Forza 4: Catch-All

I think just the general embargo lifted today. I know several podcasts have talked about having the game for a week or so already (it went gold awhile back), and GB said the embargo lifted today/last night. I think it's a generally well reviewed game.

So I'm almost to level 21. I need to do a few more races to get the coin for the 2007 430 that imports, but other than that I have all the non-unicorn cars I can bring over. Is it worth grinding up to level 30 for that 2009 M3? It's a couple more achievements too, but that means playing F3 when I could be playing some of the games that'll be collecting dust when F4 arrives at my door.

I just watched the Giant Bomb quicklook. Forza looked great but the GB guys were so ignorant. At one point, one of them comments on Hockenheim (a new track in Forza 4) that it looks just like the Forza 3 version of the same track. If you don't know what your saying, just STFU. And they obviously lack the love of cars for which this game was made I don't know, I guess they represent the most common gamer to buy and play this. I probably got annoyed too easily.

LiquidMantis wrote:

So I'm almost to level 21. I need to do a few more races to get the coin for the 2007 430 that imports, but other than that I have all the non-unicorn cars I can bring over. Is it worth grinding up to level 30 for that 2009 M3? It's a couple more achievements too, but that means playing F3 when I could be playing some of the games that'll be collecting dust when F4 arrives at my door.

My gut says no. If you aren't already interested in the car, why bother?

But I'm grinding to level 40 for cars I don't care about but an achievement I shamelessly do, so don't listen to me.

MisterStatic wrote:

I just watched the Giant Bomb quicklook. Forza looked great but the GB guys were so ignorant. At one point, one of them comments on Hockenheim (a new track in Forza 4) that it looks just like the Forza 3 version of the same track. If you don't know what your saying, just STFU. And they obviously lack the love of cars for which this game was made I don't know, I guess they represent the most common gamer to buy and play this. I probably got annoyed too easily.

Our car is a 2009 Honda Fit Sport, which I love and am so happy is returning in F4 (its inclusion in F3 was probably the deciding factor in my finally buying it), so they can keep their opinions to themselves thank you very much—great looking shadows in that cockpit though!

Gravey wrote:
MisterStatic wrote:

I just watched the Giant Bomb quicklook. Forza looked great but the GB guys were so ignorant. At one point, one of them comments on Hockenheim (a new track in Forza 4) that it looks just like the Forza 3 version of the same track. If you don't know what your saying, just STFU. And they obviously lack the love of cars for which this game was made I don't know, I guess they represent the most common gamer to buy and play this. I probably got annoyed too easily.

Our car is a 2009 Honda Fit Sport, which I love and am so happy is returning in F4 (its inclusion in F3 was probably the deciding factor in my finally buying it), so they can keep their opinions to themselves thank you very much—great looking shadows in that cockpit though!

Yes, that Fit cockpit looked fantastic in motion. Bumper Cam? Hmpph! Losers

I always drive in the hood cam. It's just better. The interior cams are immersive, but they actually limit vision more than sitting in a real car actually does, which is a pretty extreme annoyance IMO.

That said, either the 458 Italia (which I never actually drove in Forza 3 despite buying the DLC pack it was in) is an unforgiving bitch of a car or the handling model has gotten harsher and more unforgiving.

Also, doing what is essentially a time attack event but then them shoving a neverending string of slower traffic that stays perfectly on the ideal racing line is extremely silly. Don't expect I'll be doing much of that in the retail game.

Thin_J wrote:

I always drive in the hood cam. It's just better. The interior cams are immersive, but they actually limit vision more than sitting in a real car actually does, which is a pretty extreme annoyance IMO.

That said, either the 458 Italia (which I never actually drove in Forza 3 despite buying the DLC pack it was in) is an unforgiving bitch of a car or the handling model has gotten harsher and more unforgiving.

Also, doing what is essentially a time attack event but then them shoving a neverending string of slower traffic that stays perfectly on the ideal racing line is extremely silly. Don't expect I'll be doing much of that in the retail game.

Well, I partly agree actually. In PC games where I can manipulate more, I usually position my camera so it is kind of a combination of hood and cockpit. I hate how the standard hood cam is always centered. That isn't realistic for too many cars.

I actually like the challenge of avoiding traffic in some of those TT events. Real multi class racing deals with that issue all the time.

As far as handling, you may finally be reaching the limitations of the controller given their new, improved physics engine.

One thing I found odd about the Giant Bomb Quick Look is that they said the handling was virtually identical to Forza 3. It struck me as strange as I noticed the improved physics engine within seconds of playing the new demo.

Then they started a new race on the QL and I saw that ALL the driving assists were on...not just a step down from Sim (Normal), but actual Assisted Steering, Braking, etc.

