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Forza 7 Review and Drifting Impressions

I finally got around to giving “my two cents” on this title, and used my Thrustmaster TX wheel to play the game. Now let me start first by saying I am aware there was a huge update fixing a ton of bugs and other issues with Forza 7 a few months after its release. My impressions are after this update. Also I have not beat the game in career mode. Pretty much cleared the Seeker Championship races until I had gotten a free E46 M3 then went straight to tuning for drifting, but I will go over my first impressions starting the career mode and other features.

Right from the start I did not care for the “jump in a race guy!” kick off to my first driving experience with the game. Being a wheel user, I did not have time yet to setup my options and feel out how the wheel feedback behaves, but I endured. After passing the tutorial, I got to the main menu and immediately saw the loot box option. Now many of us know of the controversy with loot boxes, but after looking into it, it is not the same thing at all. It is a fun random prize box that only uses the game’s currency – this “in-game cash” cannot be replenished with real world money. Besides, we all end up with more in-game money than we can spend after a certain point so it’s an option to hit for new stuff.

The one thing I really did not care for is the mod cards. I never understood what the point was to include these in any form of “realistic” oriented racing games. The Horizon series? Sure, but I feel it should not have a place in the main racing series. Let proper tuning and skill be the deciding winner, not some role-play cards with boost points. The Avatar racing suits are a really cool touch to add customization for players. You can choose to be a male or female driver, then there are a few suit options available at the beginning. But there are a ton to unlock with lots of crazy patterns, manufacturer specific, and country specific styles as well as a lot of really creative ones like ninja, mummy, and snowman to name a few. I haven’t found one I like yet, but I’ll see when I can unlock some of the cool ones.

Now I did try to get started right away with drifting, and I got some credits from Forza 6 rolled over so I wanted to build an E46 and get started with drifting, but NO…  The car is locked out?! I can’t buy it?! WTF?!!  Turns out I have to build a driver reputation status from racing experience in career mode or online. As your level goes up, more cars become available. I was not happy with this as it basically forced me to go to the racing career mode. Fine. I went with it and started off the Hot Hatch race with a FWD Civic type R in the Seeker Championship. Right away I could feel a huge difference in feedback compared to the previous titles. The wheel felt amazing with very satisfying road feedback. I actually enjoyed racing a FWD car! And then I went to the Historic Road Racing Cup, now that is some awesome racing! I used the XB Falcon and switched to the secondary cockpit view for a more immersive experience and it was awesome. Feeling the weight of the muscle car body roll in the steering was so much fun to keep under control! I went through all the races I was eligible for and completed what I could in the Seeker Championship with the awesome bonus of winning a free E46 M3! Perfect.

I went straight to tuning. I swapped to the generic 2.6 inline 6 Turbo that is basically an RB26DETT, input the actual final drive and gear ratios of a 5 speed ZF trans and 3.62 final much like what I will be driving in my real car. I kept the tires stock grip, and stock size with the ADV Forza special 5 spoke wheels. I set the 2 way diff to full lock accel/decel to help simulate a welded diff and full weight removal. I developed a math formula from my days with Forza 4 to give a very driftable baseline tune to any RWD car in the game and went out to test it online in the RWD drift hopper. I run with 840 degrees steering with all assists off. I included some pics of my in-game wheel settings.

The tune ended up with an A Class 696 PI E46 M3. Right from the start I quickly picked up the car’s dynamics and felt out the tires’ behavior with lateral grip. I immediately felt a drastic improvement from Forza 6. Nowhere near as difficult to keep under control.  As I went round after round, it was reminding me a lot of how Forza 4 felt. To be honest, some of the transitions, wheel, and car behavior were really on point with the wheel spin-back! The drifter’s release-transition-grab of the counter-steering felt very natural. For a baseline tune, the car was already feeling close to being a solid drift car! I went ahead and tuned my favorite car in the game: the S13 coupe RB swap. I applied the formula to get an A Class 646 PI and boom! I felt the Forza 4 feels all over this car again. I loved it. I could put it in all the right places. Now this is not a true one-to-one feel of real drifting. Assetto Corsa is the closest I have felt with Live For Speed arguably better than that, but it is definitely better than anything else Forza has to offer.

Now the cons to this game are always in my face every time it tries to load anything. Browsing cars? Choppy as hell and constantly skipping past where I want to go. Loading the lobby to start a race? Even after the intermission countdown is finished, it’s another minute to load all the cars. When you’re drifting in stacked lobbies you can see the lagging choppiness with 6 to 8 cars, or more, drifting throwing smoke in front of you. However, the biggest problem with Forza 7 for me right now is no private lobbies? I question this because I have been hearing that it’s possible to create them, but I have yet to figure out how. The reason it is a huge issue is because you get trolls in X999 open wheel cars deliberately crashing into everyone to ruin the session. On top of that, the voting process takes way too long because of the loading times before you can actually access the option – and the intermission clock IS STILL TICKING!  User-created public lobbies killed this in Forza 4, making finding tandem-only lobbies so much easier. The other obvious con to Forza 7 is the missing Toyota and Lexus cars. I’m saddened by this…Why aren’t they in the game? This reminds me of the whole Porsche fiasco with Electronic Arts. I’m not sure how they worked it all out but when Porsche was released, it was a massive DLC for a very cheap price. I hope the same happens with the missing cars in Forza 7.

And, of course, Fujimi Kaido and Tsukuba have not returned, so Forza 7 sucks….kind of.

Bottom line, I feel it’s worth the jump now for the drifting excitement you wanted from Forza 4 with the XBOX ONE. With what I’m hearing from other drifters, the key is getting a good group together for lobby control or to create your own lobby. I’ll update on this more in the future, but for now, if you are dead in the water with Forza 4, it is worth giving Forza 7 a shot.

Gamer Tag: x 8 Bit Bryan x

Bryan is the control room operator for the crew. Also known as Big Balls Bryan, Triple B and 8-Bit Bryan.  He is an avid retro video gamer, synthwave music fan and a big time car movie buff. He has lots of experience in sim drifting but he used to drift a 350z in real life. He is also known for the 8-Bit Miata and he is currently building an E46 1JZ BMW for ProAm. He just became the owner of Paco\’s LS400 after \”remodeling\” the car against a wall.

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  1. Hey man read through this and saw you were having trouble with private lobbies. You have to go into multiplayer and then press the button for private lobby. It can only be initiated if you have another person in your lobby. If you have any questions about setup/specifics I’ll be glad to help! GT SnoopYqoonS

  2. The thing that I hate most about FM7 is the lack of authentic car sounds. There’s hardly any bass or turbo spool from the cars and a whole lot of them don’t sound accurate at all. The RB26 sounds completely wrong. It’s a huge letdown for me seeing as Turn 10 said they worked hard on sound improvements. Other than that and the game STILL having a bunch of bugs, it’s fun for drifting. The physics are fantastic, just as they’ve always been.

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