Those excited for Forza Motorsport 7 can get their hands on the game now through the game’s demo, and here are our first impressions based on the demo as well as our hands-on experience at Microsofts Xbox Showcase in London earlier this month.
Coming in at a hefty 17.66GB download – which feels a little overkill for a demo, I own full games that take up half that – the demo might not seem to worthwhile, but I can safely say it is worth the agonising wait for those of us using a router made out of potato skins.
The demo features 3 events, a race in the new Porsche GT2 RS around the game’s new Dubai Circuit, a fantastic race in the Mercedes Racing Truck around the returning Mugello Circuit, and finally a race around the Nurburgring GP Circuit in the Nissan GTR GT car, which features the games progressive weather and lighting effects, with the event starting dry and turning wet, through a thunderstorm, before beginning to dry out as the race enters the twilight hours down the back straight.
And it looks bloody fantastic. At the Xbox Showcase we got hands on with this demo as well as a time trial in the Radical RXC around Sonoma replacing the Mugello event.
It’s really nice to see some circuits returning to Forza again. Since Forza 5, we’ve been rather skimped on tracks in the game, and while theres been a nice base, there’s only so many times you can run races on the given tracks before you’re begging for something new. I was a little saddened when new tracks were coming in replacing others, I wanted them alongside the tracks the replaced.
Thankfully Mugello hasn’t lost any of the charm it had as a circuit, and the monstrous racing trucks is a perfect way to sample the tracks changes in elevation, as well as the tracks first straight, where you can really push the trucks 1000+hp to its limit. The trucks handle better too, there’s some of the slip you’d expect when cornering, meaning you really have to be on the ball if you turn off all your driver aids. Mugello, welcome back. We really missed you.
The new Dubai circuit is actually really rather nice too. I’ve always had a bit of a gripe with the fictional street circuits. There are so many famous circuits in the world that I would rather see. But Forza has really turned me around on them in the recent titles. The Rio circuit offered some vibrancy while keeping that tight street circuit feeling, and the Prague circuit gave some great elevation changes and a fantastic run into and out of the city.
We’ll just gloss over the Bernese Alps circuit. Dubai offers some of that same magic, being a graphically stunning track, coming up hard on the brakes with the cityscape ahead of you before you take the next turn is a fantastic sight. The Porsche GT2 RS however, I’m really not sold on. It looks great granted, but it just doesn’t have any form of wow factor.
Finally for the demo is the storm race around the Nurburgring GP circuit, and this is the race that offers the biggest glimpse into what we can expect to see in Forza Motorsport 7. While I’m saddened to once again drive the same group of GT3 cars, with a few of the newer cars added in that give all but the old GT2 cars a thorough trouncing, seriously Turn 10 get the more up to date GT cars into the game and separate the classes akin to Forza 3-4. Please?
Anyway, the GTR feels great, still the stupidly powerful wiggle fest coming out of corners we know and love, and that is amplified by the rain. The race is set up to showcase the game’s weather and time, and does so beautifully. progressing from dry and bright, to absolutely pissing it down, thunderstorms, before opening up to clear evening skies. This has my very, very excited to run wet races, now the random lakes across the track are gone.
The final event we got access to at the Xbox Showcase, which was a build of the demo from Gamescom. This race featured the Radical, and just like it’s implementation into Forza Horizon 3, it’s absolutely bloody mental. Driving around the twists and turns of Sonoma Raceway, the car is a real challenge, but incredibly rewarding when you hook up a decent lap. Sonoma hasn’t changed much from Forza 6, which isn’t exactly a band thing.
Overall the demo in both its release and Gamescom builds is a very nice snippet of what we can expect when the game drops October 3 on Xbox One and Windows PC, and judging from the demo, we can expect one hell of a game once it drops.