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Old 12-28-2013
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Default Forza 5 Impressions

What's up Y'all? So one of my best friends came back home to visit for the holidays and he just so happened to bring his Xbone with him along with his copy of Forza 5, and guess who He let play it for (what I guess is a couple of hours...I wasn't really paying attention to the time.) So thanks to that I can give you my perspective on what I checked out about the game.

First off, the new trigger rumbling feature is pretty freakin cool. At first it feels a little weird when the triggers themselves vibrate, but you get used to it in no time and it feels like its supposed to be that way.

Now on to the game it self...

I'll Cover the things about the game that stuck out to me

1 - the music is CRAP. forza 4's music wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible either. It was there, but quickly and easily fades to the background. Forza 5's music doesn't accomplish that task so easily. Its like some kind of awful elevator/classical type of music that tries to sound exciting by using strong and loud chords that really just detract from the rest of the game.

2 - The career mode = Grand Turismo. Gone are the days where you can just buy your favorite car, and the game will generate career races that you can use it to compete with. It breaks things down into different car types (japanese sports cars, old sports cars, hot hatch, etc.) and you have to get one of those cars to do the events to progress the career.

3 - Affinity earned from manufacturers now give you more money as a payout rather than a parts discount...I'm not too bothered by this honestly, but its gotta be considered a negative when compared to forza 4's system.

4 - The game doesn't make it easy to tell what car class you're actually driving against in career mode. I was driving a (probably stock or close to it) scion TC in the hot hatch events (my friend was saving moolah for a mclaren p1 so I had to earn him some money before he let me buy any cars/parts that I wanted) that was D class, and the game told me it wouldn't be able to compete with the other cars, but didn't tell me what class the other cars were. so even if I were to upgrade it I wouldn't know where to stop at. I ended up racing a D class TC in C class races, took 5th and 4th place, then upgraded it to the middle of C class and quickly dominated the NPC racers which made the game boring quickly.

5 - I ended up doing a few split screen races, and the game doesn't make it easy to see your lap times at the end of the race...WHAT KIND OF RACING GAME DOESN'T SHOW YOU YOUR LAP TIMES AFTER A RACE??? thats kind of important info don't you think.

6 - In the career mode when you select some type of class event to do for the first time you're treated to an unskippable explanation of various things about that class of cars from a top gear host. The fact that I couldn't skip those guys talking for 3 minutes was HIGHLY annoying. Forza is supposed to be a game, not an episode of top gear.

I will say that I may have missed out on some aspects of the game that may address some of the issues I stated above due to my lack of familiarity with the game, but it didn't seem like there was an easy way to alleviate some of those things to me. Forza 4 seems more clear to me.

Now the driving portion
*Disclaimer* I was driving cars that weren't tuned so it wasn't easy to drive like I normally do.

1 - The driving in the game feels good, ad the cars are responsive. I changed the settings to be like how I drive in forza 4 (ABS off, STM off, TKC off, Normal steering, Manual w/ Clutch) and my biggest problem was braking. The braking feel is much different than it was in Forza 4 for me. my brakes seemed to lock up on almost every corner which immediately made the car straighten out and slide followed by the customary issues of it coming out of that slide and being off balance. In forza 4 I could brake harder without locking up the tires, so this game seems to require a more delicate approach to braking, or a very good setup to fix this (more on that in a bit).

2 - The steering felt pretty good, but the cars were more "loose" than I'm used to. meaning they could change direction pretty well, but would easily start sliding. Whether that aspect makes drifting easier to perform in the game or not I can't say (I'm not a drifter, and focused on making a track racing car not a drifting one). It did however make it somewhat difficult to drive at my normally exceptionally fast levels because I spent a lot of time fighting to keep the car on the road in corners. It felt like I was trying to go fast, and learn the game mechanics at the same time instead of doing one first.

