Forza Motorsport-Week In Review 10-19-12

Brian Ekberg
Friday, October 19, 2012

When it comes to the launch of Forza Horizon, we’re no longer talking months or even weeks. As of today, it’s more appropriate to use “days” or, for the truly anticipatory among us, “hours.” In just four days, this year’s biggest racing game will be released to retail stores in the U.S., and three days later Forza Horizon will hit stores around the rest of the world. However you measure it, it won’t be long before we are all hitting the open roads of Colorado together. 

It’s great to be inside Turn 10 these days, as there is a palpable buzz around the launch of Forza Horizon – as the rest of the world gets closer to playing the game we (and our awesome compatriots at Playground Games) have kept so close to our hearts over the past few months. It’s also immensely gratifying to see the reviews for Forza Horizon continue to pour in, nearly universal in their praise of the game. Having hosted online review sessions with many of the critics who reviewed Horizon, it was especially satisfying to hear them enjoying the game so much, asking great questions, and generally just getting into the spirit of Horizon. 

We’ve been spending a whole lot of time with the game over the past few weeks, and if I had to put my finger on my favorite aspect of Horizon right now I’d have to go with our multiplayer playground games. Now, playground games are nothing new for Forza fans – you guys know all about Tag (virus) and Cat & Mouse, because we’ve had them in the Forza Motorsport series for years. But let me tell you, put a game like Tag (virus)—known in Horizon as “Infected”—in an open world, and everything changes. Suddenly you aren’t constrained by the asphalt of a circuit, and can go anywhere you like.

Even the playground maps themselves are special. You’ve got industrial areas with lots of warehouses and cool structures to hide behind. There’s even a huge golf course where you can flip your favorite cars over sand traps and hills. It’s often silly, it’s sometimes ridiculous, and it’s always very, very fun. 


Which is why I can’t wait for you guys to join us in Horizon’s Colorado. To celebrate launch week, we’ll be holding two separate Game With Dev events for Forza Horizon. The first will be on Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 1-3 p.m. Pacific; the second will be on Friday, Oct. 26, also from 1-3 Pacific. As always, we’ll be kicking things off on our Game With Devs section of our official Facebook page, where you can chat with us in between races. And we’ll be giving away unicorn cars throughout both events! While future Game With Dev events will feature a mixture of Forza Horizon and older Forza games, during these two events we will ONLY be playing Horizon – so make sure you come with your copy and get ready to tear up the roads of Colorado with us!
 

 

Rally_header 

 

Get Ready for Rally!
Announced earlier this week, the Forza Horizon Rally Expansion Pack is coming to Forza Horizon on Dec. 18. There’s not a lot I can say about this yet but, rest assured, we’ll be giving you more details as we get closer to its release date. The team at Playground Games is hard at working in putting this pack together, and considering the depth of talent (including more than a few rally game experts) I know it’s going to be an incredible rally experience for Forza fans. As one of the long-time Forza fans who have been hoping for a Forza rally experience for years, I’ve got high expectations for this one – and I can’t wait to see what the team delivers in December. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks!

Now, as we announced earlier, the Rally Expansion Pack will cost 1,600 MS Points as a standalone purchase. If you’re a Forza Horizon Season Pass owner, the Rally Expansion Pack is included as part of your purchase. However, if you still haven’t pre-ordered Forza Horizon yet, I’ve got a heck of a deal for you. The Microsoft Store is taking pre-orders for Forza Horizon and, if you pre-order the game, you’ll also get a $10 coupon plus 1,600 MS Points – just enough for when the Rally Expansion Pack comes around. Handy, right? Check out the link for details.
 

Month 1 Pack
In addition to announcing the Forza Horizon Rally Expansion, we also showed off the cars from the Month 1 Car Pack, which will be available for purchase on release day (or packed into the LCE, or available for free to Season Pass owners). This pack features road-taming monsters like the 2012 Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione, the 2012 Gumpert Apollo Enraged, and the 2012 Lamborghini Aventador J, among others. Read the article for full details and here’s a never-before-released screenshot of the 1957 Chevy Bel Air from the pack to whet your appetite:
 

 

1957_Chevrolet_Bel_Air 

 

Ian Is Escaping the Grid
If you’ve been following our official Facebook feed of late, you’ve probably seen a number of cars announced this week mentioning our upcoming Escape the Grid promotion for Forza Horizon – a road trip of sorts that will take participants from Paris to the UK in some of the hottest cars in the world. One of those lucky participants will be our own Ian Webster; here he is with a preview of what to expect:
 

"From Oct. 23-26, ten supercars will be travelling from Paris to Birmingham, UK in what promises to be one of the most exciting road trips in gaming history. The convoy will begin their journey at the Paris “Forza Horizon” Gymkhana competition on Oct. 23, and end at “Top Gear Live” in Birmingham on Oct. 26, where the winning car will be announced and six of the vehicles will be put on display in the prestigious “Top Gear Live” supercar gallery.

Over the four-day event, there will be six challenges, four events, 1,000 KM driven, plus masses of cool content from the road for you to enjoy and get involved with, along with plenty of opportunities to win some amazing prizes!  To make sure you don’t miss out you can follow all of the updates from the road via #EscapeTheGrid on Twitter, or check out the #EscapeTheGrid website, which now contains the final list of cars that are going to be taking part in the event!
 

