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Forza Motorsport 4 Review by Inside Sim Racing

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Our long awaited review of Forza Motorsport 4 by Turn 10 and Microsoft. Despite a very thorough and lengthy preview of the sim that can be seen here

we look at Forza Motorsport 4 again and score it category by category. We include a history of the franchise and a look into its community in this review. And then Shaun and Darin tell you everything you want to know ab

out how it plays.

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Nice review guys! I agree with most of your thoughts. Though as a casual simracer, I think the AI is about right. In fact, somewhere between Medium and Hard would be the perfect difficulty level for me. But, like I said, I'm casual and you guys are used to stronger AI on PC titles. I'm also glad that you took the time to do some history behind Forza. Just the level of damage and car customization alone in the original Forza Motorsport set a new benchmark in 2005. Add to that the online communities and it becomes whatever you want. Anyway good job ISR! Keep doing your thing!

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Great Review.

I totally agree with the AI being way to easy in World Tour mode. The problem is that they have that silly adaptable AI difficulty and you can't adjust it in this mode. I too win every race in world tour.

The event list, however, is a little bit more of a challenge as you can adjust the difficulty. I find that the professional setting in the event list is challenging especially in the upper classes.

But still a great game. Online racing and tuning is great.

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Thanks guys!

In context, I think most comments made are quite reasonable, I've put quite a few hours in now and can shed some light on some issues I've seen..

A.I. - Totally agree, but I think for the following reasons

One of the most noticeable flaws is that they religiously follow the 'racing line'.. if you switch on that feature, you can see that there are lots of points mid-bend or anywhere the car will go 'light' that it suggests braking where you really don't need to, and this is really at odds with a human driver who will naturally just pile through..

The other issues is that it is supposed to be 'dynamic'.. i.e. they will upgrade to give you more competition.. However, this falls down generally because all the cars they gift you for the first 50 levels are pre-upgraded to the top of class, so the AI have no room left to upgrade for an advantage..

Physics

I agree that on the surface there is an element of 'ease' of control, so think you got that spot on.. where I think you missed out vital info (and this is relative to GT5, something I know you'll be covering shortly).

THIS IS NOT SOME SILLY 'vs' ARGUMENT, JUST OBSERVATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN PROVED AND ARE IN THE INTEREST OF HONEST COMPARISON

- Firstly, the bad.. - I think that the high level car feel, the rotation of a car when it loses lateral grip is not quite right, something GT5 does better and is something that takes getting used to.

- What it gets right is the complexity of the physics and a few of us that play a lot of both games have spotted some differences (most can be found on Forzaplanet/GTplanet)

- Launch a cobra with the wheel straight and under wheel spin it will rotate anti-clockwise as it should.. in GT5 there is no physics for that aspect, it just tracks true all the time

- It's been noted (and easy to check) that GT5 has a very simplistic tyre model that isn't taking tyre width/size into account etc something FM4 does

- It's also been noted that there is much less suspension setup correlation to real life in GT5, things don't behave as they should when making adjustments, FM4 does (although worth noting it can start falling down with extreme settings)

- Tyre temperature isn't modelled accross the width of the tyre in GT5

So both games definitely approach it differently, if you are all about the nuances/complexity of control, FM4 seems to cater better, if you just like to hoon around more and throw cars around, GT5 caters for that better.. Both have a 'soft' side to differing levels and both offer a lot.

FFB - Just some notes on differences between GT5 and FM4 if it helps with your video..

- The FFB seems centered around the tyre grip. In those terms it's pretty decent, you can feel the transition as the tyre loses grip, when hotlapping where you are looking for those 1/100th's of a second and need to maintain momentum, you get that 'feel' in FM4 (GT5's achilles heel is this, it's quite numb by comparison)

- It does use the vibration motors really well, it builds as the speed rises, is good on rumble strips etc (Again not in GT5) (And this is on a Fanatec wheel with the ABS set to use the Clubsport brakes so it's not the fanatec inbuilt rumble with throttle thing going on..)

- There is a torque steer input on FWD cars (Not present in GT5)

- FM4's main achilles heel for me is that track related FFB is really dialled down, it's ok for transitional bumps on/off the track. I think if they dialled it up, you'd lose the tyre grip FFB feel, so this might boil down to preference (hotlapping vs fun)

Other then that, I can't fault your assessment of FM4, some good stuff I hope they work on in FM5, and look forward to this if they carry on evolving it with the competition in mind!

