Forza Motorsport 8 on Xbox and PC: Gameplay, trailers, and everything we know

0
26


Forza Motorsport Hero ImageSource: Xbox Game Studios

The Forza Motorsport franchise includes a series of critically acclaimed simulation racing games, helmed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Xbox Game Studios. With the last game, Forza Motorsport 7, starting to show its age (and no longer available on digital storefronts), all eyes are turned toward what’s next for the series. What would a Forza Motorsport 8 deliver to players?

In reality, Turn 10 Studios is dropping the numeric moniker and building a new experience from the ground up with the rebooted Forza Motorsport. This upcoming title will be powered by an overhauled ForzaTech game engine designed to take advantage of the current-gen technologies contained within Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Forza Motorsport is still a mystery, but more details are revealed all the time as we inch closer to an eventual release.

Here’s everything we know about the eighth Forza Motorsport, from gameplay details to possible release windows.

What is Forza Motorsport?

Forza MotorsportSource: Xbox Game Studios

Forza Motorsport is a franchise of simulation racing games that began with Forza Motorsport (2005) on the original Xbox. Developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Xbox Game Studios, Forza Motorsport is commonly compared to PlayStation’s Gran Turismo simulation racing franchise, and is known for incredible visuals, varied car rosters, and robust online racing. Each Forza title has been counted among the best Xbox racing games, with Forza Motorsport appealing to fans of realism and simulation.

The last Forza Motorsport title was Forza Motorsport 7, released in 2017, which garnered nearly flawless critical acclaim and consumer praise. The game enjoyed regular injections of fresh content and a consistently expanding community, until FM7 was shelved from digital storefronts in September 2021 due to its various licenses and agreements expiring four years after release.

Now, Turn 10 Studios is developing the next title in the franchise, simply known as Forza Motorsport, which is a reboot of the series built from the ground up for current-gen consoles and PC. The title is powered by a new, overhauled version of the ForzaTech engine that powers previous Forza titles like Forza Horizon 5, and will be powering the upcoming Fable reboot being developed by Playground Games.

Similar to the previous entries in the series, Forza Motorsport will be a simulation racing game that aims to deliver impeccable realism to players regardless of where or how they play, with intricate physics and handling, cars and tracks taken straight from the real world, and countless overlapping systems and gameplay mechanics that contribute to the overall experience. As a reboot, Forza Motorsport should represent a huge leap forward for the franchise, although not many details are currently known.

When is the release date for Forza Motorsport?

Forza MotorsportSource: Xbox Game Studios

When Forza Motorsport was teased during the Xbox July 2020 Games Showcase, it was labeled as being “early in development,” as Turn 10 Studios had spent much of the time since the release of Forza Motorsport 7 supporting the aforementioned title and advancing the capabilities of its ForzaTech game engine. No release window was provided, and that still hasn’t changed.

As we progress further into 2022, it seemingly becomes increasingly likely that Forza Motorsport may be set for a release later this year. Turn 10 Studios have hinted numerous times that more information on Forza Motorsport was arriving this year, and with the launch of Forza Horizon 5 at the end of 2021, the Xbox lineup is ripe for another flagship racing title. Forza Motorsport games historically prefer to release in the latter half of the year, so we could be looking at an end-of-year or holidays release for Forza Motorsport in 2022.

Whether or not Forza Motorsport is slated for a release later this year, there’s a very good chance the title will make an appearance during the major Xbox and Bethesda June 2022 Games Showcase dominating the usual “E3” period. Many of the biggest upcoming Xbox and Bethesda titles, like Starfield, are expected to be shown during the event, and Turn 10 Studios would be remiss not to show its progress with Forza Motorsport alongside them.

When Forza Motorsport is finally released and in the hands of players, we know it’ll arrive on Xbox Series X|S and PC platforms. It’ll also be supported by Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, respectively, giving millions of players instant access to the title. There’s currently no confirmation on whether Forza Motorsport will arrive on the aging Xbox One platform, with the initial announcement indicating “no” and a subsequent leak suggesting “yes.” Either way, the flagship racing game could reach even more players and platforms through Xbox Cloud Gaming, even if it’s a current-gen exclusive title.

Where can I watch the trailers for Forza Motorsport?

