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Review: Forza Motorsport 2

Forza Motorsport came out for the good old black Xbox in 2005. The game was an instant hit with the car enthusiasts, which in turn meant that the game developed a huge customizing community. The game had everything for a real racing simulation: a decent amount of tracks and almost limitless options to customize and tune your car. Now in 2007, Turn 10 releases a next-gen Forza Motorsport for the Xbox 360. So is Forza Motorsport 2 just a racing game with updated next-gen graphics or does it have more to offer?

Forza 2 will initially come over as a very tough game, seemingly impossible to master. However, that’s not to say the game is completely impossible for anyone to play. Far from it in fact, since a little time spent with the game will yield results quicker than you might initially expect. Furthermore there is so much to do in Forza Motorsport 2 it’s hard to know where to start. The original Forza had around 230 cars to choose from, but Forza Motorsport 2 offers you more than 300 cars from 50 different car manufacturers for your driving pleasure. With so many cars at the disposal of the driver, it’s a good job that the game features 13 different racetracks with around 65 different track combinations. Forza Motorsport 2 offers you an arcade mode for just simple plain racing, a career mode which pans out like an RPG, as well as online racing and an auction house that’s used to buy and sell cars, but also to show off your mad tuning and painting skills.

The Arcade mode is considerably more basic than the career mode. Contained within said mode is exhibition races, Time Trial races and a free run mode. In the exhibition mode, 15 tracks are available, which allows for drivers to use any unlocked and tuned cars to race with. The damage done when racing in Arcade mode does not ruin any cars, as it is purely cosmetic here. The time trials option is a bit different; you get a predetermined car for one of the 15 tracks. In order to beat Time Trial mode, it’s required that the top time must be beaten on each of the available tracks. All times registered get posted online, allowing other drivers around the world to see who is King on Xbox Live, as well as showing friends what they need to do in order to have the bragging rights. The free run mode is nothing more than just simple practicing on tracks with different cars, attempting to perfect your laps.

The majority of the time will be spent in the career mode though, for those not yet ready for racing online. The career mode requires a skill level to be picked at the beginning to determine how much help will be required when racing. Next, a region needs to be chosen. Depending on which you pick (from the three options of North America, Europe and Asia), discounts are offered for that region. Pick Europe and you’ll get Ferrari’s cheaper, but American manufacture Dodge will be more expensive. After the options are all set, the chance to choose a car finally become available, with the next step being racing. The choice of cars initially is limited thanks to only an 11000 credit limit. Once in the career mode, naturally racing is the name of the game. There are a whole host of available race types, ranging from a rivalry face-off between racing two car brands against each other to endurance races where consistency and pit strategy are important in the extremely long events. Contained within each of the available race types are several events to complete. Many impose restrictions, often restricting certain classes of vehicles or even models of cars, making the race that tad more interesting.

Winning races is the easiest way to increase skill level and the bank balance. However the actual amount of credits that enters said bank balance depends on all manner of things. The difficulty is one thing, but also the amount of assists that are turned on. Turning off assists such as ABS, TCS and racing line will yield more income at the end of the race that is calculated by a percentage. Forza 1 had an assist know as dynamic racing line. It showed drivers when to accelerate, slow down and brake, and was a big part of the game. Now though, in this new generation, it’s back with a twist. New options are available, allowing it to be customized. It’s possible to choose what should show up, meaning that “Braking only” could be displayed on the track. This means there are no more lines all over the track unless approaching a corner.

What can be done with the wad of money building up at the bank? Well, naturally you can nip into a dealer and buy some new cars, or even better, buy some new parts for an existing car. To keep up with the competition, modifications are going to be needed. You can choose the simple way by just applying a new turbo, a roll bar, a new set of brakes and some weight reduction, or if you really like tuning, it’s possible to adjust every part of the car like adjusting the springs or gear ratio. This is for the real hardcore racers. If you are really good at adjusting your car, you can shave a few precious seconds from your lap times. A good or bad setup can make the difference between coming first or coming last.

You can finish the offline career in about 40 or 50 hours. The endurance races will suck up a lot of your time thanks to them being the longest races available in the game, often lasting up to 25 laps or more. When career mode is finally done with, attention turns to the online career mode. The online career is pretty much the same as the offline career only this time, the race is against human opposition, not AI. But there are more options than simply some online races. Microsoft is hosting weekly tournaments where anyone can attempt to join in on the action. The system for the tournament’s qualification works very well. You sign up for a tournament that hasn’t started yet by doing a qualifying lap on the first round track. Depending on the available slots the top qualifiers may enter the tournament.

