Forza Motorsport Looks Fantastic, But the Release Date's Still Up in the Air

Forza Motorsport Looks Fantastic, But the Release Date's Still Up in the Air

Image: Xbox Game Studios

The rebooted Forza Motorsport was one of the stars of Microsoft’s Xbox Developer Direct on Wednesday afternoon. The Xbox and PC racing sim remains due for release this year — although, suspiciously, the word “spring” appears to have vanished from the game’s ETA.

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

Credit: Forza via YouTube

One hundred of those cars are new to the franchise, while five of the tracks have also never been seen before in an FM game. Those 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, physically based lighting and volumetric fog as well as a procedural cloud system. They’ll also drive more realistically than ever before — track surface temperatures fluctuate and the racing line now “rubbers in” over the course of a session.

Image for article titled Forza Motorsport Looks Fantastic, But the Release Date's Still Up in the Air

Image: Xbox Game Studios

As you’d expect, the cars themselves haven’t missed out on the love. Turn 10 used spectrophotometers to capture the intricacies of individual car paints and how they react to light; even the dirt accumulation model is unique to every vehicle, based on how air and particles flow around the body. That’s why the recesses around the engine cover of a Corvette C8.R will look more grimy than the rest of the car at the conclusion of a hard-fought race.

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Image for article titled Forza Motorsport Looks Fantastic, But the Release Date's Still Up in the Air

Image: Xbox Game Studios

Audio development has continued where Forza Horizon 5 left off, with hardware-accelerated reverb that reacts dynamically to a vehicle’s surroundings and support for Dolby Atmos spatial audio. FH5 was an excellent sounding game, and based on the clip provided, the new Motorsport entry will continue that streak.

While this info dump certainly gave us lots of footage to pour over, equally interesting are the parts of the experience we haven’t seen. At the end of the video, Turn 10 Creative Director Chris Esaki teased a “new online racing mode” and a “car building-focused single-player career.” Given that FM7’s career was typically regarded as one of its weak points, we’re especially curious to see how the offline experience has evolved for the franchise’s new era.

Image for article titled Forza Motorsport Looks Fantastic, But the Release Date's Still Up in the Air

Image: Xbox Game Studios

We’re also disappointed — and frankly a little surprised, given the lengthy development period — that Turn 10 wasn’t able to provide a concrete release date, and that Forza Motorsport has seemingly shed its spring launch window. Six years will have passed since FM7 by the time its sequel hits shelves. That’s a long wait for what used to be an every-other-year series.

For what it’s worth, The Game Awards’ Geoff Keighley tweeted a “before end of June” ETA upon the event’s conclusion, and we’ve reached out to Microsoft to inquire about it. If the game lands by June 21, technically that’s still spring.

Below you can peruse a sample of cars from the full roster that Turn 10 revealed in a blog post. I for one am loving all the Group C prototypes, but the focus on modern race cars is encouraging to see, too.

1971 AMC Javelin AMX1989 Aston Martin #18 Aston Martin AMR12016 Aston Martin Vulcan2014 Audi #2 Audi Team Joest R18 e-tron quattro2016 Audi #17 Rotek Racing TT RS2016 Audi R8 V10 plus2018 Audi #44 R8 LMS GT32018 Audi TT RS1991 BMW M32017 BMW #24 BMW Team RLL M6 GTLM2018 BMW #1 BMW M Motorsport M8 GTE2019 Brabham BT622018 Bugatti Chiron1970 Buick GSX2021 Cadillac #31 Whelen Racing DPi-V.R1969 Chevrolet Camaro Super Sport Coupe1969 Chevrolet Nova Super Sport 3961970 Chevrolet Camaro Z281970 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport 4542015 Chevrolet #10 Konica Minolta Corvette Daytona Prototype2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE2020 Chevrolet #3 Corvette Racing C8.R2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe1972 Chrysler VH Valiant Charger R/T E491969 Dodge Charger R/T1970 Dodge Challenger R/T2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon1965 Ford Mustang GT Coupe1969 Ford Mustang Boss 3021987 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS5002005 Ford GT2015 Ford #02 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley Mk XXVI Daytona Prototype2016 Ford #66 Ford Racing GT Le Mans2017 Ford GT2019 Ginetta #6 Team LNT Ginetta G60-LT-P12020 Hyundai #98 Bryan Herta Autosport Veloster N1983 Jaguar #44 Group 44 XJR-51988 Jaguar #1 Jaguar Racing XJR-91993 Jaguar XJ2202015 Jaguar XKR-S GT1988 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 QV1997 Lamborghini Diablo SV2016 Lamborghini Centenario LP 770-42020 Lamborghini Huracán EVO1969 Lola #10 Simoniz Special T1631990 Mazda MX-5 Miata1991 Mazda #55 Mazda 787B2010 Mazda #16 Mazda Racing B09/862014 Mazda #70 SpeedSource Lola B12/801969 McLaren #4 McLaren Cars M8B2013 McLaren P12018 McLaren Senna1989 Mercedes-Benz #63 Sauber-Mercedes C 91990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator1985 Nissan #83 GTP ZX-Turbo1991 Nissan #23 Nissan R91CP2015 Nissan #23 GT-R LM NISMO2019 Nissan 370Z Nismo2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO (R35)1969 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds 4422017 Oreca #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 071984 Peugeot 205 Turbo 161993 Peugeot #3 Peugeot Talbot Sport 905 EVO 1C1969 Pontiac GTO Judge1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SD-4551970 Porsche #3 917 LH1983 Porsche #11 John Fitzpatrick Racing 9561987 Porsche #17 Porsche AG 962C2014 Porsche 918 Spyder2017 Porsche #2 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid2017 Porsche #92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2019 Porsche #70 Porsche Motorsport 9352019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS2021 Porsche 911 GT32021 Porsche Mission R2015 Radical RXC Turbo2004 Saleen S72014 Toyota #8 Toyota Racing TS040 HYBRID