There were only 2 games at E3 this year that I played on 2 different days. The first was at the Nintendo booth to see if they cleaned up The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword from last year. The second was at the Microsoft booth for Forza Motorsports 4 and I am really glad that I came back to check this game out a second time. Continuing our month of E3 coverage, let’s take a look inside.
I knew that I could expect big things from the good people over at Turn 10 within minutes of arriving at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Last year Microsoft had a huge Halo Reach display in the main entry way to the convention. This year in place of the Master Chief was a red Ferrari 458 Italia and 2 standard issue E3 booth babes. I stopped by the Microsoft booth later on Tuesday when I saw the same bright red Ferrari (in poster form, minus the booth babes) hanging from the ceiling and I couldn’t help but stop to check it out.
There are clearly big expectations for this game from Microsoft as they had a decent amount of their floor space devoted to the game. They had a couple of ways to play but I skipped the ultra expensive force feedback steering wheel, clutch/brake/accelerator, racing seat setup and the line that came with it in favor of playing the game as 99% of you will: with a standard Xbox 360 controller.
The demo on the floor featured only 3 cars with the previously mentioned Ferrari 458 Italia, 1970 Mercury Cougar, and 2011 Subaru Impreza Sti sedan. The demo and these cars proved that this game is all Forza and fans of the series should not be disappointed. In addition to the standard racing game upgrades of new cars and more tracks, Forza 4 has a new lighting engine that will make all the new goodies look that much better. The team at Turn 10 also spent a lot more time recording the engine and exhaust sounds to increase the realism. The online component of the game will also be taken to the next level allowing players to form online car clubs which should also take shit talking to a whole new level as well.
I left the Forza 4 booth on Tuesday feeling pretty good about the game and very happy with the new upgrades that are in the works. I returned first thing on Day 2 hoping to skip the line to play the game with the uber racing setup. The line was still there but I found something else worth hanging out for that was not there on day 1. In place of the standard Xbox 360 controller was a new U shaped racing controller. Rather than steering with the left thumb stick, you can now steer the car with this motion based controller instead. The gas and brakes are still done with triggers on the back site of either end of the U shape with a DPad on the front of the left side and the XYAB buttons on the front of the right side. I started my test of all 3 cars over again and found that I did the same or better with control of the cars but felt like I had a lot more control.
Everyone has known about Forza 4 for months but the new motion steering wheel was brand new information released during E3. Both Forza 4 and the new controller will be available this coming October. There was no confirmation if there would be a premium bundle available to pick up both at the same time. For now, expect to drop $60 for the game and another $60 for the controller.