There were reports of a potential free-to-play Forza game being in development last month. Well, these reports have been confirmed by the official announcement of the latest entry in the highly acclaimed racing game series. Usually, Forza games have been coming out with an alternative release cycle, changing between Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon games every year. This third series, called Forza Street, is not a primary entry in the series. It is awkward to explain where it lies. The best way to explain Forza Street would be that it is a mobile game that isn’t really even a game. What is Forza Street really about then? Let’s take a deeper look.
Forza Street was announced yesterday by the developers of Forza Motorsport series, Turn 10 studios. The game is out right now on Windows 10 and can be downloaded from here. The game will also be coming out on iOS and Android devices in the near future. I do think it is rather bizarre that the mobile version didn’t come out alongside the PC version. The game is clearly designed for mobile so it is kind of weird that you wouldn’t release the game first on the platforms it is made for. Anyway, maybe it has something to do with licensing with the app stores or mobile phone optimization.
The mobile release dates for the game haven’t been revealed yet. However, Microsoft has stated that the game will be coming out sooner rather than later on mobile. So, it would probably be out in a month or two.
Visuals and Audio
Forza Street, presumably, uses assets from the original Forza games as it runs on the same engine. However, it has been downgraded to run smoothly on mobile phones and low-end PC hardware. The game honestly looks great and the cinematic shots during races do look pretty cool. It reminds me of the mobile drag racing game, CSR Racing 2. The game looks and feels that way too. On the audio side, again being a fully licensed Forza game, it has accurate enough sounds for a mobile game. The game’s environments are illuminated by classic street racing neon lights aesthetics reminiscing the old days of Need for Speed Underground.
The game also features a rich roster of cars. This is because it is, technically, a Forza game after all. So, it has all the cars and the official assets that Microsoft got licensing for to be included in the mainstream Forza games. Forza Street will probably end up having the biggest car line-up for any racing mobile game eventually with all that Xbox and Forza backing.
This is a weird one, folks. I am still currently debating in my head whether Forza Street even qualifies to be called a video game. However, since I’ve seen way worse on mobile phones lately, let’s say that it is a game. Remember Miami Street? The game with only a single control that didn’t really take off? Well, Forza Street is a direct reskin of that game. It plays in exactly the same way and has the same game mechanics. You basically see these driving lines on the ground that indicate when to take your hand off the accelerator. The whole game just revolves around timing and rhythm.
You balance the accelerator button at the start to be in the middle of the RPM bar like in drag racing games to get a good start. After that, you just have to hold the accelerator button until you see a turn. The turn has arrow indicators that turn from yellow to red. Taking the hand off the accelerator at the exact yellow point means that you’ve successfully nailed the turn. Timing it perfectly can also result in a pretty substantial speed boost. Wait, what’s that? Where’s the steering in all of this? Funny that you’ve asked that. Forza Street does not have a steering or any turning whatsoever. The car turns itself, you just have to accelerate and take your hand off the acceleration. That Is literally the whole game.
Caveats with the game
Forza Street has a generic mobile game progression system. You win races, you unlock rewards in the form of cars or get in-game credits. However, as it is a free to play mobile game, there is no escaping from micro transactions. At later stages of the game, you’ll most definitely have to drop some real life cash into the game if you don’t want to grind for literally a million years for your favourite car. However, since people actually do spend money on mobile games, this model is not going away and sadly, has become a standard within the industry.
Another weird thing with Forza Street is that the game is just too easy. Even if you deliberately take your hand off the accelerator and slow down, you’d still be able to easily catch your opponent by the end. It’s like the game just wants you to keep winning and get that sweet supply of serotonin. The game just wants you to just get addicted to the feeling of winning. This has increasingly been becoming a formula for a lot of games to give you enough wins to keep you around. What the game needs is real-time multiplayer against real people so there is at least some element of a challenge in it.
At the end of the day, Forza Street is a mobile game. Playing it on a PC would honestly be nothing but a waste of time but hey, if that’s your thing, then go for it. The game doesn’t offer anything other than mindlessly tapping your screen and getting a shiny reward at the end of it. I really hope the games industry does not go into this direction any further. However, if you’re just looking for something to do while you’re in that boring class or listening to someone you don’t really care about, you can easily play Forza Street without ever really paying attention to it. Maybe we do need these ‘fidget’ games after fidget spinners just to keep us busy.
However, no matter how much you try to sugarcoat, this is not a new full game and is a lazy reskin of Miami Street. Attaching the Forza brand name with this is just a disgrace to the original Forza franchise. I do, however, see why Microsoft might have done this though. If the game is called Forza, it is bound to gain traction and gather some degree of success. More downloads mean a greater potential of people actually getting addicted to it and spending money on it. I’m not going to be diplomatic here and praise Microsoft. Forza Street is nothing but a shameless cash grab from the company but sadly, this is the world that we live in. However, if you just want to see some cool looking cars zooming around while you’re bored, you might as well give it a spin since it is free after all.