After intense speculation about where it would be set, Forza Horizon 4 has been confirmed to be based in Britain. With gamers getting to grips with an introductory race at E3 and the gaming press extracting details from Forza reps on the show floor, we’ve managed to get a pretty decent idea of what we can expect when Horizon 4 goes on sale on October 2. Here’s everything we’ve learned so far…
We know the game will be based in Britain, but where exactly is largely unknown. All we’ve had confirmed for now is the Scottish capital Edinburgh and the English countryside of the Cotswolds. We’ll also get to take in the British coast, which, being an island, doesn’t really narrow things down, while the Ribblehead Viaduct in Yorkshire appears to confirm that region will feature.
Attempting to read traffic signs in gameplay videos reveals the Lake District in the north-west of England should also be appearing.
It turns out that Britain is the same size as Australia because the map is pretty much the same size as the one in Horizon 3. We’re used to maps getting bigger all the time, so you might be surprised there’s no growth here, but it’s because of the seasons.
Every week the season will change, opening up new areas of the map and creating new challenges for drivers. The team had to build four different variations of the map, so the fact they’ve even managed to keep it the same size as its predecessor is impressive.
The game is released on October 2, or September 28 if you order the Ultimate Edition. It’ll also be free to Game Pass subscribers from day one.
There are incentives available for pre-orders, too. Go for the standard version and you get a Formula Drift car pack thrown in for free. Upgrade to the Deluxe Edition and you also get a Car Pass subscription on top of that. Finally, the full fat Ultimate Edition packs those freebies plus a Day One car pack, a VIP membership, and two game expansions.
There will be more than 450 cars in the game from a wide range of manufacturers. From the trailers and gameplay we’ve seen so far, some of the cars include the Aston Martin Vulcan, Ariel Nomad, Audi S1 Quattro and Dodge Viper ACR, while the McLaren Senna and 1997 Land Rover Defender 90 will be the cover cars. You can see the full list of spied cars here.
There will also be 42 extra cars delivered to Car Pass gamers at a rate of two per week, in a bid to keep the game fresh.
You’ll be able to customise your character with a variety of different outfits, accessories and ‘emotes’ to really make your driver unique. Meanwhile you can also buy properties and businesses, which will unlock new gameplay options and items. A taxi company has been confirmed as one of the businesses you can buy, but it’s unclear if these will open mini games or if they’re simply a way of earning extra money behind the scenes.
The game world will be totally populated by real gamers, all experiencing the game world at the same time – so when seasons, weather and time of day change, they change for everyone. One cool feature this allows is challenges designed to get as many players into the same spot at once, which promises hilarious carnage.
However, it’s not an always online game. The developers were keen to stress that it can be played offline with Drivatars replacing real-time racers. You’ll also be able to pause the game, and people you’re not friends with won’t be able to crash into you and ruin your day.
Xbox One X owners will be able to choose between a super smooth 60fps frame rate, or beautiful 4K graphics. The idea is to give gamers the power to choose whether they’re happy to slum it in 1080 in favour of perfectly slick racing, or if they’d like to go 30fps to unleash the full graphical power of their console.