As polished as Forza 5 was, Turn 10 Studios had to cut out a lot of features to get the game out of the garage in time for the Xbox One’s launch. This meant a paltry 14 tracks, a little over 200 cars and no weather effects. We know having a lightweight frame can be an advantage on race day, but this is ridiculous.
Two years on, Forza 6 is here to add some aluminum flesh to those bare bones. Around 450 cars have made the cut, and there are 25 tracks in the game, including ten brand new creations. One of these new tracks, based in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, is a perfect showcase for Forza to flex its graphical might. As we tear up a long straight, rows of gaudilypainted favelas pile up in front of us. Then suddenly the cavalcade of color drains from the screen as we disappear down a winding tunnel, only to emerge with a to-die-for view of the Christ the Redeemer statue. It’s gorgeous stuff, but there wasn’t time to sit and stare, as we were sharing road space with a grid of 23 aggressive AI foes – a number that hits the sweet spot in terms of making races feel populated but not gridlocked.
While graphical splendor is good and all, we were more taken with Forza when it shut the lights off. A nighttime race, set in Sepang, Malaysia, saw us take a Lamborghini Huracan for a spin illuminated only by far-away fireworks. Trying to navigate twists and turns by moonlight is a fraught affair.
But that’s nothing compared to the herculean levels of concentration required on the Brands Hatch Circuit mid-downpour. The handling model certainly convinces, as carelessly screeching into corners causes the car to aquaplane in a terrifying manner. It all points to a stirring comeback – a proper new-gen entry that provides the breadth of challenges and experiences that a true driving sim should.