Forza Motorsport: Week in Review 9/21/12

Brian Ekberg
Friday, September 21, 2012

It’s time to kick off another installment of the Week in Review! This week, we’re leading with more great preview coverage for Forza Horizon coming out of the UK and Europe. Last week, Ralph Fulton from Playground Games joined Dan Greenawalt from Turn 10 to give journalists from across the pond a chance to hear about Forza Horizon and get their hands on the game for the first time since E3 2012 back in June.  

 

As promised last week, a whole new batch of press previews for Forza Horizon hit the Web this week and, once again, the response has been overwhelming.

 

Our man in the UK Ian Webster was on-hand at a couple of these press events and has this brief recap (along with contributing the pictures you see here):

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Ralph Fulton and Dan Greenawalt giving the press a look at Forza Horizon.

 

“The past two weeks have seen the worldwide Forza Horizon press tour roll into the UK on two separate occasions, giving both the mainstream gaming press and more community-focused websites the chance to get hands-on with the full build of the game and let the gaming public know their thoughts. The Xbox UK Showcase Event held at Victoria House in Bloomsbury Square, London, was the first port of call for the tour, with the venue playing host to developer presentations and hands-on previews of some of the hottest upcoming Xbox 360-exclusive titles, which includes of course our very own Forza Horizon!  

 

With Dan Greenawalt and Ralph Fulton on fire during the presentations and interviews, and the build of the game being used for the hands-on previews looking amazing, I think it’s safe to say that everyone who came to the event to see Forza Horizon went home with a smile on their face. 

 

The second event held on Wednesday earlier this week was very much exclusively a Horizon-oriented affair, and was held at the very snazzy Audi City showroom in central London, which is situated close to Piccadilly Circus and just opposite the Ritz Hotel. How’s that for a location? 

 

Alongside all the Forza Horizon gaming booths, Audi were kind enough to leave on the showroom floor an Audi R8 GT Spyder (which will be available in the Limited Collector's Edition of Forza Horizon as part of the VIP Car Pack) which caused quite a stir amongst the gathered journalists and community attendees. The R8 Spyder ranks as one of my dream cars, so getting to see one so up close and personal was quite a thrill. However after seeing the price tag I fear that the only chance I’m going to get to own one myself is by purchasing one in Forza Horizon! 

 

Also there at the event to give out interviews and talk about his involvement with the game, was star DJ and Bestival founder Rob da Bank, who serves as Musical Consultant for the game. Despite his busy interview schedule Rob himself also got some hands-on time with Forza Horizon, and although I didn’t really get to see how his driving skills were, he definitely seemed to be enjoying himself. 

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BBC DJ, Bestival founder, and Forza Horizon musical consultant Rob da Bank 

 

At the end of the day though as much fun as these events are, the main reason we put on these press tours is to get new information out there into the public domain for you, the fans, and if you take a look around the internet you’ll now find it awash with brand new hands-on previews and videos from these two events. We hope you like what you see, and please let us know your feedback on the forums.” 

 

If you missed them, here’s a selection of quotes from this week’s Forza Horizon coverage to give you an idea of what the press was talking about:

 

Popular Mechanics 

quote_popular_mechanics 

 

 

Dealspwn.com:  

quote_dealspwn 

 

Eurogamer:  

quote_eurogamer 

 

Gamereactor: 

gamereactor 

 

Xboxer360:  

quote_xboxer360 

 

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The Audi R8 GT Spyder looking fit and ready for some action on the open roads of Colorado.

 

Cars in Colorado 

The 2011 Ferrari 458 Spider. The 1997 Lamborghini Diablo SV. The 2012 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X. These are just a few of the new-to-Forza cars that we announced this week on our official Twitter and Facebook pages. For full details for those new cars, as well as a recap of all the cars we’ve announced so far, head over to the latest edition of The Forza Garage . Next week, we’ll be upping the cadence for car reveals as we speed towards the Forza Horizon finish line. Stay tuned!

 

Hey Look, it’s Alex! 

