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Hands-on review: Forza Horizon 4 is the perfect racing game

By Damian Seeto
Thu 27 Sep 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Forza Horizon 4 may be one of the best racing games of all time. Not only are the visuals impressive, but the game offers a lot of different racing disciplines making sure you never get bored every time you boot up the game. 

The first thing you will notice about Forza Horizon 4 is how gorgeous the graphics are. I really loved the beautiful Australian setting of Forza Horizon 3, but this new game is even better thanks to the new addition of changing seasons. 

The different seasons are more than just a cosmetic change because each season makes the tracks feel either easier or harder for you to drive on. For example, you can expect to see rain and ice cover the roads during Autumn and Winter respectively, while sunnier weather usually appears in Summer and Spring. 

I think adding different seasons to the game add a lot more variety to the races. I remember drifting a lot in Winter because the roads were so slippery, but the same tracks were easier to race on when the weather was fine and dandy. 

When Playground Games and Turn 10 announced Forza Horizon 4, I initially thought the new setting in Great Britain was not going to able to match the visual brilliance of Australia. I assumed the game would have looked more boring offering more mundane locations. 

Boy was my assumption totally wrong because Forza Horizon 4 might be the best looking Xbox One game I have ever played in my entire life. I managed to review the game on Xbox One X using my new 4KTV and the graphics are a joy to look at. 

The game offers two graphics modes on Xbox One X to cater for different tastes. The default setting is called ‘Quality’ where the game is set at a full 4K resolution with 30fps, but you can also change it to ‘Performance’ where it renders at 1080p with 60fps. I actually did not mind alternating between the two modes while playing the game on Xbox One X as both settings look awesome to me. 

In terms of gameplay, Forza Horizon 4 has a more arcade physics system unlike the brutal realism from the main Forza Motorsport series. This game is more lenient to casual gamers as you can tweak the settings in order to suit your own racing preferences. I usually like to mess with the settings so that I can drift in every race! 

Speaking of drifting, there’s a lot you can see and do in this game that makes it really enjoyable. You don’t even have to be hardcore racing fan in order to find something fun for you to do in this virtual playground of Great Britain. 

New to this game is some small “story modes” that require you to complete 10 chapters of tasks. The first one you will stumble upon is the Stunt Driver story where you have to take part in an action movie. This side story was pretty cool as it requires you to drive really fast and do a lot of jumps and more. 

In another side story, I joined something called the “Drift Club”, where you are supposed to get lots of drift points. These tasks are fun to do as this game offers more than just the usual sprint or checkpoint style of races. 

There was even an event where I was able to take part in a drag race as well. However, the best showcase event to take part in is the special Halo event where you get to drive a Warthog and play as Master Chief! 

If you want to race online, you can do that as well. There are both co-op missions and PvP missions that you can participate in. My favourite online mode is the Forzathon Live events where you can other players on the map work together to complete various racing tasks. It’s similar to Destiny as you will see online players in the same lobby and your goal is to pretty much complete the many events as fast as possible as a team. 

Most of the events in the game are similar to what was offered in Forza Horizon 3, but that’s okay because you can spend hours and hours playing this game without getting bored. It also helps that this game has an awesome soundtrack for you to listen to as it offers many different genres in its various radio stations. 

In terms of flaws, there are only a few nagging issues I with the game. For one thing, the game usually takes a long time to load when you first boot it up in the beginning. There were also times the game froze on me, although this wasn’t a recurring issue. 

Another small thing that annoyed me is that licensing issues prevented cars from Mitsubishi and Toyota from appearing in the game. Hopefully the licensing issues can be fixed in future games as I miss using cars from the Initial D anime/manga. 

Anyway aside from a few flaws, Forza Horizon 4 could be my favourite racing game in this current generation. I still have a soft spot for Forza Horizon 3 due to its Australian setting, but this game is just as good as its predecessor. If you own an Xbox One or Windows 10 PC, you won’t be disappointed adding this game to your collection. 

Verdict: 10/10  

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