Forza Horizon 4 – Review
Follow Genre: Racing, Arcade
Developer: Playground Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platform: PC, Xbox One,
Tested on: Xbox One

Forza Horizon 4 – Review

Site Score
9.4
Good: Open world, Real opponents, Seasons
Bad: More of the same
User Score
10.0
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)

While it felt like Forza Horizon 3 sped by only yesterday, the third iteration of the series is actually already two years old. As expected, Microsoft didn’t rest on their laurels and went ahead to create and release the fourth game in the series. This time we leave behind the outback lands of Australia and head to a more modest setting in England for a new Horizon festival. We buckled up, grabbed our gear shifter, checked our airbags and we were off to start racing in Microsoft’s latest exclusive for Xbox One and PC.

Story

As always, the Horizon series isn’t known for a thick narrative, and instead it keeps things simple. You’re once again in the driver’s seat as a rookie who wants to rake in the fame, glory and cash by competing in the Horizon festival. On your way you’ll come across different disciplines you can enter and some may be in the underground scene, but eventually end up being perfect to gain more fame. Overall it’s fun to have something to cling on to, but you’re pretty much free to compete in whatever you like in order to rise in the leaderboards and become the ultimate driver.

Graphics

The graphical quality of Forza Horizon 4 is simply amazing, showing us that the Xbox One, even the early models, aren’t really dated just yet. While the newer models will upscale everything that is going on, it’s not yet time to send your original Xbox One to the retirement home just yet. All cars look shiny and spiffy, and the interiors have been designed with care and with respect for the source material. There are many cars to be found in-game, all stunning representations of their counterparts in real life. The setting is also nicely designed, even though some textures and assets may be a bit overused, like the same trees, shrubberies and one type of brick wall that is seemingly infecting the UK. Also the character design is a bit comical compared to the rest of the game.

New in this iteration of the series is the shifting of the different seasons. While some may have a bigger impact on the environment, this is a fairly impressive feat for an open world racing game. The stark contrast of racing in the summer compared to trying to stay on the road in the winter is nicely presented and it’s simply fun to explore the world around you trying to see how it changed.

Sound

The sound design in Horizon 4 isn’t bad, it’s actually good even. You’ll be able to switch between different radio stations to pick the tunes that suit you best. The music can be explosive enough to get the blood flowing, but compared to a game like Onrush, the music feels a bit lacking, as is the case in most modern racing games. In combination with the music there’s proper voice acting, ranging from the characters you come across to those speaking to you via telephone.

Gameplay

Forza Horizon 4 is a hybrid between a normal arcade racing game and a racing sim game. The Horizon series originally started out as a franchise that was directed at more casual players. Now the series tries to find a proper balance between the arcade and simulation genres, making this series accessible for newcomers and veterans alike. Just like the previous games, you’ll be dropped in an open world, where you’ll drive from one event to another, all while pretty much doing as you like.

As just mentioned, you’ll be driving around in an open world setting, this time in the UK. As is traditional in the Forza Horizon festivals, you’ll have to participate in different events in order to gain more fame and influence, allowing you to reach higher ranks. This time there will once again be different disciplines such as normal street racing, off road events, stunt sessions and so on. The biggest change in this newest iteration are the different seasons. You’ll notice that each weather condition will have an influence on how your car handles, especially when comparing summer to winter. This makes the game fun and it also allows you to replay events you have already cleared with new conditions, adding a new challenge to the game. Speaking of challenges, you can fine-tune the settings of the game, making things harder, adding more simulation effects such as damage and so on, allowing you to earn more credit bonuses, which will come in handy if you want to buy some new hot rides. The game still allows you to enter events with your favorite car, adapting the event and your opponents to make things balanced.

The Drivatars, the AI opponents that drive around with the names of your friends, have also undergone changes, or more precisely, can be replaced if you so desire. The game allows for other real players to drive around on the map, making the game somewhat more challenging and interesting as the other drivers on the map are actual players who are also playing the game at that time. This creates a few more spontaneous races and it also adds another layer of immersion to the game.

Again the liveries in this title are impressive, as there are many cars to choose from, from just standard brands, to theme cars, to many cars many people may never have heard of. As realism is the original Forza’s forte, you’ll mainly get existing cars you can drive around in, except for Halo’s Warthog. Other than that, there are many cars to choose from, and a lot of them might set you back some in-game credits. This can be helped by the wheelspins you get when you level up, which can provide you with new cars as rewards, other customization options and perhaps even a few credits to help you on your way.

Conclusion

Forza Horizon 4 is another successful entry in the series, not only because of the fact that it uses great mechanics earlier seen in the series, but that the developers are still building upon them to further improve an already great engine. This time we get the addition of seasons, more online capabilities, an expansive amount of disciplines to enter and a fairly impressive cast of cars for an even grander garage to fill. If you were doubting if this new iteration would bring something new to the table, we can answer with a resounding yes. Even fans of the simulation series of Forza will find their fair share of trinkets to mess around with and tuning options for them to truly feel at home.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)
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Forza Horizon 4 – Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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