When it comes to console racing games, only two franchises have really stood up to each other. While games like F1 and the Burnout series are aimed at a specific audience, they don’t really have the same weight or impact as the Gran Turismo or Forza franchises. For decades, PlayStation has used the Gran Turismo series to expand the technical capabilities of its consoles, while Xbox has done the same with Forza. Gran Turismo 7 was released a few months ago, and now it’s Forza Motorsport’s turn.
Announced during the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase, Forza Motorsport will be the eighth game in the main series and will be something of a reboot of the franchise. Along with the overhaul of game mechanics and racing systems, the graphics and physics systems of Forza Motorsport 2023 are also being created from scratch, and if the deep dive shown during the demo is anything to go by, then it can only be one of the most technically impressive games of all time.
Forza Motorsport pushes graphic boundaries
The Forza franchise has always looked pretty cool, even the earliest parts of the franchise pushed the original Xbox to the limit of its capabilities. While the Forza Horizon series is focused on creating impressively huge open worlds to roam through, Forza Motorsport is focused on creating the most technically brilliant racing game, and the upcoming game seems to be continuing the tradition in style.
During a six-minute gameplay demo, the Forza Motorsport development team introduced fans to some of the technical updates that will appear in this next-generation release. The demo started with a simple note, showing the iconic Maple Valley track from the original games, albeit looking better than ever. When the camera plunges into the valley and is fixed behind the car, the scale of the proposed technical improvements is fully realized.
Every inch of the track and the environment has been drawn with the smallest details, the smallest stones and even every single blade of grass look amazing. The demonstration then moved on to the new Forza Motorsport lighting system and how it interacts with the functionality of the time of day. Apparently, the time of day changes during the race, and shadows are displayed in real time depending on where the sun is. As the ambient lighting changes, so do the reflections: car headlights are now visible in the glossy car body. The time of day affects not only the visual effects in the game, but also the temperature in the game, which, in turn, affects the feeling of driving on the road.
During the day, players will be able to see the reflection of their car in the bumper of the car in front, as well as the rest of the environment. Forza Motorsport, apparently, will even display every scratch on the car after the accident, with accuracy to the place where the object could have touched. This is by far the most technically impressive Forza game ever made, and perhaps it’s just one of the most technically impressive games of all time.
At the same time, Turn 10 Studios should be ready to share its hard work with the rest of the gaming industry. While Sony’s list of upcoming releases will certainly contain some technical wonders, it’s unlikely that in the next year or so any of them will be able to reach the obvious heights of Forza Motorsport. Simply put, Forza Motorsport’s new physical systems and real-time rendering can benefit the entire gaming industry, as not only the racing genre will be able to use these new technical systems to make the gameplay more realistic.
The release of Forza Motorsport is scheduled for spring 2023 on PC and Xbox consoles.