I’ve been playing Forza Motorsport now for a couple of weeks now and I wanted to make sure I was able to properly play and put in enough hours to formulate a sensible and solid yet simple review considering my work/life balance isn’t that easy to navigate through. While I did not finish all aspects of the game, I’ve played enough of the game at this point to be able to write this review and say before I even get into the depth of the review that Forza Motorsport is one of the best console racers as a series ever made but the 2023 edition while continuing that tradition of greatness doesn’t match up to previous years quite well and it’s not for lack of effort. For me, I didn’t have as much fun playing it as previous years but MAKE NO MISTAKE. This is because I’ve been playing Forza for quite a long time and my expectations are different but for those who are newer to this game. It’s a blast and an incredible experience, simply put.
FORZA MOTORSPORT IS VISUALLY STUNNING
Forza Motorsport is a visual pleasure. I won’t however give it additional points for this because it’s always been a great looking and an incredibly stunning game visually so what you’re getting is basically more of Turn 10’s continued excellence for the current gen but it was no slouch in prior gen. This is just better. The argument that I would end up having with my colleagues in regards to the look of Forza Motorsport was based on what platform to play it on and we all agreed that the answer is unequivocally, PC. The console version of Forza Motorsport does play very well and also looks great and I’ll be honest in saying that all of the banter about how the game looks are really nitpicks. Performance is what matters more in this game and from my experience Turn 10 nailed this. I had little to no issue at all whether on PC or console.
Yes, it looks better on PC, but so does every other game on the market when compared to console so this argument is unfair on its face. I played Forza Motorsport primarily on my XBOX Series X and I never at any point felt like the game was any worse because it looked better on PC and those who are playing on console shouldn’t care that much either. Yes, I could break down ray tracing, shadows, lighting and all of the other things that make for a typical review but most gamers just want a good looking game that doesn’t stumble and when they want to play it, they can, without issue. Forza Motorsport does this just fine.
The AI in Forza Motorsport is interesting. Turn 10 attempted to make this game seem as close to how an actual person may drive a high speed race car or street car under pressure and in the lower difficulty settings you see this right away. AI is clumsy on the entry levels and If you’re racing at a difficulty level at 4 or under you can fully expect that your competition will engaging in a demolition derby trying to run you off the road or force you into track penalties by being just awful at holding position and staying within safe distance or just poorly braking within racing lines that again, lead to penalties. I got penalized more than a little bit in the lowered tiered difficulty because the AI was just clumsy.
It’s not until you get to 6 and above (which to me is nuts) whereas the you get more than a challenge and if you’re a glutton for punishment and you crank the difficulty to 10 it’s almost impossible to win unless you drive a perfect race relative to your car and tune your car perfectly to each track. I appreciated this. It forces you to pay more attention to the finer points of competitive racing and really learn about how car tuning and the changes and adjustments that need to be made to be competitive in a race. Turn 10 spent a lot of time making sure that AI was balanced and it shows in this game.
MULTIPLAYER IS GREAT
When I first started Multiplayer it was a bit janky at first as I was losing connection during races but this was during the Early Access stage. Now that we are much further along into the Forza Motorsport season the multiplayer is far better. Multiplayer in Forza is the litmus test for you to step your skills up and not be a jackass in racing. Strategy matters more than your car but the car makes a difference like in career mode but in multiplayer you’re driving against the best players online in real life and in real time so winning races will be challenging. This is what makes multiplayer in Forza Motorsport so much fun. Just like the previous versions. Multiplayer in Forza is top notch and you’ll find yourself spending a ton of hours in multiplayer
CAR PROGRESSION AND CarPG
The reason most people play a sim racer like Forza Motorsport is for the career mode. You start off with a slow car, earn some bucks and gradually you’ll be able to buy better cars and run faster and tougher races. Seems like a formula that should work with no problem, right? Well, this year Forza Motorsport has a car progression system that as I see it, doesn’t need to exist.
Turn 10 oddly decided this. CarPG as they call it. An analogy to role playing games but instead of wizards and warriors. It’s cars. I mean, It’s not all horrible but it’s polarizing and it makes the game which is already a grind even more so of a grind by forcing you to somewhat “bond” with your car of choice by doing races and gaining experience points that you now have to use instead of your traditional credits to buy car parts and upgrades. While this may be a great idea in practice for a novice or first time player, I, as a veteran player find this cumbersome and it kills my initiative to want to switch cars instead of the opposite. The whole idea of a racing sim is in the variety of cars, tracks and races and then earning those credits to buy more cars. What is this Turn 10? It should at least be a toggle option as opposed to the rule. CarPG is confusing.
Now that I got that grievance out of the way. The career progression in Forza Motorsport is what it’s always been. Challenging yourself to learn the tracks and beat your opponents. Career mode is actually the best part of the game since its very robust and even in that, it’s still missing a few things but Turn 10 has pretty much stated that we’ll see more tracks and updates in the future.
Career mode is still the reason to play this game. There are a variety of categories and ways to play this game that will keep you engaged is so enticing so much so that if you find yourself wanting to stop playing you say to yourself “Let me just beat this racing series right quick” That’s what you want from a racing game like this with that sim element
IS FORZA MOTORSPORT THE BEST RACER?
Is Forza Motorsport the best racer on console? Of course there is no right or wrong answer to this as it’s all subjective but it’s been in my opinion the most consistently good console racer in the past 10 years. Yeah, I know some people want to get caught up comparing Forza with GT7 and I get it but the reality is Forza Motorsport does what it does better than any other racing game for the casual and semi-hardcore sim racing fan. The controls are good, the game looks amazing, a ton of cars, great tracks and visual effects. It’s Forza Motorsport. While it does have its issues, that doesn’t take away from what you expected from Forza Motorsport and that’s a solid, gorgeous sim like racer that you can easily put 100 hours or more into without even realizing it and the best part? It hasn’t even had it’s first set of updates yet or any DLC. Once it does this will make Forza Motorsport 2023 just like its predecessors in that you can play for years and years and that makes it worth it. I do hope that they get rid of CarPG though. I’m just saying. If it had to give this years’ version of Forza Motorsport a score, I would give it an 8 out of 10. SOLID
* SIDE NOTE…Since this review FORZA MOTORSPORT has undergone it’s first update (1.0 UPDATE) to make sweeping changes to the game, so kudos to XBOX for getting this done quickly. If you want to know what the changes were. You can get them HERE.