Gamescom 2013: Forza Motorsport 5 Preview - Careering All Over The World
Written Saturday, August 31, 2013 By Dan WebbView author's profile
"Forza 5 is the most ambitious game we've ever undertaken as a group," says Turn 10's Creative Director, Dan Greenawalt, showing off Forza Motorsport 5 behind closed doors to the press at this year's Gamescom. According to Greenawalt Forza 5 is about four things: great graphics, like being able to see the imperfections in the paint or the reflections in a car's rims, all while running at 1080p at 60fps; great multiplayer with dedicated servers and Microsoft's new SmartMatch - "You're no longer paired with cheaters and jerks… unless you are one," joked Greenawalt; great physics, those of which weren't possible on next-gen because not only of its lack of power, but because of Turn 10s new approach; and great opponents, thanks to learning AI through the power of the cloud, who race off the line, block, duke, and so on - which might just be how Skynet gets started.
A major focus for Turn 10 at Gamescom this year was to show off the game's newly revamped career. Greenawalt spoke passionately of the faux pas that racing games usually perform, and that's starting you off at the bottom of the tree in terms of cars and making you work your way up. That is not the case in Forza 5. You play how you want to play.
"I want the game to fit you like a glove," Greenawalt tells us. You can "use the cars you like" and Turn 10 won't "push you into things you don't want to do." The structure of it is simple: there are eight leagues, broken down into different genres like sport compact and sport vintage, and so on; and each league has 42 series, lasting about 75-90 minutes - so yes, that's over 50 hours. The goal is not to do all of them, according to Greenawalt, it's to just choose the one that speaks to you… he's obviously not met our community then! The best part of the career has to be that each series has a small vignette from the Top Gear (UK) trio, introducing you to the series, giving you fun facts and interesting tidbits about the cars you're about to race in.
Say for example you want to do a series in the Subaru, there is one tailor-made for it, and after you've finished it there are some after races to complete. Want to do it again but have a different experience? Then try using the Lancer. You're not starting with crappy cars either, you'll start with cars like the BMW 1 Series M Coupe or the Super BRZ. You can go from there to hot-hatch or super mini; the choice is yours. And if you like the crappy cars, then you can do them as normal, and this time, you'll get paid just as much as the super car races. It's all about that sense of freedom. You'll also level up no matter where you are in the game too, and get the same XP for it as well, whether that's in Rivals mode, in the multiplayer, in split-screen or in single-player.
Greenawalt also touched upon the traditional RPG levelling system, where the difference between levelling up from ranks 1 to 2 and from 51 to 52 is very different. That's not the case in Forza 5, as Greenawalt and Turn 10 are keen to stop people becoming disillusioned with the long wait between levels as you progress in the game. The levelling system is constant and your reward for your hard work is just around the corner.
Outside of the career, players have their usual array of options, however, rather than Autovista being limited to a handful of cars this time around, Forzavista - the newly branded Autovista - now allows you to get up close and personal with every car. Whether it's a Pagani Huarya, a 1954 BMW 300 GL or Ford Fiesta (we're not sure the latter is in the game, it was just the first naff car that came to mind), you can effectively lick the bonnet. Each car can be exploded (not literally, we're talking figuratively in terms of working parts), explored extensively and they even have their own tour. The Pagani Huarya one, for instance, talks about the car's creator and his fascination with Leonardo Da Vinci. There's a ton of content in this mode on its own.
And yes, there's also racing. Lots of racing, and Greenawalt went into an incredible amount of detail on the physics aspect of Forza 5. Half (read, most) of it went over my head, as Greenawalt talked about the impact of the road on the tyres and how it differs when the car is racing on a camber. In layman's terms, there's a lot of physics going on in Forza 5, more so than Forza 4. It's very physicsy, half of which the laymen's out there - me included - will never understand. Forza Motorsport 5 handles superbly though, and that's what's important. As well as looking utterly sublime, of course.
Forza Motorsport 5 is scheduled to launch alongside the Xbox One this holiday season.