Forza Motorsport 7 review 3

If Microsoft’s Forza Motorsport series could be summed up in a word, “pedigree” would likely fit the bill. The simulation racing series has stood tall as one of the best reasons to own an Xbox, with developers Turn 10 improving and iterating on a formula that usually allows for little wiggle room. But in this bid to always push forward, Forza Motorsport 7 in particular starts veering off into the gravel. In an attempt to squeeze in a confusing way of progression, it stifles the otherwise phenomenal racing it manages to put on show.

Progression is something that is, surprisingly, new to Forza Motorsport. Or at least it is to the games on this current generation. Where past iterations had the dizzying assortment of cars unlocked for you to drive at any given moment, Forza began putting them behind walls to incentivize you to play and earn them. Other entries might have dodged the obvious hurdle this would impose on races (having cars not suited for a specific class, for example) by always adapting them to what you have on hand. But Forza 7 doesn’t do this, and instead embodies your car collection as a core catalyst in your progression. Which is problematic for a number of reasons.

Forza Motorsport 7 review 6

As you accrue cars as part of rewards for levelling up (which is done by completing races in the six championships you are encouraged to play through), you car collector score ticks up. This is a tiered system that unlocks batches of new cars for you to purchase. If a tier is locked, that batch is locked too – and any events tied to that specific tier are obviously out of your reach. The idea here is to slowly work your way up, wading through the assortment of cars you have on hand to tackle the events you have open. Granted, it’s not a case of getting entirely road blocked at any given time. It’s just no fun to be forced to progress in this manner.

The sting, perhaps, is more severe when you consider just how heavily microtransactions weigh in on this decision. In the past turning off certain driving assists would reward you with percentage increases to in-game currency, which you need to purchase those very cars that allow you to progress. This is now gone in Forza 7. You can still turn what you like off, but if you want to try to boost your earnings you’re going to have to pray to lady luck. Mods, a form of condition-specific challenge cards, replace this system – and they’re only available in new loot boxes the game obnoxiously pushes you to purchase.

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Forza Motorsport 7 review 1

These mods do anything from changing the time of day for your next race to forcing you to play with a specific camera view, rewarding you in currency for your completion of them. You’re able to equip a bunch at a time too, but you’re completely out of control over which you even get in the first place. Instead, Forza 7 essentially asks you to gamble. Do you save up to purchase a car in your current tier – a sure fire way to notch up that collector score – or do you burn it on a random loot drop that may or may not help your earnings in the next handful of races.

Right now Turn 10 aren’t actually allowing players to purchase these boxes with real-world money, which somewhat negates the idea of paying a bunch more to just ensure your progress that used to be tied to the way you want to play. But they will in the future – a move they pulled with the previous entry too a few months after the launch. Having loot boxes so heavily affect your push forward is a strange way to iterate on a progress system that should otherwise urge you to carry on playing. The gating of so many great cars behind this system just enforces the tedium that most of the game’s championships end up being.

Forza Motorsport 7 review 2

Which is a darn shame, because when you get down to what Forza 7 should actually be about – high octane, super accurate racing – it’s just as good as you’d expect from the benchmark-setting franchise. Turn 10’s subtle but effective changes are in abundance here, introducing features such as dynamic weather systems that turn a bone try track into a rain-slicked circuit of danger from one lap to the next, along with the physics breaking puddles of water that dynamically fill comers as the downpour continues.

Forza 7 is filled to the brim with advanced simulation sliders and toggles that allow anyone – whether you’re a novice or a complete petrol guzzling addict – to tune the driving experience to exactly what they’d want. Breaking line assists are only a touch away from altering your current cars downforce or touching the suspension to give you an edge in cornering. It’s an experience that’s certainly familiar if you’ve played other Motorsport entries, but it’s refined in a way that only Turn 10 could pull off so frequently.

Forza Motorsport 7 review 9

The library of cars is impressive too, ranging from demolition derby styled racing trucks to track dreams and open wheel racers. Vehicles from Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin and more sit alongside Volkswagen, Volvo and Fiat, as you’d expect from a driving game that is all about the thrill of learning a new mechanical beast and taming it. The sheer detail on these vehicles is as astounding as ever, and it’d be hard to fault any one of the 700 strong library of cars Turn 10 has mustered up.

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That goes double for the game on a visual side too, which sucks up all the power it can from the Xbox One (and PC, if you have it to spare) to create some utterly gorgeous tracks and race scenes. Forza Motorsport has always been a technical showcase of sorts, but this year just seems like the vision that was truly promised from the outset of the generation. Not only are tracks, cars and weather effects stunningly represented, the elements around them aren’t given the short end of the stick in any regard. This is one of the most technically adept games visually on any platform, and it’s a marvel to behold in motion.

