With the addition of brand-new esports features and all-around improvements to the core experience, the February Update for Forza Motorsport 7 is a substantial release. Not to mention the cars featured in the Dell Gaming
Car Pack, such as the staggeringly-beautiful 2018 Bugatti Chiron and the recent motorsport racing legend that is the 2017 Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3.
The February Content Update has arrived a
little early into Forza Motorsport 7. Originally announced to debut on Monday, February 19th – Turn 10 has decided to release its latest Forza Motorsport 7 Content Update and Car Pack a few days earlier than expected. It was a nice surprise, with the update releasing on Thursday, February 15th instead – giving us the weekend ahead to enjoy all the new features and cars included in this release.
In terms of what’s new and changed, the Forza Motorsport 7 February Content Update is stuffed with new features, improvements, and bug fixes – resulting in a much more polished and refined experience as a result. From the all-new ‘Spectate’ and ‘Seed the Grid’ features to UI enhancements in the Forza Driver’s Cup, there’s a ton of polished newness awaiting fans this month in Forza Motorsport 7.
One of the most requested features from Forza fans for Forza Motorsport 7 is Spectate. Not only is Forza Motorsport 7 designed to offer an incredible on-track racing experience, but it’s also built to be a great spectator sport as well – and that’s where this new feature comes into play. Turn 10 has rebuilt Spectate from the ground up for Forza Motorsport 7 with a big emphasis placed on “performance.”
This means viewers engaging with live races in Forza Motorsport 7 will notice dramatically improved car movement when spectating races. That means no stuttering or jittering cars. Live spectating now also features the same motion quality as found when watching Saved Replays. Turn 10 has even “dramatically improved” the car positioning feature. Instead of the older predictive position system – which Turn 10 even admits was “error-prone,” the new Spectate mode offers “completely accurate” car positions.
After testing the new Spectate mode for some time, it’s safe to assume it’s a big visual upgrade over what we had in Forza Motorsport 7 as car models and environments now look exceptionally-well detailed and far more alive, just like in actual gameplay. Despite the lack of ticker and info panels offering race positions and other useful statistics – both of which should be added in upcoming esports updates, the new Spectate mode feels fresh, new, and modern; and the increased visuals paired with the reworked camera angles here also make for an excellent viewing experience as well.
Overall, this increased fidelity eliminates car jittering and phantom collisions when spectating live races, resulting in a dramatically improved viewing experience. We can also expect the mode to be improved upon further in future updates with new features and refinements. Spectate mode can be enjoyed in Multiplayer Hoppers, Forza Racing Leagues, and of course, Private Lobbies. Look out for the feature to be utilized in the Forza Racing Championship 2018 Pre-Season Invitational on March 24th.
Forza Motorsport 7 has also introduced its own manual grid ordering feature known as ‘Seed the Grid,’ allowing lobby hosts to set the race grid order as they see fit. Before a race begins, the host of a private online lobby can adjust the ‘Grid Order’ selection under the ‘Race Start’ options in ‘Advanced Rules’ located in the ‘Race Setup’ menu to manually reorder the race grid.
Once the race launch countdown concludes, the lobby host can freely move any player anywhere on the grid in a visually-pleasing interface, and new UI elements have been added to highlight additional information on player positioning. It works well, and it also looks very nice. Spectating players will automatically be pushed to the back of the grid, regardless of where they are placed. Once satisfied with the grid, the lobby host can choose to begin the race whenever they are ready.
In addition to the new Spectate and Seed the Grid features, Turn 10 has improved the multiplayer loading and performance in Forza Motorsport 7. With some new “behind-the-scenes improvements,” the game now loads in cars as soon as the player gets onto the track. This results in quicker loading into the track and onto the race itself.
Overall, Spectate and Seed the Grid are excellent additions to Forza Motorsport 7 and the multiplayer performance improvements are also highly-welcomed. Turn 10 says these features are “the start of our commitment both to Forza Motorsport 7 and esports,” teasing that racing fans can look forward to additional
features in the months ahead.
The Forza Driver’s Cup has received some welcomed changes in this month’s Forza Motorsport 7 content update. The UI, specifically has received some changes to improve clarity for ‘Elite Difficulty’ status in the Forza Driver’s Cup.
For example, when navigating through any of the six championships available in the campaign mode, the division will now state whether you are racing towards ‘Elite’ status or not. It will also accurately state how many Series and Showcases you have completed within that division. The enhanced UI also shows how many Series Points you have earned and how far you are from earning ‘Elite’ status in each relevant division.
