Forza Motorsport: What the new game needs to be great

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Forza Motorsport 7 is on the brink of End of Life.

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The follow-up, simply titled Forza Motorsport, will hopefully arrive in 2022. We loved a lot about Motorsport 7 but there are changes we'd like to see for the next edition. Here's what we hope Forza Motorsport will look like.

Cars and Customisation

The mammoth car list of Forza Motorsport 7 included 834 vehicles total, from 1926 to the present day. We've loved thrashing around in such a huge range of racing equipment. At times, though, we've found the homologation system to be a bit frustrating.

We'd like a little more freedom to go wild with upgrades and the game to have a ladder of different PI ratings and tyre options for each division.

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forza motorsport 7 game image 1
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FREEDOM: Too little of it is bad, but too much can be confusing

Alternatively, bin the upgrade system as it is and just provide presets for each vehicle for each eligible division and allow us to tweak the details of those. Either way, the system as it stands doesn't provide enough freedom for people who want to do daft things, or enough of a safety net for players who just want to jump in and drive online without understanding the detail of how to set up a race car.

Circuits and Environments

The 33 environments of Forza Motorsport 7 certainly had something for everyone. If you wanted big elevation changes there was Eau Rouge at Spa-Francorchamps or the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca. If speedways are your thing, enjoy yourself at Daytona, Homestead, or Indianapolis. I really could have lived without the Top Gear test track making yet another appearance though. It's time to retire this one, particularly now the show has changed so much we're not even sure who hosts it these days.

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AROUND THE WORLD: FM7 took us to amazing locations, we hope the new game will do the same

We've also loved the weather simulation and the opportunity to configure the layout of circuits where alternative routes are an option. It's these two features I really want more of. For example, the Nordschleife in real life frequently has rain across one section of the circuit but can be dry around the rest of it. We'd love to see that simulated.

It'd be painful to lose any of the existing circuits from the Forza Motorsport games but we'd love to see some new ones. My local track Thruxton would be a great challenge! Or how about some nostalgia for racing fans such as the Fuji Speedway layouts of the sixties and seventies? Or the ability to re-enact the Villeneuve-Arnoux battle at Dijon-Prenois?

Career Mode and Single Player

Personally I found the career mode of Forza Motorsport 7 to be a bit incoherent. One minute you'd be racing around Bathurst in GTs, the next you'd be knocking over bowling pins in a limo. It didn't feel like completing the single player stood you in good stead for online racing. Nor did it feel like you were being trained to be a complete racing driver in any logical way.

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FM7 track
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THE REAL THING: Single-player modes need to be more focused

Seasoned Forza players will skip the career mode and head straight online when the eighth edition appears. It'll be newbies who need the single-player experience to be top-notch to give them the confidence to race online once they've won everything in the Driver's Cup. Daft stuff like bowling isn't preparing anyone to compete against real drivers, nor is it consistent with what Motorsport is intended to be about.

Let's see a sensible ladder to progress through and develop those skills, please.

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DLC and Microtransactions in Forza Motorsport

It is widely known that Turn 10 Studios committed several of the cardinal sins of game development. Users were unhappy with the day one DLC, which made it feel like you'd only bought part of a game. They were angry about the scale of the microtransactions in the game which went far beyond previous editions. They were livid about the VIP pass, which was generally seen as a bait-and-switch. The details of how the pass worked changed after it went on sale, leaving many demanding refunds.

If Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios want to keep racing gamers' trust, we're going to need to see a fairer and more transparent way of letting us pay for the game. All the signs are good here though, with efforts focused on moving gamers to the Game Pass subscription service.

Forza Horizon 5 and other first-party releases are coming to the Game Pass on day one and we expect to see the same happen when the new Forza Motorsport is eventually released.