|Forza Motorsport 4|
|Developer(s)||Turn 10 Studios|
|Publisher(s)||Microsoft Game Studios|
|Release Date(s)||October 11, 2011|
|Mode(s)||Single-Player, Multiplayer, Career|
|Predecessor||Forza Motorsport 3|
|Successor||Forza Motorsport 5|
Forza Motorsport 4 is a racing video game developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft Studios for the Xbox 360. It is the fourth installment in the Forza series. It is the first title in the series to support the Kinect sensor alongside the traditional controller-based gameplay. It was the last Forza Motorsport game released for the Xbox 360; 2012's Forza Horizon and its 2014 sequel were the last two Forza games for the platform, while 2013's Forza Motorsport 5 was released as an Xbox One exclusive.
New to the series is the Autovista mode, a mode in which players can view precise details such as engine parts and interior gauges on a select number of cars. It features a partnership with BBC's Top Gear as well as its American counterpart. Jeremy Clarkson and James May, former co-presenters for Top Gear, provide commentary in the game's Autovista mode. Other partnerships include a two-year agreement with the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Over 500 cars and 26 tracks are included.
Forza Motorsport 4 is a racing simulator game that features a very heavy emphasis on the design of the cars including how they look and how they race on the track. Race tracks are all featured on closed circuits and over 500 cars are available to the player to race and explore.
New to the series is the option to race with the Kinect sensor. Players can use the Kinect to look around the car and track as well as use it to actually control the car during a race rather than using the standard controller. This has proven to be a very challenging, yet fun, aspect of the game.
Another new feature that was included in Forza Motorsport 4 was Autovista. It is designed to allow players to explore cars by walking around a hanger. Players can then choose to view different aspects of the car and can even learn anout the car and manufacture's history. However, only 24 cars can be used in Autovista and mainly consist of classics, sports, and race cars.
An improved version of Forza Motorsport 3's career mode is also included. It is known as World Tour mode and allows the player to travel all over the world to compete in standard and special events. Also included is an Event List. Here, players can compete in events they did not participate in the main career mode or race in the same even again for more credits.
Forza Motorsport 4 features 26 courses to compete on. These race courses are mix between circuits courses and point-to-point courses. 17 real-world tracks and nine fictional locations are included. Each course features as reverse configuration, and many have multiple other configurations. Three additional real world race tracks and one fictional track have been added to the Forza franchise, Hockenheimring, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway and the fictional Bernese Alps.
Development and Release
A technology demo for Forza Motorsport 4 was first revealed at Microsoft's E3 2010 press conference. The live demonstration showcased a passing challenge while driving the 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia. Using the Microsoft Kinect sensor the player steered the car to pass opponents. Forza Motorsport 4 was formally unveiled at the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards. Turn 10 announced that the game would feature over 500 cars from 80 manufacturers, and confirmed that it will support Kinect as well as standard Xbox 360 controllers and racing wheels. Turn 10 officially partnered with the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) for two years from August 8, 2011. The partnership provides several in-game ALMS themed events to complement the cars and tracks raced in the ALMS present in previous entries in the Forza Motorsport series. Unlike past games in the series, vehicles from the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge were not present initially in Forza Motorsport 4 aside from a Mopar sponsored Dodge Viper. The Porsche download content pack added one World Challenge Porsche GT3. More known content was leaked during IGN's visit to E3 2011, which revealed that there will be the option to create car clubs and share garages within that club, and that the game will support 16 player online racing. Hockenheimring, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Infineon Raceway were added as three more real world tracks to the Forza series.
A Tesla Roadster was used to record the game's tire sounds. The developers chose the Tesla due to its near-silent electric motor which allowed them to record the sounds cleanly without engine or exhaust noise. Two microphones were mounted to the car and pointed at the tire for recording. Lance Hayes, the award winning composer for Forza Motorsport 3, returned to score Forza Motorsport 4, which features a combination of his music and other licensed artists. 15 songs were provided by Hayes for the user interface and some in-race music. In speaking of the tone of the soundtrack, Hayes stated "The score has an increased cinematic feel as well as incorporating many of the styles (downtempo, electronic, ambient) that made the Forza Motorsport 3 OST a fan favorite."
On August 26, 2011, at PAX Prime it was announced that Turn 10 would include the UNSC Warthog from Microsoft Studios' Halo series in Forza Motorsport 4's Autovista mode. The model of Warthog used in Forza Motorsport 4 is identical to the version in the then-upcoming Halo 4, although the vehicle is not drivable. Turn 10 has cited the vehicle's exaggerated four wheel steering system, fictional futuristic technology and excessive height as reasons for its exclusion, stating "One, it's got some technology that's built into Halo that would have been a big investment for us to then build into the game only to support one vehicle. Technically we don't support that because no real world cars in our game do.
The game received universal acclaim from critics. Aggregate websites GameRankings and Metacritic report scores of 90.50% and 91 out of 100, respectively. Metacritic also reports eight perfect scores from various media outlets. Critics praised the enhanced vehicle physics, updated visuals, and strong sound design. Several reviewers also gave high marks for the game's Autovista mode. Some critics expressed frustration with Kinect features, and others also felt that the game was not enough of an innovation from its predecessor, Forza Motorsport 3. These critics did, however, concede that the game was a vast improvement over Forza Motorsport 3.