No duh you can't tell any difference!

Aaron D. wrote:

One thing I found odd about the Giant Bomb Quick Look is that they said the handling was virtually identical to Forza 3. It struck me as strange as I noticed the improved physics engine within seconds of playing the new demo.

Then they started a new race on the QL and I saw that ALL the driving assists were on...not just a step down from Sim (Normal), but actual Assisted Steering, Braking, etc.

No duh you can't tell any difference! :)

Exactly.

MisterStatic wrote:

I actually like the challenge of avoiding traffic in some of those TT events. Real multi class racing deals with that issue all the time.

As far as handling, you may finally be reaching the limitations of the controller given their new, improved physics engine.

That's fine in real multi-class racing. Those guys aren't there with the specific goal of setting a lap time. They're there to win their class. Doing a time attack event where both players don't face the same set of circumstances (and they don't because the traffic doesn't behave the same all the time) makes the result borderline meaningless.

As far as the handling, after playing some more with the lower class cars I have to say it's not a small change. It seems fairly drastic. The game feels like it's riding a line between playable and not with the controller and I really don't like that. I have a wheel. I have neither the space to leave it up nor the time or patience to deal with setting it up every time I want to play one damn game.

Have to say I'm pretty upset after spending a solid couple hours with the demo. To the point that I'm seriously considering canceling my preorder. There's plenty of other games for me to play this year.

Gravey wrote:

Reading old reviews and looking at screenshots of the first Forza. Memory does a funny thing cos man that game was incredible when it came out.

The first Forza really didn't do anything at all for me. It felt like it was halfway between Project Gotham (which I hated) and Gran Turismo (which I loved) to me. Sure it was the best sim racer on the original Xbox but back then I was still a multi-platform guy so I didn't have to settle for it.

Forza 2 pretty much blew my socks off though. Easily on par with GT4.

Thin_J wrote:

rant.

Interesting. To each their own. Seriously, I can see not wanting to set that crap up every time if you didn't have a dedicated place for it. Maybe grab a wheel stand?

MisterStatic wrote:

Maybe grab a wheel stand?

No room for it.

And not just no room to use it... nowhere to put it when it's not being used.

Thin_J wrote:
MisterStatic wrote:

Maybe grab a wheel stand?

No room for it.

And not just no room to use it... nowhere to put it when it's not being used.

Well that sucks. I was looking forward to the competition. At least there is plenty of greatness to play this Fall.

I'm going to give the demo another whirl at some point either tonight or tomorrow and hope something clicks. I haven't killed the preorder just yet. Certainly leaning that direction though.

I don't know man. I played the demo once, started to get the uh-oh feeling so I decided to compare/contrast a little. So I put Forza 3 in and played for a while with roughly equivalent cars, and then went back to the demo for a significantly longer amount of time and was kind of blown away how much harder it was to do anything right in it.

Just really disappointing. I've been looking forward to this game more than pretty much anything else for months now.

*Also, you ain't lyin about the difficulty. Even spinning out occasionally, thumping walls, and just generally screwing up you can still beat the AI on Medium.

Amazon has the Limited Edition back in stock with release day shipping. Is anyone planning on starting the GWJ car club on Tuesday?

We'll see about the AI in the full game, many reviews I have read made a point of saying it's better. The demo certainly doesn't show that at Medium.

What about (the horror) using some aids like TCS and Stability on low? Maybe you can achieve the same feeling with the controller as Forza 3.

Serenj wrote:

Amazon has the Limited Edition back in stock with release day shipping. Is anyone planning on starting the GWJ car club on Tuesday?

Nice! Just changed my order. Thanks for the heads up.

MisterStatic wrote:

What about (the horror) using some aids like TCS and Stability on low? Maybe you can achieve the same feeling with the controller as Forza 3.

You'll never hear me say I'm not stubborn. I've played the entire series with no aids. Not going to start now. I'll just not play the game if that's what it comes down to.

I won't have any fun looking at the leaderboards if those little dots are there for TCS and ABS and all that silliness.

Thin_J wrote:
MisterStatic wrote:

What about (the horror) using some aids like TCS and Stability on low? Maybe you can achieve the same feeling with the controller as Forza 3.

You'll never hear me say I'm not stubborn. I've played the entire series with no aids. Not going to start now. I'll just not play the game if that's what it comes down to.

I won't have any fun looking at the leaderboards if those little dots are there for TCS and ABS and all that silliness.

You aren't trying to drive with sim steering turned on are you? I tried about half a lap using the sim steering setting before having to change it back to normal. It's clearly only for when you have a wheel setup (which I currently do not.)

