Whether I was driving along dangerous snow covered roads or offroad racing through the woods on a rainy day in Spring, Forza Horizon 4 is a gorgeous driving experience which did a fantastic job of showing off the UK country side. I never wanted to make use of the fast travel feature as I know from real life experiences that the only way to explore another country is to hop in a car and drive. Which is exactly what I did when I wasn’t racing, making the whole experience feel like I was on a mini road trip of my own.
The fourth installment in the Forza Horizon series is once again based around the Horizon Festival, a large scale racing competition for all car types and racing categories this time taking place in the UK. After being showcased the different cars and all the amazing scenery you get to race through, you begin to compete one of the many racers from around the world during the festivals Summer season. As a Forza Horizon first, the seasons change which made the environments look almost as visually appealing as some of the 450+ cars that are on offer. I could spend hours just aimlessly driving through the countryside during the Spring, or any season for that matter. During the first year, you transition through to Autumn, Winter and Spring by gaining Influence points to qualify for each season and these are gained by simply competing in races, events and challenges. There’s a wide variety of race types to choose from with something for everyones racing taste and can either be played solo against drivatars, co-op with friends or in pvp mode against other players online. You don’t HAVE to come first, second or third to gain a decent chunk of Influence either so it’s good that it doesn’t punish you in that sense. Although having the VIP pass increased the amount I received, the same applies for credit rewards that can be used to buy cars, their upgrades and another new Forza Horizon feature, houses, which often grant perks/rewards and act as garages for you to give your car a new paint job and install upgrades whether they’re major overhauls or you want to fine tune the engine. And even if the handling on your car isn’t the best you will get rewarded for smashing into walls or missing a car by mere inches, which gave me major Burnout vibes.
Once you’ve completed racing through all four seasons in the first year, you’ll be qualified for the Horizon roster which offers seasonal event races with rewards in the form of credits, cars and cosmetic items for your character. Competing in these isn’t necessary once you make it on the roster as there’s still a tonne of activities left over from your first year participating in the Horizon festival and even more races to unlock as you continue to level up and progress through each round in the different race types. Your Influence Points are no longer required to transition into seasons since they now change at the same time for all players on the roster with each season running for a week at a time. The weather plays a big part in every players online experience too, if it’s raining for one player on the server it’s raining for all players.
There’s also story missions where your character is a movie stunt driver and you have to complete the various timed challenges but it’s not absolutely necessary to complete and like any other open world game, it’s super easy to get distracted by all the other side stuff. And what’s an open world game without collectables, they are on offer but I personally wasn’t on the hunt to collect everyone single one. The only collection I showed any interest in were the hidden abandoned barns that added legendary cars to your collection. And if none of that is showing you much interest at the time (or even if it is) you can drive by other online players or drivatars and hit them up for a quick race.
The Forza Horizon 4 racing world is your oyster with so many cars to collect ranging from buggies to modern supercars to muscle cars, plenty of race events to take part in either online or offline and two expansions on the horizon (see what I did there?) it’s hard to get bored of this game and it’s a formula that Forza has once again done so well.
Forza Horizon 4 is out now on Xbox One and Windows and available with Xbox Game Pass.
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