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View Full Version : Forza 2 - Preview and even more screenshots! [04/27/07]



Xaor
04-28-2007, 00:02
After the screenshots, I was sure this would follow soon after.

TeamXBOX have written a lengthy preview of Forza 2...



It’s been awhile since we had a chance to tear up the pavement with Forza Motorsport 2- Turn 10’s next-gen follow-up to console racing sim nirvana. Our last chance to grip Forza Motorsport 2’s wheel came at GDC, where a few hot laps were available from a wide sampling of the game’s car lineup. The GDC Hands-on gave us a good indication of the visuals and how things will handle via the Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel. We also had a run-down of the rich feature set of Forza Motorsport 2, but no opportunities to dig into it at our leisure.

Things are different now, as the latest build of Forza Motorsport 2 is now ready for a test drive. We thought a general overview of what to expect when you nab your copy on May 29th would be a good place to start. We will have many follow-up articles for you leading up to the review of Forza Motorsport 2 too, including a thorough breakdown of the cars, livery editor details, and even a “behind the scenes” which will illustrate what great lengths the Turn 10 team goes to in order to create a world-class racing game. But for now, sit back and relax as we take you for a leisurely Sunday drive around the Forza Motorsport 2 world, where car culture rules above all…


Arcade

The most basic of arenas in Forza Motorsport 2 is the Arcade mode, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not worth your time. What you’ll quickly learn from the Arcade mode load screen is that the amount of time you spend in this mode will go towards a percentage of completing Forza Motorsport 2, and will ultimately make your experience behind the wheel better-rounded.

Both the Exhibition and Time Trial areas of the Arcade mode begin at 0% complete, which means you’ll have a lot of work to do as test pilot in order to dominate these areas. There’s also a H.U.D. which displays your total number of cars unlocked for this region, with a total of seventy available and only to be accessed via this area.

Exhibition races are all wheel-to-wheel racing events and are meant to be completed in succession. Only one Exhibition race is available from the onset; a two lap oval track even at Nissan Speedway. You can use any unlocked car from Forza Motorsport 2’s ten car classes here, with similarly-classed cars filling out the field. Successful completion of the initial Exhibition race will lead you toward unlocking the fourteen other race events taking place on Forza Motorsport 2’s various tracks.

The Time Trials are much more specific than the Exhibition runs. These events, also called “Time Attack” in certain motorsports sects, are single car battles against only the clock. If you checked out our Q&A with Dan Greenawalt, you will have learned that each Time Trial event is like a snapshot of racing’s past. Each car has been plopped down on a specific track layout for a reason; some so that you can relive history, and others simple to test your mettle as a driver.

The major difference in Forza Motorsport 2’s Time Trials over its predecessor is that it’s excruciatingly hard from the first event, all the way through to the 25th event featuring the awe-inspiring Porsche 962C. The target times aren’t impossible to attain, but they will take an experienced driver- that’s for sure. It’s also worth mentioning that each and every Time Trial event is unlocked from the get-go, which also shows how there’s little progression

You’ll also find a Free Run area in the Arcade mode. This is the best place to test out any new cars that you have acquired, or see how your new livery looks while ripping up the tarmac. You will still have to unlock many of Forza Motorsport 2’s cars through other game modes before you can Free Run them, however.

Career

Career mode is the area where leveling up your favorite cars takes precedence. The first step in achieving a garage full of you favorite cars is carried over from the original Forza Motorsport; known as Regional Rarity.

Borrowed from the famous Pokemon card games, Regional Rarity will determine the availability and cost of your given stable of fine automobiles. For instance, a Ford mustang GT may be a common sight at dealerships in North America, but just try and find one in the South Pacific. Similarly, it’s not even legal to have a Skyline R34 on North American soil at the present time, so naturally if your home base is the U.S., a Skyline will be a real chore to acquire. Same goes for European cars.

Keep in mind it’s a bit more common to see exotic German cars in the U.S., as both regions share the left-hand drive configuration. This means you’ll be more likely to score a nice lineup of cars on the cheap if you choose North American as your home base. Conversely, American muscle is not as easily had in Europe, and you won’t see many of the British exotics in the U.S. since many of them aren’t road-legal here. To make it easy, Japanese car fanatics choose Asia, fans of rare European exotics (Vauxhall, TVR, Pagani, Koenigsegg, etc.) choose Europe, and muscle-heads and those looking for the widest array of international offerings should choose North America.

