Launched back in 2005 Forza Motorsport has grown to become a flagship series for Microsoft and Xbox, being presented on equal footing alongside gaming giants such as Halo and Gears of War.
The tracks are as ever very detailed, and all have a different feel to them; personally I rather enjoy the Alps and Prague tracks, long winding stretches of road with a stunning views and lighting effects the entire race length.
Gone too are the heavily criticised micro-transactions of Forza 5, meaning all currency must be earned in game. Actually earning money can feel a bit slow at times, but longer races reward bigger rewards and the game borrows Horizon 2's spin system, whereby leveling up unlocks you cash, cars or mod packs (more on that later). At no point in my time playing so far did it feel like I was short of money, with there being many affordable cars and fairly cheap upgrades available.
While it doesn't stray from the Forza style in any way it does add much needed new content.
Now Forza as a racer game has always been very good, and that's not changed. The car handling is excellent, whereas some games have very lightweight feeling controls there's a real sense of power and weight to this. You can feel in the controller when your car starts to lose traction, and cornering and drifting well is a hard art to master. The graphics are simply gorgeous, and visual design is good in general. There have been some some basic but general improvements too, physics objects no longer reset each lap, and tyre walls actually react to impacts now, small differences but nice ones.
While it is a racing game there is a fair bit of variety, there's a campaign mode of sorts where you work your way through races using ever more powerful cars, then there's the usual free race and multiplayer options (which includes some less serious modes like drag racing or tag mode). There's also special races called showcases, which vary from overtaking challenges to Top Gear events to two hour long endurance races. Plenty to do then.
And now to the big changes, the biggest of which is the long awaited introduction of weather effects. Many games have rain in them, but generally speaking all they do is make the ground look shiny and make your car slide around more. Here however the entire handling of the cars feels different, braking time is massively increased, corners need a much wider berth and puddles can really mess up your race, as hitting one at speed or a bad angle will completely spin you off course. Visually it looks good too, with spray and mist obscuring the track in front of you. The windscreen effects aren't as good as that of Drive Club but they're impressive none-the-less. Also new is night races, which again make things harder given the limited visibility, but otherwise there's no real gameplay changes to them.
Something else new is the introduction of 'Mods', which make changes to the races, some of the are beneficial, such as increase grip on a certain track while other make things harder for a bigger reward payout. They're completely optional and are found in randomised packs which can be bought or won.
It isn't entirely perfect to play, having damage on for example is a very risky affair, when the AI drivatars themselves seemingly don't take damage, making crashes a very one sided affair; the first three Forza games allowed you to turn tire wear and fuel usage on without car damage so that's a bit of a backwards step still not changed.
The games rewind feature can also be a little temperamental, with rewind times varying or it not activating. Also while not a problem in anyway the Drivatars do not seem that all important, I rarely see people cut corners or aggressively play as it's claimed they will, though they do sometimes crash quite spectacularly.
In short, Forza is a racing game, a very good one at that, if you don't like racers it is not for you. If you do however it's a great game, one you can play as a simulator or an arcade racer depending on how you set your assists. While it doesn't stray from the Forza style in any way it does add much needed new content.