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on October 11, 2011
Finally, the game is out. The third Forza this generation, better graphics, more cars, and better physics were promised in this iteration of Turn 10's Driving sim. Did they deliver?

Oh god yes.

This review will have a few sections, this table of contents will help.
(enter in ctrl +f dialog box to search)

**1** Game mechanics
--------Auction House
**2** Online
**3** Customization
**4** Difficulty & A.I.
**5** Sounds
**6** Cars
**7** Wrap Up

**1**Game Mechanics:

Great, they do occasionally look surreal, but the gloss textures are excellent, the drive by graphics are decent and the cars themselves are great. The lighting in this game is what really sells the realism, the cars interact with the environment and look like they are supposed to be there. Comparing this feature to the occasionally underwhelming tracks in GT5 and Forza 3 where sometimes the car was better animated than the track, the cars in Forza 4 look right in place on the pavement. Graphical hangups are nonexistent, and animations are fluid. In a word, Forza 4is beautiful.

Damage returns more or less exactly as Forza 3 had it. The car has prescripted crumple zones and damage is animated cosmetically if you set it, but also internally and performance robbing if you set it as well. The cosmetic damage leaves a lot to be desired, but with see-able damage on 500 + cars i can't complain. Though the damage is weak, it is better than it was in Forza 3. Bumpers and other components cave in and warp much more, and the damage zones are more plentiful allowing the damage to be more localized when hit. T-boning an opponent will leave a few dents in his doors along with much of the paint being stripped on the area hit. Its nothing like Dirt 3 or Grid's damage model though. Choosing to allow damage to performance is much more detrimental, hitting a wall can literally ruin your race, causing damage to the engine, transmission, gear box, brakes, suspension, driveshaft,and body will all cause power, handling, or aerodynamic performance damage. All of this causes lowering of top speed, shift times, braking distance, and a multitude of other issues. This is where Forza leaps into the big leagues as a sim, race clean, or don't finish 1st.

Forza is set up in a very simplistic manner, with a few main tabs to pick from that open to other tabs, the five main are Career, Community, AutoVista, Free Play, and Marketplace.

Career works here much differently than Forza 3, there is actually a completion of career, and its guided by the announcer. The longer you play, the higher you'll level, the more races you can participate in, and the more places you have access to race. You start as an amateur and progress to the big leagues. after about 1.5 hours I'm 1.2% Should give you a good idea at the length. (300+ events in event list)

In this tab, you can do all of the stuff you'd expect, buy sell cars, tune cars, upgrade cars, and see your stats.

Play online with people around the world here.
You can also make car clubs (like guilds for you Rpg people) to race with, check your rivals and leaderboards, and use the auction house and the storefront here.
For new players:

--------Auction house:
Exactly what it sounds like, a bidding place to purchase cars other players are selling. Usually you can turn good profit on nice cars here. Ironically you can usually save money buying here as well.

A player's place to sell their custom content like pictures, liveries, tunes, and custom vinyl work.

Kinect featured but usable with a controller, Autovista is a first person look at some of the coolest cars in the game, and probably the closest thing to sitting in a Ferrari 458 Italia as you'll ever get. With voice over and 100% view-ability of components of the car. Its awesome for any gear head who wants to see these exotics close up.

---Free Play:
Basically an arcade mode, go race where you want using a car. Use this mode to test drive cars you want to buy buy can't afford yet.

One of the best Xbox live integrations for DLC I've seen, actually shows you what you're buying and what it is. Nice addition for those inevitable car and track packs you might not like.

For the most important part of a racing experience, this has to be spot on. It is, this is the first time I've seen a competitor really give GT a run for its money in the physics dept. High powered cars behave uncontrollably and require a knowing and practiced touch around corners, while underpowered cars must be mastered in the corners as well, as their weak powered engines depend on cornering to get fast lap times. The cars behave predictably and correctly in almost every way, and each one handles differently. Tuning works the way it should, and is intuitive and speaks to both gearheads and newbs alike. Driving is also fully customizable, allowing the user to put as much or as little burden of sim on themselves as they wish. The more assists you take off, the more money you earn in career.

Forza does a great job as a simulator, but does fall flat in the rollover physics as one particular glaring flaw, as occasionally the car will just up and flip for no good reason if you hit a wall hard enough. Bit as often as you'll flip, I don't think this is enough to remove the game's physics engine realism.

**2** Online:

The multiplayer from 3 returns, but with one distinction. an extra gleaming gold tab on the find race tab. "User-Created Races" Basically, this is the room from forza 2 we missed so much, the ability to do whatever we want as a host. Sure we can't choose who the host is, but now options can be tweaked again. Thank you turn 10 for listening to us and giving us our player lobbies back. The best of forza 3's seek and play server usage combined with the option to play like forza 2. If this was holding you back, be scared no more.