This week, the Forza team community Voltron added its final piece (and forget Lion Voltron; the Forza Community team is definitely the Vehicle Voltron). We’re welcoming Alex Kierstein back to the team; many of you probably remember Alex, who was with us during the lead-up to Forza Motorsport 4’s release last year. Here’s a little bit about Alex, straight from the man himself:

 

“From the second I pulled back into the Turn 10 lot and saw so many great cars here, I knew that coming back was the right call. Of course, at Turn 10 Studios not every car is a Lotus Elise, but there are more than a few cars that wouldn't look out of place in a Forza player's garage. And there are definitely a couple of Elises! One of the biggest reasons I’m happy to be back on the team is that, like me, everyone here shares a passion for all things motorized (regardless of what they commute to work in.) I've been a diehard car guy from before I could talk (people with great memories might remember seeing a photo of my Trans Am 4.9 Turbo pedal car from my pre-license days), and that translated into a lifelong obsession. In the past, I've been lucky enough to write about cars - both as a journalist and on Forzamotorsport.net  - which lets me do what I love at work. It’s hard to beat that. 

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A cup o' Joe and a Mustang vs. Mustang race


Of course, I don’t just write about them, I have a couple. My daily driver and windy road wringer is still my '95 Mazda Miata, which is fairly stock. That being said, I think the car is a lot of fun right out of the box. It won’t burn too many cars at a stoplight drag, but if I get it up into the mountains or a technical B-road off the beaten path, it really shines as a great driver’s car. Next up for the Mazda is some new suspension, brake upgrades, and a new radiator, and then I’m going to try my hand at autocrossing it with my brother. The question is, will I get the racing bug? Will the Miata become a track day-only weapon of tire and brake pad destruction? We’ll see. I do have another project to keep me busy and my wallet light. I've been restoring a long-neglected '67 Volvo 122S - repairing the floor pans, rewiring the whole car, and swapping in a manual transmission. There’s just something about these old Swedes that has always intrigued me. The indestructible pushrod B20 engine runs like a top, and so I’ve been working through each of the other systems, cleaning, adjusting, and revamping. The last on the list is the driveshaft u-joints, and then it’s back on the road. It might never pull a full 1G on the skid pad, but it's a lot of fun to flog it hard – few things are as enjoyable as the burbly overrun or full-bore howl of properly tuned SU carburetors. Just watch an old video of a 122S (Amazon in Europe) rallying and you'll see what I mean. Slow car fast, and all that.  

 

It’s a great time to be back, too. We’re rapidly approaching the release of Forza Horizon, so not only is there lots to do, there’s a ton of new stuff to talk about (and learn about). I’ll be exploring the Horizon Festival along with the rest of you, and it’s going to be a fun ride. See you on the roads of Colorado.” 

 

In the coming weeks, we’ll be throwing another Game With Dev event, giving the community the opportunity to truly welcome Alex back to the Forza fold in the best way they know how – by whipping his tail on the track. Stay tuned for more details!

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Rob da Bank taking a test drive in Forza Horizon

 

September Pack and Beyond 

I wanted to take a moment to recognize the September Pennzoil Car Pack for Forza Motorsport 4, which marks a full year of DLC for Forza 4, the most of any previous Forza Motorsport game. This pack, and all the awesome DLC before it, has come thanks to the dedicated folks here at Turn 10 and I wanted to take a moment to thank them for all their hard work in making sure that Forza 4 fans have access to the kind of high-quality DLC they’ve come to expect from the Forza series.

 

The September Pennzoil Car Pack is our last regular monthly add-on pack for Forza Motorsport 4, as we prepare to unleash Forza Horizon—and all of its upcoming cool add-on content—on the Xbox 360 starting on October 23. Have no fear, Forza 4 fans, we've still got your back with lots in store in the coming months, including our regular cadence of monthly Rivals events, hopper updates, weekly photo and livery contests, Game With Dev events, and much more. As with this month's Petit Le Mans Challenge, we'll be bringing you Forza 4 lovers more chances to win cool prizes in the coming months as well, including a huge contest that we're planning to debut with the start of the 2013 ALMS season. Look for more information on that, and the rest of the cool things we'll be doing with Forza Motorsport 4, in this space soon. 

 

In the meantime, be sure and check out John’s FYI About DLC story for an appreciation of the September pack and look for a sneak peek at next week's Forza 4 Rivals Mode events in the next installment of the Week in Review! 

 

2012 Golden Joystick Award 

Be sure and vote for Forza Motorsport 4 in the 2012 Golden Joystick Awards. We're up for "Best Racer" of the year and we'd love to have your vote!

 

One final note before I sign off: The next installment of our "Forza Horizon: Behind the Scenes" video will debut on Tuesday, Sept. 25. If you're curious about Horizon's Colorado, you're going to LOVE this one. Stay tuned.