The biggest change to the Forza Driver’s Cup, however, is that you no longer need to finish first place in each race event within a series to earn the tick to show series completion. Previously, events in which you didn’t place first would show a coloured progress box instead of the tick to mark its completion. Considering you never needed to finish each race in first to unlock all prizes within the Forza Driver’s Cup, it was an odd design decision by Turn 10 to have it this way. Now it’s much clearer and more understandable to players as a result.
Furthermore, this means completing a series within the Forza Driver’s Cup will only require you to finish it by beating all the events it includes. This makes the Series Points structure much more interesting and should lead to more competitive single-player racing as you can challenge yourself further with increased AI difficulty without the worry of campaign progress. It’s a nice change overall, and it makes the Forza Driver’s Cup feel more like a championship – where your Series Points at the end are far more important than finishing first in every single race event.
Turn 10 Studios has also made a couple of improvements to Forzavista and car models in the February Content Update for Forza Motorsport 7. The ‘implode/explode’ animation has been fixed for several cars, including the 1956 Ford F-100, 1975 Fiat X1/9, and others.
The Forzavista UI prompts have also been updated, with logos appearing clearer and crisper when outputting on a 4K display. Some of these prompts have also had some slight design tweaks as well.
There have also been new manufacturer colours added for the 2019
Hyundai Veloster Turbo, and the aftermarket wing has been reduced in size for the 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale. In addition, the brake lights for the 2017 BMW #24 BMW Team RLL M6 GTLM will now shatter when Simulation Damage is enabled.
Turn 10 has also updated the Free Play experience in Forza Motorsport 7 to offer additional information on your competitors before the race begins. The new ‘Starting Grid’ menu will show each of the Drivatars that will be present in your race, including their Gamertags and Car Collector Tier, as well as the car they’ll be driving in the race, its class and PI rating. It’s worth noting that the new ‘Starting Grid’ interface will only show additional Drivatars listed on it once you have loaded onto the track and selected how many AI racers will be in the event.
Whilst you can’t modify the grid order in Free Play – that’s exclusive to Private Lobbies, you can use Mods to increase your starting position if you so wish. You can also adjust the Drivatar difficulty to make racers easier or harder, depending on your preference. Free Play also includes dedicated options for Test Drive and any of the homologated car divisions in Forza Motorsport 7 can be enjoyed in this mode. You can also configure Free Play events to your liking with the ‘Advanced Rules,’ ‘Car Restrictions,’ and ‘Weather Settings’ options under the ‘Race Setup’ menu as found in Private Lobbies.
In addition to the above features and improvements, the February Content Update for Forza Motorsport 7 introduces a host of new fixes and refinements to the overall gameplay experience, including “numerous UI, localization, and behind-the-scenes improvements” that are not listed in the official patch notes from Turn 10.
These all add up to result in a better Forza Motorsport 7 experience with improved performance and smoother UI navigation overall. The full patch notes for the February Content Update in Forza Motorsport 7 can be found below:
Overall, the February Content Update is the biggest and best one yet for Forza Motorsport 7, but there is more to come. Turn 10 will add additional
esports features and more
content in the future, so check back on FullThrottle regularly for all the latest news and updates.
In the meantime, don’t miss the cars featured in the excellent Dell
Gaming Car Pack available today for $7 or at no additional cost for Car Pass holders. It introduces the staggeringly-beautiful and awe-inspiring 2018 Bugatti Chiron, which has become one of the most-requested cars from the Forza community in recent years. There’s also new race cars, with the 2016 Audi #17 Rotek Racing TTRS – a Pikes Peak Hillclimb record holder, and of course, the 2017 Aston Martin Racing V12 Vantage GT3, which has contributed to the racing heritage of Aston Martin.
Looking ahead, the Forza Racing Championship is back in March with a Pre-Season Invitational event in Seattle, Washington. Turn 10 has handpicked 20 of the best and most elite drivers in Forza Motorsport to compete at the event on March 24th before the regular season commences in April. The competitive racing doesn’t stop there, however, and will continue leading up to October this year where the Forza World Championship finals will be held in London. As a result, 2018 promises to be an unmissable year for Forza fans, and the best one yet for the franchise’s competitive racers.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he delivers the latest in news stories, reviews, and feature articles to the website, as well as videos on his YouTube channel and livestreams over on Mixer.