As a confessed Forza Horizon enthusiast, I’ll admit that I tend to favor the open roads and scenic routes over the precision of professional tracks in Forza Motorsport. I find joy in driving exquisite cars through exotic locales, occasionally engaging in low-stakes races. However, my recent dive into the world of Forza Motorsport’s serious, car-centric universe has been nothing short of exhilarating.
In my hands-on experience with the near-final version of the new Builders Cup Intro Series, I had the pleasure of racing on three diverse tracks with three distinctive cars: a 2019 Subaru STI S209, a 2018 Honda Civic Type R, and a 2018 Ford Mustang GT. Beyond the races themselves, the Builders Cup career mode introduces a robust vehicle-customization system and the intriguing Challenge the Grid betting module. While Turn 10 Studios had discussed these features at length prior to the preview, this marked the first time the public could test these roads, cars, and systems, and I must say, they left a remarkable impression.
Turn 10 Studios has a knack for crafting smooth, responsive racing games with dynamic vehicles and tracks, and Forza Motorsport is the pinnacle of their expertise. Each car in the intro series boasts its own unique handling characteristics, with none of them feeling unwieldy. The Ford Mustang may not navigate tight corners as deftly as the Subaru or Civic, but it’s a powerhouse on straightaways. Meanwhile, the Civic offers a more floaty feel compared to the Subaru. The Subaru, on the other hand, excels in quick braking. These distinct features are inherent to each vehicle, but the customization screen also allows for fine-tuning that significantly impacts their performance.
The beginning of Forza Motorsport welcomes players with open arms. It offers a difficulty slider, three distinct modes of play, an abundance of training options, real-time assists, and a rewind button (which quickly became my favorite feature). In the Driving Assists menu, I tweaked the settings to my liking, turning the Global Presets down to light, activating the Suggested Line for braking only, and retaining ABS and automatic shifting. This configuration gave me a sense of control on the tracks and provided the comfort needed for experimenting with new racing strategies during practice laps.
Now, let’s talk about the rewind button. For newcomers to Forza, it might seem like a whimsical feature for a serious racing game, but it’s an absolute game-changer, especially during practice rounds. Rewind allows racers to rectify mistakes without leaving the track, encouraging players to persevere and refine their skills. It promotes playfulness and experimentation—a delightful feature that you can disable if you prefer a more punishing gaming experience.
One of the standout aspects of Forza Motorsport is its smooth 60 frames per second performance on all platforms, including the Xbox Series S. This level of framerate consistency is essential for a racing simulation, particularly when many AAA games struggle to achieve 60 fps on the Series S. Microsoft’s commitment to feature parity between the Series X and Series S pays off in spades, delivering a visually pleasing and incredibly fluid gaming experience.
Responsiveness reigns supreme in racing games, and Turn 10 Studios has masterfully prioritized it. Achieving 1080p and 60 fps on the Series S was no small feat, and the results speak for themselves. Ray-traced global illumination and dynamic lighting make cars and tracks gleam, while the environments along the race tracks strike a perfect balance between detail and immersion. Forza Motorsport provides a strangely serene yet high-octane experience, and I’m eagerly anticipating the full game’s release.
While there has been some recent drama surrounding missing features at Forza Motorsport’s launch—namely, spectator mode, AI racing in featured multiplayer, and splitscreen—I find it challenging to dwell on these omissions after my experience with the Builders Cup intro series. Turn 10 is constructing a solid racing simulation that excels in responsiveness, customization, and accessibility. It lays a clean and polished foundation that promises years of engaging downloadable content.
Forza Motorsport isn’t just a standalone game; it’s the cornerstone of a live-service system. After 18 years and seven installments, 2023’s Motorsport marks the series’ final standalone release, designed to continually evolve with regular content drops, including new maps, vehicles, and challenges, all complemented by social and sharing features. It’s a strategic move that aligns perfectly with the franchise’s future.
In the introductory stages of the game, Forza Motorsport strikes an impressive balance between customization and complexity, making each track instantly engaging. The game’s flexibility ensures that nearly every aspect is customizable, from vehicle upgrades and AI difficulty to accessibility options and driving mechanics. This means that when things go awry during a race, it’s not the game’s fault; it’s a true test of player skill. And it doesn’t hurt that the game looks stunning, even on the Xbox Series S.
Mark your calendars because Forza Motorsport is set to race onto Xbox Series X/S and PC on October 10th, and it promises a thrilling journey for casual racers and seasoned drivers alike. So get ready to rev those engines and hit the tracks—it’s going to be an unforgettable ride.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Forza Motorsport Preview
Q: When is Forza Motorsport scheduled for release?
A: Forza Motorsport is set to be released on October 10th.
Q: What are some standout features of Forza Motorsport mentioned in the preview?
A: Some standout features include smooth 60 fps performance, detailed vehicle customization, a rewind button for practice rounds, and impressive graphics with ray-traced effects.
Q: Will Forza Motorsport have spectator mode, AI racing in featured multiplayer, and splitscreen at launch?
A: No, these features will not be included in Forza Motorsport at launch, but the preview suggests that the absence of these features doesn’t detract from the overall positive experience.
Q: What is the long-term plan for Forza Motorsport as mentioned in the preview?
A: Forza Motorsport is intended to be a live-service game, with regular content drops including new maps, vehicles, and challenges, along with social and sharing features to enhance the gaming experience.