Microsoft has made it very clear that their top franchises are here to stay, and one of their biggest performing ones is hitting the Xbox One on launch day.
It shouldn’t surprise you that the team at Turn 10 Studios is pulling out all the stops to get the car game showing on Xbox One in all its glory – automobiles are often used to show off amazing graphics – but this game is far more than a new coat of paint on the series.
Forza Motorsport 5 may not be a reinvention of the series, but it showcases Xbox One hardware in a way we haven’t seen. It uses the dynamic rumble triggers -“Impact Triggers”, as Microsoft says – to gently but forcefully guide you down a raceway, or to realistically tell you that crashing into that side pillar probably wasn’t such a great idea.
Hardware that we played Forza on also managed to stay pretty cool by our estimation, and these machines can be running for hours at a time at some demos, so the fact that the Xbox One wasn’t radiating too much is a great sign for fans of the racer.
Of course, visuals in Forza 5 are nothing short of stellar. You’ve seen the commercials circulating, and the game really does look and feel as good as Microsoft is touting. Racing was smooth and delicious, and while hitting a wall happened more often than we liked, that was more about our lack of skill than the game forcing us to drive in a certain way.
While we couldn’t give the game the once over in a quiet area – journalists (including us) tend to be a rowdy bunch when hovering around unreleased tech – the audio in Forza 5 is excellent, as you might expect. Our favourite moment was going through a tunnel and hearing the rumble of the engine move from a single tone into a more elaborate, echoing vibrato. It sounded phenomenal, and the slight delay in the changing audio once we got into the tunnel ensures there are some good physics calculations being applied to this game to get sound to react to the environment naturally.
Load times were fantastic on the title as well, with a game getting going in about seven seconds or so, and while we don’t know if the level we played was installed onto the hard drive, or whether it was a demo – in which case, load times we played can’t be indicative of the final product – we were pleasantly surprised by its speed.
It’ll be interesting to see how Forza fares as the powerhouse title that it usually is given that it is launching alongside new hardware this time around. It’s no Halo, but Microsoft is counting on Forza helping them win the race in the next-gen console wars, and it looks like it’s on the right track.