Dynamic time of day is again absent from Forza 5, as is changing weather; two omissions that are beginning to weigh heavily against the series. I will say the early morning sun in several of Forza 5’s tracks probably looks good in screenshots but feels a little overplayed here. I certainly got to a point where I was a bit tired of driving into a blindingly white orb and yearned to take on Mount Panorama at midday rather than 8am.
There are just 14 track locations, so although most have more than one layout the final track count is arguably on the wrong side of light; you’ll generally find yourself hitting the same courses at least once in basically every race series. However, there’s no shortage of stuff to do on the tracks we do have. The varied racing series will keep you busy for a long time, and all of them are introduced by one of the Top Gear lads, who personally explain the significance of the participating cars. The credibility and humour these voiceovers bring to Forza 5 really works, whether it’s Richard Hammond beaming enthusiastically about classic US racing muscle or James May mildly appalled at the inclusion of a VW Beetle.
Forza Motorsport has been a staple in the Microsoft exclusive lineup, and with Xbox One Forza 5 looks to be easily fitting that role once again. The developers let slip that the game will have more noteworthy features to be announced in more detail later - including fully dedicated multiplayer servers and new matchmaking systems. Also, the Top Gear team will be returning to narrate the game and bring more collaboration surprises. Look for Forza Motorsport 5 to launch alongside the Xbox One later this year.