No matter which region you choose, you’ll still begin with a measly 9,000 credits. 9,000 credits in any region will only get you older, semi-performance-oriented cars, or cheapy late-model numbers. For instance, you can buy a Scion Tc in North America, a ’92 VW Golf GTi in Europe or a ’94 Honda Civic 1.5 VTi in Asia. Other D-class cars will be visible from the onset, but you’ll have to earn more credits to have a shot at these badder machines. A handy level gauge below the car offerings shows about how many credits you will need to pick up those fresh rides.


Car classes begin at D (the least performance-oriented of the lot), and head all the way up to R1 (prototype race cars). There are eight classes in between too, which help to determine the fairness of the competition that you will race against. As the classes become more radical, cars move from mildly-modified production vehicles to dedicated track cars; tube-frames and all. Any modifications you make to your car will change its class too.

Each car has an accompanying numerical rating to go along with its class, with 999 being the maximum performance total that can be reached before a bump-up is made in letter classification. For example, if you modify the S Class’ 2003 Dodge Viper Competition Coupe- with a numerical rating of 898- there’s a good chance it will be bumped up to the U class since it’s so close to being maxxed out. We’ll get more in-depth on the car leveling-up process in an upcoming feature, so stay tuned for that.

Once you choose a beginning ride, you’ll need to select a difficulty rating. Those with experience in the original Forza Motorsport will know that the more assisted your driving experience is, the fewer credits you will earn per activity. Items like ideal racing/braking line, A.I. difficulty, ABS, stability management, and vehicle wear can be tweaked to arrive at a simulation that fits your ability. It’s important to realize that, even though you’ll earn more credits on the Champion difficulty (with no assists, manual shifting, etc.), it may take you longer to achieve those credits since you’ll be crashing…often. It’s a better strategy to shoot for Intermediate difficulty (brake-only line, medium A.I., simulation wear, automatic shifting, ABS/traction control enabled, stability management disabled), and work your way up to the true racing sim that Forza Motorsport 2 can be.

The main menu of the career will allow racers to buy upgrades for their car, perform deep tuning to coincide with track conditions or personal driving style, tweak the difficulty settings, apply paint and livery or shop for a new car. Of course you can head of to the races from the main menu too, but only the Proving Grounds area is open to novice drivers with a “0” level. There are nine race classes that will progressively unlock as driver skill increases, including Spec, endurance and regional championships. It should be obvious that you will need to own certain cars to run in many of these classes as well. For example, you will need a Level 5 driver rating and a 350Z to take part in Nissan’s special offerings in the Manufacturer Club Races.

You’ll be accomplishing many goals at once when competing in the Career Mode’s race events. Not only will you be leveling up your driver, but you’ll also be earning credits toward purchasing new cars or parts upgrades. Driver leveling up also means new events are available to enter. As an added bonus, a first place victory in Career mode events comes with a reward in the form of a car. Use these prizes to compete in car/drivetrain/region-specific races- upgrade these cars to compete on a higher level- and you can see how the car crazy can easily get lost in Forza Motorsport 2’s slick Career Mode progression.

Multiplayer

The Multiplayer tab is a great illustration of how the next generation hardware is helping Turn 10, er, turn Forza Motorsport 2 into a car enthusiasts Second Life. Along with Exhibition Races for general entertainment, you can partake in serious Career races that will level up your driver and affect your TruSkill ranking. The elimination-style Tournaments have been taken seriously too, with multiple events for different classes being available at any given moment. Qualifying times set the field, and help to weed out those that don’t even deserve to look at the podium, let alone stand on top of it.

