Today sees the release of Forza Horizon 3 (well for those of you who didn’t shell out $99.99 for the Ultimate Edition) and I see it as my duty to tell you whether or not this game is worth your $59.99, so here we go.
First off, this is the first time I have ever played the Horizon series, I’ve been playing the regular numbered Forza series since the OG Xbox, but this was my first foray into the open world(ish) of Forza Horizons. For me I only need one racer at a time and the Forza games are so deep I was still playing the regular Forza games when the Horizons would release. However, with Horizons 3 I couldn’t resist because ever commercial and trailer looked so beautiful I had to get it.
So in playing the game I was playing on my launch Xbox One (I decided to wait for the Scorpio instead of buying an S) but on a 4K Television and I can say that even with out the S’s HDR this game still looks absolutely stunning. The photo realistic cars and scenery totally immerse you into the game.
Graphics: With Horizons you’re not just stuck on grand prix circuit tracks, this game is set in Australia and you traverse through the many different landscapes that the land down under is known for, from beautiful beaches, forests, and the Outback. Water and lighting effects are also on point. In one race a storm moved in on my so I went from sunny weather to a down pour and the water effects were fantastic, not to mention it immediately affected the handling of my car and I had to adjust my driving. Same thing goes for races that take you from asphalt to the beach. Traction becomes completely different. Also pro-tip here, don’t go all out on the beach with the tiding coming in in Shelby GT350, you’ll regret it.
Game Play: Horizons mixes sim racing and arcade racing brilliantly which makes this game fun and accessible for all fans of racing games. The difficulty as well as the car is completely customization to your skill level. You add or take away as much driver assist as you want to make this a true car simulator game or as casual as the old arcade racers from Midway, any way you play you’re bound to have some fun.
If you’ve played any Forza game you’ll be very familiar with the controls (right trigger accelerates, left trigger brakes, X for Hand braking, and Y for rewind if you royally fuck up) so you can just jump right in will no learning curve. Like I said above this game can be extremely casual or extremely realistic, it’s up to the player. Also, since this is not a circuit racer like the numbered Forza series you can select your radio stations with actual licensed tracks.
Sound: From the music to the engine sounds this game sounds fantastic. Hooked into my television is a 7.1 Dolby Sound Bar and through that the game sounds fantastic. Part of me longs for my old surround sound set-up to really hear this game, but through the sound bar it still sounds fantastic.
Final Verdict: If you’ve read the review instead of just scrolling down to the bottom then you’ll see that I love this game. For my first time playing the Horizon series I feel like I’ve been missing out, and if you’re like me then this is the perfect time to get into the series. The game is gorgeous, fun to play, and sounds amazing. The only take aways I can think of for someone is that if they don’t like racing games at all or if you’re into the super serious, realistic racing sims then this game might not be for you. However, if you enjoy a fun racing title that’s not Mario Kart then definitely check this game out, it’s well worth the $60 with tons mileage for your car to travel with a ton of unlockables this game will not only keep you busy for hours but will be something you come back to over and over again, even after you’ve shelved it while playing other new releases that are due out, not to mention if you buy the game from the Xbox Live store you’ll get a free PC digital copy as well. With all of that in mind I give Forza Horizons 3 a 9.5 out of 10.