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Forza Motorsport 7 Review: Gorgeously detailed

Another year, another Forza Motorsport. As expected, Forza 7 continues to push the limits of the Xbox One, readying the track for the powerhouse Xbox One X. While we wait for buttery smooth 4K racing at 60 frames-per-second on console, just how does Turn 10’s newest perform on Xbox One and Xbox One S?

Damn well, of course – it’s Forza, after all.

This iteration’s additions consist of a focus on you, the racer, alongside a variable weather system and numerous progression pathways that constantly allow for new unlocks. That’s not to suggest that cars aren’t front-and-centre in the production – with over 700 vehicles to choose from, they’re hard to ignore. As always, Forzavista mode provides an in-depth, detailed look at the shiny, chrome-laden beasts.

Career mode is the best way to jump in, selecting one of six main championships that cover all available vehicle tiers. Races are broken up by special Showcase events (still opting for Top Gear over The Grand Tour, sadly) that let you get behind the wheel of something more powerful – and expensive – than your career path allows for. The result is varied and exciting, giving you lots to strive for amidst a plethora of tracks and vehicles.

Variable weather is a welcome treat, shifting races from sunny to overcast and then to thundershowers (and back) over an event rather than sticking to one condition throughout. The changing conditions create unique racing conditions throughout your drive, with puddles that will frequently cause you to lose traction and destroy a carefully planned cornering manoeuvre. Thankfully, Forza’s rewind system will allow you to backtrack and reassess your strategy, this time without penalty to your overall efforts.

The weather system is where HDR truly shines on Xbox One S. From enhanced blanks in rainstorms and in foggy conditions to brilliant streams of sunlight as storms clear, visuals have never looked better on Microsoft’s mid-tier console iteration. The experience is merely a hint of things to come in November when the power of Xbox One X can be factored into the mix.

Driving assists can now be amended mid-race, and Forza 7 has no issue with recommending different settings if you’re continually trailing ahead or behind the pack. Mods make a reappearance, challenging players to race under certain conditions to gain XP that can then be turned towards the purchase of new cars and gear. While the number of game-changing sliders isn’t as plentiful as in Project CARS 2, that’s just fine – this is a nice mixture between rigid simulator and cruisy arcade racer, accessible to all.

While my online race playthroughs have been limited, standard Forza offerings are available. Winning an online mode is a mixture of luck and skill – if you can get out of the start of a race unscathed, you’ve a much better chance of making it to the finish line first. Multiplayer leagues haven’t launched yet, but are planned, as is Forza’s familiar auction system.

Racing against the UI can be a similar slog, especially if restarting a race; doing so tends to glitch out AI a bit and cause Drivatars to lust for your blood. Or oil, whatever. Drivatars offer varying levels of difficulty, so it’s best to play around with those settings to find a proper fit.

This iteration of Forza is about attention to detail, and Turn 10 has certainly nailed it. Forza 7 relies upon the solid base that’s been established in current-gen offerings Forza 5 and Forza 6, turning up attention to the minutiae to 11. A beautiful racer that’s meant for both the hardcore and casual player, I can’t wait to race around the track next month on Xbox One X.

Stay tuned to Stevivor for the opinion of expert racer Nicholas Simonovski alongside a revisited assessment of Forza 7 upon release of the Xbox One X on 7 November.

8.5 out of 10

The good

  • Exquisite attention to detail.
  • Lots of pathways that allow for constant progression.
  • Best use of HDR on Xbox One S yet.
  • A nice mix of arcade and sim racing.

The bad

  • Online races equate to demolition derbies.
  • Drivatars remain inconsistent and out for blood.

Forza Motorsport 7 was primarily reviewed using a promotional code on Xbox One S, as provided by the publisher. Click here to learn more about Stevivor’s scoring scale.

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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.