Forza Motorsport 4 Week In Review 7/29
It’s already Friday? Another week’s flown past as we ready Forza Motorsport 4 for its October debut. Brian’s off in merry old England hanging out on a repurposed airfield with some chaps with funny accents and a mute guy in a white racing suit, so this is Alex stepping in for Week in Review duties.
Speaking of TopGear, if you’ve been over to the automotive news and culture website Jalopnik.com recently, you may have noticed some exciting news coming out about several of Forza's TopGear-inspired gameplay modes. First up is “Car Soccer,” which is loosely modeled around the popular segment from the BBC show. However, instead of being limited to just the city cars that TopGear used, you’ll be able to create a custom game scenario with virtually any car in the game—and with the addition of 16-player multiplayer support, even more of your friends can play. TopGear Bowling is another fun mode, where drivers are challenged to knock down bowling pins while blasting around the TopGear Test Track, trying to rack up as many points as possible. The great part about this mode is that there are multiple techniques for knocking over the most pins; whether you slide into them or go straight at ‘em is up to you. It’s just another way that Forza 4 will allow players to experience cars in new and novel ways, and the bottom line is (trust us on this) it’s just a ton of fun.
If you want to check out a video of Turn 10 Content Director John Wendl running through the TopGear Challenges and Car Soccer, watch it here. We also have another video that shows off Forza 4’s new career mode, World Tour. Variety is the name of the game in World Tour, because at each stage of the season, World Tour gives you an option to choose between several race events, each offering a variety of awards. At the end of each season, as John mentions in the video, you’ll have compete in a two-heat championship race, one taking place in the morning, and the other heat in the afternoon—just like many racing events in real life. The video also shows off the game’s fantastic new lighting engine and 12-car World Tour racing, so make sure to watch it for a preview of what you can expect from World Tour.
You excited yet? Before we move on to this week's Ask Alex segment, remember when we revealed the 1997 Honda Civic Type R last week? We know you wanted some photos of it, so check out the official Forza Motorsport Facebook page for a couple of exclusive images of the original Civic Type R.
Player "Jockeys I3ollix" asks, “How does the Escort Cosworth stack up against the Subaru Impreza 22B?”
Thanks for the question, JB. I know you all have been clamoring details to find out if various cars you’re particularly fond of will be in the game, and the Escort Cosworth RS was one of them. Well you don’t have to be so sneaky about it, because we released the Cossie in last week in the Forza Garage Thursday Roundup, and now we can tell you a bit about how it performs in-game. Fred and I have a bit of a rivalry going on with our personal racing, so we thought it’d be fun to put both of these cars on a dragstrip and see how they do. Now, since on paper there’s a bit of a disparity in terms of performance between the two cars, we imposed a few simple rules in the spirit of the “Built not Bought” crowd. First, we modified the cars to stay within A-class spec, but imposed a 300 horsepower limit—this kept things pretty even, and kept the cost of mods down. Then, Fred and I tuned them as best we could, varying minute details each time. I hate to admit it, but Fred’s a better drag racer than I am, so he took the controller and we gave each of the cars ten runs to see which one came out on top.
For location, we chose the TopGear Test Track Drag ¼-mile strip, one of the new track environments in Forza 4, and an appropriate location for such an outlandish shootout. One by one, Fred hustled off the line in each car, and after twenty runs, the results were surprising. On one hand, I thought the smaller 22B would take the win, considering that our modifications gave it just a tad more power than the Cossie. It also had great launch characteristics, and shot off the line like a rocket. On the other hand, Fred was able to coax the Cossie to overtake the Subaru at the upper end of 2nd gear for most runs, and after that the Cossie seemed poise to win consistently. Game over? We went back to the Subaru to give it one last chance, trying even more radical tunes to coax every final drop of speed out of it, and ultimately Fred popped off a final, race-winning time: just once, the Subaru managed a time only 0.017 seconds faster than the Ford! Talk about close. We were both pretty impressed about how the two cars measured up and how they were different, with the Cossie coming on strong in the later gears, but the Subaru easier to launch. Ultimately, the Cossie was consistently faster—but the Subaru, with a perfect launch, could overtake it by a hair.
Fred and I had so much fun we didn’t want to get back to our other work, but even Turn 10 employees can’t drag race all the time. Since we play Forza 4 every single day, the fact that we were totally hooked on this competition should tell you how great the game is.
Then, because of how close these two stacked up in the quarter, we brought in Turn 10’s own tame racing driver for some hot laps. We kept the modifications exactly the same, but allowed him to change the tune for circuit racing, and turned him loose on the TopGear Test Track’s Full Circuit. Again, the results were incredibly close; this time, however, the Cosworth stayed ahead by a nose, consistently running about half a second faster around the track at Dunsfold Aerodrome. In our driver’s opinion, the Cosworth was also a bit more fun, but your experience may vary (and I’m personally partial to the Subaru, so I took exception). Interestingly, several years ago Jeremy Clarkson of TopGear and Vicki Butler-Henderson of Fifth Gear wondered the same thing about these cars, and you can get their impressions by watching this video.
Thanks for the question and the excuse to have a little friendly competition over here! And in October, you’ll be able to see how these cars measure up for yourselves.