Forza Motorsport 2 (360) – Review

Forza Motorsport 2 - CoverGran Turismo has been known to be the most realistic console racing simulator to date through its various incarnations. When the original Forza Motorsport came out on the original Xbox, it did make an impression due to its strong realistic physics and was given very positive reviews, but was still overshadowed, in the overall console market, by Gran Tursimo 4 for the Playstation 2. Now, Forza Motorsport 2, developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios, has hit the market and may have flipped the tide for good in its favor. The game’s physics engine is even further improved, and allows for not only tuning and improvements of cars, but physical damage to cars (something that is generally missing in realistic racing games), and a huge number of options to adjust the game from a detailed racing simulation to a fun arcade racing game. It also sports one of the best Xbox Live implementations that ties in well to the single player mode. By far, Forza Motorsport 2 is a definitely must have for any racing game fan and may easily surpass Gran Tursimo as the best racing game ever.

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Forza Motorsport 2 (360) – Initial Impressions

Played a couple races on this last night, though I have played the demo as well.

Most of the basic overall play (arcade, career mode, etc.) is left unchanged from the first game, which is good.  The realism seems good as well; a little bumper tap can be disastrous (or at least pull you out from the lead and into the grass), and I have always liked the little help of the cornering arrows that you can toggle off as you get more experienced.

Graphics seem fine to me; I know people have been complaining that this doesn’t look as clean as the Gran Tursimo PS3 tech demo, but it’s certainly far from looking like a last-gen game.    The core of the game is racing, and the physics seem to get it down well, and I rather have that for something that is a driving/racing sim than super excellent graphics and less-than-realistic physics.

My only nit is that you get penalized for off-track driving and bumper hits.  Sure, if I intentionally go off, or drive wrecklessly into the middle of a pack, this makes sense, but I had a couple of times where I’ve taken a curve close to the expected line to have someone behind me tap my bumper or the like, causing the car to spin out to the grass, all the time ranking up penalty time.   Sure, I love that the cars are more aggressive than I’ve seen in the GT series, but it seems odd that I’m double penalized for that.

Have not played online but expect to do so tonight.