The other big online part Turn 10 spent a lot of time making is the car painting and auction house feature. The car painting mode uses a layering system where it is possible to stack shapes on top of each other. When first trying this mode, it wouldn’t immediately suggest that it is possible to create something awesome with it, but persevere; spending a lot of time and patience with it is required to get anywhere. And when you manage to create something really awesome, it’s possible to sell your car at the Auction House. There is an option to lock the paint to the car so others can’t use it again on other cars, therefore you are getting paid for your skills. For showing off said paint jobs, Turn 10 implemented a nice photo option. During an offline race, it’s possible to pause the race and take a picture. When satisfied with the picture settings and the desired effects, the picture can be uploaded to forzamotorsport.net. When you login to the website, the last five pictures taken are all viewable.

So does that mean Forza Motorsport 2 is one hell of a thrill ride and worth a perfect 10 out of 10? Sadly not. Turn 10 spent a lot of time making this game a real driving simulator. They have spent a lot of hours in creating a superb engine with great car physics and an awesome looking damage model. But one thing that is immediately noticeable is the graphics. They suffer greatly when talking of next-gen gaming. The graphics are very good for a next-gen Forza, but are not what we expected from the game. But there’s a really good explanation for the not-so-awesome graphics. Turn 10 made such an awesome physics engine and made the game a solid 60 fps. All those calculations for the physics engine and the solid 60fps takes a lot of processing power, it would be impossible to make everything look fantastic at the same time. Turn 10 had to make the decision on what should suffer, in the end it’s better to have a smooth game with excellent physics than a choppy game with flashy graphics.

Forza Motorsport 2 is everything you could want from a squel. It offers everything that the original Forza did, and a whole lot more. The game now boasts an amazing array of customization options, with people spending hours upon hours tweaking and fiddling with their cars. The online mode is excellent too, with tournaments really showing potential to unite the community. The graphics are not quite as good as hoped, but as already mentioned, the game is super-smooth. It’s true that Forza isn’t for casual gamers, as this is certainly no Burnout or Need for Speed. But some spare time is required to get used to all the new things, and it is that fact along with the customization that will keep you busy for months.

Final Score: 9 out of 10 – Very Good (How do we rate games?)

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51 comments on 'Review: Forza Motorsport 2'

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Comment by Voyager2k on 2007-06-11 03:35:34 | Reply

This is not a review, it’s just retyping all of turn 10’s marketing gibberish including the nonsense physics vs graphics excuse. If you write a review then you should at least spend time with a game and play it enough so you can formulate your own experience into words without having to cut and paste from the press kits and forums. This is the worst “review” I have seen on xboxic so far and the rating is, according to xboxic standards, absolutely off. You’re saying “the game is not for casual gamers” and “the graphics aren’t quite as good as hoped” but you still rate it 9/10 and that makes zero sense considering xboxic claims to utilize the full range of 1-10. To be 9/10 on a full scale of 1-10 it better be damn near perfect for progamers and grandma’s. I am sorry if this offends the author but this is way below xboxic standards, not to mention all the spelling errors and typos.

wow.

Comment by mu on 2007-06-11 06:41:50 | Reply

i gotta ask… have YOU played the game voyager? and it seems to me, the review was below your EXPECTATIONS of xboxic standards, not the standards themselves. there is a difference you know.

here is the description of nine out of ten on the xboxic scoring table: (a link to which can be found in the review by the way).

“9. Very Good: Nearing perfection, but falls short in a few areas. However, you will most definitely need to consider this purchase even if it’s not really your thing or you don’t need it. You may be surprised.”

sound familiar? i think that describes this game perfectly. why would you just put someone down who obviously spent some time trying to share information with the community? even if you have heard most of it before? if you think there is information he failed to share, than bring it up. please. but don’t just dis him for including some info he found on the official game site. it just ain’t right.

Comment by UKJAY on 2007-06-11 10:58:45 | Reply

yes and he gets paid to write that rubbsih too… :)

Comment by UKJAY on 2007-06-11 10:59:13 | Reply

bastard left hand… *rubbish

Comment by kidkit on 2007-06-11 03:40:12 | Reply

After 10 hours who really care’s what a game looks like if it holds your attention right?! Nice read, but NO typos are allowed on the closing sentance!

