With the release of Forza Motorsport 6 celebrating the franchises ten year anniversary we thought it would be a good idea to look back and see how this particular racing game has changed over the years.
Forza Motorsport: (Xbox, 2005)
The debut title from Turn 10 Studios was released onto the Xbox in May 2005 and saw 231 cars and a mixture of licensed, street, point to point and original circuits being included on the disc. It was also one of the first Xbox games to heavily promote Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE Multiplayer service. Unlike other ‘realistic’ racing simulators, such as Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport included body damage which further added to the realism it was trying to replicate.
Forza Motorsport 2: (Xbox 360, 2007):
The sequel, which would be released onto the Xbox 360 in June 2007, was developed alongside Microsoft’s new Xbox 360 Wireless Steering Wheel; a wheel which offered realism, both in its size and weight, as well as vibration feedback. Since the wheel was developed alongside Forza Motorsport 2 special ‘controller bundles’ were released at launch; it also meant that the Racing Wheel controller was already optimised for the game – unlike third party controllers appearing on the market at the time.
The visuals in Forza Motorsport 2 were ‘heavily’ increased, mostly due to the new graphical power found within the Xbox 360 console, but the amount of cars and tracks remained the same. The biggest addition however was the ability to customize ‘selective’ cars with body parts and livery designs; a feature which has remained and been expanded upon. Another improvement was body damage; as not only was damage to the car made visually better but players could adjust how much damage they would like to receive during a race as opposed to having it on or off.
Forza Motorsport 3: (Xbox 360, 2009):
The third installment into the Forza Motorsport franchise is where everything changed; not only was the game visually upgraded but it saw a wealth of new additions to overall gameplay environment. New additions included an in-car driving view, one button assisted driving, vehicle rollover with detailed undercarriages and SUV vehicle types. New racing types, in the form of drifting and drag racing scenarios, were also included along with an expanded preasonalisation mode whereby all available cars could be customized and tweaked to the players specification.
In fact; Forza Motorsport 3 had so much content that when the game shipped in October 2009 the game came on two seperate discs; the first disc was the bulk of the content, such as gameplay modes, where as the second disc had a wide selection of tracks and cars. In short the second disc had to be installed to the Xbox 360 hard drive in order for all of the content to be enjoyed on the first disc.
Forza Motorsport 4: (Xbox 360, 2011)
By now Forza Motorsport had already established itself as Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s Gran Turismo franchise but this all seemingly changed when Forza Motorsport 4 was released during October 2011. Features that made Forza Motorsport 3 a success had remained and new features, such as more personalisation options, detailed track capturing and kinect compatibility, added to the games flexibility to adapt and become a better overall product.
The most notable addition was the Autovista feature; a segment which allowed players a detailed tour around any car included in the game; including a most notable cameo with the Warthog from Microsoft’s Halo franchise. The ability to look around cars, especially high-end super-cars, proved extremely popular and thanks to a partnership with BBC’s Top Gear certain ‘descriptive’ elements of the car were narrated by former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson. In short Forza Motorsport 4 allowed players to not only race their dream cars but learn and explore them up close and in life-like detail – something which was never possible until this particular title was released.
Forza Motorsport 5: (Xbox One, 2013)
The release of Forza Motorsport 5 in November 2013 was also an Xbox One launch title and despite its next-gen-visuals and improved realism the game did arrive with some speed bumps. The game received negative comments due to the number of cars and tracks included on the disc, as it was much lower than previous; and while this was ‘fixed’ with future downloadable content it still did achieve the hype that previous Xbox 360 versions received.
Despite all of this Forza Motorsport 5 is still a great game; and can be seen when played natively on the Xbox One console. Features seen in past games, such as cockpit view, autovista and in-depth customization all return and have been expanded upon to make the best it could possibly be for the launch line-up.
Forza Motorsport 6: (Xbox One, 2015)
Due for release on the 18th September 2015 Forza Motorsport 6 once again takes everything we know about the game and it expands it in new ways. The game, as a whole, still remains true to its core of providing realistic racing environments but this time its gone a whole lot further.
The number of ‘on disc’ cars and tracks have been increased while the inclusion of night-time and wet-weather racing has been added. Night-time racing, such as Le Mans 24 hour sprint race, sees the player in ‘pitch-black-darkness’ with the only form of light being from the headlights; meanwhile wet-weather racing has been vastly improved to a degree that mud flaps and aquaplains will actually make a difference during races. For instance driving over a puddle or going into another cars spray will cause the car to act differently to what it usually does. These are just ‘some’ of the simple alterations, on top of the visual upgrade to tracks, that players can expect from Forza Motorsport 6.
When comparing the six screenshots above its easy to see where changes and amendments have been made; but in actuality differences can be seen more clearly during live gameplay.
Alongside the sixth variations of Forza Motorsport an open-world spin-off, known as Forza Horizon, was also released. Unlike previous games in the ‘Forza’ franchise Forza Horizon was developed by Playground Games with development monitored by Turn 10 Studios themselves. Forza Horizon offered everything that Forza Motorsport offered; the only difference being an open-world-map, similar to recent Need for Speed: Most Wanted titles, and the ability to see ‘ghost’ versions of players as drivers in the game.
Forza Motorsport 6 is available to order through www.funstockracing.co.uk