Forza Motorsport 7 First Impressions: A Visual Showcase

Posted on September 29, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Windows 10, Xbox One with 15 Comments

There is a moment early on in Forza Motorsport 7 where it all came together for me: The track blurred, my eyes dried as I stopped blinking, and I was finally at one with the controls, successfully navigating hairpin S curves and racing by my opponents. And it was in that moment when I just got it.

This game, this series, is amazing.

And that’s on an Xbox One S: Once the Xbox One X is available, we’ll be able to experience this game in all of its 4K/HDR glory.

But here’s the thing. Forza Motorsport 7 is a graphical showcase, just like its predecessors. And even those who can’t or won’t yet upgrade to Xbox One X are going to be blown away by the visuals. This game is stunning.

And because it’s an Xbox Play Anywhere title, it works across both Xbox One and Windows 10, too. I’ve played on both, though my amazing HP gaming rig has a QHD (2560 x 1440) display, not 4K. And it is amazing on both.

Most important, Forza Motorsport 7 is addictive. You want to just keep playing, win more races, and move forward. When my wife told me she needed to be out last night for a few hours, I almost cheered out loud. But I moved, discretely, to the Xbox One S and fired up Forza. And then had to be reminded to give it up after she had gotten home.

There’s a lot going on in this game. But unlike, say, Cuphead, which should have mass appeal and be more approachable, Forza is a surmountable challenge. That is, while I’ve always found modern racing games to be difficult to play, I adapted very quickly to the controls here and no longer find myself pinballing off walls and other vehicles. Well, sometimes I do pinball off other vehicles, but on purpose.

I play a lot of first person shooters—OK, OK, I play a lot of Call of Duty—and many would describe those games as twitchy. The controls in Forza Motorsport 7, like those in most modern race titles, are indeed twitchy, but of a different kind. It wasn’t long before I adapted, stopped needing to use that blissful “Rewind” feature to mulligan my mistakes.

There are different ways to play Forza Motorsport 7, and you can of course play against real humans in multiplayer, a challenge I have not yet risen to. But I’ve been working my way through the single player career mode where you progress through various races in several championship series. (I’m still on the first.)

The diversity is incredible. Not only are there multiple locations and cars (and other vehicles) too numerous to even count, but there are also amazing and dynamic weather conditions, twilight and night races, and more. The ability to just pick the car you want right up front is so appreciated. You don’t have to work your way up from a 72 Chevette or whatever.

If I have one complaint—and, seriously, I’m digging here—it’s that the load times can be slow, and that’s true on both Xbox and Windows. Fortunately, you can overcome this issue by browsing through your car collection, configuring mods, buying prize crates (which provide gear, mods, and even cars) while it’s loading a level. But still, it’s a bit too slow.

I also experienced a bit of bugginess on Windows, but a quick CTRL + ALT + DEL always brought it back. It only happened a few times. (It’s rock solid on Xbox.)

This is one I’ll be playing for some time to come. Forza Motorsport 7 is absolutely gorgeous and is great fun to play.


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