**3** Customization:

Forza returns with its massive set of internal and external customization options, from engine swaps to body kits and spoilers, if you can do it in real life, you pretty much can do it here. Also comes with the best livery editor ever put in a racing game. over 1000 usable shape spots on most surfaces of your car means some awesome, detailed liveries, and some of the coolest things you've ever seen on a car. Your old stuff from Forza 3 is also importable to 4, downloaded a lot of custom vinyls? You won't lose them. Finally, a fully customizable and spectrumed paint creator is right there at your fingertips to paint your car any color you want. Forza has all of the tools for infinite possibilities for personalization, meaning no 2 users can easily make the same car. The best part? Upload your creations to your storefront to make money if they're good enough. If there is a market for your stuff, people will buy and you'll become known on the leaderboards as a tuner, creator, photographer or replay capturer. In addition, performing on the track will net you achievements and driving bonuses such as doing 20 perfect passes. Do these challenges and you unlock names and avatars for your forza playercard. Players can look at this and see what kind of driver you are or how far you've played in your career. All there for even more customization.

**4** Difficulty and A.I.

As a whole this game can can be really hard, but you have to set the difficulty to be hard yourself. So if you're really good, up your challenges and remove the assists for a challenging experience, or add some assists or lower the AI difficulty if you're having trouble. The game will reward better drivers with more cash and EXP though. So its in your best interest to try to get better to remove your training wheels.

The AI is okay, its could be better, but its got a lot more life than the likes of GT where cars pretty much never fall out of line or differentiate from the best line. Cars here will get spooked, screw up corners and avoid traffic and you, and also will take aggressive action to keep position on occasion. It depends on the driver, as each is different. (able to be looked up in the opponents tab in my profile)

**5** Sounds
Sounds are great, the soundtrack is good and upbeat and contains a good set of racing music, mostly as ambiance rather than sing along music, the menu music is nice, lower key music that's still just tense enough to not be annoying or grating on your ears.
Engines and ambient sounds are well done and modified depending on car stats and mods, as you upgrade turbos, intakes and exhausts and other components the exhaust notes and engine sounds change. Engines also sound different (ford v8 vs a chevy v8) I used a Corvette Z06 06' and a Mustang Shelby GT500 10' to test this. Both sound good, and have their distinctive roars, without being the same.

**6** Cars
over 500 with the install disc and more planned for November etc. Every type of racing archetype is there, Muscle cars (in abundance!) Tuners, exotics, trucks, SUV's, Nascar (stock car shells), GT1, 2, 3,and Prototype racers are available. There is something for anyone. The Performance Index or P.I. also makes a return, rating cars from the cream of the crap to the cream of the crop on a scale from 100 to 999 with the index being split into F, E, D, C, B, A, S, R3, R2, and R1. I'm Unsure if the X class makes a return. The class often determines whether or not your car qualifies for an event, if it does, often similar cars will be racing with you and races will be more challenging, if you overclass, or underclass for an event if it is allowed, the race will be much easier/harder respectably.

*side note* the average run of the mill car can be used in many, many events rather than just a few like in GT, often one car can be used in 10+ events stock and even more if customized to different specs or classes.

**7** Wrap up
Forza is a way better game in every way than 3 was, more races, more events, the return of public custom lobbies, as well as the usability of the server system like that of Forza 3, with ability to play with only friends in customizable private races as well. With solid driving physics, graphics, car selection, and sound, a better interface, and massive customizability, its hard not to make a recommendation to any racing fan, If you're unsure there is a free demo on X-Box Live, give it a whirl to test it out. Otherwise, its a lot of game for $60.

UPDATE 11/03/11:
Turn 10 has released some DLC:
The November Speed Pack, including these cars:
1957 Chevy Bel Air
1992 GMC Typhoon
2013 Ford Focus ST
2011 VW Scirocco R
2011 Audi RS3 Sportback
2012 Dodge Charger SRT8
2012 Aston Martin Virage
2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4
2011 Ferrari #62 Risi Competizione F458 Italia
2011 Audi #2 Audi Sport Team Joest R15++ TDI

More thoughts: I missed this on my review, but, Porsche is not licensed in this game despite the cars being created for it. Also, the cars past R3 when tuned from normal cars become a MASSIVE challenge to drive without assists. I've got a RWD BMW M3 pushing 700 horses with the new M5 engine in it. and it MOVES, but its so hard to keep her under control. In short, despite its readily increasing and sometimes frustrating challenge, Forza remains playable and awesome. I do intend to give the DLC packs as addendum to this review. as I have done. Game on.

