Forza Motorsport is a reboot in name. It’s the first Forza game with Motorsport localization since 2017 and the first Motorsport game without a song since the original Forza’s release in 2005. This theoretically gives developer Turn 10 Studios the opportunity to start with a clean slate, although in most respects Forza Motorsport is a typical racing game within This is a sub-franchise. The return of Motorsport also means that the game will have to co-exist with the open-world Horizon sub-franchise for the first time since 2017. Everything indicates that the Motorsport series will have to clearly differentiate itself from the lighter genres of the Horizon games; They’re two completely different sub-franchises.
Instead of Horizon 5’s race trucks, limousines, and Fast & Furious marketing cars, Motorsport focuses on existing, parked cars. A vibrant open world, jumps from cargo planes and death-defying races on public roads or through dense forest areas give way to safety rules, realistic cars and real and fictional tracks. Horizon’s groovy soundtrack also contrasts with the soothing electro tones that can be heard in the Motorsport menus. In other words: compared to previous versions as well as to its sister, Forza Motorsport is more vanilla, calm and serious.
Turn 10 is more focused on sim racing and you’ll notice it right away in the introduction: the cars look a little unwieldy and slower than in the previous parts. The updated physics model allows for fewer sharp turns and severely punishes inexperienced players without driving aids. Improved game mechanics such as individual tire wear, pit stops and fuel management also force a more tactical racing strategy than before.
At first glance, Forza Motorsport increasingly resembles other semi-simulated racing games like Project Cars and the F1 franchise. Turn 10 consciously focuses the game on a wide audience. Comprehensive driving aids and an excellent introduction tutorial take the main player into the wonderful world of racing. Meanwhile, experienced racing fans are challenged to keep their car under control without those aids and thanks to the relatively realistic physics model. Or to put it more succinctly: The Motorsport franchise traditionally falls somewhere between Need for Speed and Assetto Corsa; This year was no different, with more emphasis on the simulation aspect.
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