Review: Forza Horizon 3
By Sean Booker
Oct 10, 2016 - 13:30
Studios: Playground Games
Rating: E (Everyone)
Platform: Xbox One, PC
Players: 1 (2-11 online)
Despite being a bit of the same, Forza Horizon 3’s new setting brings a ton of excitement back into this series. Moving to Australia allows for a number of beautiful and wildly different terrain to explore. This series continues to blend fun and open world racing with the detail we expect from the Forza games. It’s great how there are almost too many events to partake in and areas to see. Doing it all will take some time and the added co-op campaign makes it that much more fun to complete. Forza Horizon 3 continues this great series in a wonderful way.
The new location of Australia is the core to what makes this game so great. After a less than ideal, and a bit too one note, setting to the second game, this transition varies things up greatly both aesthetically and on the track. Moving ‘downunda’ allows the player to explore coastal cities, lush forests, and - of course - the desert outback. The game knows how gorgeous of a landscape this is with the inclusion of viewpoints to be found on the map. These let you sit there as the camera pans around while giving you a bit of information on the landmarks/spectacles before you. Racing around the hottest of climates gives way to crazy terrain and tons of aerials. Off road racing plays a major role in Horizon 3 and it’s a welcomed addition.
Not only does the environment look varied but this affects how the race events have changed too. There is, of course, the usual street and grassy meadow races but the newest addition of the outback region allows for a lot more dirt/rally style events to occur. These will be very hilly, off road events you can take part in where the drifting becomes key as car control is low. These fit in wonderfully since the game’s sense of adventure and excitement is increased. Driving through rivers and dust storms makes each race that much more chaotic. This game has increased its scope of events to an almost overwhelming about of variety.
There is just so much to do throughout the game. At all time yours map will be filled with events you can take part in across the country. It seems like every five races or so I would unlock another seven. With the mix of stunt, lap, cross country, hidden vehicles, etc., there is easily something for everyone. This includes the exciting showcase events that this series is known for. Racing a jeep that is being hoisted up by a helicopter is a fantastic way to start the game off. Unfortunately some of these showcases have begun to repeat (the second one is a train which we have seen before) and their spectacle wears off. However, with the number of activities to take part in, you can easily ignore an entire section and still have too much to do afterward.
The social features have been updated as well and these lead to some of the most exciting additions to Horizon. The usual drivatar support is here and you will see friends’ and random players’ names constantly overtop of the computer cars. In Horizon 3 you basically get a small team of random players you find out in the world. To ‘collect’ them you need to hunt them down (very similar to the barn find) and then challenge and beat them in a race. Your team will net you more money and points in the game as you play. You can also set up convoys which are groups of cars that will follow you around. Simply honking your horn at a random car will have it join you and tail you to your destination. Convoys will help you find additional secrets or spring forth new and spontaneous races you can take part in. Even with all that the best addition is the co-op campaign mode. Up to eleven of your friends can jump into your game and take part in any of the events you are working on. This is a great addition since it allows for all of the enjoyment from the main game but now with your buddies along side. Horizon 3 has really amped up the multiplayer component to this game whether you’re competing or cooperating.
This has been a fantastic addition to the racing series. Forza Horizon 3’s new environment is exciting and makes the game feel fresh. The overwhelming amount of content to go through will last you a while and being able to tackle it with your friends cooperatively is a huge bonus. Don’t enjoy a certain event type? There is a ton more of options for you. Horizon 3 is a blast that will last you awhile.
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