It’s been 6 years since we last got our hands on a Forza Motorsport title. The last entry in the long-running racer sim series was Forza Motorsport 7, which was released back in 2017. Players used to get a new Motorsport on a biannual basis. However, during the hiatus, developer Turn 10 has been hard at work developing the latest iteration of its proprietary ForzaTech engine.
Undoubtedly, the engine will propel the Forza franchise and Fable fully into the next generation. With Forza Motorsport slated to release in October, Lords of Gaming got a chance to test-drive Turn 10’s latest sim racer. Check out our preview impressions below.
Forza Motorsport Preview Content
Our Forza Motorsport preview build featured the full onboarding race along with the 3-race Builders Cup which marks the beginning of the career mode. The preview also allowed racers to test drive on 5 tracks:
- Maple Valley
- Grand Oak
In addition, the preview build featured 5 vehicles for players to test out:
- 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray,
- 2023 Cadillac #01 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R
- 2019 Subaru STI S209
- 2018 Honda Civic Type R
- 2018 Ford Mustang GT
The Corvette E-Ray and the Cadillac V-Series grace the game’s cover. So, it is only natural that you are put on those seats when you first boot up Forza Motorsport. Such is the tradition of the game.
The Feel of the Car in Forza Motorsport
One of the most important aspects of car simulators is how the car feels and reacts to the road. Everything from how the car is tuned, activated assists, to the game’s physics engine all determine how cars feel in a racer-sim. Although there were only 5 available cars to test drive in the preview build, each one had a distinctive feel to it.
The Cadillac V-Series was a speed beast that handled turns and corners gracefully. While the Corvette E-Ray was punchy and needed to be reined in more when turning. Each car had a distinct feel to it and it was well represented on a controller. We will be sure to go more in-depth once the Lords of Gaming review goes live in October.
Revamped Progression System
It’s clear that Forza Motorsport took a few plays out of the Forza Horizon playbook and revamped its progression system. Car masteries are making a big appearance in the game and will provide plenty of challenges for you and your car.
The more you drive your car, the more car XP (CXP) you’ll receive, which will open up new part types available to install. And there are a ton of parts to install (depending on the type of car, of course). Everything from dampers, tire width, front anti-roll bars, camshafts, braking systems, and more can be installed or upgraded.
Now, it’s even easier to understand how new parts impact your car’s build and ranking with the handy infographics. Car stats highlight how a part impacts acceleration, speed, handling, and braking. Best of all, the revamped parts UI will quickly inform you if certain parts are permissible for your upcoming race.
Forza Motorsport’s progression system constantly challenges and rewards you, which is a great way to keep players invested in the game. Especially since the game will sport around 500 cars, so there will be plenty to keep you busy. Overall, I’m a big fan of the Forza Horizon-inspired progression system and love seeing the cross-pollination from developers within Xbox Game Studios.
Practice Makes Perfect
Before every race, Forza Motorsport highly encourages you to take a couple of practice laps. Practice laps not only help you better understand the track’s layout but also provide challenges to reward you with CXP.
Track segment scores were great ways to keep things fresh while also motivating you to shave precious seconds off your time or keep a clean segment record. Scores are rated out of 10, and I definitely get a nice dopamine rush every time I see an 8.0 track segment score and above. I also loved the fact that the game does not prioritize getting first place all the time. The preview build does a great job of compartmentalizing progress.
The Forza Motorsport preview provided three graphical options:
- 60 FPS performance mode
- 60 FPS Ray Tracing with Dynamic Resolution
- Quality Mode
I opted for the Dynamic 60 FPS with ray tracing mode because I wanted to see how ray tracing performed on the Xbox Series X, and I was not disappointed.
The car reflections were dynamic and the reflection changes were as clear as day. However, this was most noticeable during the showcase stage. When the backdrop changed colors, so did the car reflections. In fact, the changes were so prominent it was as if your car’s color changed completely.
However, sometimes the reflections did look like they were rendering at a lower resolution. This is likely attributed to the dynamic 4K rendering the game uses. Despite this, it was a worthwhile trade-off and showed off what console ray-tracing could do, all the while maintaining a steady 60 FPS.
While driving around in the middle of a race, you can easily see how the reflections would dynamically change locations and add immense realism to the game’s aesthetics. At times, when racing during the day, the sunlight reflection was so bright that I could barely see some of the track markings. The glare caused me to squint my eyes a bit, it was an impressive display. Headlights during night races would dynamically react if opponent cars drive right in front of you. The back of their cars would light up from the headlight reflection.
Forza Motorsport is Stepping Up Presentation
It’s clear that Forza Motorsport took a lot of the cues from its more open-world and laid-back cousin, Forza Horizon. To my surprise, I was impressed by Forza Motorsport’s revamped presentation. The game was brought to life with its short in-engine cutscenes of your racer traveling to the paddocks or checking up on the car before races.
Even checking out racers and their cars at the starting grid added a human element to the game. Before, Drivatars compiled the racing data of your friends’ racing style and reflected their racing behavior through the CPU AI. But for the most part, people’s experience of the Drivatar system was just names from their friend list that just popped above opponent cars. Now, you’ll get to see which uniform and helmet your friends selected. It may be a subtle change, but it is welcomed and adds a personal touch to the Drivatar system.
Release Date and Early Access Period
When Forza Motorsport releases, it will feature a slew of technical upgrades. From full day/night cycles, dynamic weather, an overhaul to the car damage system, and so much more. I haven’t been this excited to hit the circuit when Forza Motorsport releases this October.
Forza Motorsport will be available on October 10 on Xbox Series X|S, Windows, and Steam. Game Pass subscribers will be able to play the game on day 1. But those who purchase the Premium Edition can get their hands on the game on October 5.
Are you excited about Forza Motorsport coming back? Or are you more into the Forza Horizon series? Sound off in the comment section below.