Comment by Nekro on 2007-06-11 05:15:41 | Reply

And I thought this was gonna get 10/10. Well it does in my books anyways. Best ever racing game created, period.

Comment by The_Glovner on 2007-06-12 14:46:51 | Reply

seconded. GT can suck a lepers ball.

Comment by mu on 2007-06-11 06:30:25 | Reply

the physics engine is absolutely outstanding. and yes, i agree with the nine out of ten, even though the graphics are bland, and i just got my best time on a track and it failed to record, and the auction house is full of glitches, and all aspects of the servers except the game are slow and glitchy. it still deserves a nine out of ten. there is so much personality in every ride, and you really can feel the sophistication of the physics engine after you have driven fifty cars. there is something absolutely addictive about the handling itself, and i don’t think i have ever felt that about a racing game before.
this game is fun as hell, and can be played many different ways (career, MP, arcade, auction junkie). i find it hard to believe it would have been “impossible” to work this physics engine beneath a more robust graphic engine, but i don’t know tech well enough to argue. i bet a microsoft rep would back me up on the potential of the 360, but they can’t be trusted. anyway, if you are a driver, it might be worth it to try this incredibly well handling game, despite its many flaws.

Comment by zarbor on 2007-06-11 06:32:50 | Reply

I have been playing this game for a bit and it really is a fun game. Guess what? The new Pac Man game is very fun as well. I can tell you that the review is not a bad review since there are a lot of people who will agree with it.

Just because a game is fun does NOT mean it’s a 9/10. I personally believe this game gets high reviews because there isn’t any other competition as of yet. As we have seen already, DIRT though a different game does some similar things without sparing on the graphics.

I personally do not believe all that crap about sacrifices had to be made. That I do believe was taken straight from the pages of Turn 10. You will see this is not true as more games show that it depends on the talent of the developers.

Also the damage and physics while great, is overrated and overdone. I appreciate the work that went into it but it really doesn’t make that much of an impact to the majority of gamers. Yeah, it great for the gearhead but most will never truly appreciate it.

This game is not a 9/10 in my opinion. Simply because that score are usually for games that are great and potential system sellers.

THIS GAME IS NOT A SYSTEM SELLER….8/10 at best. FORRZA 2 should have moved 360s since the huge potential for FORZA on the XBOX but sadly it won’t.

Comment by Nekro on 2007-06-11 16:44:42 | Reply

If I didn’t already own a 360, I would have bought one JUST FOR THIS GAME.

I am astounded that you call the physics overrated. All that tells me, is you don’t fancy realism in your driving games. That’s cool, there’s a new burnout on its way, which I’ll play and enjoy… but it shouldn’t get a lower score because you don’t like the concept.

Comment by The_Glovner on 2007-06-12 14:48:12 | Reply

In other words you can’t drive round a corner without using a wall, or with the advantage of unrealistic physics?

Exactly! I’ve been running the Tsukuba time trial, trying to shave seconds, and being able to boost myself into a wall for some rocket propelled bobsledding would definitely help! :|

Comment by Aaron on 2007-06-11 07:33:22 | Reply

I think the graphics in the game are outstanding when compared to the previous generation. The game does run at 60Hz, vs “Dirt” running at 30Hz. That means in order to acheive that, they need to do all the same amount of work in 1/2 the time. There is no getting around that, a 30Hz game can have more graphics effects than a 60Hz game, regardless of the platform. Given that the team made the decision to go 60Hz, and they wanted to deliver the game in a timely fashion, I think they did very well. Would you like slightly better graphics but have to wait another 3 years? I’d rather play the game now, they can tune up the already outstanding graphics in the next version.

Comment by MP3 on 2007-06-11 07:36:57 | Reply

“I personally do not believe all that crap about sacrifices had to be made.” Well the only other game that is as close to forza in realtion to fps is Ridge Racer, dont say dirt again because dirt has alot of details but the frame rate is not constant and is not even close to 60 bu its 30, furthermore one thing a hate.. dirt has tearing also. So do the math again befor you say anything about the sacrefices considering the graphics.

