Forza Horizon 4 is the best exclusive game on Xbox One this year. Not only is is the latest games in the Forza Horizon series, it’s the biggest and most ambitious yet! In contrast to the Forza Motorsports series of games, the Forza Horizon games offer a totally different experience.
Not only do you get get an open world to explore, the Forza Horizon games cater to a more casual racing fan, while also proving a great racing games for die hard driving game enthusiasts. Without further ado, let’s look at what makes Forza Horizon 4 the best in the series yet.
Forza Horizon 4 Details
Platform: Xbox One
Developer: Playground Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
A thrilling open-world experience
If you played any of the previous games in the Forza Horizon series, you’ll feel right at home with Forza Horizon 4. The latest game in the series brings the Horizon Festival to England. You play as a rookie race car driver looking to make a name for yourself at the Horizon festival. Once you choose and customize your character, the real fun begins.
As you progress and win races, not only do you unlock more cars to drive, you will also level up your character so to speak. In turn, you can buy new clothes, accessories and even a house. It adds a little bit of RPG flavour to the game.
A wide variety of vehicles and races
The Horizon Festival in Forza Horizon 4 is an amazing showcase of not only a racing event but also amazing cars. With over 450 cars in this game, you’ll find a car from partially every corner of the globe. Every single one of the cars is replicated with such care and rendered splendidly on the Xbox One.
The cars available in the game range from European supercars to American muscle. Regardless of what kind of driver you are there is a car here for you in Forza Horizon 4 and a perfect event for you to drive it in. Races are scattered all over the map, which is slightly bigger than previous games.
However, one of the biggest things I noted is that compared to previous games, there is a lot more to see and do. The number and type of events range from classic races, to street racing, to off-road races, and even racing against hovercrafts, trains and a motorcycle gang!
However, events need to be unlocked and you have to have the right kind of vehicle to race in it. For example, if you want to compete in an off-road race, you will need an all-terrain vehicle. Sometimes you’ll be able to afford to buy the right car and other times you won’t. I found the pacing of the game to work really well and for the most part as the events unlocked I had enough experience and money to purchase what I needed to compete.
Driving the cars is fairly straight forward, however it’s the fine tuning and customization where you really get down to the nitty gritty. Here you can change gear ratios and a wide variety of other settings to really get your car running at max performance. To be honest, it all was a little complex for me. Not knowing much about cars, except how to drive one, you’ve really got to understand how a car works. However, my saving grace, is the fact that you can use in-game money to purchase other gamers customizations. It will even show you if this will raise or lower your car’s stats.
Aside from featuring a slightly bigger map, more cars and more events to participate in; Forza Horizon 4 features a dynamic weather system that also portrays the change of seasons. Not only do each of the seasons change the environment around you in, they also change the way you drive. In the Autumn you have to be careful not to slip in the mud and rain. While the Winter brings ice and snow that can cause some pretty messy situations.
In the beginning, seasons don’t change from race to race as you might have imagined. Instead, you’ll play a full year as a rookie driver. You’ll need to compete in several races and qualify for the next round, which will take place in another season.
Once you make it past your rookie season, each of the seasons last an entire week. With this brings time-limited events and various challenges for each season. The neat thing about this is that the seasons are completely synced for all players.
A setting like no other
Every game in the Forza Horizon series brings the festival to more expansive and breathtaking vistas. And, Forza Horizon 4 is no different. The English landscapes are absolutely amazing, even when blazing past them. Playground Games have really outdone themselves in perfectly recreating each car and the environments in stunning detail.
I often found myself stopping on the side of the road to look around in wonder at just how realistic everything looks. Photo mode allows from some really breathtaking pictures! If you’ve got an Xbox One X and a 4K TV, get ready for your jaw to hit the floor when you start playing.
The colours pop with HDR support and, on the Xbox One X, you have the choice of 4K resolution at 30 FPS or 1080p at 60FPS. I briefly played in 1080p at 60FPS but quickly switched back to 4K at 30FPS. Regardless if you have an Xbox One or an Xbox One X, Forza Horizon 4 is simply stunning.
Additionally, the game features a solid soundtrack that is perfect to drive and race to. Radio stations included various genres of music and voiced by actual DJs.
Forza Horizon 4 really shines with friends online
Once you make it past your rookie season, about 4 to 5 hours of play, this is where the game’s online features really start to open up. As amazing of a game Forza Horizon 4 is, it is even better with friends. The Horizon Festival can now be fully played on-line if you wish, which makes it really easy to meet other gamers. Your friend’s drivatars now only show up when playing offline mode.
One of the new online features in Forza Horizon 4 that I really enjoyed was Team Adventure. Here you can make or join specially tailored races. You can customize virtually everything including car classes, weather, and even circuits.
Is Forza Horizon 4 a worthy successor in the series?
Forza Horizon 4 is without a doubt a worthy successor in the franchise. Not only that, but I’ll even go as far to say that it is the the creme de la creme when it comes to exclusive games on Xbox One. It takes everything that makes games in the Forza Horizon series good and makes them better.
From the breathtaking visuals, to the incredible amount of cars, to amazing online play, to the varied events you can compete in—Forza Horizon 4 has it all. You won’t be dissapointed with this game at all.
+ Breathtaking visuals
+ Incredibly fun to play with friends online
+ Seasons add an incredible amount of depth to gameplay
+ Map is packed with things to see and do
– Making it through your rookie season can seem cumbersome
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF FORZA HORIZON 4
Last Appeal/Replayability: 5/5
Overall Rating 4.6/5 (92%)
Get Forza Horizon 4 or Forza Horizon 4 – Digital Download on Xbox One
Buy Forza Horizon 4 Ultimate Edition on Xbox One
Purchase Forza Horizon 4 Ultimate Edition – Digital Download on Xbox One
Get Forza Horizon 4 Deluxe Edition – Digital Download on Xbox One