||This article may contain wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (September 2012)|
|Developer(s)||Turn 10 Studios|
|Publisher(s)||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Release date(s)||NA May 3, 2005
JP May 12, 2005
EU May 13, 2005
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
Forza Motorsport is a racing video game developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft for the Xbox gaming system. The word Forza is Italian for force or strength. The game is the first installment in the Forza Motorsport series, a series that has continued on Microsoft's current console, the Xbox 360.
There are 231 cars in Forza Motorsport ranging from a Honda Civic to supercars such as the Enzo Ferrari and Le Mans race prototypes such as the Audi R8. The cars are separated into 9 classes named D, C, B, A, S, and R (subclasses GT, GTR, and P1)
- Class D: Standard production vehicles such as the Honda Civic and Mitsubishi Eclipse.
- Class C: Sports cars such as the Impreza WRX STi and Lancer Evo VIII.
- Class B: Performance cars such as the Porsche Boxster and Ford Mustang GT.
- Class A: High performance cars such as the TVR Tuscan S and Dodge Viper.
- Class S: Supercars such as the Enzo Ferrari, Koenigsegg CC8S and Porsche Carrera GT.
- Class R: Purpose-built race cars (non-production vehicles) such as the #1 Audi R8, and Bentley Speed 8. These cars cannot be customized in any way.
Each class, except class R, has 4 subclasses with 1 being higher and 4 being lower rated. For instance, a D1 would be better than a D3. Upgrading by tuning or buying new parts can move cars between classes except class R (no car can enter or leave class R). There are 3 subcategories of class R:
- R-GT: Grand Touring racing cars such as the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe.
- R-GTS: Higher performance race cars such as the Saleen S7R.
- R-P1: Racing prototypes, mostly LMPs. These cars weigh around 900 kg (~2000 lbs) with roughly 450 kW (~600 hp). Examples include the Bentley Speed 8 and the McLaren F1 GTR.
Each car can be upgraded and tuned with a large number of extras and parts. Upgrades are separated into 3 categories: engine/power, appearance/aerodynamics and chassis/drivetrain. There is a wide range of tuning available including tire pressure (which changes during races due to temperature), downforce, gear ratios and limited slip differential.
Forza Motorsport is able to realistically model damage to cars, from both a cosmetic and a performance standpoint. This changes the way the game is played, in contrast to the Gran Turismo series, as collisions with barriers and other cars will alter the car's handling, top speed and acceleration. More noticeably, spoilers can be knocked off cars, paint can be scraped off and windows can be smashed completely (the front window however can only be shattered). Bumpers can't be knocked off. Microsoft did not get permission from car manufacturers to depict cars rolling completely over.
One feature is the ability to change the look of your car, from changing the color to applying decals. The tool set is somewhat difficult to use for novices, but when used properly it is possible to create some very striking designs. Though Microsoft may not have intended it, the community surrounding the game has allowed the decal feature to take on another level of complexity. Through the use of various open-source tools written and made available on the Internet, a user can edit the DECALS.BIN file that ships with the game, and insert their own custom decal and vinyls, allowing almost infinite customization. However, this requires the user to own an Xbox that has either been mod-chipped or soft-modded, along with the game being copied onto another media, preferably the Xbox's own internal hard drive. Some people are artistic enough to make their own artistic decals with the customization features in the Apply Decals section.
The game contains a mix of licensed, street, point to point and original circuits. Real world tracks Road Atlanta, Silverstone, Laguna Seca, Tsukuba, Road America, and Nürburgring Nordschleife were licensed and included. Furthermore, the game's Blue Mountains Raceway circuit is heavily influenced in track layout, characteristics and backgrounds by Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst. In addition to these, Forza Motorsport also contains a wide variety of autocross, oval, and dragstrip courses. The longest track included is the Nürburgring Nordschleife at 12.93 miles (20.81 km). The longest multiplayer race allowed is 75 laps, which makes the longest race allowed a total of 970 miles (1,561 km).
One of the game's most-lauded features is its physics engine. Like any racing simulator, Forza Motorsport calculates a car's performance in real time using physical data (for example, the weight of a car's engine, its drag coefficient, etc.). The result is a driving game that many believe matches closely with real life. In 2005, Popular Science magazine tested this effect by inviting professional race car driver Gunnar Jeannette and an amateur car enthusiast to drive identical cars on an identical track in both Forza Motorsport and the real world. Aside from several cars which were either in poor physical condition or not in the same trim level, Jeannette's track times matched closely from his performance on the real track and in virtual reality. The amateur's real world times in all of the cars were roughly identical despite a 16 second spread between fastest and slowest in Forza, which he attributed to his fear of the consequences of driving too hard causing him to drive more slowly in the faster cars. One can also analyze data of the car's telemetry real time while racing. The telemetry option shows various technical and mechanical viewpoints in which a driver can correct his driving.
The menu music is made up of various rock songs, remixed by Junkie XL.
Forza Motorsport was highly praised by critics on release. On GameRankings, it has an overall score of 93.05% and on Metacritic it has an overall score of 92 out of 100. The game was also featured in the June 2004 issue of Popular Science.
IGN's Douglass Perry stated "Forza is a force to be reckoned with, out-maneuvering GT4 in several respects, and beating out everything else in the sim department on Xbox, straight out. The fact is, Forza does some things better than GT4 and some things worse, but it's a must-have game, full stop." Che Chou of 1UP.com commented "This is by far the most realistic console racer ever made, and it's hands-down the best racing game on Xbox". GameSpot's Brian Ekberg noted "Forza's main success is in finding a blend between pleasing the notoriously fickle minority that likes its driving games consistently challenging and demandingly detailed, while introducing a set of user-friendly assists that will ensure that even those who are new to the racing genre will enjoy themselves." Kristan Reed of Eurogamer stated "With Microsoft's typically brilliant online implantation underpinning everything, alongside its determination to break technical boundaries Forza Motorsport is a quite staggering achievement for a first attempt and is a must have for any driving game fan. GameSpy's Russ Fischer commented "Even without a high level of graphics pleasure, Forza is still better than Gran Turismo 4. Why? How about incredible online play, solid AI and a realistic damage model? That's in addition to hundreds of cars, impeccable control and a career mode deep enough to rival your local bottomless well."
- "Forza Motorsport". GameRankings. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- "Forza Motorsport". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- Chou, Che (2005-05-03). "Forza Motorsport". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- Reed, Kristan (2005-05-09). "Forza Motorsport". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- Ekberg, Brian (2005-05-03). "Forza Motorsport". GameSpot. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- Fischer, Russ (2005-05-03). "Forza Motorsport". GameSpy. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- Perry, Douglass (2005-05-04). "Forza Motorsport". IGN. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- Nardozzi, Dale (2005-05-03). "Forza Motorsport". TeamXbox. Retrieved 2012-03-04.