We know better than most that our inclinations toward our favourite games are utterly subjective, but there comes a time when we all have to admit when our favourite franchise must bend the knee to another. Yet how often does that threat come from within?
Such is the case with Microsoft’s Forza.
Originally ushered into this world as a competitor in the Motorsport simulation market, Forza has built up quite the following since its humble beginnings.
Decked-out to the nines with all of the stats, graphs, data, and tuning specs than any self-respecting motorhead would desire, Forza Motorsport earned its laurels out on the tarmac against some of the stiffest competition in the pits.
And yet, despite all of its progress and prowess, Forza Motorsport has lost out to its younger sibling: Forza Horizon. Opting for a much more arcade-y and fun-fueled romp through highly-detailed open worlds, Horizon has taken the Forza community by storm.
If you haven’t had the chance to experience what a Forza Horizon game can offer, you’re in for a surprise – and there’s never been a better time to start. Forza Horizon 4 is currently accessible through the Microsoft Game Pass and gives players the chance to jump into the wonderfully re-created – and somewhat fictitious – Scottish countryside.
When you take your first steps into the “Horizon Festival” the game will ask you what your name is. The first option on the list? Abroham Lincoln. If you had any questions regarding the tone of the game, this is the time to lose them all.
Horizon 4 beats around no bushes in making you understand that this is an arcade romp through what can only be called a motorsport fetishist’s wet dream.
Whether you’re out dominating the grid against other drivers in a bid to increase your renown, or just cruising around the countryside admiring how your car can plow through stone walls without taking even the slightest bit of damage, Horizon 4 is there to serve you.
Throughout the upwards of 80 hours that you’ll spend roving about the Horizon festival, the game goes out of its way to ensure that you never feel as if you’re retreading old tracks.
And when the inevitable sensation of “Hey, this look familiar” sets in, Horizon 4 has one last trick up its sleeve: seasons. Although you’re tied down to one – albeit massive – map, there are four different seasonal varieties to choose from and explore. Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring all offer unique ways of interacting and playing across the vast digital landscape.
The snows of winter give way to heavy-duty treads that rip into the snow-packed turf. Spring’s showers ensure that you’ve got more than your fair share of grip – or lack of it – to contend with, and summer and fall offer up their own unique pleasures. Even if they do tend to feel more just like taking your favourite car around for a scenic spin.
Sure, there are those motorheads that will never give up their sliders, metrics, PSI, track temperatures, and more stats than you can shake a graph at. But for most players, the Horizon series has ticked all of their boxes and then some. For us? Well, we’ll just be ticking off any drive assists we come across, thank you very much.