Forza Motorsport 4: Week in Review 9/23

Brian Ekberg
Friday, September 23, 2011

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent a good chunk of your day scouring the Internet for news about Forza Motorsport 4. As I mentioned last week, our preview embargo ended at midnight—so the glut of Forza 4 information has begun in earnest. I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more information on the game in the coming days—from detailed previews of the game to new movies and screens of Forza 4 in action. I’m just as curious as you are to find out what folks are saying about Forza 4. Starting things off, here’s a few highlights we caught today:

 

GameSpot put up a great video preview of Forza 4, featuring a ton of footage from the game, as well as a first look at Forza 4’s opening cinematic, starring TopGear’s Jeremy Clarkson.

 

Motor Trend has also has a cover story up on the game featuring a “First Play” preview of the game. 

 

And that’s just the beginning. Look for much more coverage in the coming days!

  

 

This week has once again proven to be a busy one, with a deluge of announcements about Forza 4. Among the highlights:

  • The demo for Forza 4 is coming for Xbox LIVE Gold Members on Oct. 3 and will be available for Silver members on Oct. 10. Look for more details on the content of the demo soon!
  • The announcement of our latest track: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Having a track like Indy, with its rich racing tradition, is a huge win for Forza 4’s track roster. If you’ve ever watched an F1 or MotoGP race, you know the Indy Grand Prix layout is challenge—with a mix of complex corners and flat-out speed. And speaking of flat-out speed, the Indy oval is a treat for testing the upper limits of any car. 
  • We also unveiled our new Season Pass DLC program, which you can read about in greater detail in the latest edition of our ongoing “Under the Hood” series.

 

 

As if all that wasn’t enough, this week also some saw some important upgrades to this very website, including the launch of some important community-related features:

 

New Community Page 

 

When we re-launched FM.net back in June, the Community Page was more or less just a place to link to the Forza forums. With this week’s update, we’re bringing the Community Page to life as your hub for everything that’s happening in the Forza world. First and foremost we’ve got the new community calendar—your regularly-updated look at what’s happening in the Forza community. From race events and official contests to sponsored events and community activities, we’ll be featuring lots of different kinds of things to do in the calendar. Check back early and often and be sure to join us online!

 

As you have probably seen, we currently have a number of events on the calendar, with the first event slated to start on Monday, Sept. 26. These pre-launch events are for a select group of folks who have early access to Forza Motorsport 4—including members of the press who are reviewing the game, as well as for a few community VIPs. After launch, we’ll be featuring even more items in the calendar for everyone to participate in, including official contests, community meet-ups, and much more. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

My Forza Returns 

 

The “My Forza” section of FM.net is designed to act as the Forza player’s home away from home (or at least their home away from their Xbox 360). Here you’ll find tons of in-game statistics, a gallery of photos you’ve taken (including download links to video and Big Shot photo files), a list of Xbox LIVE friends and fellow Car Club members, as well as a full list of the Xbox LIVE achievements you’ve earned in the game.

 

The folks here at Turn 10 put in a ton of work over the past few weeks to get these new FM.net features ready for folks to enjoy leading up to the launch of the game. Big thanks to all of them, especially the community team who have spent some long hours writing content, creating the awesome event posters you see in the calendar section, and generally making sure things launch as smoothly as possible.

 

In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out some additional features that will add even more functionality to the site… look for more information soon.

 

Now let’s turn it over to Alex Kierstein for your weekly dose of car knowledge:


 

AA

 

Forum user MadHappy asks: “Hey Alex, Out of all of the cars you've had to study for FM4, what car's background or history did you find the most interesting? Why?” 

 

This is a really fantastic question. You’ve probably gotten the sense by now that I really like historic cars. I guess you could say that’s true, although I have absolutely nothing against modern high-performance cars. In fact, researching the McLaren MP4-12C’s incredible development and advanced technology (particularly the bespoke V8) had me amazed. But what really gets me going is a good story, and for that the 1960s stick out above the rest because of how fast things were evolving at the time. In the 1950s, you could drive a car on the road to Le Mans and then actually win the race in the same car. By the 1960s, this was impossible—the fastest race cars were so specialized that they weren’t suitable for the road anymore, but they also weren’t completely alien yet and often had road-going variants. The Ford GT40 MkIII is really the epitome of this, a road-legal variant of a Le Mans-winning prototype chassis. That would be like an Audi R15 TDI having a counterpart you could drive on the street! (For a more modern equivalent, check out the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR road car or the Nissan R390, both in Forza.)

 

 

 

I don’t bring up the GT40 by accident—the famous rivalry between Enzo Ferrari and Henry Ford II, two bull-headed scions with deep pockets and huge egos, has fascinated me endlessly, and was definitely the highlight of my research. That rivalry led to not only the development of the GT40, but also of the gorgeous Ferrari 330 P3 and P4. Even though I know some about this period in Le Mans racing, it was great to be able to delve even further into it in order to research these two cars—kind of like re-reading a book that you fondly remember over again. What was new to me this time around was the changes between the P3 and P4, including how Ferrari modified the Lampredi V12 to take on the 7-liter Fords… a battle between the twin-cam V12’s European finesse and Ford’s simpler but massively powerful pushrod engine. I don’t have nearly enough room to do the full battle between the two giants justice, but if you want to read more, I recommend A.J. Baime’s great book on the subject, “Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans.” Or you can live out this very rivalry in one of my favorite of Forza’s new Rivals events, the “Vintage Melee” in the Track Days section, which always gets my heart racing with a healthy dose of historic multi-class racing action.

 


Thanks Alex. And thanks to all of you for reading this week’s entry of the Week in Review. Stay tuned for more news next week as we get one step closer to the launch of Forza 4!