October 4, 2023

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Forza Motorsport hands-on: Back on track

Forza Motorsport hands-on: Back on track

It’s been six years since Forza Motorsport 7 was released, and a fraction less than two years ago It has been deleted. correct; It’s been over 725 days since I was able to purchase a Forza Motorsport game this side of the flea market. Thankfully, that’s about to change next month – but before Forza Motorsport’s long-awaited launch on PC and Xbox Series X|S consoles on October 10, 2023, we finally got to get behind the wheel. Not surprisingly, it looks and feels great—but it’s the more thoughtful tweaks for momentary racing on the track that intrigued me the most.

While the time we spent on the Forza Motorsport preview build was essentially unlimited since we were given access to it, we must stress that admittedly it’s only a very narrow slice of the full game.

It starts with a short, playable introduction, which includes a few laps in the high-powered cover cars—the all-wheel-drive hybrid 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray (the fastest Vette ever produced) and the 2023 Cadillac V-Series. R (the sporty model that clinched the podium at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans after a two-decade absence for Cadillac). This first taste of the new Forza Motorsport game takes us back to Maple Valley (which has been a powerhouse circuit in the series since the original Forza Motorsport game in 2005) and highlights the new Hakone Circuit (another fantasy Grand Prix-style track based in Japan). .

I’ll need more laps at Hakone to be able to decide on its merits as a racetrack. At first glance, it looks like a very fast circle with corners of a fairly constant radius – although it is quite flat and there are not many difficult parts in this layout. There’s a lot going on aesthetically, from the massive LCD panels that line the large grandstands, to the well-lit flowering trees that frame several stretches of track edges.

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After that, we were able to compete in the three-race educational series, which featured three tracks (Mugello, Kyalami in South Africa, and another new fantasy track called Grand Oak) and three cars (2019 Subaru STI S209, 2018 Honda) Civic Type R , and Ford Mustang GT 2018). This is a smart combination of cars because it gives us a small entree of some all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, and rear-wheel drive systems. However, since there are scheduled to be over 497 of them available in the game at launch, I’m hesitant to delve too deeply into the driving dynamics based on this little cross-section. I will say I was immediately comfortable with the transaction. While it does not necessarily look like the total Reinventing what the Turn 10 team refers to as the “Forza feel,” there is definitely a tangible increase in the sense of connection between tires and tarmac. Simply put, the grip feels more authentic – and there’s more of it. Turn 10 has discussed this previously, but word from the studio is that the advancements in Forza Motorsport’s physics represent a bigger leap than the growth achieved by Forza Motorsport 5, 6, and 7 combined.

Quite simply, Forza Motorsport looks to be heading more into RPG territory than ever before.

The new approach to career mode has also been discussed heavily in previous updates from the Turn 10 team as development progresses, but seeing it unfold in real time was interesting. Quite simply, it looks like Forza Motorsport is going more into RPG territory than ever before. Upgrades are no longer available from the start; Instead, they unlock each car as you spend time sitting in them and gaining experience. It is also no longer bought with credits; Instead, it is obtained using “Car Points” (which you will collect by driving).

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To be honest, I don’t really know what to do with it yet. I like the look of the curated career mode and the way it promises to highlight elements of automotive history, and I like the “build, not buy” philosophy. However, I find myself wondering how excited I am about having upgrades behind a second layer of gameplay – beyond just being able to granted them in the game.

What I like, however, is the additional idea that was thrown in of finding ways to reward players for their actions on the track. Career advancement aside, these new modifications are already having a positive impact on racing. Training sessions before each race, with their own goals, make the track day experience even more enjoyable. The precise sectors marked on the circuits give us specific track sections to focus on and improve; Hopefully, sectors will change on return visits to the same tracks.

Most importantly, the ability to locate you on the grid means you can get exactly the racing experience you want. If you want to try the old-fashioned rabbit-chase racing, where you’ll need to hook your car all the way to the front from the back of the car in just a few laps (at the expense of racing against an AI that probably won’t necessarily be able to go head-to-head with you) So do that. If you want to start bigger and power up the AI ​​for a more realistic challenge, that’s possible too. It’s a clever touch. I was also very pleased to see customizable fuel loads and more precise controls in the pits, but I look forward to more than four-course racing in production street cars for full flexibility in these options.

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Our time with Forza Motorsport has been limited to this tutorial series, so we can’t meaningfully discuss other pillars of the game like multiplayer or free-to-play just yet. Fortunately, it won’t be long until we do, and we’ll see you back on track in a few more weeks.

Luke is a senior editor on the IGN review team. You can chat with him on Twitter @Mr Luke Reilly.