Posted June 18, 2017 by Adam Ghiggino in Feature

E3 2017: Forza Motorsport 7 Isn’t Just Attractive, It Has a Great Personality (Hands-On)

One of the key titles shown off at E3 in the Xbox One X line-up is, of course, Forza Motorsport 7  – the next major instalment in one of the biggest racing franchises in the world. Thanks to the Microsoft’s new One X hardware, Forza 7 is now capable of running its gorgeous visuals at 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. But calling a Forza title beautiful is akin to calling that a new pop-up burger place incredibly fattening – at this point, we have enough experience with these things to take it for granted.

At E3, I was able go hands-on with three races included in the demo. The first was in Dubai, driving the 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, both shown at the Xbox press conference. Dubai as a track itself looks fantastic. The dev team, Turn 10, has used a technique called photogrammetry to use 4K reference photos to build environments that look just like the genuine thing. This works really well with natural features, like sand and mountains, making Dubai the obvious choice as the showcase track for the game, as it looks picture perfect. As a track, Dubai also has its own unique qualities – on the second lap of the race, the wind kicked up a bit of sand onto the track, visibly flying over the asphalt in waves and affecting traction. It’s an addition that reminds me that Turn 10 are still interested in making a ‘game’ rather than just a simulation – little unexpected things like that make it all the more fun.

The second race changed things up significantly, with an entirely new type of vehicle to Forza, big rigs, on the Mugello Circuit. This was an unexpected addition, I don’t think I’ve ever played a successful Big Rigs racing game (and in fact, there is at least one notably terrible game that is considered among the worst of all time). However, I was pleasantly surprised – it was actually a fair bit of fun bashing and crashing into the other trucks as we tackled each other to get around corners. There’s not a lot of room to overtake and drive cleanly when you’re in giant flatbed trucks. It’s also worth noting that in both this and the previous race, the little details in the car and cab interiors are really noticeable – windshield wipers shake and rattle as you go faster, and side mirrors can actually snap off if you take a bad hit.

The third race I tried was on the Nurburgring, and again it was a race with changing weather conditions. The Nurburgring race has demonstrated how important this can actually be, as one lap may see you racing under an overcast sky, to a second lap in an outright storm, as rain batters the windshield, tires begin to slip and the race dynamically becomes a lot harder.

While Dubai is a great visual selling point for Forza 7, tracks like the Mugello Circuit were a lot more, well, ordinary and dreary by comparison. Of course, that’s not always the point of tracks in racing games – their challenge and fun factor is also hugely important as well, but just don’t expect the Xbox One X to suddenly make every single art asset leap off the screen. That one minor quibble aside, it’s tough to find any chinks in the huge package of content that Forza 7 looks set to deliver.

Forza Motorsport 7 launches with more than 700 cars, 30 racing tracks and 200 ribbon events, when it’s released on 29 September, 2017 (Ultimate Edition), 3 October, 2017 (Deluxe and Standard Editions).

Adam Ghiggino

Owner, Executive Editor of Rocket Chainsaw. I also edit TV, films and make average pancakes.


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