"Here’s a map of the route we’re planning to take across France and the UK:
 

Escape_the_Grid_route 


 

"I’ve also been informed that there may be a chance for me to get behind the wheel of one of these supercars for a leg or two of the journey. So if any of you have any good luck messages for me on Twitter, I’d sure appreciate them! Follow me at @HeliosT10 for more!"
 

Alex’s Autoweek American Adventure
Meanwhile, our own Alex Kierstein will be on a Forza Horizon-esque automotive adventure of his own, thanks to our friends at Autoweek. Here’s Alex with more:
 

"The wide-open roads of Colorado. A 510-hp supercoupe with bulging fender flares and a huge carbon fiber rear wing. A destination somewhere off in the sun-baked distance. Sound like a description of Forza Horizon? It could be, but actually, it’s a sneak peek at some upcoming travel plans of mine. Next week, I’ll be flying to Colorado to take a co-driver’s seat in a cross-country adventure rally that seems like it was ripped right out of the Forza Horizon development brief: the Autoweek America Adventure rally.
 

"The rally is a week-long series of driving and navigational challenges that will see me and my copilot, Davey G. Johnson of Autoweek, hurtle the car through some picturesque Colorado scenery on the way to a finish at Las Vegas’ SEMA show. And the car? Well, you might recognize it from Forza Motorsport 4 and also Forza Horizon. It’s a 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series. Am I excited about taking the wheel of a pumped-up Merc motivated by a raging 6.2L V8 modded with SLS AMG bits? That’s a complete and total understatement.
 

"I really can’t wait to share my experience with you guys. I’ll be Tweeting from the road (follow at @Turn10Studios), and there should be additional dispatches on Facebook and FM.net. The rally is kicking off on October 24th in Colorado Springs, so look for more next week!"
 

Now, how’s that for a pair of awesome road trips? As Ian and Alex mention, the best way to keep up with all the action will be to follow us on Facebook and on Twitter and we’ll have full wrap-ups of the events after they are done.
 

Forza Horizon Demo
Did you know that the Forza Horizon demo has now been downloaded more than one million times? We’re tremendously proud of that number, and now that the demo is available to both Xbox LIVE Gold and Silver subscribers, I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone who HASN’T yet tried the demo that there is good reason to do so. After all, if you download and play the Horizon demo and then purchase and play the full game, you’ll get a free 2013 SRT Viper with a custom livery. If you play Horizon during the first week of the game’s availability, you’ll get a free 2010 Saleen S5S Raptor, a unicorn car that is usually only available from the Forza community team. Get in on the game early and don’t miss out on these awesome cars!
 

Kimmel Does Horizon
Earlier this week, Forza Horizon made an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live". The U.S. late night talk show opened with a segment featuring Kimmel’s very own Guillermo playing Horizon before taking the “action” to the “streets” – in a way only Guillermo can:
 

 

Rivals Runner October Continues
Have you taken part in our Forza Motorsport 4 Rivals Runner series yet? Each month we publish four Rivals Runners events in the Community Monthly channel of Rivals Mode. These four events are designed to find the best Forza 4 driver each month across four different driving disciplines – hot lap, drift, drag, and autocross. We had a shakeup this week at the top of the leaderboard as AziDhk EVOLVED took over for last week’s leader Deck56C. Make sure you get in your time to see where you stand, follow the dedicated Rivals Runner forum thread, and look for another update next week.
 

T10 Track Day – Petit Le Mans
This Saturday will see the final race of the 2012 ALMS Season – Petit Le Mans in Atlanta. To celebrate, we’ll be hosting our final Turn 10 Track Day of 2012 on our official Turn 10 Track Day app on our official Facebook channel! Never attended a T10 Track Day? Here’s how it works:
 

  1. Log on to our Facebook chat at the link above.
  2. Make sure you tune into the race using the ESPN app on Xbox LIVE, via ESPN3, or on the official ALMS Web site.
  3. Enjoy!
     

That’s all there is to it! These events are a great chance for us to get to hang out with you, talk about the race, and give out prizes like unicorn cars and DLC codes along the way. As always, Petit is a long race so we’ll be popping in and out of the chat throughout the day. The action begins at 8:15 a.m. Pacific/11:15 Eastern. We’ll see you there!
 

Well, it’s about time to wrap up a very busy edition of the Week in Review. Before I go I wanted to point out some of the cool stuff you’ll be seeing on the site when the game launches next week. In addition to getting the game out to our fans, we’re also launching some updates to FM.net, including an updated Forza Horizon Cars and World pages in the Forza Horizon section, complete with a full rundown of all the cars in the game, as well as an overview of Horizon’s version of Colorado. In addition look for an updated version of the My Forza section, where you’ll be able to grab your Forza Horizon photos (as well as your Forza Motorsport 4 media). 
 

All that plus our next edition in "Forza Horizon – Behind the Scenes"!
 

I don’t normally say this, but here’s hoping this weekend goes quickly, so we can get to the launch of Forza Horizon! Have a great (and mercifully quick) weekend everyone!