Chris Esaki, Creative Director at Forza Motorsport, sat down during the start of June’s Forza Monthly to speak on behalf of the new career mode that will be found in the upcoming title. The mode is called “Builders Cup” and it’s all about car progression and mastery with a brand new experience ahead for Forza Motorsport players.
Bringing a role-playing game (RPG) style of play to the new game, Esaki explained how “Level”, “Build” and “Dominate” will be the new loop that will be center stage for players to experience in the career. That’s the rhythm, and there were three key areas that were looked at in the 11-minute reveal.
Practice is a key focus
There will be multiple events to jump into throughout the Builders Cup, but each race event will have the same areas of focus. Starting out an event will be a Practice session with goals to achieve. There seems to be a required target—in the preview it was to complete three laps. There was also a bonus goal.
Each corner or sector has a score, delivering your driving a rating – reminding us of a mix between Driveclub’s XP system and Assetto Corsa Competizione’s track competence system.
Through driving your car, every moment is a moment to gain experience—XP points. The cars gain XP, every good corner, overtake, whatever it may be will add to your car mastery and car level. The cars level up in real time and earn Car Points. Those points will be important for the “Build” part of the Builders Cup.
Challenge The Grid
A choose-your-own-adventure aspect of the race event is the new Challenge The Grid. Players will get to pick and choose how they want their races to start out. Pick where you start, choose the difficulty, make sure you’ve got the right settings and whatever is chosen will reflect the reward for where you finish.
Risk more, earn more reward, it’s pretty simple. Starting at the back of a field, since you can choose where you start on the grid, will yield a higher payout for winning than starting on the pole position. Adding more laps could also add to the possible payout. Bumping up the difficulty and removing assists will also favor the credit scale.
It’s a single-player campaign so you’ll be racing against the Forza Drivatars, where the AI competitors have been upgraded for a better racing experience. Those AI will be your friends and their liveries. Of course, you want to win, and you’ll have to have the car to do it, and that’s where the build part comes in.
Cars are “built not bought”
Esaki called Forza Motorsport a CAR-PG, and from how it sounds, there’s surely some aspect to that. It’s difficult for a racing game to have that, but the Builder’s Cup is all about making an adventure out of the game, and you get to decide how you want to play it.
New cars and tracks will be released directly into this career mode. It’s a “slower car to faster car” progression model, sure, but it’s not really about the type of car, but the car you are in itself. After each event, players will get a chance to upgrade their cars with Car Points. These are not permanent, they can be re-spec’d at any time.
There are over 800 different car parts that have been mentioned in previous teases. It’s not so much about collecting cars anymore, but more about collecting experience with the car you’re driving. Certainly a different angle.
After a race, it looks as if parts can be unlocked too. The whole ‘levelling’ up a car reminds us of Project CARS 3 to some extent.
Other details, detailed
The 11-minute video also took a look at the Dynamic Weather system. Those different weather settings will change the way you race on any given track.
As for the simulation itself, Esaki talked with detail about the physics, such as the tire model with a much more intricate model system. Esaki noted that the tire has gone from a single point of contact with the older model to now each tire containing eight points of contact for a more realistic feeling, for example.
The entire first hour of Forza Monthly for June is dedicated to the new career mode. Forza Motorsport is slated to release on 10th October, 2023 for Xbox Series X|S and PC via Steam and the Xbox App, plus as a part of the Game Pass subscription.