Forza Horizon 3’s best moments come up when you least expect it, but when you are driving a warthog in the middle of the night through the outback listening to Horizon Pulse. It just clicks. I’ve played quite a few racing games for the past few years. Never have I played one that I have enjoyed as much as this one. Is riding a Warthog through someone’s trash silly? Yeah it is, but it sure as hell is fun to do.
This time around you are riding in Australia from the Outback to the inner city. It’s not a 1:1 recreation, but it captures the best parts of each area, and lets you have fun in their sandbox. The best places to get points, and XP is the outback all the jumps and hills will allow for some insane drifting, and jumping combos. The rewards for leveling up also have been expanded, instead of just one skill tree there are now 3 separate skill trees, and you might be thinking that there’s no way they could have thought of 3 skill trees. Well the last one is mainly a credits/xp list for those who have finished the game, and are just racking up skill points. Which is something else they also introduced which is Consumable skills. Which allow for XP/Credits boosts, or a discount at the auto show. All are useful skills and none of them will go unused.
There are 4 Festivals this time around, but you can now level them up with “Fans” you gain as you do races expanding the Festival and unlocking more things to do around them. Each level up also gives you a one time deal on 5 cars for a big discount. This fan system is put into place everywhere so even a simple speedtrap will earn you fans. This really encourages people to do what they want as now you are not necessarily limited to doing events/races to unlock more events. Like usual Forza fashion you can do Championships and once you finish a championship, you are allowed to create your own and play others for countless replayability. Earning credits, and XP as people play them. The amount of things that Playground Games has put in for you to do is insane you can really go at it, and do whatever you want, and not have to worry about your next Festival upgrade. You can also race your Drivatar Rivals on a race of your choosing just drive up to the race and choose the Rivals type, and go beat your friends!
Forza Horizon 3 improves the slow upgrading times when trying to bulk upgrade multiple cars by adding items to a basket to be all bought at once instead of doing it one at a time this is quite the improvement. The UI has gotten less intrusive and there’s less of the game forcing you to listen to the narrator and more of you actually playing the game. Anna has also gotten an upgrade which might go unnoticed if you don’t look for it as she now will remind you of previous events you might have discovered on a different play session. Which is very useful if you are switching from the W10 version to the Xbox version and vice versa.
The world looks gorgeous, from the huge sandy outback to the dense forests. The graphical fidelity is stunning, and Forza’s framerate never budges from it’s locked 30fps. It looks fantastic in the day as it should, but once it turns to night it looks even better. Playground Games, and Turn 10 never fail to amaze me at what they can achieve on the Xbox One. The weather effects are very nice to look at. When the rain pours down on your windshield and slides off looks great. It’s no Driveclub, but that coupled with the subtle blur give it a really nice detail. A little thing you might not notice the first time around is if you are driving a vehicle with no windows then the rain hits the characters face and is very convincing.
The sound design is fantastic, and it is what you’d expect to hear from the Forza series, with their burly engines, and tyre skidding. I love hearing the water rushing by the car while I’m going through the rivers, and experiencing the great noise when you and 4 other friends go into a tunnel together it sounds fantastic.
Forza Horizon 3: The Racing Game You’ve Always Wanted
Forza Horizon 3 continues to improve upon its foundation that the 2 previous games have laid down. The setting is perfect, there are a lot of cars, huge amount of things to do, handling is perfect, and the game looks beautiful. It's a extremely fun game whether you're doing stunt jumps in the outback or driving down the long highways of the countryside. Forza Horizon 3 is The Crew, Forza Motorsport, and Burnout Paradise all mashed into one, and turned into a bowl of the best homemade Mash Potatoes you'll ever lay your eyes on.
Amazing Sound Design
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