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Forza Motorsports 6: APEX Beta Preview


We’ve seen a lot of great racing games on PC over the years such as Project Cars and Asseto Corsa. However, the Forza series has remained exclusive to consoles… until now… The latest installment in the series is available on both Xbox One and PC (well, Windows 10 only…)! With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft promised us more games shared across Xbox One and Windows 10. With the introduction of Forza 6: Apex, I’m excited to see which other exclusives will no longer be exclusives. Unfortunately, being an exclusive does not automatically make you a good game. How does Forza 6 Motorsport 6: Apex compare to other racing games? Is it worth your time? Read on for my first impressions on Forza Motorsport 6: Apex.

To be honest, I was surprised to see Forza being available for free on the Windows 10 store. I was expecting to pony up 80 CDN for this game, as is the (unfortunate) norm nowadays for AAA titles. This intrigued me even more as a AAA racing title available for free on PC can potentially do wonders. Most of the more ‘serious’ racing titles either require a onetime purchase or a monthly subscription to play. On the other hand, paid games are usually more balanced and do not result in some players getting ahead of others simply due to their wallet size. Forza allows paying players to spend their money in order to unlock cars earlier instead of working to earn enough medals through the completion of events.

The game looks beautiful

Players can earn up to three medals per event which go towards unlocking cars. These medals are issued based on your performance during race events. These race events are usually accompanied with additional challenges such as target lap times, executing good passes or turns, and even attaining a specific top speed. These little challenges help to spice up the races and give you something extra to work on. If these are not enough, many assist settings can be modified to provide you with extra challenges and bonus points.

Forza is not seen as a realistic racing simulator; it leans more on the arcade side but not as far as games such as Need for Speed or Mario Kart. It’s more of an arcade racing simulator. The default settings make the game very easy to pick up and play with assists such as braking for turns and assisted steering. Fortunately, all of these can be changed to suit your playstyle and experience. I personally do not like assisted braking or steering, but I like to leave guidance lines on in order to improve my cornering. These lines help a lot by teaching you proper entry and exit points on turns.

The rewind feature lets you try again

Essentially, you can make Forza as hard and as realistic as you please. This makes it a great game for both casual racing game fans and veteran drivers. It is clear to see that this game is intended for a wide audience with the amazing voice overs explaining each specific motorsport, its history, and the cars involved. Racing games usually lack a good storyline but these introductions to each motorsport help to bridge this gap. Unfortunately, this wide audience is kept to themselves for now. The beta does not offer online multiplayer but future updates will hopefully include this feature.

Aside from modifying the level of assists, various advanced options are available for car enthusiasts. As we all know, depending on the driver’s style, car, track, and road conditions, making fine adjustments on your car can result in a huge difference. Forza lets you dive right into the details of your car and edit settings such as your tires, gearing, alignment, differential, and more. While these settings are not necessary to change for casual gamers, it is nice to see options that only a few players will touch still present. I hate having advanced options and mechanics removed just because the majority of players don’t care about them; it’s still important to cater to your more hardcore fans.

The cinematography is great in Forza

As mentioned above, there are multiple motorsports available in Forza 6 Motorsport: Apex. Depending on your preference or mood, you can race through the streets in more affordable cars or zip through race tracks in super cars. It’s great to have these options available as one motorsport tends to get dull over time. I just hope we get multiplayer soon as the real fun begins when you are able to play with other living, breathing drivers. I was hoping to try out all those interesting drifting maps seen in various YouTube videos over the years. I am primarily a PC gamer so after the announcement of Forza on Windows 10, I couldn’t wait to get out my racing wheel and try out these fun maps.

However, it seems like full wheel support is not available in the beta at the moment. There are some ways to get around this by using custom mappings for your wheel (basically making the game think it is just a regular controller) but I decided to wait until the official release before trying it out. I want to give the developers a chance to present their game played with a steering wheel how they envisioned it. Custom mappings are not always the smoothest of experiences, and it is not fair to judge the game on a feature that is still under development.

As always, the rain looks amazing on cars

Conclusion: Great Teaser for a Potentially Great Game

The Forza Motorsport 6: Apex beta is a great teaser for what is to come. There is still a lot missing before this game can truly stand alongside games such as Project Cars and Asseto Corsa but if the beta is any indication of what is to come, the future looks promising. The game looks and sounds far above the standards you’d expect from a free to play title (that is if the music is not blocking everything out – I mean, I want to hear the roar of my engine, not some music blaring through my headphones…). I can’t wait to see what else the latest technology with DX12 brings us.

Racing games just don’t feel the same without a proper racing wheel featuring force feedback; hopefully the next time I pick up this game (wheel supporting coming soon!) I can bring my G27 alongside me. With the game being free to play, the only thing stopping you from playing is Windows 10. Go on and try it out!

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