Forza Horizon 4 Review – Moving forward

Forza Horizon is a series that has always managed to maintain accessibility in order to bring accessibility and complexity into balance. It takes on the realistic driving characteristics of Forza Motorsport, but eliminates the intimidating nature of professional racing and ruthless competition. Instead, it uses vivid locations and positive vibes to enhance and celebrate the joys of driving – the staggering speed, the awe of a vibrant landscape and the spectacle of shiny cars. Forza Horizon 4 maintains this tradition. Meaningful changes add interesting considerations in the gameplay and improve progress, on top of the existing difficulty options, a collection of vehicles and a beautiful open world full of activities. With Horizon 4, Playground Games continues to excel in exciting, approachable and entertaining virtual driving without sacrificing complexity.

Horizon's fourth open-world locale is a version of Britain that combines and condenses iconic regions of England, Scotland and Wales and offers fantastic terrain to explore. The rolling hills of the English countryside make driving throughout the country more exciting, the Scottish Highlands offer breathtaking high-speed roads and the windy, hilly streets of the city of Edinburgh serve as an interesting location for street racing.

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But the biggest change in Horizon is the introduction of seasons. Horizon & # 39; s Great Britain cycles between summer, autumn, winter and spring – and the weather in every season affects the world in tangible ways. These range from the obvious, such as freezing of the water, to the almost imperceptible, such as the change in temperature that affects your tires. But seasons really require that you adapt both your technique and your vehicle, and this variety produces a unique dynamic – the same mud track that you drive in the summer will be soggy after an autumn rain, and asphalt roads will become slicker during the winter snow. In the first few hours of Horizon 4, the seasons change after you have completed a number of activities, and this fast cycle shows how necessary it is to consider and adjust your driving behavior. But once you have completed an entire cycle, the implementation of seasons changes: they are then linked to an online server, synchronized for all players and are rotated every seven days.

Online functionality has a greater emphasis in Horizon 4 – when you play solo, the game will discretely connect you to an online session with up to 72 other players. You can also form a convoy of up to 12 people and participate in ranked or non-ranked team adventures for seasonal prices. It is still easy to focus on playing solo at your own pace, and you can still go completely offline and drive against AI. But the comprehensive online functionality of Horizon 4 offers valuable activities to encourage you to connect with other people. Head-to-head races are more interesting for real people, and the weekly change in the weather comes with a selection of limited season-specific races and championships and challenge missions.

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Horizon also offers recurring public events "#Forzathon Live", where players in a session are called to meet and work together to hit a combined scoring pool in a particular activity. You earn currency to spend in an exclusive Forzathon store if you are successful, but these events get annoying quickly because you will perform the same activity – like a single drift zone or dangerous jump – until the group hits the scoring goal.

But the missed opportunity of Forzathon Live events is just a little scuff in the otherwise extensive and inviting range of Horizon activities. Regardless of the online seasonal events, there are a large number of vehicular disciplines to follow, of which the majority gives you the great flexibility to shape a race around your vehicle of choice – although you still have to use your best cars. to perform well in things like speed and drift challenges. You are now also able to create your own tailor-made courses, and the more creative activities of the series return with story missions – with things like stunt riding and nice homage to other racing games – and the entertaining, so strongly choreographed, showcase racing against things like planes, trains and Halo's warthogs.

Progression has changed from Forza Horizon 3 – you no longer expand several festival sites to reveal activities. Instead, each discipline has its own corresponding progress meter. Part enough to participate in a certain type of activity, win or lose, will ultimately increase that discipline, reward you and unlock more of that type of activity on the map. It is an exciting and friendly system that quickly stretches to the farthest corners of the world, making it feel like something new and interesting to do is always around and rewards you, no matter what you decide to participate and how you performs. Even after hours and hours of play Horizon continued to reveal surprises by introducing brand new activity styles, keeping the flow of the game fresh.

It always feels like there is also a reward in range. With both individual meters for disciplines and a general progress meter, you are often only a few races away from achieving a level-up prize. The wheel-like wheel spiders also return, now with a variant with which you can draw for three prizes, and fortunately they stay in the middle of all real-world money transactions. Horizon 4 also offers a greater variety of potential benefits. Due to the greater emphasis on online interactions, adjusting the driver is a major problem that throws hundreds of unisex clothing options, fast chat phrases and dance motifs into the pool. This means that you can occasionally get a boring price as a pair of shoes, but the rate of compensation is stable enough to make this negligible and makes the rare opportunity to find a free car the more satisfying.

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Horizon 4 has 100 additional vehicles compared to its predecessor, with a total of 450 in the basic game. While car enthusiasts in Japan will certainly notice that there are no Mitsubishi and Toyota vehicles (no more) Initial D Sprinter), Volkswagen has kept it from Motorsport 7 (with classic Beetles, Kombis and Golfs), as well as a few new vehicles such as racing trucks. Again, Horizon offers a range of craft options for enthusiasts, as well as automatic upgrade options and a number of accommodating driving assistance for those who prefer to think of speeding and turning.

Regardless of how you drive, vehicles feel heavy, act credibly, and each now has its own individual bonus tree. By earning skill points while performing both reckless and cautious maneuvers, you can unlock nodes that add buffs to your accumulation of skillpoints, or earn one-time rewards such as wheelspins or influence (the experience measure of the game). It is a big change from the global skill tree of Horizons 3, because it encourages you to stay with a vehicle, to get to know it intimately and to benefit from a higher reward. Dexterity points are easy if you drive at least somewhat skillfully, and you are free to earn points you earn on a vehicle, so changing your car leads to a lesser blow to your progression if you already have some extra points .

The general benefits of Horizon have been transferred to a new function, Properties, which replaces festivals sites as your garage and adaptation hubs. Finding and buying properties on the map is relatively expensive, but the extras that some contain are useful and properties all function as valuable quick travel points. Fast journeys still cost you in-game currency, at least until you find and lose all 50 fast-travel boards, but Horizon 4 makes other very welcome improvements in the importance of accessibility and quality of life, including the ability to drive & # 39; s to change for free and at any time.

There are so many different activities in every corner of Horizon 4, and meaningful changes contribute to smart driving dynamics and a more consistent sense of performance. Everything you do in Horizon is valuable, no matter how big or small it is: from the basic vibrations of a fast car over a beautiful mountain road, to tinkering with your favorite ride to manage the seasonal conditions on the road, just having fun with friends hang out strangers online and goofing off in friendly games. The charm of the Horizon series is as tangible as ever, a winning, all-encompassing recipe that celebrates the pleasure of driving above all else.

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