Forza 5 mandatory day one download adds Drivatars for offline play

It's like a fridge, developer says.

Racing game Forza 5 was announced during Microsoft's May Xbox One reveal event as a launch title that would make use of the power of the cloud.

As developer Turn 10 put it at the time, Forza 5 would use the cloud to fuel the Drivatar feature, that is, it would create believable AI racers based on player actions and constantly update them.

But now, since Microsoft's dramatic U-turn on Xbox One policies, the console no longer needs to connect to the internet every 24 hours to work. So, for offline players, how will Forza 5 work?

In an interview with IGN, Turn 10 chief Dan Greenawalt revealed that the developer has worked on making as many of Forza 5's online features playable offline as possible, and to achieve this, there will be a mandatory day one download.

"So when you first boot up the game, we're going to ask you to log in," he explained. "And when you log in you're going to get the Drivatars and you're also going to get a whole bunch of content: tracks and cars.

"Our production schedule is such that we are putting them in as late as possible and that means making them free as downloadable content on day one.

"[But] that is required content to play the game. We basically have designed the game to work with all that content no matter how late [it] is coming in, in order to make the biggest game possible."

Essentially, the Forza 5 you buy from a shop isn't the full game. You need to download the rest of it from Xbox Live, which, according to Greenawalt, will be possible as you play.

"You have to fill it up with food the first time. And from then on, you connect whenever you want when you want to update your food. The Drivatars are as fresh as they are. It's not like they're going to degrade, but when you're looking for new stuff - fresh stuff... it's going to keep evolving. That's the nature of this Drivatar system."

Turn 10 chief Dan Greenawalt

Greenawalt likened this process to how you run your fridge.

"You have to fill it up with food the first time," he said. "And from then on, you connect whenever you want when you want to update your food. The Drivatars are as fresh as they are. It's not like they're going to degrade, but when you're looking for new stuff - fresh stuff... it's going to keep evolving. That's the nature of this Drivatar system."

Of course, if you want the latest Drivatars, you'll need to connect the game to internet to access the data. Greenawalt reckons players will want to do this, because "every day that people race is going to make the Drivatar set that much more accurate, that much more diverse, that much more interesting".

He added: "All of the cloud and online features make the game far, far better. In fact I'd even say revolutionary. The things we're doing with opponents and Drivatar are not something that anyone can envision unless you've played it. But we're trying to get as much of that into the unconnected, offline mode as well."

Like Forza 5, the Xbox One console requires a day one patch to enable offline mode. "After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360," explained Microsoft.

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