MOTOR racing for most of us is something that we have dreamt of doing since we were little kids. Of flying 300km/h down Conrod Straight at Mount Panorama in a V8 Supercar, or taking Eau Rouge at Spa in Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari.
But the reality is for me and you, is that we will never get that chance.
Although, just the other night it was pouring down rain while I was sitting in the seat of my brand new Ford Mustang. I was in a Bathurst grid full of Audi R8s, Nissan GT-Rs and Ferrari 458s — all cars that should demolish my Mustang. But my Mustang was no ordinary pony, it’s supercharged, stripped of every bit of unneeded weight, it’s stiffened, has much bigger brakes and even been converted to all-wheel-drive. My pony is now a thoroughbred stallion that not even Godzilla can touch.
In fact, I was winning the entire race, going from 12th on the grid to 1st in just 4 laps. But then I got cocky, and stupid. I took Forest Elbow too fast, hit a puddle and aquaplaned straight into the wall.
It was at this exact moment though that I realised Forza 6 is the best racing game I have ever played.
Before the race, I spent a good half an hour setting my car up just right, putting new part upgrades in and tuning it perfectly for the track. Then the driving dynamics, needing to perfectly time the clutch and shift like you would in a real car to be competitive, not to mention both the understeer and oversteer in the wet that has you on edge and glued to the screen.
Then there’s the rain, that glorious rain. No other video game of any genre has done rain as well as Forza 6 has. Whether it be the water splashing up from the cars in front of you, water droplets pulling to the side when you corner or the 3D puddles that can quickly ruin your race when you’re sent aquaplaning over them. This is all so beautifully presented too, and becomes even more impressive when you remember that there are 24 other cars on the grid and it is working in 60 frames per second.
The library of cars is bigger than ever, with over 460 cars, including everything from 90s Japanese heroes and today’s hypercars to LMP1 racers, F1 cars and every make of V8 Supercar. The best bit is that they’re all fully upgradeable and completely customisable.
Handling is also improved over previous games, with more feedback and a realistic sense of grip. One of the biggest things for me, is that you can feel in the control when the car begins to understeer and you’re running off the track much better than any other game has done before.
Oh, and the sound. It’s spectacular.
The career mode is something gamers will either love or hate. There’s no shortcutting to your favourite LMP1 car, you need to grind it out in hot hatches or cheap coupes first before slowly progressing up the ranks. Thankfully though, once you do get to higher tiers, endurance racing is back.
It’s a little disappointing that the weather isn’t dynamic in long races, however. It would be awesome to be racing around LeMans and seeing the conditions change late in the day forcing some tyre strategy and mixing things up a bit.
While Jeremy Clarckson hasn’t made an appearance in Forza 6, several famous race drivers across the world have their voices pop up every now and then, including Aussie legend Mark Skaife, who is wrapped at the accuracy of the game.
“Take Bathurst, the guys from the studio game out to the track and scanned everything so it’s done right,” Skaife told news.com.au.
“For me, the biggest thing that impressed me, was this metal grate at Sulman Park. It’s a spot where as a driver you’re aiming at, while going around one of the most committed corners on the track and it’s at the absolute authentic spot.”
Another great thing for me was how good the V8 Supercars felt. They drove completely differently to how a GT car would, they were hard to drive and it felt more totally authentic. Skaife agreed too.
“The difference between a V8 Supercar and GT3 car in real life is big. It feels that way in the game too,” he said.
“You can feel how the GT3 car achieves its in the corners, compared to a V8 Supercar where it gets speed after it’s left the corner behind.”
Outside of its lack of dynamic weather and track conditions, it’s hard to fault Forza Motorsport 6. There’s just about every car you can think of available to drive in incredible detail, the wet weather is amazing and the improved drivatar AI system always make you feel like you’re racing a real person, even if it is just the game. If you’re a racing fan, or even just own an Xbox One, Forza 6 is well worth your money.