Forza Motorsport’s career mode looks matured (if a little sterile)

You’re either someone who lives for shaving off milliseconds on lap times in racer’s like Forza Motorsport, or you’re bored to tears by the thought of playing anything that approaches a simulator. It seems like most people fall into the second category these days, and Microsoft definitely read the room with their recent Xbox Showcase.

Thankfully, Turn 10 showed off the career mode in their reboot yesterday (releasing October 10, 2023). Better yet, they really went for it and it makes me happy to see just how confident they are in their game. I’ve been with the series since its inception – only missing a few entries – and I’m one of those oddballs that can sit there running time trials endlessly.

This time around it seems like Turn 10 is really leaning into the career portion of the game. And that’s great, because that’s where most people probably spend the most time.

In their in depth career overview they showed:

  • True linear progression for starting small and growing big
  • Tons of different event styles to tackle (with more to be added)
  • Progression and levels for every car you drive
  • Modification and car building tied to car progression

Chris Esaki, creative director for Forza Motorsport (2023), even went so far as to call this reboot a “CARPG”. I think this is going to call to a lot of people (I know it resonates with me). People for years have been wanting a game that goes back to what was loved about the classic Gran Turismo games.

All of this emphasis on progression takes place in what is called the Builder’s Cup, and progression can even be earned in real time on the track. The emphasis is really being put on forming a bond with your vehicle, and learning how to take it to its limit.

I think all of this sounds awesome, and will probably drive a feeling of investment into the game. I only hope that this feeling of investment carries to other parts of the game like Rivals, and that it doesn’t end up feeling meaningless.

What they showed looked like a very matured version of the series, but I couldn’t help but feel like it was to the point of feeling sterile. Part of me thinks that was partly on the presentation itself. I remember earlier videos for the game giving off more personality, but for some reason this overview made even the cars give off a bland energy.

I’m not sure why things seemed muted here (specifically with the color palette and the way the cars were modeled), but hopefully this isn’t the tone for the entire game. I can only hope this vibe doesn’t translate to the experience system as well – only there to gate progress.

This is still one of my most anticipated games of the year (especially as someone with a wheel). Turn 10 knows that they need to hit the landing, and it shows. And the career isn’t the only thing that’s being revamped. Some of the other things I’m looking forward to include:

  • 4k at 60 frames per second (FPS)
  • Ray tracing support (in-game).
  • Over 500 cars (hopefully quite a “normal” few road cars)
  • Revamped and more realistic AI (that won’t cheat)
  • Greatly improved physics
  • Fleshed out Rivals and leaderboards (please!)

I have my reservations, but Forza Motorsport (2023) is already looking like what Turn 10 has always wanted the series to be, and over a decade of learning and refinement.

Leave a Comment