Forza Motorsport took centre stage in the most recent Forza Monthly show. During the stream, creative director Chris Esaki gave a deep dive into the online multiplayer, revealing new details from the new race weekend structure to the safety rating system.
Unfortunately, Turn 10 also confirmed that several popular multiplayer features from past games won’t make the cut – including local split-screen.
No split-screen multiplayer at launch
“The competitive racing that we wanted to have in Featured Multiplayer with full fields for great racing, unfortunately, means that our spectate mode is not in for launch. Having players come into a featured multiplayer event and taking player slots, and then spectating? It's not really the racing we had intended,” Esaki explained.
“Similarly, racing with AI in featured multiplayer with all its potential impacts on your safety rating also didn't make a whole lot of sense to have and is not going to be available for us at launch.”
As for why split-screen won’t be in Forza Motorsport at launch, Esaki explained the push for graphical fidelity made this legacy feature “really difficult to implement.”
“Our heavy investment in pushing our new graphical features and our complete overhaul of the rendering engine unfortunately made split-screen really difficult to implement and is also not going to be in for launch,” he said. Esaki emphasised these legacy features won’t be in Forza Motorsport at launch, so it’s possible that they will be added in post-launch updates.
Considering Forza Motorsport has been in development for five years and is a full-price game, these missing features are disappointing. Forza Motorsport 7 launched with split-screen on Xbox One back in 2017, despite Turn 10's push for 4K and 60fps on Xbox One X. Even Gran Turismo 7, Forza Motorsport’s main competitor, has split-screen.
The announcement comes after Turn 10 recently confirmed drift and drag racing modes won’t be in Forza Motorsport at launch. Several fantasy tracks from previous titles also won’t be included in the track list.
Forza Motorsport multiplayer deep dive
While these legacy features won’t be in Forza Motorsport at launch, the new online multiplayer looks promising.
A new Featured Multiplayer will replicate real race weekends, with races scheduled to begin at specific times. Online events will follow the same structures as race weekends too, with open practice and qualifying sessions. Races are divided into Spec Series and Open Series events.
Spec Series races are fully homologated, while Open Series events let you bring any car that meets the class restrictions.
There are also new Driver and Safety Ratings to pair you with like-minded players when matchmaking. Driver ratings are skilled based, whereas Safety Ratings are influenced by on-track behaviour.
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