Forza Motorsport 4 Guide
Unofficial Forza Motorsport 4 Guide by CM Boots-Faubert for SuperCheats.com
The word "Forza" is Italian, and means Force of Strength, and its choice as the name for one of the most celebrated racing game series in console gaming was an inspired one; the original game that set the name for the series emerged onto to the gaming scene as perhaps the most stunning and impressive auto racing game available on the Xbox gaming console, but its emergence was largely a surprise for gamers.
When the game landed on store shelves on May 3rd, 2005, its cover sported the iconic image of a Nissan 350Z pursuing an Acura NSX, and if you ask serious racing gamers, they will say that the image tells you everything that you need to know about the game, which featured an impressive 231 cars split among six letter-based classes which continue to be used in the series to represent its cars. These are:
-- Class D: Standard production vehicles.
-- Class C: Sports Cars.
-- Class B: Performance Cars.
-- Class A: High Performance Cars.
-- Class S: Supercars.
-- Class R: Purpose-built Race Cars (non-production vehicles).
Using a series of upgrades, each of the cars (save for the R-Class) can have its performance improved, even to the point that it ends up moving into a new Class as a result, allowing racers to use the same car in a number of different Class events simply by reconfiguring it, a model of play that while not unique to the Forza series certainly made an indelible impression with its fans.
Among the stand-out features of the game series are its incredible damage model, which includes the ability to specify cosmetic damage only, or a very realistic damage mode that reflects the damage taken by a car in its handling and performance. Another stand-out feature is the impressive customization options available that allow gamers to not simply change the colour of their car, but also create and apply decal sets (called Vinyls) to it. Included as part of the base game is a decal editor that much to the surprise of the developers became the focus of its own group of player-fans, who use it to not only create the standard sort of decals one expects to find on a racing car, but artistic creations that rival anything you could find on the nose of a bomber!
The large and wide variety of cars, combined with an equally impressive variety of tracks and circuits has served as a major draw, keeping players involved in playing long past the time-span that most games can retain their player base, though it should be mentioned that the physics engine with which the game is constructed certainly contributes to the remarkable longevity of the game.
Car performance in the game is not simply simulated, but is based upon real-world numbers faithfully translated into the game to the point that, in tests between the real cars and their game forms, their times and performance characteristics were close enough to suggest that the game faithfully recreates the sport of auto racing on your Xbox!
-- The Winding Path --
The wide acceptance of the gaming community was quickly followed by rave reviews from gaming websites and magazines -- including feature coverage in Popular Science Magazine -- creating a large and very active gaming community that eagerly awaited the sequel, which developer Turn 10 confirmed was in the works.
When it arrived on the new Xbox 360 console in 2007, Forza Motorsport 2 sported a Nissan 350Z drifting around a corner and a large number of improvements that were added to the game that instantly set it apart from the original. These included a new "Simulated" damage level that actually provided a fully realistic effect for damage to the point that a car could actually be put out of commission, and a reduced effect mode called "Limited" that, while it generated control changes that reflected the damage to a lesser degree generally permitted the player to complete a race even when they had rolled or FUBAR'd their ride.
The car-count for Forza 2 eventually reached 349, but it was features like the Auction House, where players could sell their artwork and tuning setups offered players the opportunity to acquire in-game money through non-racing transactions, that really garnered attention. The artistic expression possible with the Vinyl Creator in the game quickly re-spawned the art and techie community from the original Forza into a dynamic and popular community within the community in Forza 2, even creating well-known artists who could be hired on a commission-basis to create custom artwork and designs for players. Forza as a game community had, it seems, fully arrived.
By the time Forza Motorsport 3 arrived on the scene in 2009 the rivalry between the Forza series and the PS3's Gran Turismo series had created a cold-war like pair of camps constantly tearing into and at the other, so nobody was really all that shocked when it developed that Forza 3 would have over 500 cars, 100 tracks or variations, and fifty manufacturers. The cover for Forza 3 broke the tradition by featuring a regular car that was sitting still instead of racing, and inside the box was a game that included another massive set of game improvements.
