forza horizon 4
RACE THROUGH FOUR SEASONS IN ONE DAY IN PLAYGROUND’S NEW CAPER
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?