Thursday, 22 September 2016

Forza Horizon 3: XBox One Review

Forza Horizon 3: XBox One Review


Developed by Playground Games
Released by Microsoft Studios
Platform: XBox One

There’s nothing like the open road.

A clear stretch of terrain, the wind in your hair (or whatever you have left) and the thrill of just flooring it.

And that’s what once again Playground Games has tapped into with yet another brilliant iteration of its Forza Horizon franchise. This is a game series that has excelled and revelled in its arcade nature and as a result, has sped ahead of the rest of the pack.

This latest version heads from Europe and relocates down under in good ole Aussie (and there’s even a cheeky nod to giving NZ a wave in one of the throwaway lines) and while the game is pretty much the same as it always is, it’s got some new additions to the pack.

Obviously, this being Australia, utes are thrown into the racing mix – but there’s also the chance to decide where the festivals should take place as you are now a director of the Horizon festival and can decide on which locations to open up. But those opportunities only come if you garner enough fans to your cause – and that, of course, means some pedal to metal racing to keep everyone impressed.

Winning races has its usual benefits – from gaining credits, and XP – it’s all necessary to access newer cars, increase your fan base and also, excitingly help you recruit other drivers and their drivatars to the team.

It’s small touches like this which make Forza Horizon 3 feel so fresh and just so damn playable.

Graphically, the game is top notch, with the grunt of the Xbox One really hitting the spot and making great fist of the backgrounds and the Aussie terrain. Whether it’s racing through swamps, smashing through people’s white picket fences (honestly, they were just asking for it) or being mid-race when the rain starts to fall, Forza Horizon 3 looks the best throughout, with no falling frame rates or freezes.

Personalisation is major pull of this iteration of Forza Horizon 3 – from choosing your own name at the start to deciding where the festivals will take place on the massively wide open road map, this is a game where you clearly are in the driving seat.

With over 350 cars at launch and dozens more likely to come, there’s plenty of reason to drive on in and ride off into the distance. Whether you fancy a long term players session or just a quick couple of races, Forza Horizon 3 satiates on all levels. 

It’s hard to critique the game, given the ease of efficacy of it all and the attention Playground Games have given it; it’s a game that’s fun, frivolous and celebrates the fun of racing – in short, it’s everything and more a Forza Horizon 3 game should be.


(The multiplayer component of Forza Horizon 3 will be road-tested when the game is publicly available on September 27th to give it a true test of its online compatibility)

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