Forza Motorsport 4 Week In Review 8/5

Brian Ekberg
Monday, August 22, 2011

Your first experience in Forza 4 will be on the Bernese Alps, and as a result, we’ve designed your first taste of the latest and greatest Forza Motorsport game yet for maximum impact. For me personally, the Alps is of particular importance, because of one of the most amazing travel experiences of my life: last year I travelled with the Turn 10 track team to the Swiss and Italian Alps on a mission to capture as much of the region as possible for use in what would become Forza 4.

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Our goal was simple but ambitious: to make the Alps the ultimate driving road. And the first step in that process was to travel through the Alps, gathering as much source material as we could in order to bring all that reference back to Turn 10 HQ and bring it to life in the game. Luckily for us, we had a film crew on hand to capture the process, and earlier this week we released the fruit of that year-long labor: our behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the Bernese Alps in Forza Motorsport 4.

 

I hope you enjoy watching how we created our latest fictional track in Forza. Personally speaking, the entire experience was incredible; not only was I travelling through some of the world’s most scenic locations, but I was experiencing firsthand how the talented Turn 10 team goes about creating the tracks we all love to drive in Forza. It’s a trip I’ll never forget and I hope you enjoy the video that we’ve produced from that trip… and I can’t wait for you all to experience the Bernese Alps for yourself.

 

One more thing: This is just the start of our “Making Of Forza Motorsport 4” video series. In the coming weeks, we’ll have new editions in the series for you to check out. 

 

Now, let’s strike forward with the rest of the Week in Review!

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Top Gear Test 

 

While the Alps might be my all-time favorite trip during my time here at Turn 10, a gig I had last week comes in at a close second. I travelled across the Atlantic to spend an afternoon at the Top Gear Test Track, showing off Forza 4 for an excited group of mainstream and gaming media from the UK.

 

In addition to getting a chance to sit on the actual Top Gear TV show set in order to give my presentation (specifically, I sat in the seat normally reserved for James and Richard, or the celebs that Jeremy interviews), I got a chance (along with the press) to take the Kia cee’d out for a couple of laps of the Top Gear Test Track. My driving performance was hampered by a couple of factors, not the least of which was the fact that as a Yank, the left-hand stick shift caused me no end of problems, but it was still an utterly surreal experience to be driving the cee’d on the same track I had watched so many times on television.

 

As cool as it was lapping the Reasonably Priced Car, however, the topper had to be taking a lap in a Lamborghini Gallardo… with the Stig at the wheel. I can honestly say that it was the most visceral and violent automotive experience of my life, holding on for dear life while the Stig ripped the Gallardo around every turn, and demonstrated braking points that were enough to make a weak man (like me) nearly soil his shorts… all the while barely moving a muscle in his trademark racing getup. At the end of my lap, with my jaw down on the ground and knowing that the notoriously silent Stig would neither acknowledge nor respond to anything I said, I still managed a chirpy “Thanks Stig!” before exiting the cramped interior of the Gallardo. To his credit, Stig merely kept his visor facing forward, waiting for his next victim…

 

 

 

Other than driving the cee’d and being manhandled by The Stig, the entirety of our Forza 4/Top Gear event was a smashing success, and it gave us a real chance to dive deep into the Top Gear integration that will be part of Forza 4. As I said in interviews on-site, the partnership between Forza and Top Gear is a true creative collaboration—and everything from Jeremy’s unfiltered commentary on cars in our new Autovista feature to special modes like car soccer and Top Gear events in our Rivals mode is a testament to the kind of creativity that has gone into Forza 4.

 

Now let’s hear from our resident grease monkey Alex in our latest weekly installment of Ask Alex.


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Forza player Outspokenflunky asks, “If you had the chance to run any car ever made to date what would you choose? And if you have the chance to run it on any track that exists. Where would you run it? And of course why did you choose the car track combo you did?”

 

Thanks for the question, Outspoken! So part of your question is really easy: Nürburgring Nordschleife. How many thousands of times have I rounded the circuit in-game? I couldn’t count. I’m definitely no Ringmeister in the vein of Jackie Stewart, though. I’ll struggle to get a clean lap, but I keep it up because I love the challenge. It’s really a beautiful course, and I feel like every time I get around it I’m becoming a better driver. The fact that Brian was there for the 24 Hours Nürburgring race a couple weeks ago only stoked the flames. He told me some fantastic stories about watching the race, and I swear I’ve been sailing off the flugplatz in my dreams ever since.

 

The second part is a lot harder to answer. Just like any diehard car nut, my particular car fantasy changes depending on my mood. I also have a personal bias towards the feel and challenge of older cars, before technology altered the driving experience. As I’m writing this, I think the BMW 2002 Turbo is the car I’d pick. I really like how the 1979 2002 Turbo drives in Forza 3, and every time I see a Neue Klasse BMW on the road I get a little weak around the knees. Plus, it was an early pioneer of turbocharging, so there’s the novelty factor. Also, the mental image I have of those drivers I’m about to pass looking in the rear-view mirror and reading the reversed “Turbo 2002” script on the front airdam makes me smile.

 

I reserve the right to change my answers in the future, but as of this minute, the idea of taking one of the most interesting and groundbreaking German cars onto one of the most famous and difficult tracks in the world (also, German), is floating my boat. 


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Thanks Alex! As always we want your questions for our Ask Alex column. Want to test Alex’s encyclopedic of real-life automotive knowledge? Looking for an answer to a specific question about Forza Motorsport 4? This is the place for you. Send us an e-mail to forzafb@microsoft.com with the subject line “ASK ALEX” or post a question in our dedicated forum thread. If your question is chosen for the column, you’ll win a special prize. Remember, this is a great chance for you to get your Forza 4 questions answered, so take advantage!

 

See you guys next for what promises to be a busy week indeed here on FM.net. We’ll have more car announcements of course, and some special news that I think you guys are going to dig! Have a great weekend!