E3 2011: Forza Motorsport 4 Hands-On Preview

We take Turn 10's upcoming racer for a test-drive on the E3 2011 show floor.

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Earlier today, during a visit to Microsoft's E3 booth, we had an opportunity to play Forza Motorsport 4 for the first time. Turn 10's upcoming racer is being shown on a number of different setups; there are several where you can just play with a controller, a couple where you can play in a seat with a racing wheel and a Kinect set up for head tracking, one with a force feedback seat set up in front of three large screens, and one where you can control everything in the game with a Kinect. While in line for one of the head-tracking rigs, we got a pretty good look at the full Kinect setup, which was mostly being used to show off how incredibly detailed the car models are this year.

Viewing one of the game's many Ferraris inside a nondescript garage, the guy using the Kinect was able to reposition the camera simply by moving, almost as if he were walking around the car. Furthermore, using his hand to control a small icon on the screen, he was able to interact with part of the car. Focusing on one of its wheels, he called up an overlay detailing its specifications, for example, and when he moved around to the rear of the car, he popped open the engine cover to look inside. Later, we saw him open the driver's side door and, by interacting with an icon that appeared onscreen, climb inside. At this point, he was sat in the driving position and interacted with the fantastic-looking interior in much the same way as outside. Putting the key in the ignition lit up all of the dashboard instruments, and when he reached for the steering wheel, he was given the option to participate in a driving challenge, which he accepted. Because we weren't playing the game ourselves at this point, we can't comment on how well the Ferrari controlled using the Kinect, but the driver certainly didn't appear to be having any major problems with it.

What we can comment on is how well Forza Motorsport 4's head-tracking feature works. After sitting down and getting comfortable with the steering wheel and pedals, we opted to drive a Subaru (one of only three cars featured in the E3 demo) around the spectacular-looking Switzerland track that was shown during the Microsoft press conference earlier this week. The car handling was great, though we're pretty sure that a good number of the game's driving assists were turned on by default. The effect of the head tracking was pretty subtle; when we went out of our way to try to look out of a side window, it didn't respond as much as we had hoped. When we stopped thinking about it and just let it do its thing as we subconsciously leaned into corners a little, though, the effect was really good. It wasn't so dramatic that it was distracting, but it was definitely noticeable enough to add to our sense of immersion while using the cockpit view.

Forza Motorsport 4 is currently scheduled for release in October, and based on what we saw of it today, it promises to improve upon its predecessor in more ways than any of us could reasonably have expected. We look forward to bringing you more information on Forza Motorsport 4 just as soon as we can; maybe we'll even swing by the Turn 10 area of Microsoft's booth again before E3 ends.

Discussion

29 comments
Wensea10
Wensea10

forza motorsport series is the new project gotham racing series

AlfaRomeo166
AlfaRomeo166

I want this for PC! Not for the Sh*tBox... =P

Blmthug
Blmthug

Please Read: Kinect Is Optional. Its Like Going To A Certain Shop It Is Optional You Are Not Forced To Go There Same with Kinect It Is Optional You Are Not Forced To Use It

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

@DeeCrutch Can either of us say with certainty? No. However, while Turn 10 may not have a choice, other companies do. EA? Tom Clancy's brand? Bioware? Why would they shoehorn it in? According to the people on this board, Kinect sucks and it wouldn't make them money so why do something that doesn't seem profitable. At the very least, I doubt they'd be FORCED by Microsoft when they can just as easily stay on the computer or go to the PS3 and Wii.There's no need to add a "gimmick" or play with it if they didn't like it. However, listen to him. He doesn't sound like some PR dipstick or drone; he actually sounds enthused. And the kinect in this game actually has clever and practical use as opposed to something entirely arbitary like, say, what the six axis does. Many of them sound enthused because I believe they are because the kinect is a fascinating piece of technology. But of course the hardcore don't care. It's "me me me me".

vii_words
vii_words

I'm a PS3 owner and a faithful GT series fan. I am convinced to finally get an Xbox360 after its price drop in England and Forza 4 is looking darn amazing. This video is absolutely great but the only concern is at (4:20) when I notice those 'bar charts'. Are they suppose to be stuff like cornering/handling, braking, acceleration and stuff like that? I just hope they make the game hardcore with only actual figures like weight, displacement, drivetrain and horsepower. NOT subjective & personal graphs like we see in stupid NFS series. Anyway, this game really looks amazing and its a hardware seller for me. So long... PS3.

kungfuj0
kungfuj0

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Wensea10
Wensea10

every one knows this game will be great

V-Mack
V-Mack

NEW MAPS NEW MAPS NEW MAPS!!!! rally stly maps rally style maps rally style maps. comeon forza !!!!

cody20
cody20

I absolutely LOVE that they incorporated Top Gear into this game. For those of you who haven't watched the show, they do a wonderful job of reviewing cars, while at the same time being completely hilarious. I can't wait to hear Jeremy Clarkson talking about the cars. I commend Forza for coming into the world of Gran Turismo and completely taking over and dominating the driving sim.

