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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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Forza Motorsport 7 First Impressions: A Visual Showcase”

  1. skborders

    I own FMS 6 and enjoy it. I haven't anywhere near finished it. I also played the demo of 7 and the graphics were very good even on a 1080 screen. I may wait until they offer a special on it during the holidays or after.

  2. Careyy Price

    The game improved so much since Forza 5 which is the last "real race simulation" I played. I had so much fun with the demo, I will have no problem paying the full price for the game this time.

  3. spacein_vader

    Configuring mods? I didn't think modern apps allowed for mods so that's an unexpected bonus.

    This is the first game in the play anywhere stable that may tempt me to pay the Xbox tax* to get on my PC.

    *That's not a PC master race comment about the game being somehow 'tainted' just that console games are around £10 more than PC games due to platform licencing. Obviously for play anywhere titles you have to pay that licence even if you don't own a console.

    • MikeGalos

      In reply to spacein_vader:

      The reality is that tax is what allows you to get a high-end gaming system for so much less than it would cost as a standalone PC. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo don't make money off the consoles and thus have to make up those costs on the titles via licensing.

      In fact, you have to wonder whether Sony has yet made up for the vast sums they spent back in the Blu-Ray, HD Disc war. It's an odd business.

      • spacein_vader

        In reply to MikeGalos:

        I understand & accept why it exists. I just wish they did a "Win10 only" version too. I don't benefit from the tax as I don't own a console while I already own a gaming capable PC so that cost is sunk.

    • Jeffrey Tschiltsch

      In reply to spacein_vader:

      Forza 7's "mods" are not mods in the traditional PC gaming sense you're thinking of. Mods are essentially cards you get in "Prize Crates" (loot crates) that give you additional credits (and sometimes XP) for running a race "modified" as specified on the card (i.e. race at night; race with only the braking line, etc.).

  4. amrish.tandon

    @Paul do you use a wheel or a regular controller?

  5. JudaZuk

    I personally hate the Crates ... it is straight up stolen from Battlefield, even down to the sound of opening the crates.

    Why do we need creates in a racing game ... also I do not like the changes they have made in the UI compared to the previous games. Also experienced weird bugs when designing the car... game refused to rotate an object to 270 degrees .. you can have 269.9 or 270.1 but 270 .. noooo (that happened on front side of a car, tried it on the backend and i could finally rotate to 270 and then copy that rotation over to the other end of the car)

    But the racing is of course amazing as always :)

  6. UbelhorJ

    I tired the PC demo, and while it looks great and is awesome playing a "console" racer spread across three screens, they put basically no effort into racing wheels. The force feed back is just .. dead. It provides no communication as to what the car is doing and it just feels like you're always driving on ice. I think I'll skip it for Project Cars 2 and Gran Turismo Sport.

  7. nbates66

    It was great to see that the PC Demo of Forza 7 wasn't as bug-broken as Forza 6: Apex was on release, definitely looking at grabbing this one.

  8. Jeffrey Tschiltsch

    To clarify Paul's comment: "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."

    Not exactly true - cars are in tiers, from Common to Uncommon to Super Rare, etc. You have to earn car collector points (by buying cars) to unlock the higher tiers 2 through 7, until you do, you can't purchase those cars. Some cars in an unlocked tier are locked as well, as they aren't available for purchase - you can only get them from a showcase, the "Specialty Dealer" (who's name is not Xur), prize crates, etc.

    So when you start the game you can pick whatever car you like, as long as you have enough credits and its in Car Tier 1 :)

    So Paul, what view are you primarily playing in? I traditionally play in the hood view, but Forza 7 has a new dash view (essentially a closer to the dash cockpit view that eliminates the steering wheel) that I'm really enjoying.

  9. Allberry2001

    I got the CD from Amazon because I had a credit and then found out the "play anywhere" is only if you download it , thats BS and Microsoft need to make people more aware of this little fact. Nothing on the box about it and or how much hard drive space it would take.