EB Games Expo 2013: Forza Motorsport 5 Impressions

To show off the graphical capabilities of new consoles, developers often head straight for a racing game. Forza Motorsport 5 is Microsoft’s choice, and it did not disappoint.

The demo at the EB Games Expo featured a hot lap around the world famous Laguna Seca circuit. I decided to choose the McLaren P1 because who doesn’t love fast cars?

Even on the loading screen, when the camera is slowly panning around the car, the visual prowess of the Xbox One is being displayed. The surrounding room was being reflected perfectly off of the McLaren’s exterior (don’t mind my lack of car jargon). It looked beautiful, like nothing I had ever seen in a video game, and the race had not even started yet.

On the track, Forza Motorsport 5 looks just as good. The track and its surroundings made me want to jump through the television screen and jump into the drivers seat myself. The McLaren performed as would be expected; fast, but horrible when turning corners. Unfortunately for me, I did not realise that Laguna Seca had quite a few bends. The driving feels great and the McLaren felt weighty, as expected.

The big difference between the Xbox One controller and the Xbox 360 controller was the vibrations, or rumble, in the triggers. It sounds weird, but bear with me. When the Xbox 360 vibrates, it is always be the exact same feeling no matter what you were doing. However, the Xbox One controller vibrates at different rates. It’s difficult to describe in words, but the rumble allowed me to feel the track beneath my car, the tyres screeching around a corner, and the car slowing down to go around a bend. It was different, but it drew me in. I actually felt like I was in the car, tearing down the track at high speed. The rumble on the triggers added to the immersion. Now that I have felt the difference, it will be difficult to go back to the Xbox 360 controller.

Even when moving to a more powerful console, Forza’s long load times still persist. I probably spent more time on loading screens than racing. What puzzles me more is how many menus you have to go through just to start a race. Why can’t I choose my car, its colour, and my driving assists all on one screen? Surely it is not that hard.

The problem I had with Forza Motorsport 5 was only a minor one, so it is shaping up to be a great launch title for the Xbox One this November. Turn 10 Studios have done a great job so far, hopefully the final product is as good as the vertical slice I played.