Forza 4: New Raceways, Updated Favorites
The tracks in Forza 4 are like the maps in a first-person shooter. Although they are not part of the gameplay, they are the backdrop on which it takes place, and as such, they have much to add.
Objectively, there's no way to determine which track in Forza 4 is the best. This depends on opinion – and that's exactly what I'm going to give here. If you're a Forza 4 fan, feel free to chime in about your favorite tracks in the comments.
Best Full Circuit: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Full circuits are among the longest courses in Forza 4. For the purposes of this article, I'm also including Grand Prix, Extreme and Long circuits in this category.
Laguna Seca has been in Forza since the original game, and to this day, it remains one of the most challenging tracks. It is different from most full circuits in that it offers no particularly long straights. Its only straight is nowhere near long enough to allow most high-performance cars to reach their top speed.
As a result, this is a dicey course that puts a premium on grip and acceleration. This is driven home by the infamous "corkscrew," a narrow, abrupt turn with an extreme downward elevation change. It's so abrupt that drivers can't even see the road until they're right upon the corner.
Best Short Circuit: Tsukuba Circuit
For purposes of this article, short circuits include Short, Club, National and other circuits with lengths under two miles.
At just .97 miles in length, Tsukuba's Short Circuit is among the shortest in the entire game. Yet it packs a lot of corners into that small length, including two extremely tight turns at the ends of short straights. This challenges the braking judgment of drivers. Accurately gauging brake points is essential to victory here.
Also essential is a car's high-speed cornering limits, as Tsukuba Short Circuit includes a long, swooping back section that can sometime see triple-digit speeds. Constant driver attention is needed here. Go too slow and you'll lose a lot of time, but if you go too fast you'll end up in the wall at the beginning of the next straight.
Best Reverse Circuit: Camino Viejo Short Circuit Reverse
If you want to separate the true racers from the riff-raff, fire up Camino Viejo Short Circuit Reverse.
This track is a lot of fun in its normal direction, but also relatively mundane with the exception of the first turn, which is at the end of a long straight. In reverse, drivers have to deal first with a long, high-speed descending elevation turn that happily funnels drivers into a nearby wall. As if that weren't enough, the next corner is a deceptively tight ascending elevation turn that, once again, features a nearby wall that provides little room for error.
Chaos rules on this track because of its difficulty, and it can actually be a bit frustrating in quick cars, as they never have a chance to stretch their legs. In D and C class, however, this is a hectic but fun track.
Best Oval: The Brickyard Speedway
This track is really more of a rectangle with rounded edges than an oval of any sort, and at 2.5 miles, it is the longest oval in the game, just beating Sunset Peninsula.
Because of the long straights in the front and rear of the oval, speeds are high. However, the corners are also relatively tight for an oval course, which means that drivers have to be very good at maintaining momentum at high speeds. Braking just slightly too much will kill lap times – but braking too little will have you kissing wall.
Any high-speed car is fun on this track. B-class and above are the best, as the less powerful cars will likely be near their top speeds for much of the track.
Best Fictional Course: Maple Valley Raceway
In each version of Forza, a fictional raceway has been created. Usually, it's based on a real location. Only the Blue Mountains raceway in the original Forza did not make it to the other games in the series.
Maple Valley was introduced in Forza 2 and has always been among my favorite tracks. It is a beautiful track, as the mix of auburn and green is not replicated elsewhere in the game. But it's also a challenging one that offers difficult turns but also provides fast cars room to test their limits.
At three miles, this track's full circuit is long and doesn't include many tight corners. Navigating Maple Valley requires good control at high speeds. In the last third of the course, there is a long ascending elevation turn that can trick unsuspecting drivers into over-confidence, and then dump them off into the grass. That corner is equally nasty on the reverse circuit.
Maple Valley is also well-known for flipping cars because of the final chicane, which is lined by rumble strips. Cars moving at high speeds that are sliding due to the chicane may flip when they hit these strips. Caution is required to keep shiny side up.
- Article based on author's opinion
- Image Credit: Turn 10