Arriving at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone, we're greeted by the brand new Porsche GT2 RS, the cover star of the latest Forza Motorsport 7 game for the Xbox One. The Porsche received its world debut at E3 2017, the first time a car has ever been officially unveiled at a games event, and we've been slavering over it ever since.
Our visit to Silverstone brought us up close to the speedster, while also giving us the perfect opportunity to see the real life car alongside its in-game counterpart to show just how realistic Forza Motorsport 7's graphics are. Forza has always been at the top of its game when it comes to graphics and realism, but with this latest game, especially in 4K on the Xbox One X, it's how the cars perform on track that really takes centre stage.
That's exactly why we were at one of the UK's premier race tracks, to drive Porsches in the real world and then try them out in the game to compare the realism.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to drive the GT2 RS, but we did go out for spins in a Boxster S and a 911 Carrera GTS. Both are phenomenal cars with power, speed, agility and lots of grip.
Being instructed around Porsche's own testing tracks we were able to push the cars to their absolute limits, including sampling launch control which catapulted us to near enough 100 mph in less than 300 metres.
But once the fun was over, it was time to take a seat in the gaming chair to play Forza Motrosport 7 on an Xbox One X. We're not going to comment on the game as a whole, you can read our thoughts in our full Forza 7 review here, but what we can say is that stepping out the real Porsche and into the in-game version, there are a lot of similarities.
Dan Greenawalt, creative director of Forza developer Turn 10, told us there is a six-year partnership agreement with Porsche and from that, the engineering team behind the game can gain access to the real cars to gather data to input into the game.
He was particularly keen to stress that Forza, unlike many other driving simulation games, takes into account the springiness of different tyres. Different cars in the game have different tyres, of course, so their handling abilities will also be different depending on the speeds you throw them around bends.
We weren't aware of this aspect of the game until after we'd had our go on the driving sims, but after we were told, it made complete sense.
On our first few laps playing the game, we found ourselves understeering quite a lot, despite braking for corners. We tried to take our newly-learned knowledge from the track of braking before a bend, turning in tight and accelerating out, but it didn't always work. We were then able to watch Dino Zamparelli, a racing driver in the Porsche Carrera Cup, complete a near-perfect lap.
We asked him not only for some tips to improve our lap times, but how the game compares to the real thing. He did admit that there can be a bit of exaggerated understeer in the game, as on the track you're able to get a much better feel of what the car is doing, and you're able to correct it relatively easily.
However, braking and cornering in general are representative of what racing drivers have to do. He added using a steering wheel and pedal setup was better than a controller, as you can better mimic the actions of the in-car driver. The driver's hands only turn so far, for example, so there's no point you turning your wheel any further, as it won't be doing anything.
Dino also said the brake, lift and turn model racers use is accurate if carried out correctly. When accelerating out of bends, for example, he recommends not putting your foot down, or slamming the accelerator button too hard. Instead, use a progressive motion until the traction is there and then give it the beans.
We took his advice on board and managed to get our lap time down by a whole 10 seconds.
It's not just in-game mechanics that are paramount to Forza's success. Forza 7 is the first game in the series that has been rebuilt from the ground up, with the Xbox One X in mind. That means it plays in native 4K Ultra HD at 60fps and boy does it look amazing.
The extra detail you get from a 4K picture, coupled with the smoother motion that 60fps brings, makes it appear closer to reality than ever before.
Unfortunately, what it can't deliver, is the real sense of adrenaline you get from driving a real car around a track. Forza isn't alone in this instance, no driving simulator can really deliver those real world thrills, but in some ways, that's fine.
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Forza 7 is able to deliver all the arcade thrills, with 4K 60fps realism, but without the threat of potentially dying on every corner and that, we think makes it a must-have game for the Xbox One X.