(Posted by: Eric Rees)
Look at that. I took up a bunch of our website's real estate to show you what Forza 4 is aiming for in the next iteration of it's racing game genre. At their press conference today, Microsoft showed off their racing darling in all of it's graphical goodness. Earlier when these pictures were released and said that they were "in-game" footage we all scoffed and had a good chuckle but after the presser today, this is what Forza 4 will look like, all the time.
Word around the industry is that Forza 4 is packing over a million polygons per car in this sequel, up from 300,000 on each in Forza 3. That's a huge difference. And the fact that it all runs at a smooth 60 frames per second should get you really, really excited. But the thing that was most addressed at the press conference today was the Kinect integration. There will be 3 modes that will use Kinect, the showroom floor, the "hands on" driving and the "head turning" mode. Hit the break to read up on Forza 4.
The showroom mode, nicknamed "Autovista Mode" places your car in a nice big showroom and allows you to explore every aspect of it. Walk around it, open the hood, open the doors, sit in it and all of that goodness. This may seem a little gimmicky but when Test Drive Unlimited introduced this a few years back I've been itching to do it in a Forza game ever since. Did I mention that each car has a solo recorded by Jeremy Clarkson while you inspect your car? The second mode is more of a party mode that allows you to drive with your hands, leaving the braking and accelerating up to the computer and leaving the fun up to you. The third mode is when you are driving with your controller, Kinect will track your head and tilt the camera side to side to show you the rivals coming up on your blind spot. Sounds pretty cool actually when I sat down and thought of it.
But Forza isn't stopping with adding just the Kinect features. After seeing how huge the community behind Forza became when they introduced the marketplace, they set their sights on making that even bigger. What is the best part about owning a hot car? Being in a club with other people that own hot cars! Forza is adding this into the game and apparently is promising clans and clubs where drivers can join up and share cars and designs with their closest buddies all while using these cars against other clubs. I'm really excited to see how well this fleshes out.
Add all this on top of the fact that Turn 10 has gone in and rebuilt the physics engine of the cars from the ground up and there are lots of reasons to get excited. Forza 4 is boasting 80 manufacturers in this game, and that's more than any other game in the industry. Looks like Turn 10 is pulling ahead in the race to see who the best racing game is.