UPDATE 12/16/11:
More cars:
2011 Suzuki #1 Monster Sport SX4
2011 Mazda RX-8 R3
2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS-396
1977 Ford Escort RS1800
1981 Volkswagen Scirocco S
1986 Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio Verde
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT
2010 Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4
1957 Maserati 300 S

More updates: This game is stupendously long. Its actually so long, its hard to imagine myself getting the gold on all events simply because that's a 500 hour + undertaking. More updates to come. Man I love this game.

Update January:
1970 Alfa Romeo Montreal
2011 Audi RS5
1996 Chevrolet Impala SS
1986 Dodge Shelby Omni GLHS
2000 Fiat Coupe 20V Turbo
1973 Ford Pinto
2011 Honda #33 Level 5 Motorsports Lola
2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe
2011 Lamborghini #08 West Yokohama Gallardo LP560-4
2012 Pagani Huayra

Update February

2011 #2 Audi Sport North America R18 TDI
2011 Panoz #050 Panoz Racing Abruzzi
2010 Dodge Quinton "Rampage" Jackson Challenger SRT8
1991 Mazda #55 Team Mazdaspeed 787B
2011 Bentley Platinum Motorsports Continental GT
1986 #2 Audi Sport quattro S1
1992 Alfa Romeo 155 Q4
1995 Ford Mustang Cobra R
2011 Holden HSV GTS
2011 Volkswagen Polo GTI

Update March:

2011 Aston Martin V12 Zagato (Villa d'Este)
1971 Ferrari #2 Ferrari Automobili 312 P
2012 Ultima GTR
1969 Chevrolet Nova SS 396
2010 Renault Clio RS
1966 Ford Country Squire
1995 BMW 850CSi
2011 Wiesmann GT MF5
1969 Chevrolet Corvair Monza
1986 Alfa Romeo GTV-6

Update April:

2011 Mercedes-Benz #35 Black Falcon SLS AMG GT3
2011 Aston Martin #009 Aston Martin Racing AMR One
2012 Jaguar XKR-S
1995 BMW M5
2011 Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S
1985 Mazda RX-7 GSL-SE
1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3
1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible
1997 Volvo 850 R
2012 Scion tC

With that the season pass is done. Forza will have porches sometime in may, as a whole, the DLC have added 60 new cars, some awesome, some eh. But as a whole has added more to the community and the car packs are more than adequately worth the price. I'm still playing this game, and I'm only at a 47% completion rating. I can't justify this purchase enough. Thank you Turn 10, for this game, for something to do in the wee hours in the morning and above all for doing every car fanatic well. This game, is the best racing game I've ever purchased. Its long, expands over decades, and even has the golden years of racing highlighted. (60's) This game is for racing and car lovers, and can be played by anyone with the willingness to learn it. With that, its DLC set is done. See you again, post Porsche pack.
2727 comments| 200 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 14, 2011
If you're a fan of the Forza series, or of cars and/or car racing in general, chances are that you will love this game.

- Absolutely stunning graphics
- The Autovista mode is gorgeous, it really does look as good or better than real life at times
- Career mode is more engaging
- Choices for reward cars make the game feel more personal, more choices mean you can either stick to a certain brand/style or hoard everything possible
- Control is excellent and very responsive
- The assists have more choices, allowing you to cater the difficulty level from brand new beginner to hardcore simulation player
- Excellent variety of cars available, all are extremely detailed and a joy to look at
- The Top Gear inclusion is excellent and Jeremy Clark adds a lot of character to the game
- The Music score is good and very fitting for the game's theme

- No weather effects or night driving is a real shame
- More new tracks would've been great, only a handful of new ones added on
- No Porsches available due to the EA contract, really lame move from EA. The rights are said to expire later this year so hopefully that means Turn 10 can add them as DLC or what-not

Overall: This game is not only extremely enjoyable, but a work of art in terms of graphics and sounds. A must-have for car-fanatics and racing fans alike.

9.5/10 HIGHLY recommended.
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on November 14, 2012
This review is not for the game, but for amazon(only related to this product).

When ever I need to buy something online, amazon is my first priority. There was/is no where mentioned that this product is an essentials edition, but they only send the essentials edition which does not have many cars. I do not like returning the stuff, cos I do not want the seller to bear the loss of shipping charges. May be the seller thought that I asked for essentials edition only. Amazon should have had separate links for different editions. You cannot sell essentials edition in the name of full game without mentioning it. PLEASE double check if you are going to buy a full game or just an essentials edition. SO DISAPPOINTED with Amazon.
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on December 19, 2011
Forza 4 is one of the best examples I've ever seen of a game that literally anyone can play.

