Forza 4 Jalopnik Car Pack | Gameguide Forza 4 Jalopnik Car Pack – Gameguide

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Last month saw the release of the January Jalopnik car pack for Forza Motorsport 4.  Its a fairly random collection of vehicles with the draw card for most people being the Pagani Huayra. I took each of the cars through its paces with some fairly surprising results.  I am a competent driver usually posting Leader board times in the top 30% with all driving aids turned off.  Where possible I took each of the cars around a track or two with no modifications and then played around with them upgrading & changing settings but sadly I didn’t have sufficient in game credits to buy the Huayra or the Lola.  I was pleasantly surprised to be offered the #08 Gallardo as a level increase prize which is a higher than expected level of integration between the car pack & the main game.  If not specifically mentioned here you can assume each of the vehicles was average/appropriate for its style and rating.

One of the stand out vehicles is the 2012 Honda Civic Si.  It shows just how good the attention to detail, car dynamics and physics are in this game.  The second it pulled sensibly away from the line I realised what I was in for and each corner was met with grudgingly slow understeer.  I felt just like I do in real life driving my Toyota Corolla in rush hour traffic.  This raises my biggest concern about car packs; why?!  Why do I want to spend money to drive a 2012 Honda Civic when I could be driving any number of exciting classic or exotic cars that are available free in the game? It’s not like there is a shortage of cars or even a shortage of Honda Civics so what is it doing here?  I have 2 (equally cynical) suspicions; 1 it is part of the usage agreement requiring Turn 10 to include the latest real world vehicle releases (which also explains the Inclusion of the Audi RS5 in an already incredibly cramped market place of A-spec 4wd Audi) or it was one of the easiest ways to fill up the numbers.

So if that is the bad what is the good?

Well naturally it must be the Pagani!  But sadly no.  The Pagani Huayra is as hard to drive as it is to pronounce!  It’s slippery under braking and cornering and able to power slide whilst doing 250kph in a straight line… Trying to get this thing off the line with any kind of purpose was incredibly tough and the drive around one of my favourite tracks (Road America) was fraught with tension as I wrestled it to stay straight under brakes and not power slide out of every corner.  Given the long straights on this track the Huayra should have performed quite well with a top speed rating of 10 but in fact by comparison the #08 Gallardo went around 7 seconds faster with exactly the same settings.  The Gallardo was (unlike the Pagani) a joy to drive around Road America as you can brake incredibly late into the corners and jam it in to the apex for some hugely satisfying cornering.  Sadly after upgrading it to an R2800 the Gallardo didn’t perform quite as well on the larger sweeping corners of Sedona Raceway Park as it became much more slippery too.  Possibly I would have found them both comfortable to drive with the assists on but then all cars drive the same with the assists on so what is the point?

The 2 absolute gems in this game pack are the Audi RS5 and the 1973 Ford Pinto.  It isn’t really surprising that the RS5 is a good drive what surprised me is how good.  My first race out with the stock Audi I knocked out a lap time in the top 3% of the Leader board.  That is my highest result ever (previous personal best was 5%).  I was mentally scathing of the inclusion of the Audi as it simply isn’t required in the game due to the high number of very similar Audi already available however I must confess it has won me over.  It handles brilliantly and is also a great looking euro-coupe. 

But I’ve saved the best to last the absolute stand-out performer in this car pack is the ’73 Ford Pinto.  It seems strange that a small size American runabout introduced to compete with Jap imports of the 70’s would be the stand-out performer of a thoroughbred racing game but I guess that is the wonder of Forza.  I took the little F100 out to compete in an F-level race at Sebring and won.  Easily. On Hard. Against cars that hugely outclassed me.  Not to mention I did it in style!  As soon as I looked at the car it appeared to have a touch higher quality about the car model, I don’t know if it was the particular metallic green paint I chose but the car seemed to be smoother than the others in the car pack.  Also it is the only one that has model specific manufacturer body kit and even the Forza body kit which usually just comes as a huge front and rear wing is modified specifically to this model.  The whole look of the car is something special and the sound?!  It’s not a huge V8 rumble but it sounds wicked, it is unique enough that it caught my attention through the usual in game sounds.  I cranked the Pinto up to its max (R2750 ish) with all racing modifications, 4 wheel drive, 6L V8 etc and although I won the race quite comfortably the car lost some of its magic.  I could probably play with the vehicle settings to get it back but to be fair the Pinto does start to become outclassed when matched with Ferrari F430GT racing cars and the like.  I can’t help but wonder if the ’73 Ford Pinto represents a special memory for someone in the development team as it just seems to have a bit more polish about it.

So overall the January Jalopnik pack is a bit of a bust, the Huayra is a lemon (or at least didn’t match with my driving style), the Audi RS5 is an excellent drive and the ’73 Ford Pinto is just superb in all respects.  Overall rating for the car pack is hurt because the concept of spending money for 10 additional cars to do the same thing you can do anyway is pointless and I personally believe these DLC should be free and used as a way to keep interest in the game ticking over rather than generating revenue.

Here’s a full rundown of the cars included in the Forza 4 January Jalopnik Pack:

2012 Pagani Huayra

2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe

2011 Lambourghini #08 West Yokohama Gallardo LP560-4

2011 Honda #33 Level 5 Motorsport Lola

2011 Audi RS5

2000 Fiat Coupe 20V Turbo

1996 Chevrolet Impala SS

1986 Dodge Shelby Omni GLHS

1973 Ford Pinto

1970 Alfa Romeo Montreal

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