Microsoft revving up Forza Motorsport

MGS' self-developed racer will let Xboxers create, customize, and drive their dream machines.

Microsoft Game Studios announced today that it has a new racing game in its garage. Internally developed exclusively for the Xbox, Forza Motorsport "gives Xbox gamers who are passionate about cars and racing the opportunity to own, customize, and race their favorite cars in a realistic driving simulation," revealed Microsoft Game Studios.

The announcement for Forza Motorsport does promise a number of ways that players will be able to make their cars their own. First, they will be able to choose from more than 60 real-world brands, including Mazda, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, and Dodge.

After they select a chassis, players can go inside the guts of their cars by adding nonstandard engines, suspensions, superchargers, and brakes. True gearheads can go one step further by tinkering with their engines' gear ratios, fuel-mapping, forced induction pressure, and ignition timing.

Once they're finished with the insides of their rides, players can begin detailing the exteriors by adding rims, spoilers, decals, side skirts, fender flares, air dams, and customized paint jobs.

As far as the game's mechanics go, Microsoft said it brought together automotive engineers and game programmers to re-create "authentic car performances." For a change, this authenticity will include damage and wear as well as heat and pressure changes that disrupt a car's suspension and aerodynamic load.

Another new aspect of Forza Motorsport is its inclusion of “drivatars,” artificial intelligence-controlled drivers you can "train" in your own original driving style.

Microsoft also promises that the game will feature glossy graphics on par with the Gran Turismo series. Camera and atmospheric effects, like lens flare and heat shimmer, add realism to the international tracks, which will include Germany's Nurburgring and a street course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Last but not least, Forza Motorsport will be Xbox Live-enabled and will offer "intense multiplayer wheel-to-wheel racing" as well as individual time trials.

For more on Forza Motorsport, check out GameSpot's preview.

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