If you're someone who's never played a videogame before in your life? You can play it on rails with a Kinect sensor and just have some fun.

If you're someone who likes videogames, but only plays them casually, you can adjust the in-game driving aids and other difficulty options to make the game as much of a breeze or as challenging as you like, while maintaining a simple, arcadey control style and feel.

If you're a little more experienced and want more of a challenge, you can turn some of the driving aids off, while leaving others turned on.

If you're a hardcore gamer who wants the game to be as close to the real thing as possible but aren't a petrolhead/car enthusiast in real life, you can turn off most of them but leave the braking line on and so forth.

If you're a hardcore car afficionado, you can turn them all off and purchase a simulation racing wheel and pedals, use the Kinect's head tracking and run the game on a 3D TV (2D-3D upscale... no true native 3D support in this game, but on the right set it still looks amazing) for a true simulation experience that in my opinion successfully rivals and in some areas exceeds what GT5 offers you. (Though that's a fantastic sim, too.)

Bottom line: literally anyone can play this game, and Turn 10 (the developer) achieve this without "dumbing the game down" one iota. An example to be followed by other developers and publishers in my opinion.

The game is rewarding and shows it more frequently than GT5 does. This is much less of an RPG style grind, and much more of a fun, accessible game. The challenge to be found here lies where it should: in the actual driving and racing.

Online functionality is great overall. Little or no lag, instantaneous gifting of photos, replays, and cars to friends, a fully functioning online auction house, and the ability to create custom online AI hybrid races with humans and CPU controlled opponents are all great. With a larger time investment you can also upload videos to the Forza website and then download them to your PC for upload later to a site like YouTube.

Hundreds of cars, deeper tuning in most areas than GT5 had, an enormously robust livery customization system, and some of the best graphics I've ever seen round out the package and combine to make this one of gaming's premier driving sims and videogames in general.

The only real cons are the lack of night racing, the lack of weather (a big con in my book,) some longish load times, and the omission of some cars GT5 had (though I do feel that despite having fewer overall cars, F4 has more overall vehicle variety.) So there are still a lot of reasons to play GT5, especially if you prefer the JRPG-style grind that it's always been famous for, and actually like some of the limitations (such as only being able to gift a car once a day or painting cars only with unlocked "paint chips," etc. none of which F4 forces on you.)

But Forza 4 is a great, great game. I own both games and don't regret purchasing either of them.
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on January 1, 2014
This game should be called Forza v3.5, but they couldn’t make money if they did that. It has exactly same game mechanics, auction house, and annoying announcer that you cannot skip. As before, in MOST races, you will start 2/3 of the way back and have to work your way to the front (still no qualifications, test drives in career mode, etc). And then there are the chase races (finally, something ‘new’). You again start in the back and have to pass a myriad of kamikaze AI slow drivers that constantly swerve in front of you. There are no improvements to the AI as they drunkenly swerve from side to side. Additionally, they removed difficulty from the game. I know that it’s on the list, but it’s only for toggling your assists. Turn 10 decided to remove difficulty from the game. Supposedly, the AI gets better as you play. What actually happens is that they just keep increasing the car stats until you lose. It’s funny when you see the EXACT the same car as you are driving in front of you, pull away like you’re standing still.
They also still have the exact same rewind function – easily the worst rewind function in racing simulations. It never rewinds to the right point. It’s either in the middle of your mistake, or you need to go back a mile. Why can’t we control this? Is that so hard? Additionally, they now have an ex wife in the programming, critiquing EVERY pass, turn and drift as you drive.
They still haven’t improved the basic racing function of the slide. They simply turn off your steering, put on some kind of delay, and then turn it back on. This game still also has the magic sand that will slow you from 200 to 0 in a second - more lazy coding. Turn 10 really does love their sunlight reflecting off of the road. Speaking of which, it will ALWAYS be sunny when you race. No rain, not even clouds. It would take away from razor crisp renderings of the cars. They must have put all their effort into reflecting sunlight instead of trying to actually improve their game. There are a couple of new tracks, and they continue the pathetic trend of nickel-and-dime-ing you with many cars having to be purchased separately (not just Forza does this). I truly feel sorry for those that paid full price for this marginal improvement to an average racing sim.
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on May 6, 2013
I was a huge Forza fan and was always excited about the next release. I played Forza 3 and collected all the cars I could... couldn't get enough. So I figured Forza 4 would not disappoint. I was wrong. Yes, the graphics are great and the tracks are fun. But they did TWO things that changed the face of the game for me:
1. You could no longer choose the competitive level of the AI in career mode. The reason this is so important is that you can choose EASY level and be able to drive a car that could not hope to compete otherwise, and at other times choose EXPERT level when you have a beast to drive. Why take something like this away? No doubt, this is just a preference and I know that many of you out there don't really care about this feature, so I understand if there are dissenters.
2. In Forza 3, you could pretty much purchase any vehicle you want, as long as you had built up enough credits in your career, but not so with F4. Most of the vehicles have to be purchased with Microsoft points (Ferrari pack, Porsche pack, etc.) I'd love to know what people end up paying if they keep making these purchases to get the cars they want.
I have not tried Horizon yet, and at this point I am hesitant to do so.
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on March 22, 2013
After I had bought this game, I read a couple reviews stating that they were getting the Essentials Edition, not the standard edition, so I was a little worried when I opened the shipping box. But I received the full 2-disc game as I was supposed to, so I'm not sure what happened with the other people.

