back to article Forza 4

Driving simulators - you either get them or you don't. For those of you who can't tell your carburettors from your crankshafts, there's perhaps little chance that anything written here will convince you to invest. Shame, because Forza 4 is perhaps the most accessible driving sim yet designed. It has the depth demanded by the …


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  1. Northern Fop

    Best game review I've read on here

    Very well written, IMO. Cheers!

  2. Jules75
    Thumb Up

    Was a massive GT5 fan...

    I was uber excited about GT5 having played all the previous titles, but by the time it was eventually released I couldn't help but feel let down. It takes an age to load, the menu system is overly complicated and frankly it's just a little boring now. It looks amazing, visually, but just a bit dull.

    A couple of days ago I downloaded a demo of Forza 4 (something I probably wouldn't have bothered with as I was a GT fan) and was very surprised about how much I liked it. I'll be now picking up a copy and GT5 will be relegated to the cupboard.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      GT5 is miles head

      Forza is an arcade racer for kids that have never driven a real car. It's got arcade physics that make it easy to drive.

      GT5 has proper physics and like real cars can be frustrating at times.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Blimey, I was expecting the fanboi wars to start a bit sooner than the third comment.

        Come on Sony fans, defend your corporate masters! Come on Microsoft kids, tell them they smell or something!

        And whatever you do, don't let reality get in the way of a good rant. Let slip the fanboi's of disgruntledness!

      2. Grease Monkey

        "GT5 has proper physics and like real cars can be frustrating at times."

        What?! I've never tried Forza so I can't comment, but GT5 physics have little to do with the real world. They are very definitely of the arcade variety. Have you ever driven a real car in enger on a track to qualify you to comment?

      3. PoorLumpyPony

        Both of them are about as realistic to the experience of driving

        As call of duty is for firing guns......

  3. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    To upgrade or not to upgrade

    Not sure whether to upgrade from Forza 3 - I'm an occasional player at best, and it's an expensive game. I'll probably wait for second hand.

    Good review though, rivalling some of the gaming sites.

    1. Death_Ninja

      Get down the demo from XBL?

      You don't need Gold membership to get the demo... give it a try.

      Have to say I was doubtful that it would be better, but then tried turning off the driver aids and found the car handled much better, much more fun and better than the slightly "on rails" feel that forza 3 had.

      I don't have kinetic but still will go grab this one when it hits my local shop.

      Looking forward to burning a few weeks with this one

  4. dmurray1981

    Interior view...

    is now available on all cars in GT5 and came in with the 2.0 update on Tuesday, along with loading time reductions.....So less to seperate the 2 games really then.

    1. Annihilator
      Thumb Up


      Did not know this, may actually dust off my copy and see if it's become a playable game

    2. janimal


      Calling it an interior view is somewhat misleading because for most cars it is a silhouette cut-out blocking your view, not an interior.

      The key flaw in GT5 is it is just too easy, offers no challenge in the offline game. The AI are no competition at all.

      The things they have updated are all marred by Polyphony's distinctly odd perspective of how things should work.

      Spec 2.0 does nothing particularly noteworthy for GT5.

      It is still a terrible game. GT5 is so poorly designed and implemented, so long overdue and over-budget that I thought it might have been a government IT project

  5. That's it man, game over man, game over!

    love it

    Or shunting you into an oncoming barrier in a way that even Lewis Hamilton would think irresponsible.

  6. MJI Silver badge

    Well written

    Good review.

    I have seen the GT5 updates - great improvement, but still a pain to navigate.

    Nice to have the racing sim competition.

    1. good review
      Thumb Up

      i agree with u

  7. Eradicate all BB entrants

    oh it's .....

    ....much better than 3. The car rewards for levelling are better as you get to choose from a selection, the sound is much better too. Head tracking kind of odd at first but not too distracting. If you import your forza 3 save you get extra cars too.

    As for the top gear stuff, so far so good as they are challenges such as knocking down as many bowling pins in a lap as possible.

    If only my Logitech momo worked on the xbox

  8. Herer

    No Porsche

    The failure to include porkers is a major failing, some licensing dispute with EA being cited as the cause.

    Nonetheless I'll be playing FM4 as my preorder arrived today.

    Just make sure you change handling from 'normal' which isn't normal at all, to 'simulation' which gives a much better feel to the game.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      GT2 didn't have them' Porches either... not in name. An after-market "manufacturer" named RUF, however, brought them on. Even a 4x4 Porsche that could eat dirt, I believe.

      And Ferraris were conspicuously absent too. "What, a GT game, without a single Ferrari? Nonsense!" was the first thought in more than one friend of mine back then. I don't know current iterations.

