Forza Motorsport 5 is highly regarded as one of the best-looking and positively reviewed launch titles to debut during the launches of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It’s also however, a source of much controversy and concern over next-gen console gaming. Forza 5 takes the microtransaction elements of its predecessors (4 & Horizon) and turns it up a few notches, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of gamers when combined with the fact that the title features less than half as much content as its predecessor when it comes to number of cars and tracks.
While the game is beautiful and features the exciting new AI Drivatars (NPC-controlled opponents based on profiles of other actual players, including you friends list), it’s been labelled a grind by critics, mainly due to the lack of tracks. Adding to that issue is the lack of variety in the available courses, since despite being a visual-focused title, features no weather effects and no time-of-day options on tracks. Want to play at night in the rain on the latest and greatest? Like its predecessor, you still can’t in Forza 5.
The problem is exasperated by the relatively low number of tracks, an issue as we’ve learned is partly due to how long it takes Turn 10 to craft them for the new Forza 5 game engine. Even the remakes of Forza 4 tracks take nine months or more. IGN spoke with Turn 10 creative director Dan Greenawalt about another oddly missing set of features in Forza 5, namely the lack of dynamic weather or day/night options featured prominently in the game’s primary competitor: Gran Turismo 6.
“[Adding night and weather] is not a minor thing, it is not a ‘add a little bit of time, throw it in’ thing. When we do things, we do it all the way. That means physics, that means changing conditions, that means everything. So that is not the sort of thing that is easily undertaken in a patch.”
“If we wanted to make one of those tracks work with the added particles or projected shadows, and of course adding the physics to do something like night and wet, it means re-engaging those tracks. I’m not trying to give an excuse, I’m trying to give context as to why this is an order of magnitude higher than something like Drag and Tag, and other things we’re looking at from the community.”
For fans of the series vocal about their disappointment with Forza 5, this may read as an excuse – another explanation for a lack of content or a missing feature. For a game designed to constantly prod players with options to spend tokens (read: real money), the week-after-week Forza 5 news on explanations for lack of tracks, lack of cars, microtransactions, etc. are tiresome and disappointing.
Turn 10 Studios is making efforts with the latest patch to balance the in-game economy and reduce the in-game price for cars already on the disc and Greenawalt has gone on record explaining how they hope to maintain or earn back the trust of fans. Does Forza 5 absolutely need weather effects and different driving conditions? Arguably not, but it is strange that the first, next-gen-only racer comes with less than its predecessor and doesn’t feature things like weather.
Did Forza 5 simply release too soon? Are you satisfied with its offerings? What would you like to see added most? Let us know in the comments!
Forza Motorsport 5 is currently available exclusively on Xbox One.
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