Forza, Motorsport 3 created 10 Studios greatest racing game of the generation.

With Forza Motorsport 3, Microsoft's Turn 10 Studios tried creating the greatest racing game of its generation. Arguably, it was. On October 11th, when Forza Motorsport 4 is released for Xbox 360 they're setting their sights higher — creating the next generation of car enthusiasts.

At the heart of my strategy was the realization that the next generation of car guys were no longer being bred in garages and under shade trees, they're growing up in their parents' basements playing car video games. One needs only look at the cult-like status the GT-R has in this country thanks to the Gran Turismo franchise to understand the power of video games at molding reality of car enthusiasts. What we needed to do was turn gadget guys and video gamers into car guys. And that's exactly why we partnered with Turn 10 on "Forzalopnik" — two game packs for Forza Motorsport 3 — and it's why we're working with Turn 10 to partner even more closely on Forza 4 (Full disclosure and all that! —Ed.)

Especially after I traveled out to Seattle last month to get behind the wheel — literally and figuratively — of Forza Motorsport 4. The game features some seriously impressive-looking new graphics, a completely re-worked physics engine with an enhanced tire dynamics system, two new game-play modes utilizing the XBox Kinect motion-action-camera-sensor system and a slew of cool new community features. Combined, they look like they might be able to deliver on the promise of my "Awesomeness Manifesto" in a way that I never thought possible.

Let's walk through the new stuff:

Graphics (Polygon count size does matter!): For starters, Turn 10's re-rendered every single vehicle, ripping the graphics engine down and building it back up. And the results are simply staggering. Polygons per car are up from Forza 3's 400,000 to over one million polygons per car in Forza 4. Turn 10's added real-light changes like blooming and lens flares help make the cars look like they're really in the environment. Forza 4 is achieving in real-time at 60 frames per second what was once something Pixar needed weeks to render. Just take a look through the gorgeous gameplay shots in the gallery to the left to see what I mean. It's beautiful.

Physics Engine (Kick the tires and light the fires!): Not only has Turn 10 rebuilt the physics engine from scratch, they've also tried to address one of the most glaring problems with Forza 3, the tires. That's why, for enthusiasts anyway, the most important addition to the game is going to be the tire physics. Thanks to a partnership with Pirelli, Turn 10 has completely redone the modeling for tire dynamics. The tire company let them inside their testing system to give the game a soup-to-nuts data download and allow them to directly input it into the game.

Kinect (Somehow we find a Kinect-ion is made!): There's three ways to use the Xbox 360 Kinect motion action camera system and the best way to conceptualize why both of them exist is to think of them as being for three different types of people. One, a sort of gimmick-y mode called "Autovista Mode," is a system for "bringing the automotive experience to life." You can walk around a car in a virtual showroom, crouch down to look at the details, or open the doors and hood using the power of Kinect. The coolest part of that feature is there's a heavy integration with Top Gear — Jeremy Clarkson has a soliloquy on each of the cars in Autovista Mode.

The second, is what I like to call "frat boy" mode — imagine a fraternity house where you have the game set up and everyone's taking turns to play each other — a la Goldeneye from back when I went to school. Basically, you stick your hands out and grab a virtual wheel as you sit on the couch with your friends and family — and thanks to auto-acceleration and auto-braking — there's no controller required. That also means there's no controller to accidentally drop beer on. It's an easy way to play with friends with no muss or fuss.



  1. I am a big fan of the Forza and Forza series have always preferred over other types of simulators, i have thought that this game would be good. But WOW! This game is fantastic! So many cars are only 20 different variations of the various social studies to increase the numbers.
    acekard 2i

  2. Yes..Forza 4 is achieving in real-time at 60 frames per second what was once something acekard 2i needed weeks to render.