Forza (series)

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Forza
Forza logo 2020.svg
Logo since 2020
Genre(s)Racing
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)Xbox Game Studios
Platform(s)
First releaseForza Motorsport
May 3, 2005
Latest releaseForza Horizon 5
Nov 9, 2021

Forza (/ˈfɔːrtsə/ FORT-sə, Italian: [ˈfɔrtsa]; Italian for "strength") is a series of simulation racing games for Xbox consoles, Windows 10, iOS and Android devices published by Xbox Game Studios. The series seeks to emulate the performance and handling characteristics of many real-life production, modified and racing cars.

The franchise is primarily divided into two ongoing titles; the original Forza Motorsport series developed by American developer Turn 10 Studios, which focuses on primarily professional-style track racing events and series around a variety of both real and fictional tracks, and the Forza Horizon series mainly developed by British developer Playground Games, which revolves around a fictional racing and music festival called the "Horizon Festival" and features open world environments set in fictional representations of real world areas in which players may freely roam and participate in racing events. Until 2019, each installment of the franchise series have alternated on a biennial basis; the Motorsport entries were released in odd-numbered years, while the Horizon entries were released in even-numbered years. This pattern was altered due to the absence of a new Motorsport game in 2019.[1]

Titles[edit]

Motorsport[edit]

Release timeline
2005Forza Motorsport
2006
2007Forza Motorsport 2
2008
2009Forza Motorsport 3
2010
2011Forza Motorsport 4
2012Forza Horizon
2013Forza Motorsport 5
2014Forza Horizon 2
2015Forza Motorsport 6
2016Forza Horizon 3
2017Forza Motorsport 7
2018Forza Horizon 4
2019Forza Street
2020
2021Forza Horizon 5
TBAForza Motorsport

Forza Motorsport (2005)[edit]

Forza Motorsport was released in 2005 and is the first installment in the Forza Motorsport series, a series that has continued on Microsoft's current systems, the Xbox 360, the Xbox One and the Xbox Series X. It was the only title in the series to be released on the original Xbox console. It is playable on the Xbox 360 via backwards compatibility on the newer platform. It features 231 cars and multiple real-world and fictional racecourses. It also featured online multiplayer via Xbox Live. the Honda NSX and a tuned Nissan 350z are the cover vehicles.

Forza Motorsport 2 (2007)[edit]

Forza Motorsport 2 is the first sequel to Forza Motorsport and the first Xbox 360 title in the series. The Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel was developed alongside Forza Motorsport 2 and is designed to work with the game. Prior to the game's release, Microsoft launched Forza Motorsport Showdown, a four-part TV miniseries on Speed. The show was produced by Bud Brutsman and hosted by Lee Reherman.[2] A tuned Nissan 350z is the cover vehicle.

Forza Motorsport 3 (2009)[edit]

Forza Motorsport 3 includes more than 466 customizable cars (more than 600 cars in the Ultimate Collection version) from 50 manufacturers and more than 100 race track variations with the ability to race up to eight cars on track at a time. These cars vary from production cars to race cars such as those from the American Le Mans Series. At the E3 2009 Microsoft Press Conference where the game was first showcased, Turn 10 unveiled the rewind feature (much like the Codemasters "flashback" feature on Race Driver: Grid, F1 2009 and DiRT 2), which allows the player to turn back time to fix previous mistakes made on the track. The rewind feature has no limit on how many times it may be used but afterwards, the player must wait 30 seconds before being able to rewind again. It is also the first game in the franchise to feature a cockpit camera and to have sport utility vehicles.[3] a North American spec 2006 Audi R8 is the cover vehicle.

Forza Motorsport 4 (2011)[edit]

Promotion of Forza Motorsport 4 at E3 2011

For Forza Motorsport 4, Turn 10 Studios partnered with BBC's Top Gear (and its American counterpart) to get Jeremy Clarkson, among other Top Gear hosts, to do voices for descriptions, race titles, and the new Auto-vista mode, which allows players to explore a certain selection of cars in great detail. The game is also the first in the franchise to utilize the Kinect sensor. Players can utilize the sensor to turn their head to either side, and the game dynamically follows in a similar motion, turning the game camera to the side. It is the final Forza Motorsport released for Xbox 360. the 2009 Ferrari 458 is the cover vehicle.

Forza Motorsport 5 (2013)[edit]

Forza Motorsport 5 was an Xbox One launch title, the fifth in the Motorsport series, and the sixth game in the Forza series. The game expanded on the Top Gear partnership by having Richard Hammond and James May provide commentary alongside Clarkson. The game was first confirmed by the Se-bull of Microsoft France.[4] The game was released in 2013.[5] The 2013 McLaren P1 is the cover vehicle.