Newly added to the game was a one button assisted driving scheme, a comprehensive first-person in-car driving position, and vehicle rollover with detailed undercarriages. Lifelike drifting and drag racing debuted and the game included some unlikely cars this time around, such as SUV's and what were initially thought to be rather pedestrian models. Once you got past that the massive expansion to the Vinyl system in the game -- for the first time ALL of the cars could be customized you see -- and it was not clear that the developer had fully embraced the artistic community whose "thing" was creating very awesome looking cars.
A very different season-based campaign mode presented players with a different game experience that depended more on what class car they were driving than it did any set schedule, and the physics system had not only been improved but tyres were given their own makeover, to include tyre deformation, and the game grew even closer to a pure simulation of racing.
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-- Forza 4 --
The Load Screen Splash Video
Which brings us full-circle to the newest offering in the series, Forza Motorsport 4.
By all accounts it is a new Forza World that we live in, and having spent 200 hours with the game so far, I feel that is an accurate point-of-view. The new additions combined with the plethora of improvements and a new control feel make for almost a new game.
Once again the physics system in the game has been substantially improved, as has the rendering of the game world, but it is the cars themselves that present as the most remarkable and impressive feature. At times, even though I knew that these were painted, created, faux-cars, the balance of light and shadow and the realism level was such that I could not tell the difference between the product of the artist, and that of the factory. In fact within Autovista -- the showroom newly added to this sequel -- it is hard to believe that the cars present there are not simply video images of real cars.
With Kinect support built in and its head-tracking feature makes virtual play as fun -- maybe more fun -- than the traditional controller-based play, but that is still more fun than is probably legal in Florida, I am just saying... The cool factor is not so much that you can play the game via Kinect, but that you can play the game game with the standard controller and still use Kinect to implement the head-tracking system!
New to the series is the modern-day MMORPG equivalent to Guilds, which take the form of Car Clubs, allowing players to group up and game with people they know instead of being forced to play pick-up matches with teenagers more interested in playing smash-up derby than in racing. That bears repeating -- Forza 4 allows you to build your own community of racers within the community using the Car Club guild system! Now that is cool.
Another stand-out feature is the partnership that Turn 10 forged with the blokes from Top Gear, which is only the most motor-headed car-centric and awesome show on TV... Biased? Me?! Don't be silly! Still, between voice work in Autovista by the King of Top Gear, access to the TopGear Test Track, and an amazing and fun mini-game of car bowling, clearly the partnership brings much to the table and to the game.
-- This WTG --
Is a little different than most of the ones I have written in that this is not the sort of game where you need help in completing a given part. A race is a race, so why is a WTG needed? Oh, it is needed, make no mistake about that! The why of it is simple too -- because there is so much packed into this game that it is very easy to get lost in it. To miss out. To grow confused.
In addition to providing reference material on the cars and their values, this WTG also includes specific information on unlocking Achievements, on completing challenges, and the myriad of secrets and almost secrets -- but where it really shines is in answering questions that you don't even know you want to ask... Yet.
It is structured to be helpful in a formal way. In fact it begins with suggested actions that will have very real benefits, from installing the game and game content, to unlocking Achievements that, by themselves, are not really part of normal play, so getting them done and out of the way just makes sense.
It then moves on to covering the basic elements of the game including specifics about what they can do for you, and then moves on to the nitty-gritty details that you need to have to make forward progress in both the game and in its Achievements. Finally it ends up in a diverse Frequently Asked Questions and Answers section that quite literally covers almost every point that you will naturally encounter as you play the game. Cannot say it fairer than that mates.
Being no stranger to the Forza Series (if you check my Gamer Tag you will note that I have 38 of 44 Achievements and 815 GS for Forza 2, and 43 of 50 Achievements and 745 GS in Forza 3 -- and as I write this, in the process of creating this guide I have already unlocked 40 of the 48 Achievements in Forza 4 worth a total of 685 GS!), I am happy to be able to say that it is a marked improvement over the previous games, as is the established tradition of the series.
I enjoyed writing this guide and I hope that you get much from it and that you find it useful! Thanks for reading this and thanks for visiting SuperCheats!