Forza 5 should probably be considered as Microsoft’s main first party launch title for the purpose of showing what the console can do. The game runs in 1080p at 60 frames per second, and employs much of the new technology and power available in the Xbox One console to create a very impressive title. Read on for our full, extended impressions.

Forza has deep roots in Top Gear. From the outset, you will be greeted by Jeremy Clarkson, who brings his wit and ease of understanding of cars from Top Gear into Forza. Casual fans, who may not know a lot about cars and racing (such as myself) will be able to keep up with the action, but there will also be enough there for the more experienced users. Forza 5 employs a beautifully crafted back-end system which is more complex than anything we have seen before in the realm of racing.

The ‘drivatar’ feature is the biggest achievement of the development team. This feature basically tracks your play-style over the first few races you play, to build a profile for you. Then, your account will take part in AI races against AI drivatar’s of your friends while you are not playing. As you continue to play, your Drivatar will evolve with you, picking up your driving habits and skills. It really is a genius system, and is very well employed – from what I have seen thus far, it works very well.

Of course, Forza 5 allows you to customise your game to your abilities, so things like assistance and guidance are still available to use or turn off, depending on whether you feel you are an average or experienced driver. Customisation is also available, and similar to what we have previously seen, allowing you to make your car look exactly the way you wish. The customisation suite is very comprehensive and easy to use.

As you are playing, you will be challenged by Rivals to beat lap times. Often, these will appear under the gamertags of your friends, so, an extra layer of realism is added to the game. These lap times, of course, could have been really achieved by your friends, or they could be the result of the Drivatar system, which is why it is so impressive. It just makes the game more interactive, realistic and friendly to play.

Graphically, the game looks absolutely stunning. The line between reality and gaming begins to become very blurred at this level, and the game appears almost photo-realistic. The environments across the fourteen tracks are outstanding, and the lighting engine is excellent. Each and every care has been meticulously crafted to look superb, and this really shows in the finished product. The 1080p, 60 FPS graphics really show the power of the console, and assure us that good things are to come in the future.

The cars seem to drive very realistically, although I am not the best person to comment on this, as I do not have much experience with racing games and real-world racing. From what I experienced, the cars feel great to drive and the feedback from the controller is subtle but very immersive. Each and every car looks exactly like its counterpart in reality, and they all sound great while driving. Without a doubt however, the most important aspect for me when playing the game was the immersion and the ‘drivatar’ feature. It added an extra layer of realism for me, and really made the game feel custom to my specification. It was a pleasure to use, and, even though I am not a huge fan of racing, Forza has convinced me to return for more.

As you play through the game, you will find that you won’t be racing against AI opponents even as yourself, but you will be playing against other random drivatars, who, again, will be based on the skill and habits of those who they pertain to. It was this feature, combined with the graphical experience, that assured me this truly is the next generation of Forza and the next generation of gaming. It is clear that Microsoft tasked Turn 10 with creating the game which was going to be the true next-gen experience for the launch of the Xbox One, and they delivered on that promise. Most games have only been given a graphical boost for the next-gen launch (in terms of noticeable improvements), but Forza 5 has made true advancements.

Without a doubt, this is the Xbox One launch title everyone should be playing, and I believe it is the best experience available on the console yet. It may not be enough to be a system seller, but if you planned to get the Xbox One, you should definitely get Forza Motorsport 5!