The racing sim Forza Motorsport 4 wasn't just one of the best games of 2011, it was also one of the best-selling. So it should come as no surprise that its developers at Turn 10 Studios have some upcoming add-ons in store for the driving game. But last week, at an event Microsoft held at The Bentley Reserve in San Francisco, they also revealed that the game was getting a spinoff as well.
Dubbed Forza Horizon, the side game is being developed by Playground Games, a British development studio that was originally started by four former Codemasters employees who worked on the Colin McCrea games, but later expanded their ranks with racing game vets from Bizarre Creations (Project Gotham Racing, Blur) and Black Rock Studios (Pure, Split/Second). It is expected to be released this fall.
Despite its pedigree, though, Horizon won't be Forza 5, but what it will be is still a bit of mystery. While they showed a teaser trailer, it had no info and no shots of gameplay. Instead, it was mostly just shots of people partying at a racing event, which made it look more like a beer commercial than a game trailer. Given the most recent games by Bizarre and Black Box—i.e. Blur and Split-Second, respectively—some in the media (present company included) are speculating that it could be a Burnout-style arcade racer with some action element (though, as we said, this is pure speculation).
Thankfully, the Turn 10 people were a bit more forthcoming with details about the upcoming Forza 4 expansions. Available now, the Pirelli Car Pack brings ten new cars to the game, including the Chevy Nova, an Aston Martin, and a Ferrari from the '70s. But the pièce de résistance is the Ford Country Squire, a station wagon from the '70s that has faux wood paneling on the outside.
Forza 4 also got a free title update that fixes some existing bugs, including some much needed ones for the game's multiplayer modes. But it also increases the game's level cap from 150 to 999. Granted, no new rewards are earned when you hit those new levels—unlike when you go from level one to 50 and get a new car every time; or when you go from 50 to 150 and get wads of cash for your trouble—but it will finally prove to your friends, family, and coworkers that you're worth a damn.
Finally, Turn 10 announced that they'll release a proper expansion pack in May. The add-on will include twenty new race events, and will have ten unique achievements paying off 250 gamer score points. Even cooler, the cars included in this add-on will be Porches, a car brand that's been noticeably absent from the game up to now.
The story is that Porsche currently has an exclusive deal with Electronic Arts, though it's one that allows EA to sign sub-deals with other companies. But while EA and Turn 10 were unable to reach an agreement before Forza Motorsport 4 came out last October, they never stopped negotiating, and the two were recently able to reach an agreement that led to this upcoming Porsche car pack. (Though Turn 10 did say that the deal is just for this add-on, and that having Porches in future Forza games will require a new set of negotiations.)
The result is a collection of 30 Porsches, which brings the game's total roster to 625 cars. This include seven Porsches have never been in a Forza game before, including the 2011 Sport Classic 911, which had such a limited production run that it actually sold out in Europe before any made it to the U.S.
For gearheads, Forza fans, and people who just enjoy civil negotiations, all of this is very good news. Very little news, to be honest, but good news nonetheless.
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*