Forza Motorsport 7 review 4

But for all the strides forward, a few still need to be taken back it seems. Multiplayer suffers again in Forza 7 – a real disappointment after the stellar showing the spin-off Horizon series. Players are able to match up online for traditional races, but the options around them are lacking at best. Private lobbies, as an example, can’t be filled with AI competitors for more rounded races. Online matchmaking itself has been entirely missing for me, in what seems to be a running theme for Motorsport titles. If you happen to live too far away from one of Microsoft’s Azure servers, matchmaking is simply not possible. A fact that learnt through two nights of continuously searching (and failing) to find a single online race. Something which wasn’t an issue, again, with Horizon 3 last year.

This small issues taken in a vacuum can seem like ones that wouldn’t detract from the pure thrill of just racing, but as a sum they make Forza Motorsport 7 an uneven and frustrating package to wrestle with. When it’s down to the nitty-gritty of racing, and the assortment of tools you have to tweak it, Forza Motorsport 7 stands above anything that even dares to come near. But it’s bogged down by an increasing focus on randomised progression and additional payment structures, which are only getting worse with each iteration.

Last Updated: October 5, 2017

Forza Motorsport 7
Forza Motorsport 7 is the exhilarating, technical racer you expect it to be when you’ve finally put rubber on the track. But outside of that it’s a mess of randomised loot boxes, microtransaction structures, tepid progression and watered down multiplayer support. A real bump in the road for this illustrious racing franchise.
Forza Motorsport 7 was reviewed on Xbox One
86 / 100

Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff’s a bastard.

  • Nikola

    Great review, could not agree more with you Forza is a piece of crap game:) You are finally starting to see the light Al that blue light;) The best way to play!

    • Matthew Figueira


    • Skyblue

      Yeah, so here’s the thing… you’re wrong. I would try and reason with you but your avatar is the EA logo so I don’t see the point.

      • Nikola

        hahaha I am just trolling Alessandro I am not really being serious! Pay no attention to my comment;) Also I hate EA:)

        • Skyblue

          No worries

  • U weirdo

    Here is a pony fruitcake mad that Forza is massively superior to GT sport. Errrr..You can’t buy a single thing in this game with real $. Good try tho. Where is your harsh review for BF1 and overwatch loot crates ?? Keep making a mockery of your site and gaming media in general. 😂😂😂

    • Alessandro Barbosa

      Microsoft have already confirmed that they will start charging money for tokens that can be sued to purchase loot boxes, in the same way that they injected the system after launch into Forza 6:

      Your enjoyment of having progression boiled down to random gambling is entirely your prerogative, but consumers should be warned when they may be encouraged to spend more money on a full price game to simply push forward when so many of its systems are designed around it. You are in no way obliged to lessen your own opinion of a game because of it.

      Put confirmation bias aside and carry on enjoying the game you seem to already love. My review and criticism of its system are not going to rip it away from you.

      • U weirdo

        Tokens that are an OPTION to purchase to acquire more mods from reward crates, how atrocious. There must be some reason why these are worse that the option to buy more meaningful upgrades in BF1, Destiny and 95% of AAA releases over the past 2 years.
        Trust me this review won’t rip a thing away from me. I can appreciate your reasonable response, however your site is on the list of biased media sites for sure.

      • Fox1 – Retro

        Forza has had microtransactions for the past 2 iterations. They are never forced. I actually think the limited timespan for mods are a good thing as it prevents you from using the same “uber” mod throughout the game.

      • Pieter Kruger

        More MS bashing? I don’t get this sudden hate of loot boxes and microtransactions? I know it’s now hip to critisize and the new incoming “gate” and what not, but we’ve been having it! No one cared when Driveclub and Uncharted had them? Taking this view forward surely Star Wars BF2, Destiny 2, Shadow Of War, A.C. Unity etc. etc. all should score 7/10 or below? But maybe this review is just setting the stage to be able to score an always online no loot boxes GT Sport higher?

        • Hammersteyn

          Says the one guy that bashes Sony every single opportunity without fail. You’re the biggest hypocrite in the comment section. You praise MS every article with the same verbal diarrhea every damn time. Give it a rest for pete’s sake. The hate of loot boxes has been criticized since its first inception and will be for the foreseeable future. @Alessandro_Lazygamer:disqus has said nothing but the truth, oh but now it’s MS bashing? I mean really?

          • Pieter Kruger

            I’m a fan, I’m allowed to hate on Potato Station. With media bias going unchecked though(This should actually be the next “gate”) you get inconsistent reviews by “independent media” sites that is nothing more than another platform for a fanboy to drive his or her own personal agenda. Shit, It’d be like asking me to review Driveclub (who by the way, as terrible a mess of a game that was at launch got a higher score from this site than Forza 7 just did!) This, together with the fact that this sites’ score of Forza 7 on metacritic is one of the lowest, a whopping 15 points below average, and this after Forza 6 got a great review from this same site, just smells of complete BS! And yes, I understand different people review different games but CONSISTENCY should be a factor! The editor should at least try and get same reviewers to review game sequels/game types/game platforms. The editor should’ve looked at this review and compared to Driveclub review to ensure CONSISTENCY and remove any possible bias slipping through the cracks. This site usually scores on average higher than Meta average,but for some reason Forza 7 is one of the worst games this year? GTFO!

