It was going so well.

I had memorised all eighteen of Silverstone’s iconic bends. I knew exactly how hard to push my race-prepped Bentley Continental GT3 into each corner - all 1300 kilos of it. The Stig? I’d have left him for dust.

Then, the heavens opened. Maggots and Becketts became a waterlogged quagmire, visibility dropped to almost nothing, and finding grip was near-impossible. Two disastrous laps later and I limped home in lowly 16th place.

The Forza games have always felt like a love letter to all things automotive, but the addition of dynamic weather makes this latest iteration a monument to Mother Nature as well.

ALWAYS TAKE THE WEATHER WITH YOU

Battling the elements was an all-or-nothing kind of deal when weather first arrived in Forza 6 - either you started in the wet or you stayed dry until you saw the chequered flag.

Here, conditions can change on the fly.

Start a race in the early hours and you’ll spot mist pockets dotted around the circuit. Head to Dubai’s desert tracks and you’ll have to contend with sandstorms. Dusk quickly turns into nighttime, leaving you to navigate solely by your own headlights - and the brake lights of the other racers.

Aquaplaning is all too easy in wet conditions, so for certain races you’ll be praying for clear skies harder than Fernando Alonso prays for a competitive F1 engine. You can really feel it when you lose traction, too, thanks to the Xbox One controller’s rumbling triggers.

The varied weather and changeable lighting only elevated Forza 7’s beautiful visuals further, with raindrops glistening on your car’s paintwork and clouds becoming increasingly moody as the sun dips behind them.

4K, THAT LOOKS GOOD

Turn 10’s all-encompassing racer isn’t just gorgeous on the vanilla Xbox One, either - it’s a perfect example of what the Xbox One X is capable of.

From a technical perspective, Having FM7 as the standard-bearer for Microsoft’s 4K-ready console makes a lot of sense. The fixed tracks and car models have been given the maximum amount of polish, so everything shines in 4K and High Dynamic Range.

It verges on hyper-realism in places, with the sharpness, contrast and vivid colours that really make every car, chicane and crowd barrier pop off the screen.

It’s seriously impressive to see a game of this fidelity run at 60 frames per second, especially when the clouds part and the puddles start to appear, adding reflections into the mix.

ARE YOU KEEPING TRACK?

In addition to that abundance of cars, Turn 10 Studios is upping the number of tracks you can race on as well. A whopping great 32 locations are ready for you to lay some rubber down on, including the Nürburgring, Tuscany’s Mugello Circuit and an all-new track that’s set in Dubai.

You’ll get to drive ‘em all in all manner of different racing disciplines, but if you were hoping for an epic story tying them all together, you’re out of luck.

The “campaign” is just a series of race championships and one-off events, with each one unlocking more races before you compete for the overall trophy. Compared to Project Cars 2’s in-depth story mode, it all feels quite limited. You've got to plug your way through different disciplines to unlock different tiers of car, which can feel like a slog if you're interested in say, Group B rally cars, but don't fancy finishing an open wheel legends championship first.

It would be nice if wins in the behinner championship also bumped your score in the later races, giving you a helping hand in unlocking new cars, but they don't Once you've won the cup, there's no reason to finish off the rest of the races - just move on and start plugging away at the next championship.

It doesn’t help that the AI can get seriously aggressive, either. Previous Forza games suffered from virtual opponents that were too timid to really hit the throttle at times, but now that Turn10 has shifted to gamer-taught Drivatars, other cars are much more likely to get stuck in and ram you off the road. It can feel like bumper cars at times, with the AI angrily bashing you off the road rather than concede the racing line.

Stuff says... 

Forza Motorsport 7 review

A greatest hits from Forza’s past, with excellent yet accessible driving - albeit slightly overshadowed by intrusive micro-transactions
£49
Good Stuff 
Massive garage of cars to choose from
Fine balance between sim and arcade racing
Looks flippin’ gorgeous
Bad Stuff 
Microtransactions get in the way of your fun
Drivatar AI can be aggressive