When I first got my hands on Forza Horizon 3 a couple of months ago, I sunk more hours into it than I’m comfortable mentioning. I found it on the whole thoroughly entertaining, but since those first intensive two weeks of play, I’ve barely touched it.
I fully expected to remain hooked on Horizon 3 for a while, but that didn’t happen. But why? Here are the stumbling blocks:
I’ve had a crack at some great Bucket List challenges so far. Racing a freight train was pretty cool, as was charging to the city cross country in an Audi Quattro rally car. But a lot haven’t been anywhere near exciting, and I was particularly miffed to be handed a stock Nissan GT-R for a drifting challenge. What gives?
Yes, there is the ‘blueprint’ option of making your own challenge, but it’s always going to be the same sort of thing - hit a particular speed, get a certain amount of drift points and so on.
While firing up the game for the first time in a while the other day, pretty much the first thing I had to do was endure the Irish voiceover lady banging on about which radio station I should sign next. I recall thinking I just don’t care, let me play the game, but her ramblings weren’t skippable.
It’s just one of the non-car elements of the game I’d happily do without, like the whole festival expansion thing. It just seems like a pointless part of the game - you play no part other than picking a location and hearing Irish voiceover lady talking too much about which you should choose, and I’m guessing all locations will be unlocked eventually anyway, rendering the whole process moot.
For me, the best part of any driving game is starting off with a relatively humble steed, and building up your funds until you can buy something better, and repeating until you’ve an enviable garage of exotics. Horizon 3 however gives you a choice of particularly un-humble motors like the BMW M4 and Shelby Mustang GT350 as your very first ride. To make matters worse, if you have Ultimate Edition, you can immediately go and get cars like Koenigsegg Regeras and Lamborghini Aventador SVs for free.
Even if you have the regular game, obtaining expensive cars isn’t going to take long. You seem to have virtual money projectile vomited in your face every five minutes through the ‘Wheelspin’ feature, and let’s not forget those barn finds which some poor sap restores for free and then hands over to you…
If I lived in a fantasy land where I was a billionaire with the sort of access to cars that’d make the Sultan of Brunei jealous, I wouldn’t suddenly want to take a Maserati MC12 or a Bugatti Veyron to a ruddy dirt race. And yet, Horizon 3 seems to have this obsession with supercar dirt races.
Sure, a one-off for the lolz race is entertaining enough, but the sheer amount of the events in FH3 is baffling. Why can’t these races just be left to the Ariel Nomads of the game?
I mentioned this in my original review, and I’ll mention it again here, as I reckon it’s the game’s biggest weakness. All of the really twisty bits of the map seem to be dirt roads, and in this peculiar fixation on spraying dirt roads over the map, the developers seem to have forgotten about building some really great tarmac sections.
I remember losing many hours to Test Drive Unlimited a few years ago, mostly because there was a brilliant mountain road at the far end of the map. But Horizon 3? When I load it up, there’s no driving nirvana I instantly pinpoint on the in-game sat nav. A pity.
While I haven’t ended up hooked on Horizon 3, it does remain a good way to spend time when you want to have a little fun without thinking too much. And hey, when that snow expansion gets here, I’m sure as hell giving it a go.
Any Horizon 3 players out there want to share their thoughts a couple of months on from release?