      And I saw a 3-rotations-each-side driving wheel on a store. I nearly drooled on the non-twitching-actual-handling of such a beast perspective... 3 turns each side a la real cars.

      1. Grease Monkey

        Take a look at RUF they are a real manufacturer who start with a bare Porsche body/chassis and build a car from their. They are not one of those third party tuning company who sell "upgraded" showroom cars as their own.

        Several games have used them in place of Porsche because Porsche get so arsey about licensing.

    2. Iain 4

      Only technically a lack of Porsches

      Just as any Project Gotham Racing, Gran Turismo and so on veteran will recognise, Forza 4 is lacking 'proper' Porsches, but has plenty of RUF re-tuned ones. Which I suppose a real obsessive could probably paint over the badge on and de-tune back to stock, if they chose.

  9. Nya
    Thumb Up

    Watch out for the Lentilmatics!

    The level of Clarkson is about right also...nicely avoidable when he getting too annoying, but great to rattle off when you want him around also. The starting rant about Lentilmatics and Hybrids is pure brilliance at the start of the game. And the comments in the Autovista section are great with the usual digs at Hamster about his Morgan and such.

    First play of the driving I was hugely disappointed due to all the help with breaking and steering and such. But as soon as that got turned off it became much more Forza 3 like :D talking of Forza 3 one cool touch is the way it takes your rank from Forza 3 and gives you cars depending on it (not all your old cars sadly but guess that makes things more fair). The accidents the AI does by itself seems more natural now since it's no longer perfect all over and the AI actually stuffing it into other AI cars which is nice. Graphically its great, although I haven't noticed while racing much difference from Forza's probably there but not usually paying much attention to it really when more bothered about that loon in the Hummer coming at you :P Damage seems a bit more sensitive than it used to be, good and bad that. Think my biggest hate so far though is the generic commentator guy who speaks for the menu's and general car info when Clarkson's not doing it. Seems his recordings are as grainy as hell which really sounds rough and crappy.

    Great game though. Worth the upgrade from Forza 3? hmm, not sure. The Top Gear stuff is good, as is the AI and damage improvements. But a huge change in racing and how it feels? not so sure really.

  10. ATV-Edge

    One thing missing....

    Although not a new feature of Forza, the one thing missing in comparison to GT series is customization (aesthetics, not tuning aspect). I know this doesn't necessarily matter to a "Racing Sim", but it really adds to the online play when you can have something 100% unique. Not to mention some of the artwork created by Forza players is absolutely amazing! As a long time GT fan, It was disappointing when GT5 didn't include this feature.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really impressed

    Wow, the graphics are really good, I'm impressed!

    Shame its of no interest to those whose balls have dropped.

  12. Sulphur Man

    Can we drop the term 'simulation' now please?

    Picture the scene,

    You're planted on comfy chair, holding a plastic controller, possible with your feet up on something else comfy, gazing at a computer-animated 2D image. You're in a dry, hopefully warm room, inside a building with a roof, sheltered from the elements, and unwanted distractions. A cup of tea, or something stronger/softer, sits within reach. All's well with the world......

    This scene is rather different to being harnessed into a bucket seat, adorned in firesuit and super-snug crash helmet, fighting a ferociously upgraded Murcielago LP640-4 around a sodden Silverstone, squinting into the late afternoon sun, engine screaming behind your head, G-forces mincing your organs, heart bpm around 180, track rivals jostling for position in front of you, throwing up a wall of inpenetrable spray.......

    Forza....GT....their all just video games. Please stop calling them simulations, or worse, commenting on how 'realistic', and 'modelled' they are. No one who plays PES or FIFA comments that playing those games is 'just like real football' for god sake. But somehow, there's this bizarre reality bridge that's been constructed between certain racing games and real life. Time to knock that bridge down, just enjoy a very good game. Enough!

    1. AdamWill


      "No one who plays PES or FIFA comments that playing those games is 'just like real football' for god sake."

      Actually, there's a clear dividing line between 'realistic' football games and 'arcade' ones (same for all sports games), just as there's a dividing line between 'realistic' driving games and 'arcade' ones.

      Calm yourself down. No-one's denying how 4w350m3 h4rdc0r3 you are for driving a realio car on a realio track. We're just handily categorizing games and comparing how well they recreate the *physics* of driving a real car. Nothing to see here, move along.

    2. ChrisC
      Thumb Down

      Just how close to reality in every aspect would you consider is required for a simulation to earn the title? Not even the multi-million quid flight simulators used by airlines and the military can fully simulate every last nuance of real flight, yet they're considered close enough in the areas that matter to be certified for pilot training, and I think you'd get pretty short shrift from any pilot if you suggested they were just playing games simply because their time in the sim didn't expose them to all the physical conditions they face once in the real cockpit.