The Auction House isn’t up and running as of yet, but the user interface leads us to believe that this will be a powerful and popular feature in Forza Motorsport 2. Enthusiasts will have powerful search tools at their disposal to find hot cars by price, region, classification, make, model, etc. This Ebay for car nuts will organize your bids and auctions, and will even keep you notified when you’ve been outgunned by a competitive bidder. We expect Turn 10 to load this area up with Featured Items, and also expect the livery gurus to keep the Auction house brimming with amazing pieces of functional art. Auction house purchases run off of your in-game credits by the way; just another reason to forge on in Career mode activities. For those that would rather receive a tax write-off than a juicy amount of credits, Forza Motorsport 2 allows the gifting of a car to anybody on your Live Friends List.


For those looking from a break in the wheel gripping, or just a different way of attack the track, Forza Motorsport TV allows users to watch the best racing action going on via Live. Featured races will be chosen by the Forza Motorsport 2 crew, and it appears as if an algorithm of some sort will be used to select a group of races considered the best going on at the given moment.

The more meat-and-potatoes portion of Forza Motorsport 2’s multiplayer is nothing to scoff at. System link is available for up to eight Xbox 360 consoles, and split can handle two racers per box. An all-inclusive Scoreboards area is also present for those that need to know how they stand up against the fierce online competition. Time Trials events are broken down into each individual run, TruSkill numbers are there for the perusing and all ten car classes have hot lap record times for every track in the game; even those run in reverse configuration.


The outlook

It’s plain to see, even in this preview build, that Forza Motorsport 2 is dedicated to the road racing fiend that is also a general lover of four-wheeled motorsports. The user interface and Live integration is meant to feed the car fanatic that lurks inside many of us, while the ultra-realistic, sim-style racing is there to keep the mastering of Forza Motorsport 2 seemingly always a bit out of reach. The clever, adjustable difficulty settings are there to wean us along, however; making Forza Motorsport 2 less brutal and therefore fun enough to play for those that simply want to tool around in the Cobalt that they drive for real. The visuals and audio are there to back up the uncanny U.I. and physics/handling, but we’ll wait until the final tweaks are made before we pass final judgment in this area.

It’s difficult to imagine a racing game being all things to all people, but it seems as if Forza Motorsport 2 will be about as close as one could get to such a thing. Whether it’s track setup, car collecting, modding, creating car art, or mastering the drift, Forza Motorsport 2 has got you covered. Work in other snazzy features such as Photo Mode, Forza Motorsport TV, the Auction House, and online Tournaments, and it’s easy to see why Forza Motorsport 2 sits in the pole position in the battle for race game supremacy.

Look for a special Forza Motorsport 2 feature each week, leading up to the game’s May 29th launch date.


Source (http://previews.teamxbox.com/xbox-360/1590/Forza-Motorsport-2/p1/)

Now read, it seems to be turning out well...

On a side note, someone ought to create a Forza Motorsport 2 Official thread (or bump it back from the graves if there is already one), as there is sure to be a huge amount of news coming for it soon, and we don't want to irritate the non-driving fans with 50 pieces of news about Forza and one about Halo 3.

I'd do it myself, but as someone whos never played Forza, I don't feel I have the scope of knowledge to do so.


UPDATE

Loads more screenshots

Screenshots (http://screenshots.teamxbox.com/gallery/1476/Forza-Motorsport-2/p1/[/url)

Heres a few of my favourites (High Res):


http://media.teamxbox.com/games/ss/1476/full-res/1177694043.jpg
http://media.teamxbox.com/games/ss/1476/full-res/1177638159.jpg
http://media.teamxbox.com/games/ss/1476/full-res/1177637895.jpg

NeverNight
04-28-2007, 01:21
Aye, that actually made me a little hungry.

skulpt
04-28-2007, 02:41
I love the tweak details and options for this game. It's a must buy for racing fans. Graphics look a lot better from before.

Brian

ejm91
04-28-2007, 03:33
Looks very nice, it's on my list of must get games.

Carsonal
04-28-2007, 08:31
I'm liking it.
What other kinds of courses are there in the game?

Boogie Woogie
04-28-2007, 09:28
Aye, that actually made me a little hungry.
Which is why i'm going out to buy Need For Speed : Carbon right now . I'm dying to customise cars , to slap a fat turbo on an engine and hear it whistle and the tires squeel for traction . I'm just so sick of playing Project Gotham Racing 3 .
Need For Speed : Carbon here i come , ready or not :lol:

Aquanox
04-28-2007, 13:42
One word: Depth.