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Got to say I am pretty under whelmed by this review, in my opinion the only thing GT5 competes with Forza on is graphics and in some aspects physics(A.I is equally bad in both games) but in every thing else Forza destroys GT5. You gave GT5 a 7.5 for sound and Forza a 9, making them seem close but that isn't the case, GT5 sound wise deserved a 5 at the most. Multi player is another aspect where Forza has GT5 beat. Maybe you trying to seem impartial to the GT5 fans(I am one) on the site and will be looking very closely at your comparison. This is the first time I have ever been left wanting by one of your reviews :?:

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Darin,

Very nice job on the review. You guys are too professional for a gamer show. Turn 10 should pay you, not because you're in their pocket, (obviously, not in their pocket, or you would have given them the perfect score) but because it was such a thorough and comprehensive review, they will use the episode for their own historical archives.

John Hill's alternative opening to the episode;

(Darin at the checkout line at Trader Joe's. Clerk handing you the receipt)

Clerk: So when's the Forza 4 review coming out? (Darin's reaction)

(Darin pumping gas at the station, then paying clerk)

Gas station clerk: Hey, how about that Forza review?

Mailman coming to door, Shaun just leaving, seeing mailman)

Mailman: Still waiting. (Shaun's reaction)

(Kid riding by on skateboard, stops, looks at Darin)

Kid: Where's the review dude? (Darin's reaction)

(Darin in a tight, loving embrace with Andrea)

Andrea: You guys finished with that review?

(Darin in bathroom, brushing teeth, his reflection in mirror, stops brushing teeth, looks back at Real Darin)

Reflection Darin: It's time dude.

(Darin at Arcade, playing racing game with wheel, kid at next game over, stops and looks at Darin, Darin looks back at kid)

Darin: You going to ask me about Forza 4?

Kid in Arcade: I'm wondering what a grown man is doing here.

(Darin waking up, like from a nightmare. Getting the cell phone out, calling Shaun, who's playing Forza)

Darin: We gotta get that review done now!

Shaun: I'm still working on it!

Darin: Meet me here in one hour.

(Jessica at home, curler's in hair, green face mask on, answering phone)

Jessica: Now?

Cut to Studio scene;

(Everybody adjusting microphones, clearing throats, it's Showtime!)

Cameraman (behind camera, looking at hosts) Hey, you hear the news? Forza 5 is coming out next week.

(Everybody reacts)

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I feel for you guys at ISR when you have to do these reviews knowing full well there will be some outraged fanboys either way. I own forza 4 and like it. If I had a PS3 I would also own gt5 and probably like it.

Only good people on the ISR forums though, I am more talking about youtube.

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Love the show. Just watched the Forza 4 review. I have one concern that wasn't addressed. In a shot of a driver with a view of the steering wheel in the game shown on the screen, the screen wheel lags noticeably in relation to the driver's wheel. Seems to me that has a huge impact on the feel and control no matter how good the tire and chassis physics may be. Same for many sims compared to some.

I've been an avid sim racer starting way back with Papyrus' Indy 500, Indy Car Racing, Grand Prix Legends, and NR2003. Currently I'm running two online series with the North American Grand Prix league using GTR2. There's been discussion of moving to a more modern sim but none as yet has the steering response and feel of GTR2.

You guys have a significant effect on the sim world and game developers in particular so it kinda bugs me that steering lag doesn't seem to be enough of an issue.

Keep up the good work. I'd watch even if Jessica wasn't there. :)

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Love the show. Just watched the Forza 4 review. I have one concern that wasn't addressed. In a shot of a driver with a view of the steering wheel in the game shown on the screen, the screen wheel lags noticeably in relation to the driver's wheel. Seems to me that has a huge impact on the feel and control no matter how good the tire and chassis physics may be. Same for many sims compared to some.

I noticed that too while watching!! But it must be just their TV image processing lag, as I on my rig, using a Viewsonic 2ms Monitor in 'gaming' mode, the lag is as good as you can expect, almost imperceptible..

I am shocked if the guys do play on that TV regularly, it would do my head in with that kind of obvious disconnect going on.. On my own large LCD TV, if I don't put it in 'game' mode, it also lags badly, to the point it slows me down..

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Great Review.

I totally agree with the AI being way to easy in World Tour mode. The problem is that they have that silly adaptable AI difficulty and you can't adjust it in this mode. I too win every race

The event list, however, is a little bit more of a challenge as you can adjust the difficulty. I find that the professional setting in the event list is challenging especially in the upper classes.

But still a great game. Online racing and tuning is great.

Thank for pointing this out

I too found the world tour mode way too easy began to feel like I was just cruising thru the AI competition like they were old folks on their way to church even with it set as difficult as I could get it.

Using the events list set on hard or pro I can barely keep up. This is how I like it. It forces me to be smoother better and braver each time and this can only make me better. Thanks again

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