Forza Motorsport (Part 1 of 2)
There are 231 cars in Forza Motorsport ranging from a Honda Civic to supercars such as the Enzo Ferrari and Le Mans race prototypes such as the Audi R8. As in Gran Turismo, each car can be upgraded and tuned with a large number of extras and parts. Upgrades are separated into 3 categories: engine/power, appearance/aerodynamics and chassis/drivetrain. There is a wide range of tuning available including tire pressure (which changes during races due to temperature), down-force, gear ratios and limited slip differential.
Forza Motorsport is also notable for its ability to realistically model damage to cars, from both a cosmetic and a performance standpoint, which was (and still is) a very impressive feat in terms of acquiring the licenses for those 200+ cars! This changes the way the game is played, in contrast to the Gran Turismo series, as collisions with barriers and other cars will alter the car's handling, top speed and acceleration. More noticeably, spoilers can be knocked off cars, paint can be scraped off (and left on objects) and windows can be smashed completely (the front window however can only be shattered). Bumpers can't be knocked off. However, Microsoft did not get permission from car manufacturers to depict cars rolling completely over; they can only be rolled onto their sides.
One of the game's most-lauded features is its physics engine. Like any racing simulator, Forza Motorsport calculates a car's performance in real time using physical data (for example, the weight of a car's engine, its drag coefficient, etc.). The result is a driving game that many believe matches closely with real life. In 2005, Popular Science magazine tested this effect by inviting a professional race car driver and an amateur car enthusiast to drive identical cars on an identical track in both Forza Motorsport and the real world. Each driver's track times matched closely from his performance on the real track and in virtual reality.
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