I have only played this for a few hours so far, but I am really liking it. It's like what Gran Turismo 5 on PS3 should have been. There may not be over 1,000 cars, but there are at least 500, and every single one of them is highly detailed with an interior view. Also, I like that you can drive any car on any track at any time in free play mode, although I will probably stick with career mode to get more sense of achievement. I also like the auto vista thing. It is more of a novelty, but it is pretty cool either way. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I cannot use my old Logitech PC steering wheel with it, but that wheel worked perfectly in GT5.

PROS (vs Gran Turismo 5):
- At least 500 cars, all highly detailed
- Auto Vista with Jeremy Clarkson
- Top Gear test track available anytime
- Top Gear Bowling challenges
- Less race restrictions
- More realistic damage model
- More download cars available (I recommend the August Playseat Pack)
- I can drive a HUMMER on Nurburgring :D

CONS (vs Gran Turismo 5):
- No support for Logitech PC steering wheels (although driving with the controller is quite feasible)
- I like some of the music in GT5 better
- I have yet to see any dirt/snow tracks and rally events in Forza 4.
- No NASCAR challenge, at least not that I'm aware of.

So bottom line, I sold my PS3 so that I could buy an XBOX 360 and this game, so I expect a lot from it. And so far, it is delivering.
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on August 14, 2012
Graphics are excellent overall, but with a few nitpicks. The new IBL lighting engine makes cars looks a little too glossy and toylike when being showcased, but the general detail, authenticity, and interiors are awesome.

AI is pretty easy and, while getting more competitive throughout the career, never offers a stiff challenge if you're familiar with the franchise. New options like sim steering add a nice wrinkle though.

Car sounds are superb, but the environmental sfx like hitting wall are a bit strange, and the default setting for the miserable race music should be OFF. Menu music is servicable.

Menus themselves are nice and easy to navigate, despite something like a dozen potential layers.

Quantity, quality, and variety of cars is very good (let's say 4 out of 5). Very comprehensive & eclectic mix, though I could do with a few more "real world" performance & classic vehicles and a few less "boutique" marques like Wiesmann and a few others. DLC is hit or miss. When the packs are good, they're awesome, but there are several I saw no reason at all to purchase. Customization and painting possibilities are as broad as ever and the storefront is great.

Tracks are gorgeous and varied, though sadly one of my favorites is gone (Rallye de Positano full) in exchange for the beautiful Bernese Alps. It's quite a looker but only really fun in supercars, where Positano was a blast in runabout hatchbacks, sports cars, and vintage classics.

All said, it's really hard to go back to 3, even if it did have my favorite track and adjustable AI difficulty. The new graphics engine, more up-to-date cars, and improved controls are just too good to give up.
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on June 16, 2015
Great game. Reminds me of Gran Turismo from back in the day. The game is gorgeous, there are tons of cars and endless customizations you can do, and it is super fun and challenging at the same time.

I quickly turned off all of the "assists" and other non-sim features they put in the difficulty settings to try to help you out. I found that those things were just preventing my car form doing what I wanted it to do.

I sorta wish there was more of a grinder aspect to the game. As is, it is pretty easy to get whatever car you want pretty easily. And after you race in about 4-5 races with the same manufacturer, you get all upgrades from that maker for free FOREVER. It's pretty strange. I kind of enjoy having to grind out 8-10 races in a stock Honda Civic before moving up to a Lancer.

All in all, this is an awesome game, and I will be coming back to this one a lot.
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on December 10, 2012
I was supposed to have bought the Forza 4 full version. But instead when i open the package i sadly realized that i had received the essentials version which is very limited on features. please do not do this. Please properly advertise the items you are selling.

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