Forza Motorsport official announcement

Message from creative director Chris Esaki

What is the production process for Forza Motorsport?

Forza MotorsportSource: Xbox Game Studios

When Forza Motorsport was announced in June 2020, it was revealed to be in “early development,” meaning Turn 10 Studios still had years of work ahead of it to deliver a finished and polished product. This shirked the prior pattern dictated by all preceding Forza Motorsport titles, which released in two-year intervals, ending with Forza Motorsport 7 in 2017. With the next Forza Motorsport gaming being in early development three years after its predecessor launched, many fans wondered what was going on at Turn 10 Studios.

The absence of Forza Motorsport’s bi-annual return follows long-term support for its predecessor, with regular updates delivered beyond the launch of Forza Horizon 4. The two series received parallel post-launch support, with Microsoft creative director Dan Greenawalt citing its new approach among reasons for schedule amendments back in 2019.

“So, as of right now, Motorsport itself is actually in concept; it’s just something we’re currently building. And this is after supporting Forza Motorsport 7 for longer than we ever have before,” Greenawalt told IGN in late 2019.

Simply put, the Forza experts have been focusing on the underlying systems and foundations that support the Forza franchise, namely the ForzaTech engine. This engine powers Forza Motorsport, Forza Horizon, and the upcoming Fable reboot, and is being upgraded with ray-tracing support, improved AI and physics, more realistic simulation elements, and much more.

Forza MotorsportSource: Xbox Game Studios

Turn 10 Studios is also developing a suite of tools that allows them to implement changes and new content much faster than before, enabling it to add new cars, tracks, and more to Forza Motorsport with ease. The team is also using a new photogrammetry technique to achieve even greater levels of details in Forza Motorsport’s environments, textures, and materials.

Just implementing more complete ray-tracing support laid the groundwork for a host of improvements across various engine technologies, leading to advances with visuals, cars, tracks and environments, character models, and more. Ray tracing first debuted in the Forza franchise with Forza Horizon 5, but did so in a very limited capacity. It’s believed that ray tracing will be far more prominent in Forza Motorsport, and that it’ll benefit the entirety of the game even when it’s not enabled.

Forza Motorsport reimagines the entire franchise and focuses on returning to the series’ roots alongside new game concepts and ideas, all designed to bring Forza Motorsport into the future. Turn 10 Studios hopes to welcome a brand-new generation of simulation racing game players alongside the existing community. A lot of work is being done to bring racing balancing and strategy to all-new levels. Turn 10 Studios is also considering the esports potential of Forza Motorsport, as well as regulations and rules for competitive racing.

Forza Motorsport will have a unique focus on accessibility and inclusivity as a core pillar of design, and will be built in tandem with the community. Turn 10 Studios is collecting feedback from select community members on creative and competitive aspects of the game to ensure Forza Motorsport delivers the best experience possible. Turn 10 Studios is even hosting playtests, sending surveys, and having discussions directly with the Forza community.

What is the gameplay in Forza Motorsport?

Forza MotorsportSource: Xbox Game Studios

Gameplay in the Forza Motorsport franchise has remained relatively constant over the years, attracting the same passionate community of simulation racing games fans. However, Turn 10 Studios is intending for Forza Motorsport to be a greater jump from Forza Motorsport 7 than all the changes combined from Forza Motorsport 4 to 7. The team is working on countless changes and improvements under the hood, along with feedback from the community, to make this Forza Motorsport the most realistic and expansive game Turn 10 Studios have ever made.

Turn 10 Studios currently remains tight on many of Forza Motorsport’s details, making it hard to discern advancements over earlier games. Hundreds of iconic vehicles, a sizeable handful of locales, and other series signatures are among the assumed features. We also expect upgrades in the core gameplay, expanding on the fundamentals of its simulation sandbox and how players handle cars in moment-to-moment racing.

Here’s everything we know about the gameplay and other elements of Forza Motorsport.

Performance & visuals

The first Forza Motorsport trailer provided a glimpse into what’s ahead through the lens of the technology powering the experience. The announcement discussed a “connected and dynamic” world, with added depth enabled by the improved ForzaTech engine. That includes a 4K resolution target at 60 frames per second (FPS) on Xbox Series X, the best Xbox console on the market right now.

