Forza Motorsport 5 Review: Next-Generation Micro-Transactions

The biggest selling point of Forza 5, as in the main reason this game even exists, ostensibly is the graphical overhaul that comes with the Xbox One. And, for the most part, the game does look a little better than its predecessors. Get close enough to any of the cars and you can see the texture of the paint, the residue on the brake pads, and flecks of dirt after a tough race, but it still suffers from many of the same graphical limitations of the last generation. Foliage still looks terrible, even at 250 mph, and the texture pop-in is obnoxious. Those issues aren’t game-breakers, but they don’t do much to sell the package, either.

It’s hard to judge a launch title because of how much games tend to improve as a console generation wears on, but launch titles are still supposed to inspire consumers and show them the potential of a hardware upgrade. There’s very little on display here that wasn’t in Forza 4.

I really wanted to love Forza 5. For me, previous games in the series were about relaxation and just taking it all in. They were great games to come home to, and ones I looked forward to enjoying with a warm cup of cocoa. But now, so much of the experience is locked off due to an inbalanced in-game economy and even more has just been cut entirely. Forza 5 was just good enough enough to keep me from going back to Forza 4: the addition of drivatars and the desire to compete for slots on the global leader board in particular just managed to keep me invested.

That’s not what the Xbox One needs, though. Forza 5 is meant to be the heavy-hitting exclusive for the console, and the while the core gameplay is still as great as it has always been, that experience is marred by thinking about what could be.



  • Some things are stunningly gorgeous, despite a few seams
  • Excellent, deep customization options for both visual appearance and performance
  • Modified career mode set-up encourages more experimentation with cars
  • Drivatar and new race-winning system helps players take risks and push their skills to the limit
  • Soothing, ambient soundtrack
  • Genuinely addictive gameplay


  •  Doesn’t look as good as some might expect
  • Micro-transactions galore
  • Fewer cars and tracks than its predecessor
  • Problematic economy
  • Some minor UI problems
  • Lacks support for some racing wheels

Final Score: 65/100

Game Front employs a 100-point scale when reviewing games to be as accurate about the experience as possible. Read the full rundown of what our review scores mean.

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1 Comment on Forza Motorsport 5 Review: Next-Generation Micro-Transactions


On December 17, 2013 at 8:48 am

“It fits with what seems to be Forza’s real assertion — that all cars should be enjoyed and loved simply because they’re beautiful machines worthy of our respect.”

You mean death machines that are slowly but surely destroying the ozone layer and killing all life on the planet?
Sure, alright…