Driving! Crashing! Racing in Great Britain!
There’s a feeling like no other when you’re going fast at a consistent pace. Listening to your favorite tunes. Experiencing the colorful and eventful scenes. Driving without a care in the world as you floor it to 140 mph over a ramp to land 300+ ft. onto the ground with no damage what so ever. Ok, that last one isn’t possible but in Playground Games latest, Forza Horizon 4, you can do that and more while finding various fun activities around Britain.
The play anywhere playground of arcade racing is back and better than ever. In this year iteration, you’ll be driving through the four seasons and each one will affect your choice of cars in races and in the open road you’ll constantly be encountering. You’ll still take part in races and with co-op, team matches, and more, you’ll never tire the challenges you’ll work your way through. While your goal is to reach number one, you aren’t plagued from progress when coming in lower places. The game continues to open to you and encourage you to revisit them once you find and customize the car to your liking.
Yes, everyone. These sweet, sweet, cars are plentiful. Not only can you buy cars from the game’s garage, but you’ll also be offered to find some secret barns that contain vintage rides and some awesome left behind modern cars. Once you find them, their yours but you have to give them time. Each car in the barns have a little story to them and it’s interesting when the game narrates the tidbits to you. Another way to collect them is by the Wheelspin. Carrying over from past games, it’s the same mechanic of spinning this simple wheel and hoping to land on a car. If not, you’ll still be rewarded in some way.
Each car can be customizable whether it’s through decals, paint jobs, and upgrading parts you apply to preference. The downside of the auto parts is that its very limited and you don’t unlock anything more than what is offered, which is very problematic as you want to soup your car up to the best of its abilities. Yes, you can go to the tuning mode and do some fine tuning but you’re going to have to change and test to see what works for you and that may take time or days. If you don’t care about any of that, then buy some parts and go on the road.
Speaking of the road, the map might not seem massive but once you on the road getting lost in the colors of the trees in Autumn or the mud and rain in Spring are a sight that showcases a lot of detail work when speeding around. Nothing like the various colors popping in the distance. The detail of the snow or the wreckage on the car coming from the environments you can crash into, run through, or drive in while on the beach, will bring you joy. Turn 10 and Playground Games delivered a high level of polish since there isn’t no pop-ups, frame rate issues, or freezing bugs. The only problem I encounter was getting stuck on some rocks but as I kept accelerating, I freed myself and crashed down which just reset my position of the car.
As for the races themselves, you’ll go against ghost on your friend list and others around the world. You can challenge strangers if you care to or do some other missions like helping out on stunt driving, racing a train or boat, or riding and racing along motorcycle bikers. You’ll do all of these to gain more followers. That unlocks the seasons and missions. Don’t come in first place (which happen to me a lot), you’ll still win credits and followers. You can also drive around and find boards to give you more influence too. It’s all in great fun and gladly doesn’t punish you.
You will encounter speed tracks, high jump ramps, and offerings to buy houses for you to take your ride in for a break and to work on. The speed tracks and high jumps will have you racing to the top so that if your friends drive through one, they will see who they have to defeat. It’s exhilarating and challenging (and a good way to get your friends to outperform you).
The driving itself feels right but it really depends on how you tune it. I drift a lot on my playthrough but once I tune it and get it right, the driving and racing will be more enjoyable than it already is. You don’t have to be afraid or frustrate since everything in the game eases you into the mechanics and its scoring system. It really is an adult Mario Kart game but more technical and focus on the RPG elements that are in the game.
One of the important parts of this game is the music. Since most of the tracks are licensed, you’ll be finding a ton of new music on the many stations. The DJ’s are refreshing to hear and whatever music, from hip-hop to classical, suits you, it’s in Horizon 4 (I love listening to Pulse and Bass) Great selections of content that will have your interest in finding these artists and purchasing some of their work. If you want to hear your own, you can cut the radio off and just drive around that way too.
All in all, Forza Horizon 4 has pretty much lead the Xbox first party in the right direction for the games that will come in the future. Playground Games has delivered one of the best arcade racers since the Burnout franchise. It’s even jaw-dropping on Xbox One X and in 4K. It’s a pure beauty. So grab your key (controller) and get to ready to experience one of the best racers this generation (outside Mario Kart 8) that’s on the Horizon.
Rating: 5 out 5 Yoshi Coins