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Top 20 Reasons I Love Forza 4 and GT 5

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Top 20 Reasons I Love Forza 4 and GT 5

First, a quick overview so you can understand my perspective. Feel free to skip these first two paragraphs. I’ve been playing racing games for over 4 years now. 80% of my gaming time is spent racing. For almost 3 years I have been using a wheel and pedals - first the Microsoft Wireless Racing Wheel, then a Fanatec GT2 and clubsport wheels. The GT2 works with both consoles. (If you like racing with a standard controller, you would love it with a wheel. Double the fun.) I am not a hard-core racer. I play about 10 hours per week and consider myself to have an average level of driving skill.

I played Gran Turismo 5 for about 6 months, stopping at 91% completion and 74% of trophies acquired. I still play it online with friends. With Forza 4 I am currently playing through season 8 of the World Tour, sitting at Level 40. I do not have an Xbox Live Gold Account (yet), so my exposure to Forza is more limited. I have no experience with internet racing like iRacing or rFactor. I find the driving physics to be pretty realistic and predictable in both Forza and GT. But as I said, I’m not a hard-core racer.

The “favorites” lists below are mainly based on playing career modes.

Top 10 Reasons I Love Forza 4:

1) Graphics are spectacular - Solid frame-rate, no pop-in, no screen tear. And with the new lighting model the cars and tracks look terrific.

2) Sound is fantastic. Especially with headphones.

3) Cockpit views feel perfect. Forza is the first game I have played where I use this view exclusively. I don’t feel like I’m sitting in the back seat, as with some other games. This view also gives a better sense of when the tires begin to lose traction. Generally it makes for a more immersive experience.

4) AI Drivers - They aren’t perfect, but Turn 10 definitely put some work into this. It feels more realistic when the AI cars bump into you. They also don’t roll over and play dead if you touch their bumper or pass them. They will often keep coming after you. And they don’t robotically follow the racing line like it’s a train track.

5) Adjustable Difficulty. As you progress through World Tour the game will automatically select an AI difficulty level (from 20 different hidden levels) based on your past races. This way, the game manages to challenge me most of the time. Once in the lead I often need to defend my position to the finish. It forces me to drive better. (I turn the “Rewind” option OFF.)

6) The overall racing experience just feels like the cars and tracks have more of a “Presence”. It seems more immersive, more REAL. Maybe it’s a combination of the solid frame-rate, the new lighting model, the new tire model, the awesome sounds, the great cockpit views, or the feeling when you bump and scrape against the AI. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The result is that the illusion of actually being there in a race is taken to a higher level.

7) 500 “premium” cars, all with detailed interiors. There is a balanced selection of cars world-wide. (It’s not 70% asian vehicles.)

8) Quick-Upgrade. I personally find upgrading cars to be a tedious necessity, so this feature is a real time saver. The gear-heads reading this post will be rolling their eyes. Hey - it’s just a subjective thing.

9) Rivals Mode is a great diversion from the World Tour, or from working through the Events List. It is competitive and addictive.

10) Auto-Vista mode is a welcome addition and the cars look unbelievable. Jeremy Clarkson’s monologues are amusing. I never thought I would find a game to play with my 80-year-old Dad, until now.

Top 10 Reasons I Love Gran Turismo 5:

1) Gran Turismo delivers a “Personalized” gaming experience. Your name scrolls across the load screens with the other drivers’ names. Your name displays again in the rankings list while you race, and of course when the race results appear. It’s a subtle touch, and you know it’s just a game, but somehow it feels more friendly. Furthermore, if you sign into the PSN each day the credits you earn that day will benefit from a multiplier effect - up to 100% after about 5 days. It’s like the game is saying “Welcome back - good to see you”. At Christmas the game sends a greeting to say Happy Holidays, or something to that effect. And when Sebastian Vettel won the F1 championship in 2011 Poliphony Digital gifted the Red Bull X1 car to anyone who signed-on that week. It’s easy to develop a familiarity with the game.

2) The developers took the time to create an in-game Manual. You want to know how to race online? Check the manual. Want to know about tuning your cars? It’s there too, and much more.

3) Transparent Career Mode - Some people don’t care for GT’s menus, but I like them. Everything is easy to access from the main GT Mode screen. It’s easy to see how far you still have to progress in your career. The main driving challenges are sorted into 6 different series - Beginner, Amateur, Professional, Expert, Extreme and Endurance. I prefer this approach to Forza’s method. (I DO like Forza’s World Tour, but it deprives me of having a sense of control, despite having 3 race choices at each stop in the tour. Early on I had so many questions about how things progress in the career mode. How long is the World Tour? And how does it relate to the Events List and percentage of career completion? It took a lot of Google searches to understand what Forza didn’t want to tell me.)

