Forza Motorsport 6 at Gamescom 2015
Gamescom has arrived! Arguably the biggest public gaming show in the world is happening in Cologne, Germany this week and Forza Motorsport 6 is showing up in a big way as part of the greatest games lineup in Xbox history. We’ve got some brand new announcements, new details on features, a free offer for Forza Horizon 2 players, and much more. Let’s dig in!
First up, check out this video we’re debuting at Gamescom, featuring an in-depth look at wet-weather racing in Forza Motorsport 6 including interviews with Forza 6 creative director Bill Giese and IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden:
Today we’re lifting the curtain on the final four unannounced tracks for Forza Motorsport 6. Two tracks last seen in Forza Motorsport 4 have been rebuilt from the ground-up for the Xbox One: Sonoma Raceway (formerly known as Infineon Raceway) and Germany’s own Hockenheimring. Plus we’re welcoming two brand new tracks to Forza 6: Monza and Circuit of the Americas. Italy’s high-speed Monza circuit is beloved worldwide as one of the birthplaces of motorsport. COTA (as it’s known) is located in Austin, TX and, though it’s only been open for a few years, it’s quickly made a reputation as a world-class racing facility – a place where drivers love to compete and spectators love to visit.
For more detail on the four tracks announced today, see below.
This week, we’re showing off competitive multiplayer Leagues for the first time at Gamescom. If you love online racing, this new Leagues feature was built for you. Leagues are a brand new multiplayer feature for Forza 6, one that lets players compete in thrilling multiplayer races that are scheduled and based around each player’s skill level and temperament.
The cornerstones of Leagues are its scheduled race lobbies. All League lobbies run on a schedule and will be open in the game during specific times each day. For example, there might be a B-Class League lobby that will be open for four hours per day for a full week; after which, it will be replaced with a new League lobby featuring different cars and/or tracks. While a League’s daily open window may vary from League to League, we are designing these windows to be open to allow the most players within different time zones.
During an open window, players can join a League Lobby and compete against one another in that lobby’s playlist. After each race, players will earn points based on their performance (what position they placed in, as well as the number of higher-skilled players they beat). As long as a League window is open, players can continue to play in that lobby and earn points; these points will accumulate on that League’s leaderboard for the duration of the League. Once a scheduled League has closed down, players will earn credits based on their final position on the League’s overall leaderboard.
Our goal with League racing is to have players always have multiplayer matches that are geared to their skill. To do that, we are organizing players into different skill-based Driver Divisions. All players will begin at the lowest division when they first start playing in Leagues and more skilled players will quickly move up into their appropriate divisions. Each time a player races, we recalculate his or her skill level by comparing how that player finishes among the other players in a race. The more races you win or place highly in, the better the chance you’ll move up to a new League division. Once a League begins, players will remain in that league until the League has completed. When the new set of Leagues is set, each player’s Driver Division will be reviewed and players will potentially be reclassified based on their current skill level. In addition to skill level, League players will be organized by their temperament levels, which will ensure that clean drivers will be paired with other clean drivers, while players who tend to enjoy more contact will be racing with similar style opponents.
Driver Division will also control which League events players have access to. A newer, less skilled driver won’t be able to see or have access to the same League events available to elite-skill players. This allows us to create race events that fit for different players, tailoring the cars and tracks to the most appropriate skill levels.
For Forza Motorsport 6, Online Leagues represent a fantastic opportunity for players to get the best multiplayer racing experience on a consistent basis. In addition to a regular cadence of updated Race Leagues, we’ll also be creating special events that will give players of all skill levels the chance to compete. Whether it’s with one-off series tied to real-world race weekends or invite-only events featuring the best racers in the world, Online Leagues promises to be an incredibly exciting, and always changing, new feature in the game.
Spectate mode is coming to Forza Motorsport 6 multiplayer! Players will be able to spectate any multiplayer race, including League lobbies and traditional multiplayer races. When spectating a multiplayer race, players will be able to switch in real-time between any of the cars in the race, and choose from a selection of cameras, including game cameras and on-board car cameras, as well as telemetry data. In addition, players will be able to chat with other spectators or with players in the lobby.
For League lobbies, we will be giving access to select broadcasters so that they can broadcast (i.e. via Twitch) spectated Leagues races on their own channels.
Free Cars in Forza Horizon 2
Finally today we’re also announcing the release of the Playground Select Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 on Xbox One. This pack is available for free via the Forza Hub app on Xbox One until August 11; after that it will be available for purchase. The cars in the Playground Select Car Pack include:
· 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar
· 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona HEMI
· 1997 McLaren F1 GT
· 1978 Ford Mustang II King Cobra
· 1952 Fiat 8V Supersonic
· 1986 Honda Civic Si (free car)
For more on the Playground Select Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 on Xbox One, see the story on FM.net or Forza Hub.
Let’s take a look at each of our newly announced tracks:
Circuit of the Americas
As you navigate the 3.4 miles and 20 turns of Herman Tilke’s masterpiece, don’t be surprised if you get swept up in the epic scope of motorsport history. The layout of Circuit of the Americas utilizes the lay of the land to create sweeping views for spectators, and corners that are designed to encourage different lines and dramatic racing. It’s no coincidence that, as you put in laps, you will also notice similarities to Silverstone’s Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel sequence or Hockenheim’s arena bends. Direct replicas of these famous turns were deliberately recreated, as well as “Diabolica” – the four-apex turn eight of Istanbul Park – another Tilke creation. After the start, climbing the hill to the crest where the apex of Turn One lies, you will have to trust your instincts and fight the urge to lift. The speed you will carry down the descent will make or break your lap. There are many places where a single mistake will multiply into additional critical seconds to your lap times. However, the absolute beauty of the circuit will make you happy to put in lap after lap until you have mastered every foot.
Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Since 1922 Autodromo Nazionale Monza has been pushing drivers and racecars to the brink. Now in its eighth rendition (the track has seen numerous safety-minded design changes over the years), it is still one of the fastest and most dangerous circuits in the world. The high speed oval has been decaying for decades, deemed too reckless for even the most skilled of racers, but it still stands as a monument to racing’s past. Monza’s 3.6 miles of mostly right-handers and long, fast straights, traverses minimal elevation and are usually run with low downforce to maximize top speeds. The counter effect is low grip and understeer. As you approach the first turn, look out for the raised curbs, they should discourage any cutting. If you make it out cleanly, traction will be at a premium to get a good lap in. Take the straightest line possible through the chicanes to maintain momentum and prepare for the Curve di Lesmo, a mistake here could put you in the gravel or create a passing opportunity. Variante Ascari is deceptive and tricky the perfect exit is key to getting set up for one of the most difficult and legendary turns in racing: Curva Parbolica. Monza is a circuit that will test your mettle and reward you with the thrill of speed.
Born out of the ideas hatched in a Mexican restaurant in Northern California in the late 1960s, Sonoma Raceway has grown from a quaint regional track to one of the largest and most respected motorsports destinations in North America. Close to the heart of Northern California’s wine country, Sonoma enjoys beautiful weather year-round, making it an ideal spot for the wide variety of racing that occurs on its varied ribbon—in fact, it’s one of the most utilized courses in the world, with events being held nearly 340 days each year. Sonoma opened its doors under its original name, Sears Point Raceway, in 1968, and became the host of various SCCA and other local races. Over the years, it has hosted a long list of different race series, including Trans Am, IMSA GT, and the ALMS series. In 2002 Infineon Technologies became the title sponsor of the track (renaming it Infineon Raceway) until 2012; today, it’s simply known as Sonoma Raceway. The track currently hosts the IndyCar, Formula D, AMA Superbike, and NHRA series of races, among others. It is probably most famous as only one of two NASCAR road races when the Sprint Cup Series’ Toyota/Save Mart 350 race is run on the special NASCAR circuit, which bypasses the tight carousel, instead using a route known as “the Chute.” The ribbon itself is known for its challenging banked turns and significant elevation change, from the highest point at Turn 3a (174 feet) to the lowest point at Turn 10 (14 feet). In between, the course has several variations that change the course to best suit the race event. From the white-knuckle Turn 1, to the blind crest of Turn 3a, to highly technical chicane at Turn 9a, it’s a course that challenges even the most experienced drivers. But that’s one of the charms of a course that’s just as suitable for fine Northern California wine and vintage Ferraris as it is for the thunderous action of stock car racing.
One of Germany’s premiere racing venues and a host to the German Grand Prix, this historic track is located in the scenic Rhine valley in southwestern Germany. The Hockenheimring opened in 1932 as a motorcycle racetrack, where such famous motorcycle brands as DKW and NSU battled for supremacy. The early course was packed-dirt, suitable for the rather wild world of two-wheeled racing, but all of that changed in the mid-1930s when a new circuit debuted. Wider throughout and vaguely oval in shape, the track kept this form until 2001. By then, F1 officials asked for a redesigned course, and the result is shorter by 1.25 miles, removing the forest section straights in favor of more numerous tight turns. While many legendary areas of the track, like the long, flat-out curve known as the Parabolika, were left intact, the changes allow for more fans to view the improved overtaking. The resulting course is notorious for being unpredictable and relentless in its close action racing. As there is virtually no elevation change throughout the flat track, drivers must contend with five long, high-speed straights and several tight corners. Speeds of nearly 200 mph can be reached on the Parabolika before braking into the famed hairpin (spitzkehre in German), one of the most exciting passing spots on any circuit. A few turns later, drivers reach the modern and graceful Mercedes grandstands, which loom above a technical, sharp left-hander roughly halfway around the course—another good place for overtaking rivals. Rounding the final Elfkurve and Sudkurve turns through the immense grandstands, nearly every seat has a view of the final straight and the finish line.
Ford Focus RS and Ford GT at Gamescom
The third-generation Ford Focus RS, a car regaled by Forza fans and car enthusiasts worldwide, was unveiled in a stunning livery design created by Forza community member stuzib85. Stuzi’s Forza 6-themed design was voted on as the winner of IGN’s recent Forza 6 Design Contest; as a result, his creation was chosen to be wrapped onto the brand new Focus RS and shown off to the hundreds of thousands of gaming fans attending Gamescom from all over the world.
It was driven to the event by none other than the Stig from BBC’s Top Gear. Who better to roll this highly anticipated new Ford model that features a specially-engineered 350 horsepower 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine with all-wheel-drive and class leading performance?
Accompanying the Forza liveried Focus RS at Gamescom is the Ford’s ultimate supercar, the Ford GT. Both cars will be available to drive in Forza Motorsport 6. Stay tuned for more shots of these amazing cars later in the week!