Almost six years after Forza Motorsport 7 The eighth installment of the saga of driving simulators will arrive with a title that makes clear the ambition of assuming a great leap forward. Turn 10 Studios and Xbox Game Studios will release Forza Motorsportto dry, without any number behind, in the spring 2023 for Xbox Series and PC; an unprecedented date in the series, whose premieres had always been located in the last months of the year. The racing game will leave aside the console of the previous generation, Xbox One, because in the words of Chris Esaki, Creative Director of the title, is “a generational jump”. The graphics engine, the physics system, the old and new circuits Everything is made from scratch. The developers claim that there is “more changes of Fdaggerboard Motorsport 7 so far that all the changes made since Forza Motorsport 4 until FM7“. As we said, there is ambition, something that is denoted by the statement that the representatives of the study said on the stage of the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase after showing the trailer of the game: “It’s the most technologically advanced driving game ever made”.
Technological improvements for an “incredible” drive
The driving genre, especially simulators, is probably the one I the more correlation there is between technological progress and gameplay improvements. Precisely for this reason it does not surprise us that both in the presentation of the title on June 12 and in the Forza Monthly issued a few days later would focus on both technical data and figures. Perhaps the one that has produced the most headlines is that the physics fidelity will be 48 times more accurate. The calculation proceeds from each tire now has eight contact points with the asphalt (before they only had one) and the graphics engine receives that six times faster calculation than before The goal is to make driving as realistic as possible.
“Actually,” says Chris Esaki of that physics fidelity improvement figure, “this it means that it feels amazing [a los mandos]. It’s the best driving experience we’ve ever had.” Mind you, this is still forceand series players want a title that is once familiar with the pad in your hands or with the steering wheel on the table. “It continues to be perceived as force“promises Esaki, “but it’s an incredible simulation, Like nothing we’ve ever had beforeand I think everyone is going to be very happy when they get to try it.” By the way, there have been select players who have already been able to play in closed invitation tests that took place in May and August 2021, but since those sessions were under contract of confidentiality no opinions have come to light, since the objective was for users to give feedback developers to polish the experience to the extreme.
The creative director defines the change in lighting system as an “important matter”. It’s easy to see the visual leap this will bring, but it will also greatly affect gameplay. The time of day is fully dynamic on all tracks, that is, there will be an adjustment of 24 hours, and in real circuits that dynamic time will replicate the real one. The light, along with dynamic climatology (also adjustable in the circuits), will affect the track temperature, and this has different consequences when driving, especially in the grip, something that they ensure is noticeable when playing. “[…] this new simulation adds depth, drama and dynamism to the driving experience”, they promise from Turn 10. Likewise, the temperature of the track also affect tire wear, which will have various consequences on driving. Because, obviously, driving with a wheel in poor condition will not be the same as driving with the rubber as good as new; but also because pieces of rubber will dirty the circuit gradually, and that dirt will affect the grip.
In addition to taking into account the temperature, the weather and the dirtiness of the circuit, two systems are added that will have to be managed carefully. On the one hand, the amount of fuel of the vehicle, which will affect its weight with all that this entails. And on the other hand, the tire types: soft, medium and hard. The first ones have better grip, but they will make us go through the pits more often. The hard ones take time to wear out, but they grip worse. The media obviously offer a middle ground. These items will have importance especially in multiplayerwhich we will talk about shortly.
There are also two other changes announced in the simulation of which not many details have been given at the moment. The suspension system has been totally renewedor to make it more realistic, but still have the force feel that the players of the Turn 10 games like so much. And they have finally changed how the vehicle behaves when approaching a curb or when driving over it. “Pianos, which were somewhat harsh and disconcerting, can now be tackled with confidence,” she said from the studio. “It’s perceived smooth and natural driving on them as the tires perceive the road and feel the undulations of the curbs”.
