You upgrade your car with credits you earned for completing or winning races, with credits taken away for damage. There is also an Affininty Bonus, which you earn for time spent in a given type of car. This is similar to Forza 3
- but this time, after only a few wins in a given type, you'll have earned a 100% discount on tuning parts, which will enable you to upgrade your car for free.
Care has to be taken when tuning though. Each car has a performance index - as you add tuning parts, this increases - when it passes certain milestones your car class increases. You can only race against cars in the same class, so you have to be careful when tuning to avoid putting yourself from the top end of one class in to the very bottom end of the next one - where you would simply not be competitive.
Sticking with the same car type, and exploiting the free upgrade path enables you to save credits much more quickly to spend on the game's HUGE selection of cars. And if you find that you are not winning enough games to progress quickly enough to get the car of your dreams, you can always buy a car token with your Xbox Live Points. You can also sell stuff (videos, paint/sticker jobs, photos) in your store front to amass credits, or even auction your cars to other players.
Actually, before I get into online? Here in SPOnG, we are all still massive fans of split screen, same-room racing. One thing we realised quickly, however, was that letting each driver select their own car was like playing Top Trumps; someone could select the winning car(d) before the race was even begun. So, we quickly began taking turns to specify the car, and then had both drivers racing in the same model. It made things fairer, and a better test of our driving skills.
The Online aspects of the game are as extensive and silky smooth as you would expect. Xbox Live Gold subscribers can set up public or private games, or a quick match into any publicly available game.
Of course, one thing that veteran Forza
fans will be aware of, and new fans will be delighted to discover, is the large and active Forza
fan community, supported by forzamotorsport.net
which promotes forums, competitions and media sharing and provides a wealth of game related news. The community aspect is extended into the game proper, where you can set up car clubs - teams to support each other to your Forza
Is it an Improvement?
But what does Forza 4
offer that Forza 3
did not? Well actually, in terms of REALLY important stuff - not a lot. There is some Kinect support, but it is in the navigation of the Interface, not in the control of the racing itself - thank the stars (in the reasonably priced car)!
There are more cars, and the cars are more accurately rendered. The action takes place on a world map, rather than a calendar of events. But really this is more of the same, and while it has definitely taken the crown as car-nut favourite, it is more a case of "The King is Dead, long live the new King: his slightly younger, slightly better looking twin brother!"