We also know ray tracing comes standard, bringing advanced lighting over past games. Microsoft gave a few examples — from “surfaces of cars reflecting off each other, to brilliant red paint bouncing off intensely detailed track surfaces, and the interplay of light and shadow throughout the world.”

Turn 10 Studios’ work on the ForzaTech engine is enabling them to scale Forza Motorsport across a dramatic range of devices, from the current-gen powerhouse Xbox Series X and high-end PCs to the more affordable Xbox Series S and lower-end PCs. The initial trailer may have been “in-engine” instead of live gameplay, but it’s safe to say that Forza Motorsport aims to be the most performant and gorgeous iteration in the franchise. We’ll continue to update this space as we see more of Forza Motorsport.

Online & multiplayer

Not a whole lot is known about Forza Motorsport’s approach to online racing and multiplayer, although we know that it’ll continue to be a crucial part of the experience for Turn 10 Studios. Online multiplayer has become progressively more important with each successive Forza Motorsport and Horizon title, and we expect that work to continue with the rebooted title.

Turn 10 Studios wants Forza Motorsport to put more of a focus on “community” and on enabling all players to have fun and to improve together. What does this mean? We don’t have a lot of details, but we do know Turn 10 Studios is putting a lot of work into improving Forza Motorsport’s esports rules and regulations, and that race events are being presented more as proper “events” rather than quick back-to-back races, with Open Practice and Qualifiers leading up to major weekend-long competitions, known as “Featured Races.” Forza Motorsport will even present an always-accessible calendar of active and upcoming events players can join.

Forza Motorsport will provide more granular and detailed feedback on where players can improve their driving abilities and lap times. Rather than simple lap times or even section times, Forza Motorsport will also evaluate laps on a corner-by-corner basis, giving players metrics on exactly where they were faster or slower than before, and give direction on how to improve. This also ties into Forza Motorsport’s move away from simple leaderboards, encouraging players to improve where they can by competing with each other in real time.

Finally, we know that Forza Motorsport is investing in endurance racing in a big way. Major improvements to tire compounds, tire wear, fuel consumption, and other simulation elements, on top of redesigns of the online multiplayer experience, allows Turn 10 Studios to fully embrace endurance racing. With the upcoming racing game, players will be able to practice and qualify for endurance races when it’s convenient for them, and then return for the main event alongside other players.

Physics & driving mechanics

With Forza Motorsport, Turn 10 Studios is aiming for an ultra-realistic driving simulator under the hood that remains approachable for all kinds of players. Cars should behave exactly as they’re expected to behave in the real world, meaning there’s a focus on suspensions, handling dynamics, and more to ensure each car is as close to reality as possible.

Turn 10 Studios indicated progress on gameplay as early as December 2019, with Creative Director Chris Esaki detailing studio-wide playtesting underway for the “new experience” under the Motorsport team. Esaki continued, elaborating on various fundamental features, including new tire and suspension models at play.

Esaki downplayed these additions, stating they “don’t really matter in the larger scheme of things,” though they indicate some major change-ups headed to Motorsport. These contribute to a “vastly different” experience, Esaki claimed, providing insight into the mindset among the team, doubling down on deeper dynamic systems to change up each race.

When evaluated one at a time, the various improvements made to Forza Motorsport’s physics and driving mechanics do appear to be minor, but altogether should translate to significant gains in realism. Some of the improvements we do know of in the new Forza Motorsport include:

  • New tire compounds, including soft, medium, and hard options, each with its own wear and handling characteristics. More compounds are being considered ahead of release, and players will be able to change tire compounds mid-race while pitting
  • Major improvements to tire wear, fuel consumption, and other elements pertaining to endurance racing
  • A 48-times increase in fidelity when it comes to tire collision data (how tires interact with the track surface), with one point-of-contact refreshing at 60Hz increasing to eight points-of-contact refreshing at an astounding 360Hz
  • Improvements to curbs, making them feel more natural and smoother, with improvements in tires and feedback delivering more information to players
  • Improvements in tire and track temperature, and how it relates to tire grip, pressure, and wear, as well as other environmental factors that contribute to differences in handling and driving mechanics
  • Major improvements to suspensions, going in-depth to ensure the way cars respond to various inputs and force is as realistic as possible, including anti-dive, anti-roll, force propagation, and much more

All of these improvements are being driven by the support of subject experts employed by Turn 10 Studios and feedback provided by actual Forza Motorsport players. “We’re taking this fan-first, player-first approach where we’re bringing players in, in different capacities to have them help us ideate on what we build next, and prototype new ideas and new thoughts,” Greenawalt told IGN.