3 - The AI behavior is slightly better than forza 4. the cars don't all just go around the track like a train on a train track. they did occasionally come off the driving line, but they were still painfully sow in the corners. When I was in the slow D class car I would get held up in the corners then left on the straights, or pass in the corners and get passed on the straights, etc. but after a couple of engine mods I was destroying them so it did't matter anymore.

After I earned a pretty quick 100K I bought an Rx-7 FD. The camaro SS wasn't in the game. Only the ZL1 like in Horizon (and I wanted to drive in the new B class 600 which the ZL1 was near the top of), and the FC was missing as well, and it was very easy to see that there weren't nearly as many cars as forza 4. Forza 5 doesn't even give you a manufacturer list to pick, and then select their cars. they just show you a big list of cars. I sorted them by manufacturer, but I had to go through each individual car for each manufacturer before I got to the next one. It still didn't take that long to get to the Mazdas though lol.

When you choose a new car, the game shows you a few recommended paint jobs that I'm guessing were created by other people and you can sift through them and choose one that you like. I picked the tokyo drift one.

Then I started upgrading it like I would on Forza 4 and spent some time tuning it. I should've chose an easier car to tune though, then I would've had more time to race with it lol.

Tuning appears to be largely unchanged from forza 4. The nice thing about it though is that to the left of the settings you're adjusting, the game shows you the benchmark scores that get recalculated everytime you adjust a setting. This is a really cool improvement to forza 4 and made adjusting the gear ratios much faster. One thing I didn't like about tuning though is that it doesn't gray out the settings that you can't adjust. If you can't change your alignment, the bars are still blue as if you could. but when you try to move them nothing happens. in forza 4 if you can't adjust something those settings are grayed out. a feature I wish they would've kept.

A big difference in my tuning setup though was my breaking force. In forza 4 I turn my break force up usually between 110-120% on almost all of my cars. in forza 5 I turned the FD's breaking force down to like 65% and it was still very easy to lock up my breaks. Now you see why I said breaking was the biggest difference to me.

Anyways I played around with different settings until I had an FD that was somewhat easy to drive. I wanted to take it online and so I went for easy to drive over focusing on speed so that I can take a good racing line and easily adjust my line for other ppl.

Went online into a hopper B class lobby and was disappointed to see that you can no longer spectate races. so you just have to wait there until the race finishes like in forza Horizon, but unlike forza Horizon they atleast tell you how much of the race has progressed.

The online racing went pretty good. There were about 2-3 guys in each lobby I was in that had excellent setups and were driving well. the rest of the ppl were more scattered in skill level and were all over the place at times. I was glad my FD was easy to drive as I could make my way around ppl making mistakes.

At the end of a race the game offers a couple of tracks to vote on which is kind of cool. but the tracks of the game (of which there aren't a lot) seem to favor more speed type setups. several of them have many long straights, and corner cutting is prevalent in online races. The slow spots are still there, but apparently not in as many spots as in Forza 4.

And yes there are still A-holes who only want to wreck everyone as in my last race I encountered a guy who's goal in life was to take out everyone he could. I don't know if there's a voting system to kick people like him or how it works though becase I had to leave right after that race.

Overall I would say the driving itself is fun, and can be challenging. the physics aren't the same as forza 4's so they will take some getting used to, but its still a forza game. The parts of the game I was disappointed in was the things outside of the driving. From an ease of use perspective forza 4 is a much better game. from a graphics and driving perspective, forza 5 is better. I would say as a complete package I prefer forza 4 to forza 5 as it has much more to offer than autovista for every car (which I didn't even think about checking out during my time with the game). Drivatars are cool too, but I'll always prefer online racing.

but since forza 5 is the new game it has to replace forza 4 eventually. It feels like World of tanks to me. "Upgrading" from my very accurate and precise M37 artillery tank that rarely missed its target, to the more powerful M41 artillery tank that takes forever to lock in its aim and still misses its target half the time.

But don't get me wrong, the game was still fun and I enjoyed playing it.
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