UPDATE 12/30/2011: I added section under Fanatec wheel discussing normal versus simulation mode.
I wanted to give an update on Forza 4 compared to my earlier interior overview on Forza 3. Graphics have been greatly improved.
Which dashboard meters are visually working while driving?
Similar to Forza 3 but it supports now some additional graphics depending on car: Speedometer, tachometer, odometer, fuel gauge, gear indicator.
Some cars: turbo meter (i.e. Celica), outside temperature, digital lap info in the dashboard. Also some cars feature additional graphics. E.g. the Lexus LF-A you can see the color ring changes for RPM.
Graphics have been improved considerably from Forza 3. Exteriors look very shiny and more realistic.
Interior dashboard graphics have improved as well and several issues has been fixed: cut off mirror issues, hidden speedometer on some cars. Dirt 3 interiors still might look slightly prettier although it doesn’t feature very many cars especially production cars and the lighting engine isn’t as good either.
There are about 500 cars and about 410 cars I believe are carried over from Forza 3+DLC.
See below video of all cars (including few limited edition cars not included in regular version like BMW design challenge cars). At first glance I believe here are few that are new: Chevy Volt, Ferrari FF, Lexus CT200h, Lexus LF-A, McLaren MP4-12C, Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf, Volvo S60. I’m missing a few new models but there will be several additional download car packs. I assume also pre-order bonus cars like the CR-Z will be made publicly available.
There has been 2 additional DLC’s available. Go here for latest DLC:
Forza 4 Add-ons
What is AutoVista?
This is a new car view mode where you can view selected cars in very great detail and features various interaction. For instance you can open any door and start the engine. Jeremy Clarkson does some of the commentary. This mode is really great and I could see this as a great sales tool for new cars.
UPDATE additional cars (1/2012): Hyundai Veloster Turbo (free)
Current Autovista cars supported (BMW M5 only with Limited edition):
Example BMW M5 AutoVista:
Can I see more of the interior?
The trick from Forza 3 still works and you can use now full wide view:
• Go to career and select my profile
• Select options and choose multi-screen
• Set multi-screen to ‘on’
• Leave everything default except change angle to max number
This will reveal a lot more of the car interior.
See here example with max angle compared to Forza 3 on the right:
Which Kinect features are offered?
- Autovista (Kinect only mode)
- Split screen (Kinect only mode)
- Racing with your hands (Kinect only mode)
Autovista worked really well with Kinect as soon as you figure out how you need to move to get smaller movements. I found best is to only lean left/right. You can also crouch and lean forward to see more detail. Activating points is sometimes bit rough and you have to raise your hand bit more but otherwise works great. It does feel more natural than a controller even though it may not be as precise and fast to control.
Racing with your hands is like you’d expect. It’s fairly accurate but there’s no gas/brake so the experience is limited. But in co-op split-screen and especially for kids I can see this being fun. Wheel of course is still by far best way for realistic experience.
Head-tracking allows you to use kinect to look left/right by either leaning or tilting your head. Initially I couldn’t get this to work well. First thing is that I expected I could look fully around as with the right controller but it’s designed for rather smaller movements for looking into curves. Second to get it to work better I needed to go to head-tracking settings and make sure your head is fully in the box. Second I increased 3rd head yaw with lean option so it would be more sensitive and move quicker.
Once you get used to it it feels quite natural and is a great feature but I still wish for a wider view range. Second as soon you move just little bit too much you get annoying re-kinect message. Hopefully this feature will be further improved in a future patch.
Split screen is still in Forza 4. New is that you can see now little bit of the dashboard view as well. How much you can see of the dashboard varies but typically you can’t see meters completely. You can look around if you use a controller with right pad.
To get best racing line I’d still go with either hood view or street view . The 2 exterior views are good for drifting and the interior view is still prettiest view to look at.
Which controllers for Forza 4?
