Forza Motorsport 4: Week in Review 9/16
Even though this is column is called the “Week in Review,” these days, I can’t help but look forward. With just a few weeks to go before Forza 4’s launch, it’s easy to anticipate all the great stuff that’s coming down the pike. And while there’s still some time left before we’re all playing Forza 4 together, there are still some great things to look forward to.
Take next week, for example. On Friday, Sept. 23, you can expect a glut of Forza 4 stories, screens, and videos to hit the online world, as that’s the day our preview embargo lifts. Turn 10 creative director Dan Greenawalt has been on a multi-week worldwide tour, showing off a near-final version of Forza 4 both to American press in San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as to a multitude of outlets both in the UK and Europe. Expect to see in-depth reports on Forza 4 from all over the world. We’ll be doing our best to keep up with all of the stories online but you should keep your Web browsers open and your eyes peeled because there should be a virtual mountain of awesome Forza stuff to comb through on Friday.
For a quick peek at the awesomeness that was the European Forza 4 press tour, check out these photos from the Formula GT Facebook page, showing off the fun from this week’s Forza 4 press event in Spain.
So there’s plenty to look forward to next week but, before we get there, let’s wrap up the week that was in the Forza Motorsport 4 universe.
Forza at TGS and Frankfurt
While Dan is country-hopping across the pond, we’ve got Turn 10 folks in different parts of the world too. Our own Jun Taniguchi has spent the past week in Tokyo for the 2011 Tokyo Game Show, giving the Japanese press a detailed look at the game in much the same way Dan’s been doing in Europe. In addition, Forza 4 is playable on the TGS show floor. Here’s a look:
A dozen or so hours to the east (by plane), we have the Frankfurt Auto Show, one of the largest auto shows in the world. And Forza 4 is there as well, this time at the BMW booth, where several playable kiosks are on-hand for show attendees to enjoy the new 2012 BMW M5, both virtually in the game and nearby on the show floor.
You might have noticed that we’ve dialed back a bit on car announcements on our Facebook and Twitter feeds this week. In replacement, we’ve been focusing on Forza 4 track unveils. To coincide with the Tokyo Game Show this week, we unveiled four Japanese tracks—Twin Ring Motegi, Tsukuba, Suzuka, and the epic Fujimi Kaido. And today, we pulled the cover back on another Forza Motorsport mainstay: Laguna Seca.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be continuing our daily track reveals on FM.net so be sure and stay tuned for more information. In addition, we’re working to update the Cars section to include more makes and models from the game.
Turn 10 Track Day: Laguna Seca
Speaking of Laguna Seca, we carefully timed our reveal of the famous Northern California track to coincide with this weekend’s American Le Mans race. ALMS fans know this is the penultimate race of the season—a six hour punishing excursion on a track that features constant elevation changes, a narrow raceway to maneuver, and some truly classic corners.
We’ll also be doing another Turn 10 Track Day for the Laugna Seca ALMS race. As always, you can tune into the race via the ESPN app on Xbox LIVE (available for Gold Members only) and we’ll be chatting it up during the race on our official Facebook page. Take a break from college football, drop in, and enjoy the race with us; we’ll probably be answering some Forza 4 questions during the day too.
Those of you who remember the ALMS Road America race probably recall that we showed off some Forza 4 footage during that race broadcast. Without giving away the farm, I think there’s a high probability of something like that happening again during Saturday’s broadcast as well…
Behind the Scenes with Turn 10 from Microsoft’s Technet Blog
We know that fans of Forza love a peek behind the scenes at what the studio that makes your favorite racing franchise is really like. Technet’s Steve Clayton got to take a tour a few months ago of the studio, and his post gives a little taste of what Turn 10 is actually like. He also had a chance to talk to our own John Wendl and Dan Greenawalt (who you folks should both know well by now) about a bit of the history of the Forza series, and what it took to make each version even better. The article’s worth a read over at the Technet blog, so take a look!
Now let’s turn it over to Alex Kierstein, who takes on car soccer in this week’s edition of “Ask Alex."
WindsweptDragon Asks: "Which cars would be used in your ideal soccer team ? and why?"
Car soccer is one of my favorite game modes in Forza 4. When the team that was developing the gameplay wanted to test it out, they’d call for volunteers to hop into the multi-station game bay and try out the latest iteration. Of course, if you didn’t reply to that email in the first minute or so there’d be no spots left!
Now, when you unbox your copy and hook up to Xbox LIVE to play Forza 4 online, there are going to be two kinds of soccer matches you can choose from. The first is the traditional 4-on-4 matches you’re used to from Forza 3, with B-class cars. With Forza 4, there’s a new 6-on-6 car soccer mode that has multi-class car selections: each team gets one S-class “forward,” one HUMMER H1 as a “blocker,” and four B-class mids. The idea is that the S-class car can make a fast break towards the goal and maybe score on the run. The HUMMER is there to clear scrums, when all the cars pile up around the ball. And the B-class cars cover the rest of the roles. 6-on-6 matches take coordination and a bit of strategy, but they’re REALLY fun. Trust us.
In 6-on-6, I often gravitated towards the larger vehicles. I’m not so nimble in terms of ball handling (same is true in real life, I have two left feet!), so I prefer the 2009 Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG as a mid. It’s quick to accelerate and actually handles really well, perfect for getting from one end of the field to the other. And it can operate sort of like a HUMMER for breaking up scrums. The front end is pretty blunt so it keeps the ball on the ground. It’s perfect for me, although people with different skills might like another car.
Now, for the S-class forward, one strategy is to get a car that accelerates really quickly. I like the 2010 Nissan GT-R SpecV, because it has the kind of serious grip to help it change directions quickly, it rotates pretty easily, and the front end lifts the ball just a bit. Skilled players can use it to punt the ball over low cars to score. The GT-R also dribbles pretty well, although dribbling is not my strong suit.
I do want to say that these are just a couple of the cars I’ve used. There are so many cars in the game we can’t possibly try them all (yet!), but it will be interesting to follow the forums after October 11 and see what strategies and lineups you guys use to excel at car soccer!
Forza GarageFeature Car: 1988 BMW M5
For today’s feature car, the 1988 BMW M5, we’re going back to an era where hard rock bands wore lots of makeup and hairspray, Brat Pack movies were all the rage, and some European cars came from countries that no longer exist, like West Germany. While the M-Division had been turning BMWs into race cars for years, the M5 introduced in 1984 was the first BMW M-car to fit the mold we’ve become used to—a practical, attainable vehicles with supercar performance. BMW buyers at the time were surely aware that a few years before BMW had built a mid-engine supercar called the M1. Imagine driving your M5 home from the dealer and popping the hood for your neighbor. “Yup, that there is the M88 engine straight out of the M1,” you’d say. And you’d be right. As impressive as the 1988 BMW M5 is on paper, it’s another thing entirely when you’re piloting it in-game on any of Forza Motorsport 4’s tracks. If you want to read more about the M5, head over to the Cars page on FM.net to read the profile and check out another image of the car.
Also, in case you missed it, this week's other announcements were are listed below:
- 2007 SEAT Leon Cupra
- 2005 Scion tC
- 2009 Renault Twingo Renault Sport Cup
- 1995 Audi RS2 Avant
- 1997 BMW M3
- 2004 Cadillac CTS-V
- 1997 Acura NSX
- 2001 TVR Tuscan S
- 2002 Lotus Esprit V8
That’s all for this week, folks. Be sure and join us on Saturday for the Turn 10 Track Day broadcast of the Laguna Seca ALMS race and be on the lookout for lots of Forza 4 fun around the Internet next week! Until then… FORZAAAAA!