Forza Motorsport has always been a franchise trying to capture the magic and charm of driving some of the world’s best and fastest cars. Unlike his Forza Horizon cousin focusing on exotic locales and festival-oriented road racing, the track has always been the playground for Turn 10 Studios’ award-winning racing game. Announced on Xbox and Bethesda Summer Showcase, Forza Motorsport is already conquering the hearts of fans, and excitement is mounting about what it will look like to advance the racing genre, and what cars it will use to do so.
Competition on the track is something that Forza Motorsport has been excelling for years, even better than Assetto Corsa and Gran Turismo in several key gameplay and presentation areas such as lighting and physics, to name a few. A more obvious way to stand out in an ever-growing genre of racing is the variety of cars on offer, with dozens of manufacturers and models available to use in the pursuit of low lap times. This may seem admirable, but to make sure Forza Motorsport‘s car roster feels truly unique, Turn 10 would do well to narrow down the roster when the game releases in 2023.
The size of the Forza Motorsport car grille
Of Forza Motorsport 7 housing more than 700 cars and Gran Turismo 7 still reaches more than 400, there is no shortage of options with one of the best racing games from Xbox and PlayStation. At first glance, it seems that more choice is a good thing, offering new and exciting vehicles to drive some of the world’s best circuits, such as Laguna Seca, Kyalami and the iconic Spa-Francorchamps. However, with hundreds available, it’s hard to make every car feel different. There are dozens in it Forza Horizon 7 that feel identical to each other, so it largely eliminates all the hard work of the artists and programmers.
In reality, no two cars from different manufacturers feel the same, and capturing the intricacies of real-world driving is an almost impossible feat. Maybe it’s even harder to make more than 700 unique vehicles feel different. By shrinking the car roster, the developer could give driving any new feeling and maybe even require a different approach to master them. Blasting through Maple Valley in an 800hp hypercar or trudging along in a modest hatchback feels very different in others forza titles, as they should, but the difference between comparable cars has been largely non-existent in the franchise until now.
Auto-adjustment is crucial
Not only does Forza Motorsport 7 have hundreds of cars on offer, but it also includes an in-depth tuning and performance suite, kinda like the one in Forza Horizon 5† It is a staple of the franchise and allows players to create and customize a car of their choice to make it completely unique. It’s a source of so much fun, and the added ability to download designs from other players is the icing on the cake.
However, a selection of hundreds of cars not only reduces the potential for each to feel different, but it also affects the way they can be changed and the player’s desire to do so. It doesn’t make much sense to spend in-game currency tuning a stable sedan or budget car to be competitive against fast sports racers when it won’t feel significantly different than a more desirable car that can be bought for a comparable amount. More options will stifle the player’s creativity, and therefore fewer player-driven choices when the garage starts to fill up.
Forza Motorsport will try to recapture fans of the racing genre, and be inclusion on Game Pass means it will have a chance to find a wider audience than ever before. Adding more cars to the lineup might seem like a good way to make the product more appealing to fans of both the racing game genre and petrolheads in general, but with a handful already confirmed, it would be wise to keep the grease off the grid to make any vehicle feel fresh, exciting and memorable.
Forza Motorsport releases Spring 2023 on PC and Xbox consoles.
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