June 30, 2022

Forza Horizon 4 – Xbox One Review

The 4th instalment of the massively popular Forza Motorsport spin-off series has finally arrived –  Forza Horizon 4, such a clever title! This time the Horizon Festival takes place in the beautiful British landscape. Following suit from the previous three games, racers from all over descend upon the festival to prove they are the best racer around and, although its not quite the Mediterranean coastline or the South-eastern Australia we’ve been used to, Forza Horizon 4’s Britain is breath-taking. With 460 cars in the game at launch, there are plenty of options when choosing which car to take out into the countryside.

You start in the Autumn season of the festival and progress through the year as you complete more and more races. The slightly smaller map is compensated for by what feels like an almost brand new map for each season. Golden leaves on the road give way to icy conditions for the Winter season through to the colourful fields in the Spring and Summer. The season and weather system earned itself a very positive reception back in E3, and Playground Games have done a fantastic job of it.

New for this year are emotes and the introduction of a loot rarity system. In the age of rarity tiers, its hardly surprising Forza Horizon 4 have incorporated the classic ‘green, blue, purple and yellow’ classes when ranking loot obtained from wheelspins, a sort of lottery seen in previous instalments. Emotes range from more simple dancing all the way to push ups, breakdancing and even references to pop culture. The Macarena, Chicken Dance and some Fortnite dances have been included, such as the Floss and the Best Mates emote. As much as I like to complain about Fortnite dances, Forza Horizon 4 somehow pulls them off, and there’s even a Dab emote in the game too.

As you would expect, the many different radio stations return for this instalment so you always have the perfect track to race down the brick wall lined roads of Britain. Horizon Pulse, Bass Arena, Block Party, Hospital and Timeless all return while new station Horizon XS, specialising in the more rockier music, makes its debut. The tracks are great on all of them, but there’s really nothing like driving through a snow covered landscape to classical music.

In addition to the wheelspins seen in the previous games, new ‘super wheelspins’ make an appearance, which gives 3 prizes instead of the one. Skill points are changed slightly this year too, they are now spent in a car’s individual skill tree in a system called ‘car mastery’. Car perks are aimed towards skill score multipliers with some giving instant rewards, like a wheelspin and influence bonuses. One of the perks gives you an extra life on your skill chains, allowing you to crash once and still maintain the chain.

Photo mode also returns, allowing for some great photos for social media or just to show off to your mates. You can play about with the settings of each photo before taking it, like altering the contrast, brightness, aperture, even adding a sepia effect. Most of the photos seen in this article are taken using the photo mode, so its definitely worth checking out. Drone mode also makes an appearance, so you can fly round the map getting aerial pictures or just quickly locate barn finds.

As seen in previous Horizon games, you can cruise around with friends and take part in races with them whenever you want. A mode which made Horizon 3 a much more enjoyable game, this comes as no surprise as more often than not, the best part of a driving game is the ability to race your friends and earn bragging rights.

The graphics are unbelievable on the Xbox One X, and having not played on a 4K TV, I can only imagine what the game would look like on one. The weather and season specific features look incredible while the cars themselves look even better. The controls, as is tradition in the Forza franchise, are simple and a pleasure to use. The roar of the engine sounds great in any car, and I’m sure a select few will think the same for the Ford Transit Van too.

The Ultimate Edition bundle is a hefty £79.99 and contains early access from September 28th, a Car Pass, VIP membership, Formula Drift Car Pack, the Day One Car Pack and two game expansions when they go live later on in the year.

The Deluxe Edition bundle contains the Car Pass and the Formula Drift Car Pack all for £64.99, while the Standard Edition bundle costs £49.99 and comes with the Formula Drift Car Pack. If you opt for one of the latter two bundles, you can play from October 2nd. In my opinion, the game is definitely worth the £49.99 price tag on its own.

From someone who thought Horizon 3 was missing something without knowing quite what it was, Horizon 4 is a brilliant game. My only criticism would be the map size, but as previously mentioned, the dynamic season system definitely makes up for it.


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  • 9/10
    Overall - 9/10
9/10

Summary

From someone who thought Forza Horizon 3 was missing something without knowing exactly what it was, Forza Horizon 4 is a brilliant game. The graphics are amazing and the Scottish landscape is vibrant, colourful and all-round breath-taking. This is a must-have racing game as we enter the busiest time of the gaming calendar.

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