Forza Motorsport 5 Eyes On

By: Fiona O'Kane    On: Xbox One
Published: Friday 14 Jun 2013 10:55 PM
A racing game that plays itself, and looks beautiful while it does Fiona O'Kane
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Let me just clarify something before we start: it’s pronounced Fort-za. Not Fours-ah. (I was corrected myself, as I had always said it fours-ah before. Well, now we all know.)

Right in the throbbing heart of Microsoft’s enormous green E3 booth, I got to view a demo and media talk about Forza 5 from Bill Giese, the title’s Design Director. He was a man brimming with pride over this game, and how good it is.

He told us about the cars first, and how they looked. You have the ability to walk around each of the cars you own in Forza Vista, view them from all angles, get in behind the wheel, or start 'em up to hear the engine purr. You could do this with a limited selection of your fleet in Forza 4, but this has now been enhanced to include every car you own.

Incidentally, the developers are not talking about the specific number of cars available yet, but it’s apparently “in the hundreds”. There are a few things yet to be announced, which will be coming in the months ahead to keep fans eagerly anticipating the launch.

Forza 5 offers multiple ways to customise your cars, providing the ability to pull down paint jobs from the cloud, including ones developed by the fan community. The interface will also learn and remember the kinds of paint jobs you like, and make relevant selections every time you log in.

The car selection hub has been improved, and classified into logical groups for ease of navigation, such as Exotic, Vintage, sport compact, racing, etc. The grouping was done in conjunction with the Top Gear team, who also appear in the commentary. (The whole team this time around, not just Jeremy Clarkson.)

A great deal of work went into how Forza 5 would look. Two things were considered to be absolute essentials during development: the display needed to be 60 frames per second, and 1080p. Additionally, the team felt that the cars in Forza 4 looked a little “too” perfect, so they have made significant improvements. Giese described this as adding an air of imperfection to make it more realistic. For example the ‘orange peel’ effect of a real paint job, or a streak in the armorall you lovingly buffed your beauty with. This was achieved by “applying” three layers of paint to the models: a base, metal flake, and then clear. The effect is very very special, and the cars look absolutely staggering [Something hammered home at a second event, where a Lamborghini was parked on the curb outside and then we drove it around in the game inside; the virtual Lambo looked identical to me. - Ed.]

Next Giese touched upon the Drivatar mentioned at the Xbox press conference on Tuesday (NZ time). He took great pains to stress that your drivatar is not AI: it’s real, consolidated, remembered behaviours and tendencies taken from the way you drive. This makes the way the other cars on the track race that much more realistic. All of this happens when you turn the controller off, so your drivatar is driving when you’re not.

Good to know that it can cut off your friends or strangers, and stall on the start line even when you’re fast asleep dreaming of Formula 1.

When racing, you can choose to challenge yourself by playing the best of the best, or a more casual match to your level. The harder the driver you race, the more credits you’re going to earn by beating them.

The soundscape and music were carefully considered. The intent was to create a cinematic experience, so the development team collaborated with LucasArts and Skywalker Sound. The job was started when the Forza team provided Skywalker sound with some in-game footage, and said “make us a soundtrack, just like it’s a movie.” So they did. The finished product was recorded with a full orchestra and the sounds change when the car corners, or accelerates, adding realism.

Throughout the talk it became apparent that there are still many things left to be announced that they aren’t disclosing at this stage: the final car numbers, Smartglass integration, physics advances, multiplayer (although he did say that they are moving multiplayer to full dedicated servers), and the tracks that will be available.

The Forza team look like they have listened to their loyal community in the way they developed this title, and are looking forward to the launch date as eagerly as their fans are.

At a Glance

Pros: It looks ah-may-zing. Mucho bella, in fact!

Cons: So many things left to announce. Spit it out, already!

"Looks good, real good."


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Comments (15)

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LoftyDog VIP VIP Bronze
On Saturday 15 Jun 2013 2:08 AM Posted by LoftyDog
i swear this e3 had more driving games than it did shooters
dark_hadou1 VIP VIP Bronze
On Saturday 15 Jun 2013 11:29 AM Posted by dark_hadou1
15 June 2013, 02:08 AM Reply to LoftyDog
i swear this e3 had more driving games than it did shooters
Good! I'm sick of every new title seemingly being a bro shooter. It is a pity however that I won't get to play Forza 5 unless I happen across it somewhere. The previous titles have always been a blast, loved every minute, even creating liveries for my cars was awesome!

I don't think I'll be buying an Xbox One - well at least not to begin with anyway.
On Saturday 15 Jun 2013 11:44 AM Posted by KILL-TONE
Never been much of a racing fan, but this looks incredible. Definitely going to try this out!
On Saturday 15 Jun 2013 12:25 PM Posted by trukme
This and The Division are my favs, i'll be investing in a race wheel/pedals etc for this game.
On Saturday 15 Jun 2013 1:56 PM Posted by sick_wierdo
This should be on PS4, considering it's going to outsell the crapbox one 10 to 1
emetic VIP VIP Silver
On Saturday 15 Jun 2013 6:14 PM Posted by emetic
Most of the long term Forza players I have known have been harping about focusing on racing and fixing game bugs, rather than extending the autovista and paint textures, so if T10 have been listening to the loyal community I can look forward to the future announcements.
On Saturday 15 Jun 2013 9:35 PM Posted by AlmightyAllan
Knowing Turn 10 it'll be an excellent edition to the Forza franchise. But is it enough to make me want to get the Xbox: One? Well yes in part, but only once the console has established itself.
kiwibadboy VIP VIP Bronze
On Saturday 15 Jun 2013 10:51 PM Posted by kiwibadboy
Probably the only game I wish PS had instead of being an Xbox exclusive.....
Bank VIP VIP Bronze
On Sunday 16 Jun 2013 4:21 PM Posted by Bank
it really is quite smexy and looks good fun with a wheel but i cannot handle their spokesperson and leader mr. greenawald :L

hes a funny piece of ego
On Sunday 16 Jun 2013 4:27 PM Posted by nos4r2d2
Thanks for teaching me how to pronounce Forza properly.
Buckchoi VIP VIP
On Sunday 16 Jun 2013 6:48 PM Posted by Buckchoi
Apparently it still won't have night racing or rain etc.
On Wednesday 19 Jun 2013 7:45 PM Posted by Serpent_Riders_Dsparil
GT 6.... Oh wait it's FOrza
tom_nz VIP VIP Silver
On Thursday 20 Jun 2013 1:22 PM Posted by tom_nz
60fps? I wonder if it will look as nice as The Hobbit. On another note, time to get back into the drivers seat and buckle up for the onslaught of gaming titles. Cripes!
On Wednesday 26 Jun 2013 9:38 AM Posted by AlmightyAllan
Definitely love the Forza franchise and cannot wait to see how this game performs on the next gen Xbox.
On Wednesday 10 Jul 2013 4:49 AM Posted by incywincytypist
Out of all the games that come pre-bundled on Launch Day, this is definitely the one im choosing. Roll on November!!