Why, you might be asking yourself, is Autoblog showing me an eBay Motors listing for a 2006 Ford F-250 and a box trailer (with a badly cropped photo to boot)? It's not because we're highly interested in this blue-collar rig, to be sure, but rather because we're interested in throwing the greatest Forza party of all time.
One of my early triumphs while playing the sparkling new Forza Horizon 2 for Xbox One came after what I could conservatively call a "non-traditional" motorsports experience. In a point-to-point street race across a lovingly rendered, sun-dappled corner of Europe, I transitioned from a winding two-lane road to a narrow dirt , with one extended foray – at well over 120 miles per hour – through a vineyard. I did all of this in a Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge Stradale.
It's easy to look at racing video games as just a time waster or a hobby. In reality, though, they're often powerful tools for aspiring racers to learn tracks, race craft and how to set up a car in an easily accessible, risk-free environment. We aren't just talking about proper computer-based sims, like iRacing. Console-based racers like Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo provide a test bed for racers of all sorts.
I was excited for Forza Motorsport 5. The promise of the XBox One's next-generation graphics capabilities combined with cutting-edge technologies like Forza's Drivatar system and its much, much more lax attitude towards car customization (both visual and mechanical) made it an appealing title for me. Then I had to write this story.
Turn 10 Studios has announced that Forza Horizon, the free-wheeling, music-loving cousin of the Forza Motorsport series will get its first sequel and move on to the Xbox One. The new title should hit not only the X1, but also its predecessor, the Xbox 360, this fall.
We're usually pretty enthused every time Turn 10 Studios unveils another of its monthly car packs for Forza Motorsport 5. It means we'll have an entirely new batch of vehicles to play with when the work day finally ends, whether that means we race, tune, style or simply crash them. This latest car pack, though, the Meguiar's Car Pack, is arguably one of the most interesting that we've seen.
If you haven't taken the plunge into next-generation console racing yet, we can't recommend it highly enough. We were all but totally smitten when we got our first chance to play and review Forza Motorsport 5 this past fall, and still see the title as the crown jewel of the current lineup of Xbox One games. (Though admittedly we're biased about, you know, car games.)
One of the primary knocks against Forza Motorsport 5 has been its rather weak roster of tracks. Not having the Nürburgring was bad enough, but FM5 was missing out on a lot of real-life tracks that featured in previous installments - Mugello, Infineon, Tsukuba and Suzuka, to name a few. Also missing? Road America.
Forza Motorsport games are known for a few things, one of which is the extensive range of customization options available for each car. Gamers have complete control over the look and size of wheels, window tints, paints and decals, as well as various different finishes. For Forza Motorsport 5, players even have access to carbon fiber, gold, chrome, brass and camouflaged finishes.
The reviews for Forza Motorsport 5 have been just as keen as the few grudges held against it, those gripes chiefly being the paucity of cars and tracks compared to FM4 and the difficulty of purchasing the elite cars. Developer Turn 10 has heard the lamentations, and after making quick, temporary adjustments earlier this month has announced a coming update to address them.
A few big pieces of Forza Motorsport 5 news have hit the interwebs – because we know the guys at Turn 10 Studios couldn't stay quiet after Polyphony's Gran Turismo 6/Ayrton Senna deal that was recently announced. The biggest bit of info is a limited edition package, called the Paddock Edition.
Some say that the red ring of death is what he calls his belly button, and that in a past life, he was the dog from Duck Hunt. All we know is, he's not The Stig, but he is the Stig's digital cousin, and for the first time ever, you'll be able to race him.
You've now got something new and exciting to look forward to for the next several weeks. Every Wednesday, Turn 10 Studios will release a list of cars that will be in available in Forza Motorsport 5. And while we won't be covering each week's reveals, you'll be able see them on the Forza Facebook page, and we'll be reposting them on the Autoblog Facebook page, as well.