(CBS) - In 2005, Forza Motorsport got its start on the original Xbox and quickly established itself as the system's new premier racing game, giving Sony's Gran Turismo series a run for its money.
Its precision gameplay and massive amount of cars, features and modes blew fans away.
Forza Motorsport 4 really takes what the series is known for and runs with it. The game looks better than ever before with stunningly improved visuals that beautifully showcase its more than five hundred cars and hosts a bevy of new online and offline racing challenges that truly deepen the experience. One of the game's most extraordinary inclusions though is its partnership with BBC's series "Top Gear."
For the uninitiated, "Top Gear" is a British television program that celebrates the motoring culture with intelligence, love and a large dose of irreverent humor. Since its re-launch in 2002, the program has become a worldwide phenomenon, even spawning a sister series in the US in 2010. Its great success can be easily attributed to its flair for outlandish humor, intelligent writing and most importantly, its hosts' passion for cars.
Including many staples of "Top Gear" in Forza Motorsport 4 shows that this isn't just another racing game. Developer Turn 10 Studios is looking to establish the series as a celebration of the motoring culture, as well.
Nothing captures this spirit so well as "Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson's introduction at the start of the game. In it he speaks of what it is to love a car and the modern taboo that enthusiasts face in today's world: that "we're told to think of the economy and environment, not excitement and enjoyment."
Forza 4 is just that, a place to showcase and enjoy some of the most exciting automobiles of today and years passed and to drive them on some of the most famous circuits in the world.
Forza has set itself apart from the competition as a true car lover's game. It understands our love of "performance and beauty and mechanical soul" as Clarkson puts it. Fans of the series will find that Forza 4 delivers the same enthusiastic and refined experience the series is known for and the game's new modes, including some taken right from "Top Gear," feel fresh and innovative.
Forza Motorsport 4 is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB. It is available now exclusively for the Xbox 360.