I’ll admit, prior to my hands-on time with Forza Motorsport 7 running on the Xbox One X, I hadn’t noticed drastic improvements in the game’s visuals or performance. Simply watching the game’s trailer during Microsoft’s E3 conference, while it did look great, wasn’t a mindblowing experience. Then I played it.
The Forza franchise has always been a shining example of just how great games can look on the Xbox family of systems. Even on the Xbox 360, Forza offered up some of the best visuals for its time, and every entry on the Xbox One has been a showcase for the system’s potential. As such, it makes perfect sense that Microsoft would call upon Turn10 Studios to showcase the power of the Xbox One X with Forza Motorsport 7, and oh boy was that a good idea.
True 4K has been the big talking point of the Xbox One X and with good reason, too. Running on a 4K, HDR monitor, the game looked breathtaking. Every ridge, nook, and cranny of the cliff faces I sped past looked perfectly defined. Dust spewed up from my Porsche’s tires when understeering around a corner before being carried away by the wind.
As it began raining on a more traditional circuit track, rain droplets were perfectly rendered on the rear windshield of my Nissan GT-R as it started raining gently. Turn10 Studios’ dynamic weather effects were coming into play, and not only did they showcase the range of effects the developer has packed into the game, it drastically changed the way I approached the race (more on that later). Quite simply, I’ve never seen water droplets look that good. Even the tiniest fractions of light could be seen glistening and reflecting in each and every one of them.
Of course, it’s not just about the tiny details that make a game so great and a perfect representation of what a powerful, new console can do. The Forza series has been in pole position when it comes to racing simulation gameplay, and Motorsport 7 shows no signs of dropping the ball. Cars handled drastically different from one another, and Turn10’s dynamic weather had me completely change the way I approached a race. It’s something that looks set to make races far more unpredictable. Forget to alter your driving style as a storm comes rolling in, and the power of your machine will have you spinning and sliding all over the place. As long as Turn10 gets the balance right between using this dynamic weather it in every race and it being a rare occurrence, then they could have just found a way to keep its racing sim series fresh and unpredictable for longer than ever before.
Rounding all of this out is that all-important FPS. Forza Motorsport 7 runs buttery smooth on the Xbox One X. Regardless of the speed at which I was zipping around the track or any collisions that happened on screen, the FPS didn’t slip up. It helps to deliver that sense of insane speed and immersion that racing supercars around stunning environments should be all about.
From just a quick blast around some of Forza Motorsport 7’s tracks, it was clear why Microsoft opted to use the title as an example of what’s possible with the Xbox One X. Here’s hoping other first-party developers will be able to unlock the potential of the Xbox One X just as well as Microsoft’s veteran racing studio has managed here.