Forza Hori­zon 3

An­drew White­head shows us how to burn rub­ber Down Un­der in this lat­est rac­ing sim

Hyper - - EDITORIAL -

Since I moved to Amer­ica I’ve been told my home coun­try of Aus­tralia is 90 per­cent desert, has two cities (Mel­bourne and Syd­ney), and is burst­ing with snakes and spi­ders. And koalas. Thank­fully, UK developer Play­ground Games did a lit­tle bit more re­search than that for their open-world rac­ing game Forza Hori­zon 3, set en­tirely in 'Straya.

“Aus­tralia has al­ways been one of our top choices for Hori­zon, ever since the be­gin­ning,” says Forza De­sign Di­rec­tor Jon Knoles. “We knew we couldn’t do Aus­tralia right un­til we could do beach driv­ing, driv­ing through the surf, and driv­ing through lush rain­forests. A lot of peo­ple don’t know Aus­tralia has got some se­ri­ous forests.” (It's true!)

Promis­ing a world twice as large as Hori­zon 2, this lat­est en­try in the se­ries fea­tures lo­cal land­marks like the Coober Pedy and the vine­yards of the Yarra Val­ley. The beach­side town of By­ron Bay is also here and is con­nected to Surfer’s Par­adise by the Great Ocean Road. Ge­og­ra­phy be damned, ap­par­ently. Yeah, you read that right. This isn’t quite the Aus­tralia you know. It’s more like a great­est hits com­pi­la­tion of a bunch of the places that makes Aus­tralia great, re­worked to be more fun than re­al­is­tic. “What we do want to do is re­alise the spirit and the beauty of Aus­tralia,” says Cre­ative Di­rec­tor Ralph Ful­ton. “We were re­ally in­spired by the coun­try when we re­searched it and we want to re­flect that within the scale of the world we’ve cre­ated.” And what a world it is. The graph­i­cal de­tail in Forza Hori­zon 3 is bet­ter than ever. It’s quite pos­si­bly the best­look­ing rac­ing game ever cre­ated and could al­most be used to jus­tify that 4K-en­abled Xbox One S pur­chase. Even the skies were metic­u­lously recorded over a long sum­mer in Aus­tralia. Then there's the roam­ing wildlife, the de­tailed en­vi­ron­ments and, of course, the cars them­selves. With over 350 of them, the cars re­main the star of the show in­clud­ing a se­lec­tion of lo­cal favourites like the Holden Sand­man and the Ford Falcon XB. Of course, there's also ex­otic su­per­cars like the Lam­borgh­ini Cen­te­nario; but can it re­ally com­pete with a Torana A9X?

Ad­di­tion­ally, Hori­zon 3 sup­ports cross-plat­form mul­ti­player with Win­dows 10 gamers. And, if pur­chased dig­i­tally, you can take ad­van­tage of Xbox Play Any­where to play the one copy of the game on PC or Xbox One.

Mak­ing their re­turn are the user-cre­ated Dri­vatars, but with a twist. Un­like other Hori­zon games that made you work your way up from rookie sta­tus, this time you’re the boss of the Hori­zon festival. In­stead of com­pet­ing against your friend’s ghost, you can hire up to four of them to work for you and earn you ex­tra re­wards. And if a friend’s Dri­vatar is un­der­per­form­ing? Fire them. That won’t be awk­ward or any­thing. Eesh.

Home coun­try bias aside, Forza Hori­zon 3 looks amaz­ing. And bet­ter than that, it looks fun. I mean sports cars look great on the track, but I can’t want to try and slam one into the Twelve Apos­tles, and I reckon revheads will feel the same way.

IT’S QUITE POS­SI­BLY THE BEST LOOK­ING RAC­ING GAME EVER CRE­ATED AND COULD AL­MOST JUS­TIFY THAT 4K XBOX ONE S PUR­CHASE

DEVELOPER PUB­LISHER PLAT­FORM RE­LEASE DATE Play­ground Games Mi­crosoft Stu­dios Win10, Xbone 27 Septem­ber, 2016

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