Forza Motorsport 6 (2015)[edit]

As part of a development agreement with Ford Motor Company, Turn 10 Studios was given direct access to the design team for the 2017 Ford GT super-car, which is the game's cover vehicle. Forza Motorsport 6 was released on September 15, 2015, for Xbox One. A free-to-play Windows 10 version of the game, known as Forza Motorsport 6: Apex, was released as a beta on May 5, 2016. On September 6, 2016, it was removed from beta and became a full addition to the franchise.

Forza Motorsport 7 (2017)[edit]

Forza Motorsport 7 was developed for Windows 10 and Xbox One. The game was released on October 3, 2017.[6] This game includes many tracks, including the return of Maple Valley Raceway, the fictional track last included in Forza Motorsport 4. Forza Motorsport 7 has the largest set of playable vehicles of any Forza game to date, at 830 cars. 700 cars are included in the base game, while 130 were later added as downloadable content.[7] The 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS is the cover vehicle.

Forza Motorsport (TBA)[edit]

The eighth Forza Motorsport, which officially has no number in its title,[8] was announced during Microsoft's Xbox Games Showcase on July 23, 2020.[9][10] It will be the first Forza Motorsport game to deviate from the franchise's biennial release schedule, as no Forza title was released in 2019 or 2020, and Forza Horizon 5 was announced to be released in 2021 without a Forza Motorsport title having released between the years of one Forza Horizon release.

Horizon[edit]

Forza Horizon (2012)[edit]

Forza Horizon was developed for the Xbox 360 and is the first open-world game in the series. It is based around a fictitious festival called the Horizon Festival, set in the U.S. state of Colorado. The game incorporates many different gameplay aspects from previous Forza Motorsport titles, like the large variety of cars, realistic physics and high definition graphics. The aim is to progress through the game by means of obtaining "Wristbands" by driving fast, destroying property, winning races and other driving antics. Horizon features the physics of Forza Motorsport 4, which have been optimised to work on the 65 variants of terrain said to be present in the game. Players can drive off-road in select areas, while others are limited by guardrails or other means. Horizon allows the player to modify the car that is selected from the garage by changing numerous features both internally and externally on a car. One can also obtain cars by winning races with random drivers on the street, by winning larger competitive races, and by finding barns that contain treasure cars that cannot otherwise be bought through the game's 'Auto-show' or through racing .This game is compatible with the Xbox One through backwards compatibility. The 2013 Dodge SRT Viper GTS was the cover car, which also makes it the first cover car for the Horizon series.

Forza Horizon 2 (2014)[edit]

Forza Horizon 2 was developed for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The game is set in Southern France and in Northern Italy. The Xbox One version was developed by Horizon developer Playground Games, with assistance by Turn 10 Studios. The Xbox 360 version was developed by Sumo Digital.[11] The Xbox One version introduced a dynamic weather system to the series. An expansion, Forza Horizon 2: Storm Island, was released on December 16, 2014. A cross-promotional standalone expansion called Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious was released in March 2015 for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It is the final Forza game for Xbox 360 and the DLC was exclusive for Xbox One only. The expansion's plot is to collect ten cars by using specially modified cars in different events to get them. The 2014 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 was the cover car.

Forza Horizon 3 (2016)[edit]

Forza Horizon 3 was developed for Windows 10 and Xbox One.[12] The game is set in Australia, and has the player represented in the game as the host of the Horizon Festival itself. The game launched on September 27, 2016 (September 23 for Ultimate Edition owners). The game launched with over 350 cars and is the first game in the series to be launched on both Microsoft Windows and Xbox One. An expansion titled Blizzard Mountain was released on December 13, 2016, featuring a snow area along with the name giving blizzard storms and eight new cars.[13] A second expansion themed around Hot Wheels was released on May 9, 2017. This expansion features a new area called "Thrilltopia" and adds orange and blue Hot Wheels track with loops, jumps, corkscrews, boost pads, half-pipes and more. The expansion also includes ten new cars.[14] The 2016 Lamborghini Centenario LP 770-4 and the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck were the cover cars. As of December 2016, Forza Horizon 3 sold around 2.5 million units.[15]

Forza Horizon 4 (2018)[edit]

Promotion of Forza Horizon 4 featuring a McLaren Senna at E3 2018

Forza Horizon 4 was developed for the Xbox One and Windows 10. The game is set in Great Britain and features dynamic game-play and seasons which change every Thursday in the real world. It was released on October 2, 2018 (September 28 for Ultimate Edition players). The 2018 McLaren Senna and the 1997 Land Rover Defender 90 as the cover cars. On December 13, 2018, the Fortune Island expansion was released, featuring the 2019 Lamborghini Urus as the cover car. On June 13, 2019, the Lego Speed Champions expansion was released worldwide featuring a Lego version of the McLaren Senna. As of August 2019, the game has surpassed 12 million players.[16] Forza Horizon 4 is currently available to download through Xbox's Game Pass service.

Forza Horizon 5 (2021)[edit]

Forza Horizon 5 is in development for the Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows 10, and is set in Mexico. The official, expected release date is November 9, 2021. Premium Edition owners will get early access on November 5, 2021. The 2021 Mercedes-AMG ONE and two 2021 Ford Bronco Badlands are the cover cars.

