Forza started with a bang on the original Xbox, but by the time Forza 5 rolled around it was gaining a lot of negative press based on the way they were exploiting consumers. I even wrote an article about it here back then and subsequently avoided the Xbox brand for 5 years. Times have indeed changed as I’ve found myself absolutely blown away by the latest Forza games and the state of the series. Not only has Forza Horizon created one of the most fun experiences in gaming with a new open structure, the core Forza sim series has righted all its wrongs and now exists as a wholesome, playable and welcoming game.
Since getting an Xbox One and getting into the new Forza games I’ve been surprised by how interactive the game is with fans. There are many in-game events aimed at bringing the community together, but it extends even further with the developers themselves producing content outside the game. This is something you might not even notice if you don’t own an Xbox One, because it’s all featured on Mixer. This is Microsoft’s alternative to Twitch, even though the Forza stream is still mirrored on Twitch most of the interaction happens on Mixer. It’s basically the same thing with a much smaller userbase but that doesn’t mean there’s no content. The Microsoft content is basically the only thing I watch on it but it’s quite good. There’s an official Forza stream that streams 5 days a week with devs talking about the games events, updates, and even pro racing drivers talking about their setups and giving it a go.
This is the current schedule but it happens every week. I’ve been absolutely loving this and it’s hard to catch every stream but it’s become a nice thing to check up on occasionally. Racing games can be a bit overwhelming these days with the sheer amount of options, and some of these streams have really helped me enjoy the game more. I’ve found better tunes in Forza 7, messed with the route creator in FH4 and took better photos after finding some features I didn’t know existed. You can take the wheels off the car and do some funny stuff that has no other purpose whatsoever. It’s also somewhat relieving to see some of the best real drivers struggle with the same game challenges as regular gamers. Some stuff in this game is genuinely hard but it’s fun to figure things out together. It’s interesting to see a pro racing drivers gameplay, because some start with all assists on and a really obvious driving line just like anyone learning for the first time.
If you’re into motorsport games and you think there’s not much happening, then I highly recommend checking out the Forza series right now. There’s not really a great alternative now that Gran Turismo has become a niche esports-only game. GT Sport does have a nice hardcore following and presence but Forza is more accessible to all skill levels. Forza has held together the fun aspect of racing and I just felt like giving them a little spotlight with this article because of how surprised I was to see all this. I also just want to give a shout out to Forza Horizon 4 just for having such a bright, vibrant, colourful and uplifting game world to explore. It’s everything racing games were moving away from, and now we’re back to having fun again. It feels good man and I hope to see more people on the track.