          • Hammersteyn

            You’re a biased fan, your opinion is irrelevant. You’ll always hate on Sony and always love MS. So type consistency in caps all you want. Doesn’t mean a thing. It won’t change the score. Nioh Defiant Honour got a 65 even though Metacritic 79. But you didn’t see people piss and whine all over the comment section there?

            The same shit happened with Breath of the Wild. Jim Sterling gave it a 7/10 and people went ape shit because he dragged down the Metascore. But it didn’t affect the end product. It was still a good game. Nioh is still a good game. Forza will always be a great series. So how’s about you leave the keyboard for your controller and enjoy your racing game like any real gamer should?

          • Alessandro Barbosa

            Firstly, a 7/10 is not the worst game of the year. It’s not even close. And it’s that type of mentality that’s restricting criticism on games because anything lower than just perfect is considered trash. It’s just stupid.

            I stated time and time again that Forza 7 is a good game, because hell it is. It’s also a very different game to Forza 6 (hello also in the text) and makes even more changes to the existing microtransactions. Lootboxes are entirely new. Mods are entirely new. CR rewards off of driving assists is entirely new. These three alone have a massive impact on gameplay, and hence needing to “keep consistency” with past iterations just doesn’t make sense. Does a past iteration automatically set a floor on how low a review of a sequel can be? Don’t be ridiculous.

            I played the game extensively, looking for alternate avenues to progress other than the obviously well designed push into just gambling race winnings in the hopes that it will allow you to progress. It’s a horrible, horrible system, and one that will get worse when MS eventually allow people to purchase it with real money. It’s why I consider this a massive step backwards for what I still consider the best racing simulation experience out there, as it detracts from the core action.

            You may disagree for whatever reason you like, but please leave your tin hat conspiracy theories at the door. They’re unfounded, unjust, and just make you seem out of touch with reality. There is no agenda, nothing to be gained from one and no “bias”. We want games to be better, and we achieve that by being critical of things we think can be better. There is nothing gained over just slapping a 9 on a score because it fits in. Wanting straight up uniformity in reviews means you don’t actually want critique. You just want confirmation that you enjoying a game is “ok” with everyone else.

          • Pieter Kruger

            So you still maintain that Driveclub was a better overall experience at launch than Forza 7? Even Project Cars 2 with all it’s bugs etc.? Microtransactions seems to only be considered terrible in certain games looking at Middle Earth:SOW review? Most other reviews of Forza 7 stated that microtransactions are not neccecary at all to progress? I was one of the 1st to call MS out with the shit they tried pulling with the Forza VIP pass (on this very site as I recall?), but they’ve fixed that now.
            Anyway, looking forward to all CH’s reviews of AC:Origins, Star Wars BF2, Call Of Duty WW2 with their microtransactions, and also of course GT Sport with it’s almost always online requirements and basically total lack of single player……

          • Alessandro Barbosa

            Think you’re mixing up microtransactions and loot boxes. You 100% need to engage with loot boxes to progress, because there is no other way to obtain mods for races (which are the only ways to increase in-game credit earnings). Those credits can then be spent on cars directly to slow increase your car collector score (which is the only way to buy cars REQUIRED by events), or gamble them away on my loot boxes for other cars (you can also get low-tier car rewards when leveling up).

            So it is an inescapable part of the experience. Microtransactions will come in when MS starts allowing players to purchase these boxes with real money, after they’ve “evaluated the economy”, because that’s a thing.

            Also since you’re so keen on comparing, I’m certain many reviews lashed out at Driveclub at launch. And I’ve read many saying that loot boxes etc get in the way of Shadow of War too (and varying accounts of how badly they personally impacted the reviewer). Wanting everyone to conform to a single standard on these things is impossible, and the mere existence of them is not enough to suddenly evaluate a game’s worth. In the case of Forza they were purposely made integral to progression, and it’s just a nasty step backwards.

            if you can’t handle critique of that nature, then you’re not really looking for it in the first place.

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            Lol, everybody here knows this guy is a troll 🙂

            What was the review score for the Trolls Movie?? Did he like it? Which was his favourite troll?

            It was the one with XBox Green hair.

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire
    • Hammersteyn
      • U weirdo

        Look people a triggered pony gimp mad his PS4 is bricked by Sony’s software incompetence 😂

        • Hammersteyn

          That must be why there’s so few PS4s sold.

          • U weirdo

            PROtato has been outsold by the X already

          • Hammersteyn


          • U weirdo


  • miaau

    For me, this is easy.
    Forza Motorsport – limited tracks, great racing,Great cars, limited tracks. Feels the same.

    Forz Horizion…. Great racing. Great cars, Great racing, loads of fun. I spent easily upwards of 100 hours on Horizon 3.

    Perhaps I will get this on like an 80% off sale.

  • Umar

    psssh. How much did Sony pay you for this review?

    • Alessandro Barbosa

      two packets of tennis biscuits

      • Umar

        Yoooooh. TWO packets?? Wow. You just rollin’ in it….

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