Forza Motorsport Updated Hands-On

Microsoft shows off a four-player version of its upcoming racer at the Tokyo Game Show.

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TOKYO--One of the main attractions on Microsoft's Xbox booth at this year's Tokyo Game Show, aside from multiplayer Halo 2, was Forza Motorsport. The booth had only a few consoles running the single-player game but, for those of us not afraid to race in front of a small crowd, there were also four linked consoles set up with bucket seats, steering wheels, and behind-the-head speakers. All of the four-player races were being held at the Laguna Seca Raceway using the same powerful cars that compete in the super class at Le Mans each year.

Like the majority of the players that went before us, our opponents on this occasion spent the majority of their time missing corners, crashing into barriers, and hitting each other. Winning the race, then, was no great achievement, but watching other people bump and crash their way around the circuit served to remind us that Forza Motorsport really isn't a game that's going to be easy to pick up and play--nor does it want to be. Compared to other racing games, Project Gotham Racing 2 for example, Forza Motorsport can definitely be quite unforgiving--you'll need to know the tracks inside out and take every corner at a realistic speed if you're going to succeed. It'll also help if your chosen car has been customized, like the black and blue Nissan 350 Z we drove in the single-player game, which came complete with one of several different body kit options that'll be available in the finished game.

So, what did we learn about the multiplayer game? Well, for one thing we noticed that Microsoft has implemented a penalty system similar to that in MotoGP2 2, whereby any time your car spends away from the track will translate into a time penalty for you at the end of a race. We also noticed that the players who were going off-road quite regularly were having their car turned into a ghost, although it was unclear exactly what was triggering it--driving in the wrong direction or spending too much time in the same spot would be our guesses at this point.

We'll bring you more information on Forza Motorsport's multiplayer support as soon as it becomes available. For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of the Tokyo Game Show 2004.

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