Forza Motorsport Aims to Overtake the Competition By Improving in the Fine Margins

Its impressive gameplay reveal at the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase shows it's aiming for the win, forget a podium.

Forza Motorsport finally got a gameplay reveal during today’s Xbox & Bethesda Showcase with a gorgeous single long take demonstrating all of the game’s newest features that should make its main competitor nervously looking into its rearview mirrors.

The new look at Xbox’s answer to the Gran Turismo series showed off a frenetic sizzle reel showcasing all of the action we can expect to see in Spring 2023 — I’m surprised we didn’t see a kitchen sink in there somewhere. Complete with what sounded like a Hans Zimmer remix of Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement,” this new Forza Motorsport trailer showed off tons of the new content coming to its next gen console title and it’s dropping the numbering system, implying a fresh restart. And I’m here for all of it.

Right after that incredible trailer, we were treated to two of the game’s developers giving us a more detailed look at the new changes coming to Forza with this impressive single long take of the game running in engine (heh). In addition to all the macro closeups showcasing the fine details of wheels, engines, and body panels, we also saw what ray tracing will look like when those materials have the ability to reflect the world around them. The upcoming Forza Motorsport will have real-time ray tracing during actual gameplay, a leg up they have in comparison to its competitor, Gran Turismo 7, which only offers that option on replays and anywhere outside of racing sequences. Points for Forza Motorsport if they can deliver.

A new time of day system was shown, too, which will impact track conditions. This means it will have an impact on your tire grip. Track temperature and weather effects, which will apparently be available on every map, will need to be factored into race strategies for the hardcore sim perverts out there like me. That’s another point for Forza over Gran Turismo since not all of the tracks in Gran Turismo 7 get weather effects like rain. Their photogrammetry and 3D scans look promising too so I’m looking forward to seeing some comparisons of beloved tracks in both games, but the little I saw today leaves me very impressed and hungry to see more.

The other major news for Forza Motorsport is something all Gran Turismo fans have been curious about for over 25 years: car damage. It wasn’t clear whether it will impact car performance, but we did see two cars hit the barrier and the visual effects it had on the car’s bodywork. The demo showcased two cars having a “racing incident” right before a long straight with both cars slamming into a barrier and the slick camera work brought us in close to study the damage. While it was cool to see scuffs, dents, and scratches on the car, it would be awesome if it actually impacted car performance. We did see the one car that took most of the impact fail to get going again so here’s to hoping. Even if it’s an option that can be toggled, that would be cool, but at least the visual impact of car damage is still great to see. One more point for Forza here.

I’m glad we got more than just a sizzle reel trailer and what they’re aiming for is everything in the margins that Gran Turismo seems to ignore. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about racing, it’s that those tiny margins can make all of the difference. Forza Motorsport is coming to Xbox, PC, and the cloud in 2023.

Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase is part of Fanbyte’s Hot Game Summer coverage, where we’re bringing you recaps and commentary on this summer’s game presentations like Xbox’s showcase, the PC Gaming Show, and the all-encompassing Summer Game Fest hosted by Geoff Keighley. If you’re interested in seeing all Fanbyte’s coverage, check out our Hot Game Summer 2022 hub.