The competition between the Forza Franchise and Gran Turismo is a fierce and brutal one. It does not help that the two games are platform-exclusive titles on different platforms, so that they can never really go head-to-head and be judged in the traditional manner. Excuses will be made; pundits will always point out that anyone who says that this one is better is clearly a platform fanboy, but in the end, as it often the case in this sort of situation, the true battle between opposing games tends to fall into the realm of features and gee-whiz extras -- and in that case the clear winner is not the games, but the gamers -- and such is the case here.
When Gran Turismo 5 released it was an exceptionally massive leap forward for that series, and it according to many gamers in the racing community, it made Forza 3 look old. Clearly the jumps that GT5 took served as a challenge to Turn 10, who then chose to take giant leaps instead of matching or just beating GT's jumps, and what we end up with is a massively entertaining, visually stunning, amazingly technical sequel in Forza 4.
There are many stand-out features, this is true, but the Autovista Mode of the game is probably the one that will instantly pop into the mind of any Forza gamer you ask. Not because it is a solid part of the game play element of the game, for it is not, but because it is impressive. Sorry, no, I meant to say that it is Impressive. There, that's better.
Unlocking and Touring the Hummer H1
What is the big deal?
Well, let me put it to you this way -- Autovista is a Virtual Reality car showroom floor, and the cars in it are not real, they are the same basic car models you drive and own in the game. But it is so realistic looking that it is difficult at times to accept that it is not simply a video of a real car.
Add to that the fact that you can walk-around, practically kick the tyres. Open it up and get in. Turn the key, and then drive that car out to a challenge track, and what you have is a major leap forward. A light-years-leap.
To give you a useful example, watch the video above for a complete tour of the 2006 Hummer H1 Alpha -- and see how you unlock the Achievement "Kingpin" (5 GS) for knocking down a Gold Pin while completing the Car Bowling Challenge to unlock the Hummer!
As we take the tour of the Hummer after successfully completing the Challenge to unlock it, you will be amused to find that Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson is your tour guide, and in addition to providing lots of genuine technical information he also offers his considerable wit to the process.
One last thing -- you have no doubt heard about the Warthog and Jay Leno's 1931 Bentley 8 Liter Sedan and are wondering why they are not in your game in Autovista? The simple answer is that they actually are -- but you have to unlock them first!
To gain access to Leno's Bentley you need to first complete the challenges and unlock 10 cars in Autovista (there are 23 primary cars in it), and to unlock the Warthog, you simply have to complete the challenges and unlock ALL of the Autovista cars. Simple enough, right? Come on! You were going to do it anyway!