Even when I'm not a racing games fans, there's now way I'm missing this game when it's released.

No other game has ever pushed this genre so far.

Xaor
04-28-2007, 15:11
Which is why i'm going out to buy Need For Speed : Carbon right now . I'm dying to customise cars , to slap a fat turbo on an engine and hear it whistle and the tires squeel for traction . I'm just so sick of playing Project Gotham Racing 3 .
Need For Speed : Carbon here i come , ready or not :lol:

Just a word of warning, I played carbon for two days, haven't played it since...

Not that I'm a guy who loves customising, but as an actual game it was very thin.

Boogie Woogie
04-28-2007, 16:13
Just a word of warning, I played carbon for two days, haven't played it since...

Not that I'm a guy who loves customising, but as an actual game it was very thin.
You're a little too late with your warning . I've already bought the game and i'm 20% through the career mode .
Its not bad by any means and its no Forza either but its a fun arcade game , certainly more fun than PGR3 . Its something new that'll keep me busy till Forza 2 show's up . Haven't tried racing online yet so i'll get stuck into that tomorrow .
I'm actually liking the game but that could be because i liked NFS 1 , NFS 2 and NFS Most Wanted .

@ AQUANOX :

Agreed . But if i could sum up Forza 2 (based on what i've read and seen so far) i would say its a well "balanced" game . GT5 will have to mimic some parts of Forza 2 to be competitive .

There's one thing about the GT series that i really don't like and that's the menu music . Its #$%^ depressing and i hope PD change the overall tone and design of the menu's to something abit more upbeat .

Carsonal
04-28-2007, 16:15
There's one thing about the GT series that i really don't like and that's the menu music . Its #$%^ depressing and i hope PD change the overall tone and design of the menu's to something abit more upbeat .

:lol:
HAHA
You mean that elevator/jazz music?

Boogie Woogie
04-28-2007, 16:28
:lol:
HAHA
You mean that elevator/jazz music?
Yep , whatever that is , it sux . I'd like to listen to Tupac or some **** when i'm going through the menu's . Its good to listen to "I've got hoes in different area codes" once in a while .

Xaor
04-28-2007, 16:45
You're a little too late with your warning . I've already bought the game and i'm 20% through the career mode .
Its not bad by any means and its no Forza either but its a fun arcade game , certainly more fun than PGR3 . Its something new that'll keep me busy till Forza 2 show's up . Haven't tried racing online yet so i'll get stuck into that tomorrow .
I'm actually liking the game but that could be because i liked NFS 1 , NFS 2 and NFS Most Wanted .



Ahh well then, I hope you enjoy it more than I did.

Its not a bad game, but at the time I was so enjoying PES6, that it didn't get much attention at Christmas..

Boogie Woogie
04-28-2007, 17:25
Ahh well then, I hope you enjoy it more than I did.

Its not a bad game, but at the time I was so enjoying PES6, that it didn't get much attention at Christmas..
I have to say i love football games too but i'm really liking Football Manager 2007 so much i can't stop playing it . Nothing beats the satisfaction of watching a rising young player blossom into a world class footballer .
My next soccer game will be Pro Evo 7 .

Tetsu
04-28-2007, 17:41
I'd like to listen to Tupac or some **** when i'm going through the menu's . Its good to listen to "I've got hoes in different area codes" once in a while .
No. Just........ no. :p

For that matter, NIH!!

I think the music in Gran Turismo games is excellent. I disliked the gameplay music in Forza as MS evidently weren't sure just what they wanted. The menu music in Career Mode however was wonderful. I'm even going to use it in a D&Dish game I'm running. Junkie XL needs to do their own tunes, as their original stuff is top notch.

I'm kind of dreading what may be coming in Forza 2, but if the MS *shudder* playlist disappoints, that's what custom soundtracks are all about.

Oh poo gas, yeah, the thread topic. This is looking like a nicely evolved Forza/Gran Turismo style game. Not even getting into the online aspects, this looks tantalizing. Along with the 300 plus races you get to do, you also have to figure that you'll be advancing right alongside seven or so A.I. competitors, and their stats will be progressing and refining right with yours.