Spin-offs[edit]

Forza Street (2019)[edit]

Forza Street is a free-to-play racing game developed by Electric Square that was initially released for Windows 10 as Miami Street on May 8, 2018.[17][18][19] The game was re-branded as a Forza title on April 15, 2019, and was also released for iOS and Android on May 5, 2020.[20] A Nintendo Switch version of the game has also been rumoured to be in development.[17][18][19] Forza Street uses Unreal Engine 4, unlike the series' in-house engine, ForzaTech. Unlike the main Motorsport and Horizon titles, Street features short, quick street races, and is meant to be played on low-end devices. Game-play involves players controlling only the acceleration and braking by pressing and releasing a button or a touch screen; steering is handled automatically. Players can also use nitrous to give their cars a speed boost.

Following its announcement, Forza Street was heavily criticized for its overly simplistic gameplay, its gameplay-limiting energy system, and predatory use of microtransactions, with critics calling Street a stain on the otherwise well-regarded Forza brand.[21][22][23]

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
Game Metacritic
Forza Motorsport (Xbox) 92/100[24]
Forza Motorsport 2 (X360) 90/100[25]
Forza Motorsport 3 (X360) 92/100[26]
Forza Motorsport 4 (X360) 91/100[27]
Forza Horizon (X360) 85/100[28]
Forza Motorsport 5 (XONE) 79/100[29]
Forza Horizon 2 (XONE) 86/100[30]
Forza Motorsport 6 (XONE) 87/100[31]
Forza Horizon 3 (PC) 86/100[32]
(XONE) 91/100[33]
Forza Motorsport 7 (PC) 82/100[34]
(XONE) 86/100[35]
Forza Horizon 4 (PC) 87/100[36]
(XONE) 92/100[37]

As of February 2010, Forza games have sold over 10 million copies.[38] As of December 2016, the series has made over US$1 billion at retail,[15][39] making Forza one of the highest grossing video game franchises. Over 14 million unique players were registered in the Forza community on Xbox One and Windows 10 by December 2016.[40]

The Forza franchise has received major critical acclaim; with the exception of Forza Motorsport 5, every main title in the Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon series have received an aggregate review score of at least 85 out of 100 on Metacritic, with Forza Motorsport,[24] Forza Motorsport 3,[26] and the Xbox One version of Forza Horizon 4[37] all sharing the highest-rated scores in the series at 92.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Batchelor, James (June 10, 2019). "Microsoft confirms no Forza Motorsport 8 in 2019". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  2. ^ Goldstein, Hilary (October 31, 2006). "Forza 2 Gains Speed". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  3. ^ Varanini, Giancarlo (June 1, 2009). "Forza Motorsport 3 Microsoft Press Conference Impressions". GameSpot. Archived from the original on September 26, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  4. ^ Jessey. "Forza Motorsport 5 Coming 2013; Horizon and Motorsport Are "2 Different Games"". Analoghype.com. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
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  7. ^ ManteoMax. "FM7 Car List and How to Get Locked Cars". forzamotorsport.net. Archived from the original on September 20, 2020. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  8. ^ Tolbert, Samuel; Vjestica, Adam (September 1, 2021). "Forza Motorsport car list, news and rumors". TechRadar. Retrieved July 31, 2021. Surprisingly, the game isn't called Forza Motorsport 8. Forza Motorsport’s creative director Chris Esaki admitted that there’s some confusion regarding the game’s name, and clarified that the eight has been dropped altogether. 'I just wanted to reaffirm that the name of the game is Forza Motorsport,' said Esaki. 'There’s no sequential eight after the title. It really is an all-new Forza Motorsport experience.'
  9. ^ Forza Motorsport - Official Announce Trailer (YouTube video). Xbox. July 23, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  10. ^ Slater, Gary (July 28, 2020). "Forza Motorsport: Everything We Know So Far". GTPlanet. Archived from the original on September 11, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  11. ^ "E3 2014: Forza Horizon 2 Launching September 30". Gamespot. CBS Interactive. June 9, 2014. Archived from the original on June 6, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
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  19. ^ a b Smith, Rebecca (April 15, 2019). "Miami Street Officially Rebrands to Forza Street". TrueAchievements.com. TrueGaming Network. Archived from the original on April 15, 2019. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
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  21. ^ Atkin, Alex (April 16, 2019). "Review: Forza Street stains a pedigree series with an awful spin-off title". MSPoweruser. Archived from the original on May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
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  23. ^ Gardner, Matt (May 10, 2019). "Is 'Forza Street' Good? No, It's A Horrific Moment For The Franchise". Forbes.com. Archived from the original on May 11, 2020. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
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  29. ^ "Forza Motorsport 5 Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  30. ^ "Forza Horizon 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on September 17, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  31. ^ "Forza Motorsport 6 Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on September 30, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
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External links[edit]