The Forza Horizon series has been growing stronger with each release and in the Australian set 3rd edition of the game I thought it had reached its peak.
I could not have been more wrong.
Forza Horizon 4 is set in the UK and takes everything that made 3 great and really turns it up even more by adding so much fun that you’ll spend hours exploring, collecting and most importantly racing.
The change in seasons is a massive addition that not only gives you beautiful scenery but also changes the driving conditions dramatically enough that it feels like a different game each time. This change keeps the challenges constantly fresh and draws out some of the rewards to collect making you come back for more.
It might seem strange to compare a game like Forza to Pokemon but the “Gotta catch them all” mentality of the popular rpg game makes its way into the soul of this racing title. Each time I unlocked a new car or upgrade it gives a real sense of achievement and the integration of your personal profile makes it feel like it’s more than just a game.
The versatility of the game is one of it’s best aspects, being able to play racing, rally, stunt challenges or drift is a unique and powerful toolbox for one car title to take on and the fact that they nail the mechanics of each one is a true testament to the designers.
The game is ultimately a shared world racing social media hub, all of the other cars apart from general traffic are actual real world human players. If you are worried about racing against other players with much higher skill sets though, don’t, because you have to elect to drive against friends or other players. This was good for me as I’m not big on racing games usually and my skills on driving games are non existent, so I prefer to play at my own pace.
On the subject of my bad virtual driving. Forza has a really cool feature where you can easily rewind and replay part of your race. So if you take a really bad corner you can just rewind and attempt it again usually getting it right on the second go.
Graphically the game is just stunning, I’ve been playing on an Xbox One X in 4K and am really impressed with the lighting at the more extreme times of the day. The photo feature was getting a real work out at dusk and dawn and particularly during Autumn. Your inner photographer really shines in those moments.
The car’s in built radio system has a number of stations but I couldn’t find one that suited my tastes. Unlike a game like GTA where it’s hard to find a bad station. So I found it easier to just turn the radio off and crank up some “Beastie Boy’s” while I played to set the tone.
It’s nice to see that the game has full Mixer integration to encourage streamers to use the service and show off the game. There are even bonuses for people who watch others streams.
One of the first pieces of DLC is the James Bond collection that gives you some of the iconic super spies most glorious rides from the films. I really thought I’d be spending a lot of time driving the classic Aston Martin DB5 but strangely I found myself drawn to the Lotus Esprit from “The Spy Who Loved Me”. You know, the one that turns into a submarine and then Roger More drives it out of the water and throws a fish out of the window. Such great memories and an amazing collection of cars.
Forza Horizon 4 is a stunning racing title that has a true social appeal. The challenges are more than enough to keep you coming back and playing it over and over again. No matter your skill level you will feel a sense of reward and accomplishment. The weekly changing seasons will have you going back in again and again to find a new challenge and explore. If this isn’t the perfect racing title, there never will be one.
Forza Horizon 4 was reviewed on an Xbox One X and scores a fantastic 5 out of 5.