We expect Forza Motorsport to fully support a wide range of steering wheels and pedals similar to previous titles, but it’s unclear whether Turn 10 Studios is investing effort into improving this support and making the experience even better for players choosing to set down the controller or mouse and keyboard in favor of a more realistic accessory. We also don’t know which steering wheels and accessories will be compatible with Forza Motorsport, although we expect Turn 10 Studios to release a list before the title launches.

Progression & story

Forza Motorsport’s progression and story elements are mired in mystery more than any other element of the game, with Turn 10 Studios not commenting on the systems very much. It’s unclear whether Forza Motorsport will have a legitimate singleplayer campaign through which players can progress, or how players will feel as if they’re “moving up the ranks” as they complete races and expand their car collection and skillset.

It’s rumored that Forza Motorsport may feature a “My garage” hub through which players can view their favorite cars, access performance and visual upgrades, join races and other events, and view settings and other information all from the same interconnected area. We haven’t seen anything of this hub, but it may provide a singular area that players can “live in” while playing Forza Motorsport, which many players have been requesting from the series for years.

We’ll be sure to update this space as soon as we learn more about the story or progression systems in Forza Motorsport, but for now we’re mostly left in the dark.

Which platforms will support Forza Motorsport?

Forza MotorsportSource: Xbox Game Studios

Forza Motorsport represents a new generation of simulation racing, and as such is fully supporting a new generation of gaming hardware and technologies. Forza Motorsport was initially announced as only coming to Microsoft’s Xbox Series X|S consoles and Windows PCs, but will it arrive anywhere else, and in what form will it appear on these platforms?

Xbox Series X|S

Xbox Series X, Xbox Series SSource: Matt Brown | Windows Central

The Xbox Series X and Series S represent the latest generation of Xbox consoles, combining significantly more powerful hardware and architecture with incredibly fast SSDs and a host of other improvements. Exact performance targets for Forza Motorsport on Xbox Series X|S haven’t been revealed, yet. It’s expected that Forza Motorsport will feel right at home on both current-gen consoles, with support for up to 4K resolution expected on Xbox Series X, minimum 60 FPS support, and even possible support for a 120 FPS mode.

We also expect to see expanded ray tracing support on the current-gen consoles, although it’s not clear whether ray tracing will be functional during all gameplay or only in specific scenarios, like with Forza Horizon 5 or Gran Turismo 7. We’ll continue to update this section as we learn more about how Forza Motorsport will look and run on Xbox Series X|S.

We’re also not certain what editions Forza Motorsport will offer or how much it’ll cost, but we do know that it’s launching into Xbox Game Pass from day one, making the title easy to access on Xbox Series X|S. It may also launch with Xbox Cloud Gaming support, thanks to the service being powered by Xbox Series X hardware, enabling players to access the latest Forza Motorsport from practically any device.

Xbox One

Xbox OneSource: Windows Central

Microsoft unveiled Forza Motorsport with Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Windows 10 PCs listed among supported platforms. With the new entry now pushing further into the lifecycle of the new consoles, it appears the title will sever ties with earlier Xbox One devices. No cross-generation support would avoid limiting the scope of the new title, given the fundamental changes to gameplay enabled by recent ForzaTech advancements.

Forza Motorsport Xbox One Leak ImageForza Motorsport Xbox One Leak ImageSource: r/GamingLeaksAndRumors

However, purported leaks from a Forza Motorsport playtest in August 2021, originally posted to Reddit, suggest that Forza Motorsport may be coming to Xbox One after all. If the images are to be believed, they depict Forza Motorsport running on an Xbox One console during a playtest. Turn 10 Studios have confirmed nothing, however. Even if the images are legitimate, it’s possible that Turn 10 Studios chose to test a part of Forza Motorsport on the unsupported consoles to collect further feedback, but still do not intend to launch the full game on the aging platform.

