I have been a fan of the main Forza series ever since the first iteration on the original Xbox (which by the way still looks great today – I checked). I have every edition of the game on disc except for a digital copy of Forza Motorsport 6. I’ll get a hard copy some day…Anyways when they announced Forza Horizon I was skeptical. People were saying it was going to be a cheapened version of the game with arcady physics and so on. In fact I remember going in to my local EBGames and the guy there telling me I don’t want that one. I’m glad I didn’t listen to him.The original Horizon had a couple rough edges to it but all in all it was a great game. I often relate it to the fantastic Need for Speed Underground 2. The difference here being the cars handle much more realistically in Horizon and, lets be honest, look a lot better.
If you are new to Horizon essentially Playground Games takes the current available Forza game engine and puts an arcade racing game around it set in what they call the Horizon Festival. The Festival is held in a different region every time. You’re job is to take the festival by storm by winning all the races/events that take place on the overworld map. There are no tracks in this game. All the races use the roads on overworld map sometime slightly modified with barriers so you can’t go off track on circuits and so on. As you win races, you gain reputation and as that reputation grows you get more and more challenging things to do.
So way back during E3 Forza Horizon 3 was announced and as much as I can’t stand preordering things I did proceed to preorder the Ultimate Edition of the game. I am so glad I did. It arrived four days early as a perk for preordering the Ultimate Edition which was great otherwise it would have arrived while I was out working.Playground Games did not disappoint. The game is largely unchanged from Horizon 2 which I think is the best thing they could have done. They’ve added a couple new things to make the experience even better. Now on top of collecting points and credits you also collect fans. The more fans you have the more you can expand the festival. You see, this time around you are not only taking part in the festival but you are in charge of the festival. A neat concept though I’m not sure if anything of the sort would really work in reality. But this isn’t reality so lets continue on.
They have the predesigned races for each challenge/race like before but now you can create your own challenge by changing weather, time of day and the number of laps for the race.
Graphically Horizon 3 is stunning. And I’m talking about on the Xbox One. Yes it may be capped to 30 frames per second but it does run at a native 1080p. The physics this time around seem a bit more on track with the main iteration of the game Forza 6 but feel perhaps a little more arcade-like.I never realized Australia could be so visually appealing to be honest. Not to offend any Australian readers of course but man Horizon 3 does a great job of making Australia beautiful. The desert driving is pretty neat especially when you are on sand or dirt one moment and then driving through a river in the next.
Vehicle modification remains the same pretty well with the addition of wide-body kits for some vehicles (THANKS) and some more wheel choices. Otherwise the customization section of the game remains pretty well the same.They did add a Forza Vista like bit to the game where you can walk around your car, get in and so on but it’s nothing different from the main game’s Forza Vista. In fact in this version you get no descriptions of the cars. I guess that’s fair.
I have been having trouble trying to find things that need to be changed in the game to be honest. I can’t think of anything but perhaps I am blinded purely by the beauty of the game provided or even by the absolute pleasure of playing the game. This is honestly the best arcade racing sim I have ever played followed by Horizon 2 and then Project Gotham 3.The Forza series in my opinion is THE reason to own an Xbox. I know I am of a marked few that have only purchased an Xbox One to play Forza but it is the truth in my case. Of course now with Forza being released on PC it becomes an interesting choice one actually doesn’t have to make if you buy the digital version off the Windows Store. You get the version for PC and Xbox. I bought a physical copy so I missed out on this as I still think it’s a good idea to have a physical copy of games.
Should you buy Forza Horizon 3? Yes. Yes you should. Well that is unless you hate racing games. I would say though if you are a fan of something like even Mario Kart you might be interested in this. It’s more realistic for sure but the focus isn’t on taking perfect turns and so on. In fact you get points for running in to things in some cases. There is a demo for the game. Check it out.