Racing to Top Charts: Forza Horizon 4 Review

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Racing to Top Charts: Forza Horizon 4 Review

Cinematic photo of the 2012 Hennessey Venom GT

Cinematic photo of the 2012 Hennessey Venom GT

Gordon Tuomikoski

Cinematic photo of the 2012 Hennessey Venom GT

Gordon Tuomikoski

Gordon Tuomikoski

Cinematic photo of the 2012 Hennessey Venom GT

Gordon Tuomikoski, Contributor

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Microsoft’s famous racing series Forza and its spinoff Forza Horizon had its most recent title, Forza Horizon 4, introduced to the world on October 2. Within a week it was number five on the top chart sales according to Culture of Gaming, and reaching 9/10 scores on numerous reviewer websites like IGN and it’s no wonder why. Set in Northern England, the game has breathtaking, nearly photorealistic graphics, exceptionally fun and interesting replayability with new features like seasons and a much more interactive multiplayer experience than ever before. However, some dislike the un-immersive car sounds and disappointing wheelspins.

 

The Positives:

Microsoft is famous for pushing the limits of hardware and visual power, and the latest Forza title is absolutely no exception. It is arguably one of the most graphically impressive games of all time. It shows its best visual power on the Xbox One X and PC platforms, running at a smooth 60 fps (frames-per-second) on the new Xbox One X on 1080p, and a 30 fps mode for beautiful 4K resolution. The reflections on cars and puddles look absolutely incredible, amplified with great anti-aliasing, which sharpens the edges of trees, cars, and buildings. In many parts, the game is photorealistic, and it is incredible to think the games will visually better through the years.

Forza Horizon 4 features more replayability value than its predecessors. Forza Horizon 3 had many of the same features, but it lacked in replayability and overall experience. One of the biggest selling points of Horizon 4 is its season system. Every Thursday, the world changes to a new season. It features the four different seasons. Spring, summer, fall and winter each have their own unique experience. In winter, the central lake in the game is completely frozen over, allowing a new massive drivable route. In spring, the weather is rainy, specializing for off-road buggies and rally cars with muddy terrain. Summer is the best general season, great for all vehicles, and fall is a fan favorite for its beautiful, crisp, colorful environment. Not only do seasons create replayability, but its terrain and changes in elevation allow for much more variation in the racing experiences with hills and small mountains. There are small events like danger signs. These involve jumping off massive hills or cliff sides and getting the farthest distance, create competition and a feeling of wanting to best your score.

The game features a more interactive and creative online experience than ever before. Online lobbies are now fun and competitive with new events like the hourly Forzathon. Every 55 minutes in an online session, a giant air balloon appears over a part of the map with a pink ring around it. After a 5 minute queue time, the event starts. Players are then given a route to a nearby event like a Danger Sign, where the players have to ramp off a dangerous route and get as far as they can. Every players’ distance is added up to a total. Players have to reach a certain distance within the amount of time to progress to the next event. Other events include drifting and speed traps (the highest speed you can get on a given route). After three events have been completed before the timer runs out, every person earns forzathon points which build up and contribute to the level system. I’ve had a few fun experiences with the new Forzathon events myself with some friends, and boy is it a fun ride.

The car list in Forza Horizon 4 is massive, far more than that of any open-world car game. The game features over 450 cars in the base game, and this is before DLCs have been added. From classics like the Chevrolet Bel Air to oddities like the three-wheeled Peel P50, the vehicle licenses within “Horizon 4” are extensive. Even semi-trucks from Mercedes and Volvo are included. Missing from the game are Toyota and Mitsubishi excluding three Toyota trucks. Many fans were disappointed to hear this, with a new lack of popular cars like the Toyota Supra, but both companies turned their licenses down to Microsoft. But the 450 cars from over two dozen manufacturers within the game outweigh the absent Toyota and Mitsubishi cars by a mile.

 

The Negatives:

Wheelspins are a returning feature in Forza Horizon 4, where a spin wheel, not unlike something out of a game show or slot machine is spun to award a player a car, clothing item, horn, emote, or a bunch of in-game-credits. The wheel is much worse than before because it is more unrewarding than ever, thanks to the new addition of emotes and clothing items. The wheelspins don’t feel as rewarding as they used to and now feel more like a gambling machine which creates disappointment rather than excitement.

Car sounds are an issue many have complained about since Horizon 4’s demo launched mid-September. The vehicle sounds in the game either sound too weak or too powerful, or completely different than their real-life counterparts for many cars. Although a lot comes down to personal preference, as some appreciate the dramatic appeal. Although in many cars, the engines sounded more realistic in 2012’s Forza Horizon over Forza Horizon 4.

 

The Final Review:

Overall, Forza Horizon 4 is an extremely fun experience with hours of enjoyment and replayability to be had. The graphics, cars, online experience and the general game itself is extremely high up on my top games this year, and I believe it should come close to game of the year. Despite its shortcomings in sounds and the grinding from wheelspins, the overall experience is extraordinary and is arguably the best racing game of all time.

 

4.8/5