Turn 10 Studios have also mentioned how the updated ForzaTech engine makes it easier to scale the game across a wider range of hardware. While the team specifically mentioned lower-end PCs in this example, it does suggest that Forza Motorsport may be able to offer a compelling experience on Xbox One without sacrificing features and fidelity on higher-end systems.

We’ll continue to update this section as we learn more about Forza Motorsport running on Xbox One. Even if the ambitious simulation racer doesn’t appear on Microsoft’s last-gen consoles natively, Xbox Cloud Gaming support would enable Xbox One players to stream Forza Motorsport at up to 1080p and 60 FPS, as Microsoft’s cloud service is powered by Xbox Series X hardware.

PC

Be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2Source: Windows Central

Forza Motorsport will absolutely continue Xbox Game Studios’ commitment to supporting PC as well as Xbox, and will release simultaneously on both platforms. It’s not clear what performance targets Forza Motorsport will target on PC or how expansive its options and settings will be, but we expect it to be a capable and well-rounded port with plenty of configuration for players to explore.

Turn 10 Studios has also discussed Forza Motorsport’s ability to scale on PC, so it’s possible players may be surprised by their PC’s ability to play Forza Motorsport. PC and system requirements haven’t been revealed, however, so we’ll have to wait longer to see how well Forza Motorsport actually scales across PC hardware.

One feature that has been long requested by players is VR support, but there has been no indication so far that Forza Motorsport will support the feature on PC. VR support is demanding on even the most powerful hardware, and it’s unclear how much work would be required to enable the ForzaTech engine to support it. Hopefully, we’ll hear one way or the other before Forza Motorsport fully releases.

As for platforms, we fully expect Forza Motorsport to be offered both through the Microsoft Store (possibly with Xbox Play Anywhere support with Xbox consoles) and through Steam, similar to many other Xbox Game Studios titles. We also know Forza Motorsport will launch day and date on PC Game Pass, giving subscribers instant access to the title on Windows PCs. You’ll also be able to stream the game to PCs through Xbox Cloud Gaming.

PlayStation

Playstation 4 ProSource: Windows Central

Forza Motorsport has long been exclusive to Xbox consoles, and later began releasing on Windows PCs as well. A Forza Motorsport title has never appeared on PlayStation consoles, with that platform being catered to by Gran Turismo, and that’s not likely to change with the next Forza Motorsport. Should the impossible happen, we’ll be sure to update this space, but do not expect Forza Motorsport to ever be playable on PlayStation consoles, unless Sony and Microsoft enable Xbox Cloud Gaming support and allow players to stream Forza Motorsport and other Xbox Game Studios titles on PlayStation.

How can I join the playtest or beta for Forza Motorsport?

Forza MotorsportSource: Xbox Game Studios

While Forza Motorsport remains in the works, developer Turn 10 has expressed interest in community playtests to collect feedback before the game releases. These tests provide an opportunity to go hands-on with small “parts” of the new Motorsport, with a focus on secrecy among participants.

The first playtest for Forza Motorsport occurred on May 8, 2021, with Turn 10 Studios reportedly collecting a ton of valuable feedback from community members. The playtests have focused on various physics and driving mechanics improvements, as well as Forza Motorsport’s new approach to online racing. The studio is apparently planning more playtests for the future, with details to be revealed later down the road.

If you’re interested in potentially participating in a Forza Motorsport playtest, you can sign up (when available) on the Forza Motorsport Forza Panel page. There’s absolutely no guarantee you’ll be invited to participate in a playtest, but Turn 10 Studios has claimed each playtest will allow more and more players. It’s not known when the next Forza Motorsport playtest will appear, with Turn 10 Studios announcing at the end of 2021 that it was narrowing down which parts of the game for which it needs additional feedback.

We’ll update this section when details for the next Forza Motorsport have been revealed, giving you an opportunity to sign up and potentially be invited.

Update, May 13, 2022: Updated with a ton of additional information on Forza Motorsport, including all the new details revealed through Forza Monthly streams and other interviews since the last article update.

New generation of Motorsport


Forza Motorsport Reco Image

Forza Motorsport

The future of virtual racing

Turn 10 Studios and Xbox Game Studios are aiming to dominate the simulation racing scene with the rebooted Forza Motorsport, currently in development for Xbox Series X|S and PC. You can’t preorder Forza Motorsport, yet, but we’re learning more about this exciting title all the time.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.





Source link