Yesterday’s Forza Monthly provided a deep dive into Forza Motorsport’s AI and physics. Taking advantage of the Xbox Series X|S, Forza Motorsport will boast the most advanced AI and realistic driving physics yet – two aspects that left a lot of room for improvement in previous titles.
These are welcome changes. Unfortunately, however, Turn 10 also confirmed that several features have been cut from Forza Motorsport at launch.
No Drift or Drag modes in Forza Motorsport on day one
Speaking in June’s Forza Monthly stream, Forza Motorsport Creative Director Chris Esaki explained that the game’s focus on “clean and competitive racing” has impacted every aspect from the car and track list to game modes and AI.
Since the focus is on circuit racing, Esaki confirmed that Forza Motorsport will not include Drift and Drag modes on day one, despite these modes featuring in Forza Motorsport 7.
"Because of this focus on circuit racing, the actual modes of drag and drift aren’t really supported at launch,” said Esaki.
While you can still apply drag tyres and drift suspension as car upgrades, there won’t be a drift HDU with a scoring system or a drag mode with a racing strip. The only way you can replicate these modes at launch is in private Meetup lobbies.
However, Esaki hinted these modes might come later in updates after the initial release. “We have a long way to go after we get the game out, so there’s a lot of features we’re supporting over time. But just so everyone’s aware, this is what we’ve been focused on that circuit-based racing,” he said.
Cars and tracks cut
Furthermore, Esaki explained that cuts were made to the car and track list. With the focus on circuit racing, the car list will focus on modern racecars and modern production cars like the Cadillac Racing V-Series.R and 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray cover cars.
This means “oddball” cars like the Cadillac XTS Limousine from Forza Motorsport 7 won’t make the cut. Esaki also emphasised the focus on asphalt track racing, suggesting there won’t be any off-roaders or SUVs.
Likewise, fantasy tracks from previous games that don’t represent Turn 10’s vision for a “clean, competitive racing experience” have been cut. This also affected the designs of existing tracks like Maple Valley, with adjustments made to the pit lane.
Again, Esaki hinted that some of these missing tracks may be added post-launch, but won’t be available day one. Even so, it’s disappointing to see core features cut at launch considering Forza Motorsport has been six years in the making. It’s hard to shake the feeling that Forza Motorsport will feel incomplete at launch.
AI and physics improvements
This focus on competitive circuit racing has led to significant AI and physics improvements. Turn 10 has ditched the old Drivatar system that replicated the driving behaviour of your friends.
Instead, the new AI system is based on machine learning and uses optimal driving lines. A comparison showed Forza Motorsport’s AI setting a lap time 13 seconds faster than Forza Motorsport 7’s. These scenarios aren’t scripted either as the AI can make mistakes like a human driver.
Upgraded physics will also make the cars feel more realistic to drive. The tyre model has been upgraded from a 60 Hz refresh rate to 360 Hz, with a 48x improvement in tyre fidelity.
With eight points of contact with the track surface running at 360 cycles per second, Turn 10 says the tyres will behave more realistically on uneven surfaces like curbs.
Players who pre-order the Forza Motorsport Premium Edition can get behind the wheel five days early.
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