I played with controller and sim steering I'm pretty sure (I generally run only with ABS and sometimes braking lines on a new track). I'll have to try it again, but I don't remember it being undrivable.

I think I easily beat medium, and came in 4th or 5th on hard.

I remember reading that Turn 10 went on record saying Sim Steering setting was made for wheel peripherals exclusively.

Aaron D. wrote:

I remember reading that Turn 10 went on record saying Sim Steering setting was made for wheel peripherals exclusively.

Yes, I guarantee you the linearity settings in sim mode are set specifically for a wheel.. That would make it very difficult to use a stick.

MisterStatic wrote:
Aaron D. wrote:

I remember reading that Turn 10 went on record saying Sim Steering setting was made for wheel peripherals exclusively.

Yes, I guarantee you the linearity settings in sim mode are set specifically for a wheel.. That would make it very difficult to use a stick.

I know the MS wheel has a lesser range of motion then the other wheels. I'm wondering if the Sim Steering option wouldn't work as well for that?

EvilDead wrote:
MisterStatic wrote:
Aaron D. wrote:

I remember reading that Turn 10 went on record saying Sim Steering setting was made for wheel peripherals exclusively.

Yes, I guarantee you the linearity settings in sim mode are set specifically for a wheel.. That would make it very difficult to use a stick.

I know the MS wheel has a lesser range of motion then the other wheels. I'm wondering if the Sim Steering option wouldn't work as well for that?

That may be a problem, but probably not linearity. If you feel it is off, it is likely saturation that is the issue. I don't know if Forza will let you adjust that manually.

When I played the demo on Monday with my MSWW I turned on sim steering, and while it was more challenging to control than Forza 3 was, it didn't feel "wrong."

My understanding is that sim steering has less to do with the mapping of the range of motion of your controller/wheel to steering rotation in game, and more to do with the game's software no longer making small corrections to your input to smooth it out (although it probably does involve changes to linearity when you have less than 900 degrees of motion available). This means that on a wheel you can feel more confident that the car in game will be receiving your exact steering input, but it also means that on a less precise input device (ie, a controller) you are going to have to try much harder to keep your steering input smooth and in control.

And yes, from everything they've said about it, turning on sim steering on a controller is probably a bad idea, no matter how good you are. The stick just doesn't have the precision and range of motion needed to do away with the computer assistance (but to their credit, they are giving you the option of adding that level of challenge if you want it).

EDIT:

Bah, forget conjecture, here's how the devs have explained it in their "under the hood" series on FM.net:

Steering:
For Forza 4, we changed the steering model in three major ways. First, we spent time watching how quickly real-world drivers (both pros and amateurs) tend to rotate the steering wheel as they turn-in, correct, and countersteer. This led to a change in the steering rate for Forza 4. We haven’t found that this change is really noticeable, but we know it’s more accurate—especially when coupled with our second change.

Second, we reevaluated our max steering angles and the system that creates them per car. We were able to use our researched curb-to-curb turning radius in combination with our new tire data (per compound peak slip angle) and other researched parameters, such as track width and wheelbase to reverse engineer each car’s max steering angle. We already had this data researched for some cars, but not for all of them. So we filled in the research gaps. In Forza 4, lock-to-lock steering is far more accurate for every car in the game.

Finally, we added the “simulation steering” option. This option removes all of the controller aides. There were very few of these aides on the wheel controller, but there were several on the console controller. With these aides removed, you will no longer get help finding the right counter-steering angle. If you over-countersteer (meaning you overcorrect by steering into the angle of the slide), the wheels do as commanded. This usually results in a wicked tank-slapper. Also, initial turn-in is direct and linear. This can feel very twitchy. When you command the game to go lock to lock-to-lock, it assumes you mean it and lets you live with the consequences.

And in a later entry:

the lock-to-lock steering rate was increased by approximately 40 percent.

So in summation and in response to Thin J's comments earlier, if you turned on sim steering, then yes, the handling model is now much harsher and much less forgiving. Playing with sim steering off ought to feel more like Forza 3, since Forza 3's handling was based around the steering assists always being on.

#$^@#$&@&*@*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best Buy just emailed me and canceled my LE pre-order because they can't meet the demand. I wonder if I'll be able to walk in to Target or Walmart and get it.

LiquidMantis wrote:

#$^@#$&@&*@*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best Buy just emailed me and canceled my LE pre-order because they can't meet the demand. I wonder if I'll be able to walk in to Target or Walmart and get it.

They came back in stock on Amazon yesterday. Not sure if that's still the case now, but it is probably worth checking there first.

EDIT: Or not. Looks like they are back out of stock again.