Comment by MP3 on 2007-06-11 07:52:56 | Reply

I know people back in 2000 that did not want to get a Dreamcast just because it did not have racing simulations so they got PS2 because of GT, so think again now what would those same people get, a Xbox with simulation that is available right now or PS3 with out simulation that will be available sometime in the comeing years (I dont consider GTHD to be a full product). So for the moment Forza 2 is a system seller.

Comment by Tucky on 2007-06-11 09:59:47 | Reply

Games such as this dont need a review it was pretty obvious that this game would be brilliant, im not that much of a racing game fan but i picked this up on Friday and it is fantastic. The games depth is awsome and will keep me playing for a long time.

Comment by HylianHitman on 2007-06-11 10:15:53 | Reply

Get a real designer on that Xboxic car! :P

It was my first try with the game :P Can you make us a good one? :D

Comment by ilker yasin on 2007-06-11 10:38:40 | Reply

If the graphics have 4xAA , and if there are some exotic and mountain tracks , The game worth 10 points.

While I do agree that Forza is a superb game, there are some points that will drag it down.

I’ve been playing it non-stop since the day before release and can’t stop. I’m about to review the game and was also going to give it a 9/10, but then theres two cons that bring the game down. So it will probably receive a 8.5/10.

1. I’ve yet to connect to an online game.
2. Jaggies are still there, albeit much less then what the demo contains.

Having said that if people doubt the visuals, have a look at the following thread.
http://forums.forzamotors...forums/thread/191242.aspx

I can’t see me putting this game down for a long time. As a race sim, it does the job for me.

I don’t share the same online experience you had, never had any troubles connecting. I’ve tried several times, and never had the problem to connect.

Yer ive never had an online problem!
Have you tried checking your NAT? I had that problem until i found out my NAT wasnt OPEN. Now i have no problems with any online game!

I love Forza! I think the graphics are great I dont see why people are moaning about them! Go play Forza 1 and see the huge difference!

Router/Nat wise everything is ok. This is the first title that has given me connection problems over live, so I’m not sure what it is. I’ll sort it out eventually anyway, and right now I’m still going through offline career so that should last a while :)

Comment by Rhett Mash on 2007-06-11 18:00:27 | Reply

I also thought everything was okay with my NAT. I never had any trouble except very rarely I could not connect to some HALO 2 games. Same thing in Forza 2. Went to the Live website and found that the 360 classifies your NAT as one of the three Open, Moderate or Closed. On the network settings page in the dash, when you test your network, it will report your NAT rating. Mine turned out to be moderate. Having an Open NAT will maximize your chances of connecting. I use a WRT54G router and all I needed to do was upgrade to the latest firmware version and that fixed my NAT to be open and after that I have had NO problems connecting to others.

I’ve no idea how, but I connected to my first game tonight with some old friends. Had a brilliant time and we played for about 2hrs solid without any hitches or lag issues. It was briliant :)

Comment by Tucky on 2007-06-11 11:37:23 | Reply

ye my online is fine, 20 races 12 first place and 8 2nd!! woop woop!

Comment by Nekro on 2007-06-11 16:58:46 | Reply

he forgot to mention there were only two people playing, him and his mate :P

I’m very impressed with FM2 and I’d say 9/10 was a fair score. I don’t think the demo comes close to the full game in terms of quality so I recommend if you’re considering it go by this review and not the demo.

Comment by StrayBezza on 2007-06-11 13:41:06 | Reply

I agree, I really wasn’t that impressed with the demo and with Dirt and Flatout UC around the corner I nearly did’nt pick this up. What a mistake that would of been!! I love this game already….graphics are fine by me its the handling and feel of this game that makes it. Can’t wait to take it online!!

Comment by Some Random Guy on 2007-06-11 15:32:50 | Reply

whats all this crap that Dirt can do what this can do with better visuals, thats bull crap this game is like 10 times bigger than dirt

Comment by zarbor on 2007-06-11 17:05:03 | Reply

Well, if you guys think this game is a SYSTEM SELLER, there is not much hope for you. As said before, the game is fun and definitely recommended. Some of you need to stop getting your panties all up in a bunch when someone is critical about a game you like.

Just because you are the only game in town doesn’t mean it’s a system seller. Gears moved systems. Halo will move systems. Gran Turismo moves systems. Forza 2? Good luck.

