forza hori­zon 4


XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - CONTENTS -

Pe­cu­liar thing num­ber 6,862 about gam­ing: Amer­i­can roads are de­fault. Bri­tish gamers could prob­a­bly nav­i­gate three or four Amer­i­can cities and most of Route 66 us­ing their gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ences alone, but Amer­i­can rac­ers would def­i­nitely need to bust out the sat nav if they found them­selves be­hind the wheel in Waltham­stow or Bev­er­ley. That all changes with Forza Hori­zon 4.

De­vel­oper Play­ground Games is based in the UK, and in an ef­fort to let Aus­tralia re­cover from host­ing so many sports cars mulching up its nat­u­ral beauty with their tyres in the last Hori­zon, they’ve set num­ber 4 on home soil. Whether the afore­men­tioned English lo­ca­tions will fea­ture on its world map has not been con­firmed, but what is clear is that the land of hope and glory (and Si­mon Cow­ell and binge drinkers) will take cen­ter stage.

That means ca­reen­ing through at­mo­spheric moor­lands in hy­per­cars, mess­ing around on (prob­a­bly freez­ing cold) beaches in bug­gies, and tak­ing tuners for a spin across the bu­colic splen­dor of the English coun­try­side.

For those un­fa­mil­iar with Forza’s Hori­zon series, it’s es­sen­tially where the gen­er­ally straight-faced series lets its hair down. Forza Hori­zon 3 was about a mo­tor­sport fes­ti­val across Aus­tralia which took the form of pickup vs he­li­copter vs hov­er­craft races and sim­i­lar hi­jinks that’d make Jeremy Clark­son’s dad jeans even tighter. While the han­dling it­self doesn’t feel sep­a­rated from Forza Mo­tor­sport games, the breadth of ac­tiv­i­ties is wider, the tone more play­ful, the world open and beg­ging to be ex­plored.

New to num­ber four is the in­tro­duc­tion of dy­namic sea­son changes which al­ter the han­dling, ter­rain, and look of the world. A lake sud­denly be­comes tra­vers­a­ble once it freezes over in win­ter and un­locks a path to pre­vi­ously in­ac­ces­si­ble ar­eas of the map. Twisty hill­side lanes which pro­vide a stern chal­lenge in the heat of sum­mer be­come ver­i­ta­ble death­traps when the snow falls.

Scot­land’s cap­i­tal, Ed­in­burgh, is the to­ken ur­ban area. Pe­cu­liar thing num­ber 6,863 about gam­ing: This is the city’s se­cond ap­pear­ance in an Xbox-ex­clu­sive rac­ing series. Not since Project Gotham Rac­ing 2 on the orig­i­nal Xbox has that par­tic­u­lar part of the world played host

to su­per­cars caus­ing chaos in its streets.

Just to make sure Forza Hori­zon 4 ab­so­lutely, def­i­nitely looks better than that 15-year-old racer, Play­ground is in­clud­ing a 60fps mode to its 4K out­put on Xbox one X, thus keep­ing the driv­ing tight and re­spon­sive. Frame counts are more im­por­tant in rac­ing games than ar­guably any other genre (sue us, com­pet­i­tive shooter play­ers), so we’re par­tic­u­larly pleased to hear about that.

here’s some­thing we’re less pleased about: it’s a to­tally shared world. The map’s pop­u­lated with other play­ers, who can be teamed up with via some smart D-pad com­mu­ni­ca­tion short­cuts. it’d be im­prac­ti­cal to host ev­ery­one on ex­actly the same it­er­a­tion of the map—what if FH4 brings in a PUBG-es­que player base in the mil­lions? Traf­fic jams ev­ery­where? But the fact re­mains that this-world idea is a fo­cus, and it’s sim­ply never added real value to a racer we’ve played. Pe­cu­liar thing num­ber 6,864 about gam­ing: When you see some­one else in your on­line world, you have to crash into them.

top right Care­ful with those things, you can’t get the parts any­more. Does your un­cle even know you bor­rowed it?

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