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

@DeeCrutch Again, that seems like a sweeping generalization. How do you know it was "shoehorned"? Because it only does one or two things? Because you don't like it? Because it seems optional? What? What is the reasoning that it is shoe horned into, say, Forza 4? Because to me it seems like they got it right and implemented it efficiently.

NinjaSiK
NinjaSiK

this looks amazing, seriously impressed with it all including top gear.

dsfl
dsfl

This looks f,,king amazing,a day 1 buy for me and I'll be playing it on the trusty control pad

nissanmaxima
nissanmaxima

I can't wait to get my copy on oct 11th. head tracking with kinect while i use MS Wheel in cockpit view will be where it is at. i am truly amazed with what they are trying to achieve with this game. good job turn 10.

kungfuj0
kungfuj0

@AncientDozer I have never, nor will I ever refer to myself or anyone as 'hardcore', 'casual' or any of that other bull**** that people like to spew on the internet...I happen to think that labeling people like that is patentedly stupid. I am just practical. And I doubt very seriously that people like Bioware and Turn 10 would even be thinking about stuff like kinect if MS didn't not-so-subtly ask them to. My problem with kinect and stuff like it is not that its here. My problem is when devs try to shoehorn it into games that don't actually need it. There have been 3 Forza games, and each one of them was awesome, no kinect necessary. Same thing with Mass Effect, Gears, and who knows how many other titles. Bottom line, if devs want to make kinect games, fine. I have no issue with that. Just make those games FROM THE GROUND UP with kinect in mind, and don't try to shoehorn it into already existing and established games that don't need it. That's all I'm saying.

krazywolf7
krazywolf7

dis wud feature kinect..............great

voldo25
voldo25

its not a big deal but i would like to know if there will be night driving.

megakick
megakick

FORZA MOTORSPORT > GRAND TOURISMO

kram3r69
kram3r69

This game looks amazing. Everytime I read another release from E3 2011 it just seems to get more winning! I think they have taken everything that worked in the 3 previous games, and then added the most detailed, gorgeous looking layer over the top, plus putting even more features in than we could have hoped for. Goddamn October can't come fast enough!

siarhei
siarhei

so close to release... they better start showing more gameplay...

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

@DeeCrutch - I agree. Not only do I not want to play Forza with Kinect ( although we do have it ) but unless they have improved the tracking/sensitivity on it by like 500% compared to all the games we have tried on it there is no way it will be sensibly playable or they will have taken away some of what makes the series great!

trebl1
trebl1

As soon as the Kinect came out, the first thing I thought of was how cool some head tracking would be in Forza. Than I wondered how would they do it, without you having to look away from the TV. Than I thought, as long as it could sense your subtle leanings and movements as you drive it should be pretty great. I am glad that the Forza team were on the same page. This could really be a game changer in the racing genre. It's been great seeing this game progress since the first one.

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

@DeeCrutch I know, I know. I get it. So-called "hardcores" hate the kinect. Get over it because it's not going anywhere but up. You'd be mistaken to assume, however, that it was forced upon it. I know it wouldn't ever occur to at least half of you that maybe, just maybe, a lot of game developers are actually looking at it with interest.

kungfuj0
kungfuj0

I would have liked more info on the actual game, not just the kinect crap that has been forced upon it. Tell me what it looked like, what it drove like (both with a controller and with the wheel), what the cars sounded like, etc. The fact is that I don't give a damn about anything kinect related and neither will the majority of Forza players. We play the game to drive and race, not to support MS's dumbass motion gimmicks. Just tell us about the actual game next time, please.

Crypto6969
Crypto6969

I still haven't finished Forza 3. To be honest, I got bored, and I loved Forza 2. The perfect game would be to mix the best Grand Tourismo with Forza. I like the rally, tests and many of the tracks in GT, but like the screen navigation and customization of Forza.

ALTAIR360
ALTAIR360

is it me or is forza getting boring without the war with gt5??