Forza Motorsport 5 for Xbox One Review: A Car Junkie’s Dream Game

November 22nd, 2013 is a very big day for many gamers. It is the launch of the Xbox One, and on such a significant launch day – there are plenty of games at the ready to put the Xbox One’s graphics and processing system to the test. One of the first games at launch is Forza Motorsport 5. If you love cars, and I mean REALLY love cars, then Forza Motorsport 5 is going to be the game for you. Car racing almost takes a back seat to the lush visuals and nearly cinematic quality of this game. As a matter of fact, the score sweeps you away as you enter an epic tale of automobile racing on some of the most prestigious courses around the world.

So if you want to see what the Xbox One is capable of –  then Forza Motorsport 5 is certainly a good game title to get started with, especially considering it is the 5th installment of Microsoft’s racing series. From foreign to domestic vehicles, you will have the pick of the litter to race. Cut screens are long and detailed too, depicting beautiful landscapes of scenic views you would probably only witness on the Travel Channel. Overall, turn 10 Studios has done an exceptional job trying to really immerse the player behind the wheel. Furthermore, the new and improved Xbox One controller allows you to feel every turn, bump, and acceleration in the palm of your hands. The thumb sticks also allow you to easily glide into a turn, or steer away from an obstacle.

For gear heads, they will love how Top Gear is involved once again. Long cut scenes with wide angle shots that pan majestic raceways, backed-up with dialog from Jeremy Clarkson, adds a whole new layer to the experience. Talking about new experiences, Forza Motorsport 5 keeps the game going, even when you are off to sleep. That is because Forza takes advantage of Xbox One’s cloud technology with the new Drivatar experience. To that effect, Forza will get a sense of how good or bad you drive, and it sends that data up to the cloud, from there your Drivatar will race alongside other drivers when you are offline. However, the same is true when you are playing the game in realtime because you are not playing alongside computer A.I.’s,  but real people who have played the game at one time or another, and now you’re racing against their Drivatar. So how good or bad you perform on the raceway is up to you, even after you have put the controller down. Your Drivatar will earn you tokens and upgrades while you are away from the action too.

The Multiplayer action can get surreal when racing against friends or strangers. You can join live races and show off your chops to others, and smack talk your way around the racetrack. Fortunately, Forza doesn’t take competition too seriously, and you aren’t pressured to be the first to cross the finish line.

Overall, Forza Motorsport 5 for Xbox One is a very detailed and rich game that puts you behind the wheel of some amazing cars on some amazing race tracks around the world. There is no story telling here though, just pure adrenaline driving. You can however customize your ride and earn a collection of cars that are at your disposal at any time. The detailing of the cars and camera angles are insane and honestly everything we would expect from this new console. The driving experience is so smooth and lifelike, it’s hard to tell what is real and what isn’t. Loading screens can be a bit lengthy and unfortunately they can’t be skipped. The in-game voice-overs are so beautiful and silky, that we almost needed a tissue for our eyes. In the end, Forza Motorsport 5 is a great way to kick-off the Xbox One debut. It should appeal to both casual race car gamers as well as racing enthusiasts. Forza Motorsport 5 retails for $59.95 and is available for pre-order.

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