Of course you can use controller or Kinect as mentioned. Although controller works well and people can achieve good times it just doesn’t feel realistic. So here are some other choices:
– Microsoft Wireless Wheel $59. This is not really a wheel but rather a motion sensing controller. But despite that looking at reviews it seems great cheap alternative to an expensive and bigger wheel. See video here: Forza 4 Wireless Wheel hands on part 2
– Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Wheel $89. I believe no force feedback wheel and no clutch/gated shifter. Haven’t seen reviews yet. Will be available end of Oct ’11
– MadCatz Wireless Wheel. This is a new wheel for $249. Review: ISR MadCatz wireless wheel review
– Fanatec Wheels: GT2, CSR & CSR Elite. The last 2 are brand new wheels. The CSR I believe is similar to the older GT2 model. Spec Comparison:Fanatec wheel comparison. All of these weels are quite expensive around $250 but they are great wheels (CSR Elite even more but n/a yet). I bought Porsche GT2 few years ago and still love it. There are also different pedals available. The plastic pedals with clutch I don’t like much since they became unreliable but I ordered more expensive clubsport pedals.
Fanatec Wheel support
Fanatec wheel works similar as in Forza 3 and clutch and shifter is still fully supported (note you may need to switch clutch/handbrake setting for some presets). There are more presets and some custom settings to configure buttons differently but still it’s not possible to use the pad to look around. The 2nd setting does allow you to switch the paddle shifters for look left/right but I found that caused no direct access to rewind (requires start button and menu).
There’s now simulation for steering to improve realism. I do think there’s an improvement in steering but it’s not a dramatic change from Forza 3.
Some people reported a bug when using 900 degrees sensitivity where steering wheel would lock opposite direction after making a large turn. I haven’t experience it yet. Workaround for now would be to use lower sensitivity. A 2nd issue was reported that no credits were given after a perfect round with Fanatec Wheel (it incorrectly thinks you’re ‘cheating’).
UPDATE 12/2011: both bugs are adressed in the patch update (early Dec.). Note a 3rd issue was fixed that you need to move wheel lot more now to countersteer and maintain good drift (more difficult now). Before countersteering was interpreted at 270 so less countersteering was required.
Regarding force feedback it’s almost the same. Unfortunately bumps are still not as strong as the Microsoft wheel but force feedback is still lot stronger affecting force required to turn the wheel.
I found these settings work very well with Fanatec wheels:
Forza steering mode: Normal (see below settings for simulation)
SENS = 900
SHO = 100%; FF = 90%
DRI = 2 (or 3 if you think it’s too heavy)
LIN = 30 (0 if you want to be able to drift better)
Everything else default (0).
Normal or simulation steering mode with Fanatec wheel?
After the patch I noticed that Thomas from Fanatec posted a blog article saying simulation steering setting is now more difficult and less realistic than normal. I can’t confirm that but in regards to correcting oversteer it seems to me the amount of (small) correction to be unrealistic in normal mode. Another difference in normal mode is that when you get out of a drift you don’t have to correct the wheel much to get car straight again. Best to try all settings and decide for yourself which one you prefer.
Thomas also mentions this interesting real vs Forza 4 BMW M5 comparison video where the driver compares the two and finds the real M5 to be easier to control since it exhibits more traction than in the game (and also more understeer instead of oversteer when accelerating out of a curve). Otherwise close especially the gear ratios and maximum speeds. Obviously another difference is the lack of lateral forces that gives you extra feedback.
Thomas mentions that this confirms as well that simulation mode is less realistic but I believe Tim didn’t use simulation mode and I don’t think traction changes in either mode (I could be wrong though). One thing that could change traction is to check steering sensitivity differences between 2 modes (which I haven’t since I use different linear settings). Regardless whether this is related or not this is a great video to watch (note in German):
What does seem incorrect in both normal and simulation mode is that the steering seems to be too sensitive at the center. Therefore I’d recommend to increase the ‘LIN’ setting with Fanatec GT2 which is more realistic with 900 degrees (this is a bad drift setup so for that you may prefer normal mode and much lower sensitivity):
Forza steering setting : Simulation
SENS = 900
SHO / FF = 100 (I set FF to 90 since otherwise I hear high pitched sound)
DRI = OFF
LIN = 30 (that way it’s less sensitive and closer to reality)
Spr = -3
Dpr = -3
I’ve ordered Fanatec clubsport pedals since the cheaper plastic pedals caused issues again. First impressions are that any precision issues are fixed now and the brake feel is a lot more realistic and more precise. You first have some travel and then apply more or less pressure to apply level. With the plastic pedals I always got quickly to 100% brake force with very little control inbetween.
The brake requires bit too much force for me even at lowest setting but you can adjust it (and another quick way to adjust it is to lower in Forza the upper deadzone for deceleration).