all the extra detail offered by 4K. This is like how Forza Motorsport 7 looks on an Xbox One X when played on a 1080p display, and it’s definitely a noticeable upgrade over native 1080p. You can also capture native 4K photos from the PC version – and they look stunning.

I’m also really impressed by how Forza Motorsport 7 ran at 4K resolution on my PC – with a GTX 970, 16GB RAM, and an AMD 6350 processor, it performed without a hitch using dynamic settings. Very impressive indeed, not to mention all the tweakable graphics options and the new benchmark mode. The dynamic resolution and texture options also return, so players can prioritize performance and stability over visuals. It can even run on some lightweight ultrabooks with integrated graphics!

Dynamic options in Forza Motorsport 7 on PC always prioritize performance over visuals.

Forza Motorsport 7 on PC also supports a wide array of peripherals – from the most popular driving wheels on the market from Fanatec, Thrustmaster, and Logitech to various controllers, as well as keyboard and mouse. In fact, more than 30 racing wheels and gamepads are supported. Even the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller is supported. What a world we live in!

Overall, this is a well-polished PC version, and whilst some players on the platform have suffered from performance issues and texture problems – such as track surfaces or objects de-spawning or not rendering properly – it’s something that can be addressed given how stable the port is elsewhere, and indeed, many issues have already been rectified by Turn 10. This is by far one of the best Windows Store game experience yet, but the download is hefty, coming in at 95GB.

Forza Motorsport 7 can run on a wide variety of PC setups, even ultrabooks.

As an Xbox Play Anywhere title, Forza Motorsport 7 can be enjoyed on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC at no additional cost if you own a digital copy of the game. There’s also online cross-play support across both platforms, and your save profile and car collection syncs between Xbox One and PC as well. Nice.

The Future of Forza 7 and Downloadable Content

Forza Motorsport 7 will offer the usual slate of downloadable content and expansions fans come to expect from the franchise, with the Car Pass to offer six monthly Car Packs at a discounted rate, whilst larger standalone expansions are also expected to be in the works, with the microtransaction-based Tokens to be added after launch. However, there’s also a range of Day One DLC available for Forza Motorsport 7 – specifically, The Fate of The Furious Car Pack and the Hoonigan Car Pack, the latter of which is currently exclusive to digital purchases of the game.

The Fate of the Furious Car Pack is the most interesting DLC for Forza 7 so far.

There’s also the usual VIP Membership, was has ruffled the community the wrong way this past year. Fans expected it to offer twice the amount of Credits per race as seen in previous titles, however at launch, it awarded players with five 100% Credit Accelerator Mod Cards instead. Each of these cards could be used five times, so that’s a total of 25 races that could be enjoyed with double credits. To make the most of them, players were advised to use them in longer endurance races, and with three of these cards enabled in the one event, players received a 300% Credit bonus. Those who still have them should use them wisely, as you'll rake in the cash.

This new system was still a significant downgrade in comparison to VIP Membership in past games, especially when you consider the fact the exclusive cars are now just Forza Editions, whereas in previous titles, these were high-end, flagship supercars that couldn’t be acquired without VIP. The price tag for VIP also hasn’t changed – it’s still $20, but Microsoft has altered its description on the Xbox and Windows Store to specify the change in the credit accelerator.

VIP Membership offers 2X Credits once more, but is it worth $20? Depends.

Given the response from fans – who weren't very happy about this change at all – Turn 10 recently adjusted how the VIP Membership works in Forza Motorsport 7. Players now receive double credit bonuses across all race events they participate in. The developer has also given all VIP members an extra 1 million credits to spend on whatever they desire, as well as four new Forza Edition cars – including the highly-popular Acura NSX. This was only a limited-time promotion, however, as new purchases of the VIP Membership won’t grant players access to the bonus cars or credits, which must now be unlocked through regular gameplay and progression.

VIP was always one of the most popular add-ons in a Forza game, but with this year’s iteration only offering Mods, VIP-themed Driver Gear, and rare Forza Editions, it’s not a must-have add-on in Forza Motorsport 7 at $20 to say the least, but Turn 10 has promised additional benefits in the future to compliment the recently-added credit bonus, so hopefully it becomes a bigger incentive over the coming weeks and months.

Forza 7 added a lot of features after launch, but others remain eagerly-anticipated.

Forza Motorsport 7 was also supposed to allow players to play their own music during gameplay and in the menus with its OneDrive integration. This feature has been postponed, however, and with the recent shutdown of Groove Music – Microsoft’s own music service that was utilized in Forza Horizon 3 – in favour of a partnership with Spotify, it remains unknown when we’ll see the OneDrive integration added, and whether we could see it expanded to include Spotify. Only time will tell.

Fans also eagerly await the addition of eSports features to the game, such as the Spectate Mode and Adjudication System. When exactly we'll see these added to Forza Motorsport 7 remains to be seen, but with the Forza Racing Championship already confirmed to return in 2018, it needs to be sooner rather than later.

The Verdict

Forza Motorsport 7 is the most beautiful racing game out there, offering the best incarnation of dynamic weather effects in its class whilst offering some of the most fun I’ve ever had in a racing game. It also features the most diverse career mode in Forza history with the Forza Driver’s Cup, and it’s one that actually draws you in with an excellent voice talent line-up for the fun Showcase Events – which offer exclusive cars that cannot be obtained anywhere else. However, the removal and delay of some fan-favourite features has disappointed many, whilst the annoying bugs present can oftentimes spoil the overall experience.

 

Once the server issues are addressed and the full feature set has been implemented, Forza Motorsport 7 will become a must have racing game. In fact, it’s already extremely close to that, if not already, but it certainly will be once the launch issues are rectified with the eSports features implemented that are desired by competitive players and organized league organizers alike. Overall, it’s a worthy purchase, and continues the series’ trend of being the staple franchise and tour de force in racing, and one we hope continues to improve with post-launch support.

Forza Motorsport 7 earns a solid 8/10 from FullThrottle for its excellent gameplay, stunning visuals, dynamic track conditions, and the new structured Career and Car Collecting experience. Forza Motorsport 7 is available worldwide on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC as an Xbox Play Anywhere title, and takes full advantage of the Xbox One X as the platform's definitive racing showcase. If you want the ultimate automotive playset with dazzling visuals, beautiful dynamic features and both an accessible and competitive racing experience, I highly recommend you don't miss out on it.

8
Excellent
Forza Motorsport 7 is the best entry in the series to date, but persistent launch issues hold it back from truly flourishing.
Alan Walsh

Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he delivers the latest in news stories, reviews, and feature articles to the website, as well as videos on his YouTube channel and livestreams over on Mixer.