Forza Motorsport looks fantastic, but the release date is still up in the air

Forza Motorsport looks fantastic, but the release date is still up in the air

Image: Xbox Game Studios

Image: Xbox Game Studios

The restarted Forza Motorsport was one of the stars of Microsoft’s Xbox Developer Direct on Wednesday afternoon. The Xbox and PC racing sim is still due out this year – although, suspiciously, the word “spring” appears to have disappeared from the game’s ETA.

The good news is that it’s still shaping up to be a massive improvement over 2017. Forza Motorsport 7. Last year, Turn 10 confirmed three major details, including a big physics overhaul, real-time ray-tracing support, and full simulation of weather and hourly changes. We also know that the next installment will feature over 500 cars at launch, with 20 environments “built from the ground up for this generation” per director of Sports car Content Arthur Shek.

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Credit: Forza via YouTube

One hundred of these cars are new to the franchise, while five of the tracks have never been seen before in a FM Game. These include Kyalami in South Africa, as well as the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, a mainstay of the IndyCar and IMSA calendars. Both look phenomenal thanks to ray-traced global illumination, physics lighting, and volumetric fog along with a procedural cloud system. They will also drive more realistically than ever before – track surface temperatures fluctuate and the racing line now “sinks” during a session.

Image: Xbox Game Studios

Image: Xbox Game Studios

As you’d expect, the cars themselves didn’t miss the love. Turn 10 used spectrophotometers to capture the intricacies of individual car paints and how they react to light; even the pattern of dirt accumulation is unique to each vehicle, depending on how air and particles flow around the body. That’s why the indentations around the engine cover of a Corvette C8.R will look dirtier than the rest of the car at the end of a hard run.

Image: Xbox Game Studios

Image: Xbox Game Studios

Audio development continued where Forza Horizon 5 left out, with hardware-accelerated reverb that dynamically reacts to a vehicle’s surroundings and supports Dolby Atmos spatial audio. FH5 was a great game, and from the clip provided, the new Sports car the entry will continue this sequence.

While this dump of information certainly gave us plenty of footage to wade through, the parts of the experience we didn’t see are equally interesting. At the end of the video, Turn 10 creative director Chris Esaki teased a “new online racing mode” and a “single-player career focused on building cars”. Given that the FM7 was generally seen as one of its weak points, we’re particularly curious to see how the offline experience has evolved for the franchise’s new era.

Image: Xbox Game Studios

Image: Xbox Game Studios

We’re also disappointed – and frankly a bit surprised, given the lengthy development period – that Turn 10 hasn’t been able to provide a concrete release date, and that Forza Motorsport apparently lost its spring launch window. Six years will have passed since FM7 just as its sequel hits shelves. It’s a long wait for what was once a biannual series.

For what it’s worth, The Game Awards’ Geoff Keighley tweeted an ETA ‘before the end of June’ at the end of the event, and we reached out to Microsoft to find out more. If the game lands by June 21, technically it’s still spring.

Below, you can browse a sample of cars from the full list revealed by Turn 10 in a blog post. Personally, I love all the Group C prototypes, but the focus on modern race cars is also heartening to see.

  • 1971 AMC Javelin AMX

  • 1989 Aston Martin #18 Aston Martin AMR1

  • Aston Martin Vulcan 2016

  • 2014 Audi #2 Audi Team Joest R18 e-tron quattro

  • 2016 Audi #17 Rotek Racing TT RS

  • 2016 Audi R8 V10 plus

  • Audi #44 R8 LMS GT3 2018

  • 2018 Audi TT RS

  • 1991BMW M3

  • 2017 BMW #24 BMW Team RLL M6 GTLM

  • BMW #1 BMW M Motorsport M8 GTE 2018

  • Brabham BT62 2019

  • Bugatti Chiron 2018

  • 1970 Buick GSX

  • 2021 Cadillac #31 Whelen Racing DPi-VR

  • 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Super Sport Coupe

  • 1969 Chevrolet Nova Super Sport 396

  • 1970 Chevy Camaro Z28

  • 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport 454

  • 2015 Chevrolet #10 Konica Minolta Corvette Daytona Prototype

  • 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

  • 2020 Chevrolet #3 Corvette Racing C8.R

  • 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe

  • 1972 Chrysler VH Valiant Charger R/T E49

  • 1969 Dodge Charger R/T

  • 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

  • 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

  • 1965 Ford Mustang GT Coupe

  • 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302

  • 1987 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500

  • 2005 Ford GT

  • 2015 Ford #02 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley Mk XXVI Daytona Prototype

  • Ford #66 Ford Racing GT Le Mans 2016

  • 2017 Ford GT

  • 2019 Ginetta #6 Team LNT Ginetta G60-LT-P1

  • 2020 Hyundai #98 Bryan Herta Autosport Veloster N

  • 1983 Jaguar #44 Group 44 XJR-5

  • 1988 Jaguar #1 Jaguar Racing XJR-9

  • 1993 Jaguar XJ220

  • Jaguar XKR-S GT 2015

  • 1988 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 QV

  • 1997 Lamborghini Diablo SV

  • Lamborghini Centenario LP 770-4 2016

  • Lamborghini Huracan EVO 2020

  • 1969 Lola #10 Simoniz Special T163

  • 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata

  • 1991 Mazda #55 Mazda 787B

  • 2010 Mazda #16 Mazda Racing B09/86

  • Mazda #70 SpeedSource Lola B12/80 2014

  • 1969 McLaren #4 McLaren M8B Cars

  • McLaren P1 2013

  • McLaren Senna 2018

  • 1989 Mercedes-Benz #63 Sauber-Mercedes C9

  • 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II

  • 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

  • 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator

  • 1985 Nissan #83 GTP ZX-Turbo

  • 1991 Nissan #23 Nissan R91CP

  • 2015 Nissan #23 GT-R LM NISMO

  • 2019 Nissan 370Z Nismo

  • 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO (R35)

  • 1969 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds 442

  • 2017 Oreca #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07

  • 1984 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

  • 1993 Peugeot #3 Peugeot Talbot Sport 905 EVO 1C

  • Judge Pontiac GTO 1969

  • 1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SD-455

  • 1970 Porsche #3 917 LH

  • 1983 Porsche #11 John Fitzpatrick Racing 956

  • 1987 Porsche #17 Porsche AG 962C

  • 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder

  • 2017 Porsche #2 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid

  • Porsche #92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR 2017

  • 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

  • 2019 Porsche #70 Porsche Motorsport 935

  • 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

  • 2021 Porsche 911 GT3

  • 2021 Porsche Mission R

  • Radical RXC Turbo 2015

  • 2004 Saleen S7

  • Toyota #8 Toyota Racing TS040 HYBRID 2014

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