      PC based sims, whether flight, driving (car, train etc), sports etc. can, if done well, provide a damn good representation of certain aspects of whatever it is that's being simulated. A few hours flying a simulated 737 around in MSFS doesn't mean someone is capable of flying the real thing, but it does teach you a bit about how the controls and displays are arranged in the cockpit, how the aircraft will respond to control inputs etc. Driving sims can teach you about handling characteristics - over/understeer, skids & spins etc, sports sims can teach you about tactics, team management etc... And if you think a good PC sim can't get the heart pounding or adrenaline flowing, then think again.

      So why shouldn't we refer to such titles as simulations, or comment on their realism ? Failing to acknowledge the often immense amount of hard work involved behind the scenes to achieve those levels of realism, and just writing off every sim as just another game, is akin to suggesting the likes of Forza or GT are no closer to reality than, say, Pole Position, After all, they're all just video games, aren't they...

  13. lotus49

    It's not Grand Prix Legends

    The graphics on the new "sims" as you choose to call them are amazing and if Forza 4 can provide as good a driving experience as GT5 without the slow load times and crappy menus it will be well worth a go.

    Sadly, none of the games I have played since Grand Prix Legends (now 13 years old) has matched it for realism. Driving a racing car is difficult and GPL was also difficult. It took real skill just to get round a lap without spinning off, never mind win races. Games like GT5 and Forza just don't cut it when it comes to realism. They are much better than stupid games like GTA but they are too easy and calling them sims is rather generous.

    1. AdamWill


      Live for Speed or iRacing.

      1. Grease Monkey

        Driving a modern fast saloon/coupe is much, much easier than a late sixties formula 1 car. I think it was Stirling Moss who said that an driving an F1 car was exactly like driving a very fast sportscar, on ice.

        Most drivers couldn't manage a modern F1 car in a single session. Even a fairly competent driver would probably take a whole session to drive a complete flying lap in one, and would certainly get nowhere near race pace. You only have to visit a track day to realise how easy it is to get a modern car around a circuit at a reasonable speed. Yes driving sims do make it easier than real life, but not so easy as you seem to imagine.

        Yes I've chucked a few cars and bike around various circuits in real life, I've even raced and not finished last. Driving sims make it easier to go fast just to make it interesting, but if you were to try racing in real life I think you'd be surprised at how competitive you could be given a competitive vechicle.

    2. Iain 4

      Yeah, but...

      On the other hand, Grand Prix Legends was substantially more difficult than actually driving a real car around a racing track, too. Not least because GPL is purely simulating 1960s F1 cars that had tonnes of power and approximately zero grip, traction control or anything else, rather than a modern vehicle with handling designed to keep you alive. Difficult doesn't equal realistic, per se. Forza 4 is designed to be at least nominally playable on a joypad, rather than being wheel-only, so there are always going to be compromises there, too.

      All I know is that driving my car in the game, it reacts similarly enough to the way my real one does to make the handling vaguely predictable, and I can't ask more than that.

  14. Mike Judge

    Poor mans GT5.

    Forza is a dumbed down, poor mans GT5. Whilst GT5 may not be perfect, it's still mile ahead of this in term of physics, graphics and car/track selections.

    The only letdown in GT5 is the clunky menu system, in every other respect GT5 is generation ahead of Forza.

    1. Grease Monkey

      The physics in every version of GT has been more arcade than sim, which is fine because that's the sort of game that it is. Unfortunately too many GT fanbois like to pretend it's just like real life.

      Oh and don't listen to the star drivers who tell you it's a proper simulator. They're paid to say that.

      Personally I always preferred TDU as a game. Not because the physics are good - they're not particularly. Not because the car selection is great. Just because there's a lot more variety and that keeps it fun for a lot longer.

    2. Alex Rose

      Hush child. Let the adults get on with their grown-up talk.

      If you want to play the "my game/computer/phone's better than your game/computer/phone" game then perhaps you should save it for the playground.

  15. Bunker_Monkey
    Thumb Down


    Come on - is a 'simulation' not GT5 or Forza4. These games are for dreaming teenagers and not anything else.

    1. HollyX
      Thumb Up

      I should really dust off Live for Speed, used to love racing and drifting in that :-)

      Has iRacing caught it up now, in terms of physics?

  16. MJI Silver badge

    Look just enjoy the game and stop argueing

    Had enough elsewhere.

    Of course there will be comparisons to GT5.

    Of course people will defend their choice, defend but don't attack OK.

    An example, I actually prefer in some ways GT4 to GT5, but the disc no longer reads.

    GT5 handling, you can tell between front and mid engines on corners.

    To be honest I prefer mad racing games, just more fun, my favourite is Motorstorm Pacific Rift, most fun mad racer I have played. GT5 feels staid.

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