4) License tests are a great challenge and a great diversion.

5) Special Events like Karting, Nascar, and Rally racing really round out the game. Lots of variety means I was able to play this game exclusively for 6 months without it becoming a grind. Racing on hard-packed snow or ice is serious fun.

6) Seasonal Events - New events are added every two or three weeks. These are a great way to keep the game fresh and make some quick cash. You can also view your online ranking, although I don’t find it as engaging and addictive as Forza’s Rivals Mode.

7) The game supports a large selection of racing wheels (and pedals) that work with the game. Logitech, Thrustmaster, some Fanatec wheels, and possibly some others. From what I’ve read the Logitech Driving Force GT is very good value for the money and a great first wheel.

8) Online racing is free. I’ve enjoyed months of great racing with friends. Overall, the online experience has been solid. No Xbox Live Gold membership required.

9) PS3 Trophy Hunting. This is one area where the PS3 (and GT by extension) has an edge over the Xbox 360. Trophy hunting does become addictive.

10) Grand Finale Unlock - If you haven’t found this hidden reward yet, I won’t spoil it. It’s best when it comes as a surprise. It was definitely one of the more memorable moments I’ve had in a racing game. Love the music, love the video. GT has a cultured, sophisticated element that sometimes approaches art. I imagine it takes a lot of effort and is often under-appreciated.

Summary

Overall, I think Forza shines as the more perfect, more immersive and intense racing experience. On the other hand, Gran Turismo has more variety with is different race types. Gran Turismo managed to compel me through the various levels for months without resorting to arcade-style trickery. Hopefully I will remain engaged by Forza long after the World Tour ends. They are both great racers and great games. I am sure you will enjoy whichever one you can play. If you are lucky enough to have both a PS3 and an Xbox 360, they are both worth playing.

I do not intend to spark a fan-boy squabble with this posting. There are a lot more reasons to play these games than the ones I listed above, so feel free to add your own in the comments. Hopefully we can keep it positive.

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I also own both Gran Turismo 5 and Forza Motorsport 4. I agree that both games are outstanding. Forza has more "game" and flashy fun events in my opinion. Gran Turismo is more race focused. I think a new racer would flow to Forza first because of all the "training wheel" features available. GT5 can be very brutal and feel like a steep learning curve tailored to car nuts. To me, they are both amazing and I have put a ton of hours into both. I have completed the GT5 career mode except for the Indurance Races (Insanity). I have also completed the League of Legends in Forza 4, I'm at Driver Level 62. I don't like playing online but I do the Seasonal Events (GT5) and Rivals Mode (Forza 4). My Fanatec CSR rig works flawlessly with both. I must commend you on a wonderful Top 20 list. Hopefully these knucklehead geeks will stop blindly bashing the one they don't own!

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Forza has more "game" and flashy fun events in my opinion. Gran Turismo is more race focused. I think a new racer would flow to Forza first because of all the "training wheel" features available.

Good point, GR8 FIRE. After some consideration I realize Forza's World Tour is indeed arcade-like with its satellite zooming and the voice-over introducing the next race. Certainly the REWIND option is included in Forza to appease the less experienced racer. But I wouldn't necessarily steer a new racer to Forza instead of GT. Most GT races allow the player to over-upgrade the car in order to gain a significant advantage - if the player wants.

I edited my original post to (hopefully) be more accurate. Thanks for your comments.

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There are so many POINTLESS cars in GT. Forza focuses on only the best cars available, has WAY better physics, and none of the cars have a mysterious, shadowy, unfinished interior. Clutch plays an important part of feeling the movement of your vehicle and especially is needed in drifting. GT5 is nothing more than an arcade game when compared to Forza 4, or even 3 to be honest.

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I own both titles, they both have their strongest points along with their flaws. The only reason I own an XBOX is for Forza 4. If you want to get technical, GT does have a better physic engine then Forza. The main conflict is the car sound and lack of damages. While foza lack endurance races and the world Tour is in fact arcadishh. My problem with forza 5 laps is not enough. I race with a steering wheel and by the time I am fully emerge into the races, race is over way before it begin. If you want pure Sim racing , switch over to PC.

I race PC/XBOX/PS3, all have theirs pros and cons, find what is best for you and used it.

English my third language, pardon my poor grammar.

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