Circuits, cars and a renewal of the great modes
It remains to be seen how many circuits and vehicles there are in Forza Motorsport when it is published, but surely it will not stop gradually expanding both with free updates and paid DLC. So far they have shown five circuits, three from previous installments of the saga (Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Laguna Seca Raceway and Maple Valley) and two completely new ones, the original Circuit Hakone in Japan and the real Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit from South Africa. Turn 10 ensures that the circuits they have invented have been designed with fun in mind in the playable; and as a second goal, that they be visually spectacular.
As for the vehicles, gameplay and in the trailer they have taught 37 cars (you can consult the complete list revealed so far here), many of them totally new. It is a list where there are many modern cars, but there are cars dating back to 1966 and others that did not set foot on a circuit until last year. Director Chris Esaki assures that the garage has been designed with a “very motorsports focus”so don’t expect extravagant vehicles like the ones we see in Horizon or in one’s own Grand Touringbut cars that have or have had importance in real competition.
Regarding the modes, there are no details, but it is known that the campaign or career mode has been remodeled completely to offer a totally new experience; and that the multiplayer mode also comes with numerous adjustments. The competitive online will have a structure similar to real motor competitionswith a calendar of active and upcoming events, with periods in which to practice the times until doing the test that designates our position on pole, and the weekend competition.
A visual leap where ray tracing stands out
The new Forza Motorsport be the first driving simulator designed for next generation consoles (and for PC), so the visual leap from the previous installment promises to be tremendous. The highlight, especially after ForzaHorizon 5 Y Grand Touring 7is the use of track ray tracing. The ray tracing be present while driving, but also, in the sections that are not of gameplaylike the repeats, global full illumination is added by ray tracing. “It’s a level of immersion that sometimes it can be subtle“said the creative director, but other times “it’s amazing, photorealistic, more immersive”. Although they have not specified it, they imply that ray tracing will also be on Xbox Series S, although the gameplay they have shown has been captured on PC replicating Xbox Series X graphics settings: By the way, the game will target 4K 60 FPS on Series X and 1080p 60 FPS on Series S.
Ray tracing will take much advantage of the New Materials. As you can see in the trailer and the screenshots, the vehicles and their interior have been recreated with an unusual level of detail, but since Turn 10 the advanced materials such as the carbon fiber, aluminum and gold finishes; and how the reflections of these textures behave realistically. Equally realistic will be the recreation of the circuits and their elements (background decorations, cones, vegetation, gravel, etc.), for which photogrammetry and 3D scannersas well as techniques of procedural generation to deliver more realistic skies, mountains, forests, and bodies of water. Likewise, the circuit setting change depending on the time of day. To account for what all these changes mean, the following video is perfect, which compares how Maple Valley changes from the first force to which to arrive in spring.
Finally, they have also placed a lot of emphasis on the car damage. Obviously, do not expect a burn out with cars exploding, because that’s not the tone a driving simulator wants to set, nor will real car manufacturers allow their cars to blow up in a video game. But it has been greatly improved how bumps and shocks affect the exterior of the vehicleconsidering the direction of damage, how it wears paint, tire abrasions, body damage and individual level scratches. Esaki says that they have put so much effort into this because the state in which a car arrives at the finish line is one of those little details that “they tell amazing stories” of what happened on the track.
Many details to know until the spring launch
Forza Motorsport promises an unprecedented number of changes and improvements in a new installment of a driving simulator that, until recently, was released every two years. In addition, it will be the first Xbox Game Studios title (with permission from Microsoft Flight Simulator) responsible of show what Xbox Series X/S are capable of, and his commitment to ray tracing and photogrammetry go in that direction. However, all the changes in physics and what it will affect the gameplay is Impossible to judge without the control or the steering wheel in the hands; and in addition, we do not know many important details, such as the operation of the new campaign mode. Until now, the force had been announced just over a quarter before launch, but now we have almost a year of waiting until the premierewhich will give space to Turn 10 to explain the details of what is to come next spring.