As for the graphics which are good is by far the weakest link. Turn 10 would have you believe it was sacrifices that had to be made. Well, jaggies in a next-gen game is just unacceptable on any level. Period. Plus the lighting is just off on certain tracks of the game. Some cars look way better in detail (not design) on the track than others. The style graphics they chose is very cartoony and has much more to do with the bright colors and overdone lighting. Most of this has little to do with the power of the console so tape that crap up about sacrifices.

I like Forza

Comment by The_Glovner on 2007-06-12 14:51:21 | Reply

No.

I “we” guys think it is a system seller then that means our opinion differs from you.

Contrary to what mummy told you, you are not a special boy and you ain’t always right.

Comment by Rhett Mash on 2007-06-11 18:17:10 | Reply

I think this review is spot on. The reviewer talks about all the features objectively and dings the game where it falls short (graphics fidelity).

The 60fps vs quality is a very valid point. For all of those above complaining, here’s an eye opener. PGR3 runs at 30 fps and runs at a lower (yes lower) resolution that 720p. It’s upscaled to 720. When game developers are pushing the console to squeeze out as much as they can, decisions have to be made. In my opinion, 60 fps contributes to the gameplay experience a lot and was the right decision. Try playing Forza 1 after Forza 2 and you’ll experience the difference. So I’m fine not having the motion blur and the cool effects when the game runs at 60. As for the jaggies, look close, they are not jaggies caused by antialiasing; they are jaggies caused by some weirdness in the reflection on the top of the cars. Don’t know whats going on there, but I think Turn 10 dropped the ball on that. The replays are done at 30 fps and look great. It’s a shame that the cameras in the replay are bad.

So outside the graphics, I feel this game has been in the tray in my 360 since the day I got it in there and I can see it sitting in there for a looooong time to come. I’m sure there are a whole lot of others who feel the same and for that reason, this is a game worthy of 9/10.

On the whole system seller thing… I got the wheel for this game, which is an incredible experience, I seriously cannot go back to a game pad, and it’s made me lust for one of those 4 monitor (and 4 xbox 360) cockpits those spoiled rich kids have. Of course it’s a system seller… selling 3 more 360’s per household :)

I’ve tried racing without my MS Wheel and I cannot go back. It seems so much easier to setup drafting and then a passing move with the wheel versus using the gamepad. It just feels right

Yes, the jaggies were annoying at first but soon forgotten after you begin to play. I do wish there was a higher camera angle in the replays to get some better above the car shots

Comment by Scott on 2007-06-11 22:32:03 | Reply

can somebody answer me this.

If the game is 60fps, why can we see it?

The average human only sees 40-50fps before it’s blurred or non registered

I’m not being sarcastic, i’m not feeding the fire, i just want to know because in my head, it just seems a bit wrong

Comment by DaffyDuck on 2007-06-12 02:33:07 | Reply

That’s the point - we can’t and don’t want to see it, where “it” stands for frame changes. All frames are bluring into a smooth movement.

Comment by The_Glovner on 2007-06-12 14:52:31 | Reply

yup you can defo notice the smoothness in the way everything moves.

Comment by Scott on 2007-06-12 18:27:38 | Reply

thank you. but i still dont get it. if the game as a whole was running at 60fps… you wouldn’t see anyhing. car, Track or even the title screen

Comment by Billy on 2007-06-12 04:01:14 | Reply

I give it a 9 out of 10, It’s an amazing game, and any game that can take me away from Gears of War since it’s release, is easily a 9 out of 10 game!!!!

It’s a great Fu#king game!

Comment by Jasonic on 2007-06-12 04:59:15 | Reply

No excuse for These graphics on the 360.
Hey look, I’m driving the Lego Corvette.
The 60 fps is great in concept, but here all it does is make the “Jaggies” very clear.

Great game nontheless.

Comment by The_Glovner on 2007-06-12 14:53:50 | Reply

I am failing to see everyones problem with the graphics?

A marked improvement from Forza, maybe not as deatiled on the cars as PGR but so much more to it I can live with that quite easily.

Comment by Garret on 2007-10-24 15:13:32 | Reply

Those are some really nice cars dude…..keep it up
:P

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Cock.

Comment by StGermain on 2008-07-10 20:06:41 | Reply

lol

Comment by tony on 2008-07-09 13:55:16 | Reply

when EA buy turn10 forza will be shit and they will make 27 sequels that come out every 6 months and so will all the rip off already on disc downloadable content

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