Gaming

Forza Horizon 4 – Our first Autumn

One of the big tricks to Forza Horizon 4, apart from being an outstanding game, is that the seasons change over time, altering the environment which ultimately can impact races and challenges. Well, the first of these seasonal transitions has happened and it’s interesting to see what we’re getting. The game’s early moments give you a taste of it but now I’ve got a busy looking map with plenty of events to choose from it’ll be much easier to see how it changes the experience.

The game does a great job of leading up to the change. Not only are the timers for Forzathon deals and some events clearly tied to this weekly process but I noticed that even the DJs in the game’s radio stations make mention of it. It was cool to hear Horizon Pulse (one of said radio stations) mention the last day(s) of summer coming – it feels entirely natural and you probably wouldn’t think much of it at face value but with a game that actually does change the map over time it’s a great reminder that keeps players immersed in the world.

There’s no shortage of sights to see in the game world.

How this process plays out across the four seasons will go a long way to determine if it works in keeping players interested and the game fresh. The effort they’ve put into it so far suggests that they’re making sure it is not a token one. It appears some barn finds will only be available during certain seasons too so you’ll likely want to check in regularly. If there’s events that are only exclusive to certain periods then hopefully the developers are playing the long game and intend to continue generating content in the coming months.

If there’s one (extremely) minor gripe I have its that players can so easily customise race conditions for their own events that they often choose seasons that don’t align with the game world which softens the impact of the new Autumn conditions. If you’re in Team Adventure you may not even see the difference. While I agree that it’s great to have that flexibility I do wish that the game all the events I was involved in stuck to the season and gave me a chance to adjust to the new conditions. Perhaps a filter to allow only specific seasonal events?

One of event I can’t get enough of are the Forzathons – they are such a great idea. If you’ve been playing for an hour there’s a good chance you’ll be given the opportunity to take part in one. Even if your own skills aren’t up to the level of others involved every contribution to the three challenges helps and the Forza Points you earn can go towards Super Wheelspins for random prizes or the outright purchase of select vehicles and cosmetic items. In addition, completing smaller challenges can net you extra points too so watching that space can help you build out your collections faster.

Edinburgh continues to look amazing in the Autumn.

Returning to Team Adventure, the mode that lets teams of players square off against each other, it’s strange that it doesn’t let you easily leave a session on completion. Instead you’re pushed into the next round of events and because you have no choice on the class of vehicles you’ll be racing in you feel like you have little control over it. A voting system would be perfect here and it seems like an odd exclusion considering it was something used often in prior games.

The visual shift is noticeable with more overcast skies and wetter environments becoming the norm. Anyone wanting to head out into the countryside, foregoing the usual assists such as roads, will find their cars aren’t as nimble as they were and a little more difficult to steer. For drivers liking to slide their cars around corners though it seems like the conditions might be perfect. Non racers like me though need a little extra time to get used to it all. 🙂

It’s only been a week but it’s amazing to see how many players are again taking to a Forza Horizon game. And with more seasons inbound there’s going to be more we’ll be discussing soon as we continue our own driving adventures.

Forza Horizon 4 is out now for PC and Xbox One.

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