Forza Motorsport has been in development for a long time. It's been nearly three years since it was first announced and we are finally closing in on the release date.
So far we haven't heard much about the gameplay within Forza Motorsport, but that has changed. At long last we got a good look at the single-player experience of Forza Motorsport. With claims to blend aspects of FM3 & 4 along with RPG elements, Turn 10 is making some bold statements about a career mode that sounds almost too good to be true.
Recent racing games have just thrown cars at players. Forza Horizon 5 and Gran Turismo 7 are guilty of this, but Forza Motorsport is promising true progression, and with that the earning of cars and upgrades rather than being handed them through early-game rewards, wheelspins, or roulette tickets.
The Builders Cup is the core career mode of Forza Motorsport. Made up of a huge amount of events for car classes and individual styles of car. Each race has three elements: Open practice, Challenge the Grid, and Feature Race.
This will give everyone the chance to get into a car and build a level of confidence and connection with each car. As you go, you will be levelling up your car, but what does that mean? Well, it is something that creative director Chris Esaki was really passionate about.
The emphasis from the whole Forza Monthly show was one of getting across the gameplay loop. This mantra, repeated by Esaki, is "level, build, dominate". But what does this mean? Well, let's start with the "level" part.
Open practice offers the chance to learn your car. Each corner will provide a challenge, rewarding you with car XP every time you go faster through a corner until you reach the limit.
This will let players get familiar with their car and the track they are about to go racing on, but it will allow you to track progression in each corner to see how you are improving.
These levels will give you car points to then spend on upgrades in the next part of the loop...
Upgrading cars is always a crucial part of a racing game in the simcade world that Forza Motorsport inhabits. This game will do things a little differently than previous games.
You won't be spending credits on upgrades, instead you will be spending your car points. With a maximum car level cap of 50 there isn't infinite car points to earn. But that's not an issue, as you can return parts and get your points back to then get other parts.
It should make for a game that has infinitely adjustable and changeable cars. With PI returning you will have plenty of ways to build up to a PI limit, allowing you to build cars the way you want over and over again.
Once you've built your car it's time to take it to the track and pick up some wins! That's what the game is all about after all.
You'll be able to feel the improvements, grow your car level even more, and of course create an even deeper bond with your car now that you are winning races.
We mentioned Challenge the Grid earlier. But what is it? Well this mode lets you earn credits through a completely customisable race. You can pick everything from your starting grid slot to your opponent's speed and simulation rules.
This comes with a reward slider, where you can earn more from winning from a lower grid slot. This replaces the old system where your assists would determine your rewards and instead lets you just go racing at your own level and rewards everyone the same for going from 5th to 1st regardless of if they had steering assists on or went completely without any assists.
It's another great step for accessibility and fun in racing games as it really lets people explore at their own pace and in their own style rather than pushing them to remove assists.
Pick your rules
Forza Motorsport will let you have a fully customisable experience in career mode. You can have penalties on or off, and the same goes for damage and even things like fuel and tyre wear.
Full simulation rules are there if you want them, but you don't have to use any of them. This degree of customisation is excellent to see, and should make Forza Motorsport accessible to all skill levels even as they aim for more realistic physics and handling.
An evolving world
Career mode will reflect the ever-changing landscape of car releases. New cars and tracks will be released directly into the career, with the Builders Cup evolving with those changes. Esaki described it as a portal to fall in love with cars.
Each series has an introductory video that highlights the story of the cars in that series. These feel more grounded than Gran Turismo 7's and shorter from what we have seen.
The Builders Cup structure is made up of racing series, and each group of series makes up a tour. Completing a tour will give you a unique reward car, that you can only get by completing that tour. So if you want to complete your garage you will have to complete the Builders Cup!!
For more articles like this, take a look at our Forza page.