Displaying items by tag: DLC

Hot on the heals of my review for the January Jalopniks the latest Forza car pack has dropped on to my Xbox. American Le Mans Series! This is a great title but a bit of a sad commentary on the state of American car design because only 3 of the 10 cars are genuinely American and only 1 of those is a racing car. The only 2 genuine Le Mans contenders come from Europe & Japan, although the Audi was developed by Sport North America and it is the current Le Mans 24hr Champion! As you would expect from the title there are a few more high spec vehicles in this pack than usual however they have still covered the full range of car levels and with a bit of a secondary focus on heavy FR V8’s.

The first cab off the rank is the 2011 Holden HSV GTS. It seems an unnecessary inclusion as the HSV w/427 is a slightly superior vehicle and available in the main game however knowing New Zealanders there will always be a demand for the latest HSV. My first run out in the World Tour saw a respectable time in the top 13% of B racers on Indianapolis with the car only at a rating of B460. After shedding some weight and upgrading the tire compound the car came together nicely at B500. It still behaves like a high powered front-rear V8 but is just a little bit more nimble. Also the car performs wonderful power slides that are easily controllable and you can feel when they are about to slide out allowing you to either push it out or ease it back in.

The Dodge SRT8 Rampage and the 95 Ford Mustang Cobra R are the other 2 similar vehicles. The Dodge was a bit of a letdown, despite its aggressive looks (and it looks better in motion as you can’t see the ugly red wheels) it’s a very average drive. They have also set up a Rivals challenge where the goal is beat the time set by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (who is the “designer? of this car and the current UFC champion) but in a moment of blinding stupidity you use the standard SRT8… Sure I get not everyone will have the car pack but when you’ve stumped up the entry fee of 560msp why not reward those who do with this bit of extra fun? Although in the defence of Turn10 they have done exactly this with the Audi R18TDI.

The other vehicle I’m lumping into the V8 round up is the Ford Mustang Cobra R and this is my favourite of the V8’s. The car is good to drive and in stock format punches well about its weight. At comparable ratings I enjoyed driving the Mustang more than the Dodge or Holden and it has a huge selection of body parts to upgrade so you can really style it to your tastes. Some may not like the older style of Mustang but I have a soft spot from my yoof for the mid 90’s Mustang Mach 3 and so the styling similarities appealed to me… And at the end of the day a big part of the fun of Forza is the way cars look.

The odd one out in this car pack is the VW Polo GTI however if there is anything that VW does well its hot small hatches. With the Golf growing fat in middle age the Polo GTI has snuck in as the new contender and the Forza version of the Polo GTI is excellent! It ripped strips off the opposition and was easy to control and rewarding to drive into the bargain. Sure it looks like a VW (for good or bad depending on your view) but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it climbing the leader boards for the low spec cars. One car I have seen climbing the leader boards already is the Mazda 787B. This was always going to be a contender for the top spots and there is a reason it regularly appears in Forza & Gran Turismo.  

The 787B is one of two top spec R1 racers in this pack and to my mind they represent 2 ends of the driving scale for R1 cars. If we accept the realism of Forza’s driving physics (which we do after driving the Civic last month) it is easy to see why the 2011 #2 Audi Sport North America R18 TDI is the current Le Mans champion as it is easy to drive fast. It is almost comfortable to tear around the track and doesn’t feel like it’s constantly on the brink of ripping your face off.  I am a fairly poor R1 driver, they really push my skills to the limit and to be able to drive an R1 racer and feel comfortable was a novelty. I immediately resolved to save up my 2.5million credits and buy one for the career mode and then I drove the Mazda 787B… This is not easy to drive but boy is it fast! My best laptime around Hockenheim was 3 seconds quicker in the 787B then in the Audi and even then it wasn’t a clean lap. It definitely isn’t the prettiest machine but it makes an incredible noise and is frighteningly quick. I’m sure I could easily cut more time off that lap as I was underestimating its breaking ability. So now I have a dilemma about which R1 car to buy…

One car I had no hesitation to buy was the Alfa Romeo 155 QF. I have wonderful memories of watching the BTCC back in the mid 90’s and whilst I loathed the Alfa the chance to take it for a spin in Forza was too good to pass up and of course there are plenty of nutters enthusiasts in the Forza community who have made replica paint jobs so before you know it I’m blasting around reliving the rough and ready nature of the BTCC (with rough and ready driving style to match). In its stock mode the 155 won comfortably around Infineon against higher spec cars but to be fair I only did one race before upping the stakes. At A600 it was brilliant, hugely fast particularly under acceleration and after an engine swap I took it all the way up to R800 and it still won! Although against purebred racers its poor handling ability started to become the dominate characteristic. ?As usual I didn’t spend very much time playing with settings because there are always too many other cars to race but it was great fun.

So overall I liked this pack more than the January Jalopnik and I?d struggle to pick my favourite (probably the 155 QF for grin factor). It provides a more interesting range of vehicles and although the cars are high value and I won’t be able to add many of them to my career garage The Audi R18 is worth it if you struggle with R1 race cars and the Mazda 787B is worth it if you are chasing a top 1% place on the leader boards.

Full car listing: 2011 #2 Audi Sport North America R18 TDI 2011 Panoz #050 Panoz Racing Abruzzi 2010 Dodge Quinton ?Rampage? Jackson Challenger SRT8 1991 Mazda #55 Team Mazdaspeed 787B 2011 Bentley Platinum Motorsports Continental GT 1986 #2 Audi Sport quattro S1 1992 Alfa Romeo 155 Q4 1995 Ford Mustang Cobra R 2011 Holden HSV GTS

2011 Volkswagen Polo GTI

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