After a long period of waiting, Xbox fans finally have their first look at the next Forza Motorsport. After skipping 2019, Microsoft has given us an early peak at Turn 10’s next iteration.
Broadcast during the Xbox Games Showcase, the trailer was a short insight into where Forza is right now. Much of the minute-long clip was “in-engine”, and conveyed very little by way of concrete information. In addition, we’ve not seen any proper gameplay yet. Nonetheless, we’ve gleaned all that we can from this brief announcement and further interviews with the Turn 10 team, and put it all in one handy place.
It’s not Forza Motorsport 8
Perhaps the most obvious angle of the trailer was the lack of a number. That’s because the new Forza Motorsport game is simply called “Forza Motorsport“.
Turn 10 has decided on a reboot of sorts for the series, and while that might leave fans fearing for a situation like Gran Turismo Sport, the first impressions are that it’s a softer form of reboot.
Shortly after the initial reveal, Turn 10’s creative director Chris Esaki explained some of the reasoning behind the absence of the eight. The team has gone back to basics to rebuild the underlying principles of the Forza Motorsport series and will “double down on motorsport”. This suggests that the new title will tilt back into the direction of track and race cars — a point we’ll come to later.
According to Esaki, the game will be “a love letter” to existing fans, and welcome players new to the series. The new name could be a move to bring new players in at ground level without fear they’d not experienced the previous seven titles.
4K, 60 FPS, Ray Tracing
Naturally as a leading first-party title, Microsoft will be very keen for Forza Motorsport to be the head of the trend for pushing the graphical capabilities of the Xbox Series X. Turn 10 has confirmed in an official blog post that the game will run in native 4K resolution and at 60fps.
That’s a rather interesting mark, as Microsoft has previously noted the new console’s ablity to run up to 120fps. Whether this refers to a standard for a lower console — the One X, or the rumored “Series S” — remains to be seen.
Of course the new Forza will make us of real-time ray tracing, and we did see some evidence of this at work in the trailer. Curiously, we couldn’t spot any inter-reflections — reflections of reflections — which are a hallmark of RTRT, but the clip was pretty brief. Esaki also noted that one of the side-effects of the technology was it revealed some of the deficiencies of the vehicle and environment models, so the team is re-working all assets with that in mind.
New and Updated Cars
Although it was only a short clip we did get a look at a select few cars set to come to Forza Motorsport. The main car the trailer focused on was the Apollo Intensa Emozione. This track-focused hypercar is already well established in Forza Horizon 4, but will be new to the roster in the Motorsport series — if you don’t count its odd background appearance in Forza Motorsport 7.
Also appearing, though in static form, were the Mazda Lola B12/80 and BAC Mono. Both are already well established in previous Forza Motorsport games, as is the Donkervoort D8. The Dutch supercar — largely based on a 1957 Lotus Seven, but heavily updated — doesn’t appear as a modeled vehicle, but shows up in a poster in the garage for a “Laguna Seca Legends” event.
Blink and you’ll miss it, but you can also just about make out the rear end of a Chaparral 2E lurking in the far corner of the garage too. This has been part of the series since Forza Motorsport 5. One thing you’ll note about all of these cars is that they are either race cars or track-day machines. With Esaki’s comments above suggesting a motorsport focus, perhaps regular, road-going cars might be for the chop (or Horizon).
As for the tracks, we only got to see a single one in the clip. Fortunately it’s a very good one: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Don’t expect it soon, or for Xbox One
The trailer doesn’t feature a release date of any kind, but we’d recommend not pinning any hopes on it making a launch day appearance. There’s a couple of reasons for this.
First, when introducing the clip, the head of Xbox Phil Spencer stated that the game was in early development. That was somewhat reinforced by just how short the trailer was and how little there was in it. The closing screen of the trailer also left fans with questions. Unlike other games, which made mention of the Xbox One in their closing cards, there was no reference to the older machine for Forza Motorsport.
That also feeds into something Microsoft said earlier in the year: there will be no platform-specific exclusives on the Series X for at least a year after launch. If there’s no Xbox One launch for Forza Motorsport, it cannot arrive within this fairly vague window, suggesting a launch at best in late 2021 and more likely in 2022.
We’ll bring you more information on Forza Motorsport when we know more. For now, consider this an amuse bouche for a tastier serving of Forza sometime down the line. Watch this space…