Two years after its initial announcement, Forza Motorsport was finally revealed in full at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase with a reveal trailer and an uncut five-minute gameplay video. And it didn’t disappoint.
Billed as the "most technically-advanced racing game ever," Forza Motorsport promises to be a generational leap forward for the franchise with state-of-the-art visuals showing off the power of the Xbox Series X, in-game ray-tracing, and overhauled physics.
Releasing Gran Turismo 7 on PS4 and PS5 compromised the game, but Forza Motorsport looks like the first truly next-generation racing game.
Turn 10 hasn’t revealed how many cars Forza Motorsport will have yet, but the trailer gives us a glimpse of some new cars making their Forza Motorsport debut.
New road cars shown in the trailer include the Nissan 370Z Nismo and the electric Audi RS E-Tron GT, along with track-only hypercars like the Brabham BT62 (also included in the Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels Expansion) and McLaren Senna GTR.
There’s also a focus on racing cars. The trailer showcases new GT3 racers and IMSA Prototypes, from the 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 and 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT3 to the Ginetta G60-LT-P1. If Forza Motorsport features more GT3 and GT4 cars, it could rival Assetto Corsa Competizione.
Other new cars making their Forza Motorsport debut include the electric NIO EP9 supercar, the bonkers Koenigsegg Jesko, and the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe.
A fan-favourite circuit since the first Forza Motorsport launched in 2005, Maple Valley was shown extensively in the trailer and five-minute gameplay video, showcasing Forza Motorsport’s stunning ray-tracing reflections and lighting effects. But this wasn’t the only track shown in the trailer.
Towards the end of the trailer, we get a first look at Circuit Hakone, a new fictional high-speed Grand Prix circuit set in Japan. The South African Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit is also making its Forza Motorsport debut, while familiar favourites like Laguna Seca and Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps are returning.
Environments will use photogrammetry and 3D material scans, while the dynamic time of day and weather effects available on every track bring the circuits to life.
Drift battle events
While solo drift events were already available in Forza Motorsport 7, a new drift tandem event type was possibly shown in the trailer. The trailer shows a couple of Toyota Supra Formula Drift cars sliding around a circuit in tandem.
Drift battles could be a fun and challenging new event type that tests your drifting and driving precision skills, awarding points for holding drifts for long as possible while getting as close as you dare to the other car and avoiding cones.
Full wheel rotation
For years, fans have complained about Forza's limited wheel rotation animations. In previous Forza Motorsport games, the wheel turning animation is locked at 90 degrees in every car.
This isn’t a major issue on a controller, but it ruins the immersion when playing with a wheel as the animation doesn’t match your steering inputs. Thankfully, this may finally change in Forza Motorsport.
In the trailer, an in-car camera view shows the wheel turned at full opposite lock as a Toyota Supra performs tyre-shredding drift.
Unfortunately, the longer gameplay video doesn’t show the cockpit view to confirm this, but the steering rotation animation appears to be greater than 90 degrees in the brief trailer shot. This gives us hope that Forza Motorsport will finally have full wheel rotation animations.
Animated pit crews
Pit stops in Forza Motorsport will show off the game’s detailed textures and ray-tracing, with materials like anodized aluminium and carbon fibre looking more realistic than ever.
An exposed engine bay in the extended gameplay video showcases the incredible level of detail applied to the car models. But there’s a background detail you probably didn’t notice in the pit lane.
As a Lamborghini pulls into the pit bay for a pit stop in front of a Ginetta, pit crews are seen working on the car in the distance. It’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment.
But since the footage was captured in-game in a slick unbroken shot, it suggests Forza Motorsport will finally have animated pit crews for the first time in the series. This will be a stark contrast to FM7’s empty pit stops that magically repair the car.
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