Forza Motorsport – Xbox Games Showcase Preview

Forza Motorsport Preview

During the Xbox Games Showcase weekend, I had the opportunity to meet with some of the development team at Turn 10 Studios for a hands-off demonstration and discussion about the upcoming Forza Motorsport. The gameplay shown was all in-game, on an Xbox Series X development kit, at 4K 60 frames-per-second. Needless to say, it was a very good indication of what lies ahead for gamers when it launches this Fall.

The Forza franchise has always been about falling in love with cars. And this premise still holds true in the upcoming Forza Motorsport. This time around, the formula for falling in love with a car has been designed to be clearer. First, you’ll pick the car, get to know the car, build a relationship with the car, eventually culminating into car mastery. The second phase is taking that car mastery and becoming a track dominator – learning every corner of every track. And finally, you’ll take it to the competition with the goal of winning. This all might sound like an odd take on a dating sim – but in reality, this passion is what the devs at Turn 10 Studios want gamers to feel to truly get the most out of Forza Motorsport.

Another way of looking at this is what the devs call their new gameplay loop; level, build, dominate. You’ll level up your car, build your car, then dominate the competition. It’s a process you’ll repeat over and over with each and every car and the core of what will make Forza Motorsport so addicting. How will this be achieved? Through the new car progression and building systems.


The new car progression system acts remarkably similar to how your favourite RPG games work – or as the devs so affectionately called it, “Car-P-G”. Every time you get behind the wheel of a car, you’ll start earning car experience points, or Car Points, for driving. Not just racing, not just winning, not even just completing tracks. Every single corner of a track is now recorded and scored. The better you take a corner, the more Car Points you can earn. And when you re-take a corner, you’ll be competing directly with your previous attempts.

Forza Motorsport - Preview

As your car levels up, you’ll unlock new car parts. These car parts can be assigned to your car by utilizing Car Points. Unlike previous games where you would spend credits to purchase upgrades and parts, in Forza Motorsport, you’ll only be spending Car Points. And upgrades are never forever. You can remove a part and those spent Car Points will return to you, allowing gamers to re-spec their car at any point. This will allow gamers to constantly adjust and re-adjust their cars to find the right combination.

During the car building process, you’ll be given a variety of graphs showing just how various parts will impact a car’s performance. This will help builders focus their designs on what their end goal is, helping to take any guess work out of the process. Car Points and leveling up cars are specific to each car. So, you’ll be starting from scratch with every car.

Gameplay Loop

For Forza Motorsport, the devs have implemented a gameplay loop that they feel will be the most beneficial for gamers. For each track, you’ll start off by practicing – this will be an opportunity for you to level up your car. Once your car is ready for the competition, you’ll move on to the racing element. One of the improvements to racing is the new grid positioning element. You’ll be able to choose any position, from 1st to 24th, where you’ll start a race on the grid. The further back from 1st, the higher the potential reward, such as more credits. You’ll still need to place in the top 3 to earn the rewards.

(Almost) Everything Has Been Redesigned and Improved

In addition to the improved car progression and design systems, there are plenty of improvements to the meat of Forza Motorsport, specifically the driving. The physics for everything, from weight modelling to suspension, has been improved upon. Even the tire physics have been retooled. The overall driving experience will feel more authentic than ever before.

The Drivatar AI code has been rewritten as well and fully utilizes machine learning. There will be no rubber-banding. No cheats. No hacks. The AI driving will be based on the driving of actual gamers, and it will continually evolve. While you’ll still be able to adjust the Drivatar’s skill levels, they’ll still be based on actual gamers driving abilities.

Forza Motorsport - Preview

All the in-game audio has been remastered and sounds better than ever. Visually, the game is a masterpiece running at 60 frames per second at 4K. I asked the devs about raytracing and while they shared that the game does feature raytracing, they weren’t ready to fully discuss it at this time, other than to point out a few of the reflection elements while in the game’s showroom. It’s unknown at this time if the Xbox Series X will feature any raytracing effects during races. Every track features a full 24-hour day/night cycle and weather systems. These will not only impact the game at a visual level, but also from a gameplay perspective as well. Driving on wet roads will be a vastly different experience from dry roads. The sun’s position in the sky might make certain corners more difficult simply due to the sun’s brightness making it difficult to see.

Accessible to Everyone

The Forza franchise has continually made improvements to accessibility over the years. Forza Motorsport is taking accessibility to unprecedented new levels. One example of this is the new one-button mode. In this mode, you can choose the one function you want to perform, and the game will do everything else. Do you just want to steer? Fine, the game will handle the braking and acceleration. Do you just want to brake? Or accelerate? That’s fine too. This will allow gamers of all skill levels to jump in. In addition, there is a slew of new audio assists as well. You can pick what audio cues are provided throughout the game, such as corners, distances, etc. The devs believe the audio cues are so well designed that you could literally play Forza Motorsport blindfolded and still be successful.

Going Forward

Forza Motorsport is shaping up to be one of the best simulation racers of all time. It will feature a robust collection of cars and tracks. In addition, cars and tracks will be released directly into the career mode on an on-going basis. This will allow Forza Motorsport to stay fresh for years to come.

There is still much more about Forza Motorsport that we have yet to learn. The devs noted that they’ll be discussing everything from new modes, cars, multiplayer, tracks and visuals/raytracing over the upcoming summer. Gamers will be able to get their hands on Forza Motorsport on October 10th, 2023.