Playground Games’ Forza Horizon 4 was perhaps one of the coolest reveals to happen at Microsoft’s E3 2018 presser. Along with announcing dynamic seasons and the new setting, the developer also unveiled shared world functionality. This meant that multiple players could co-exist on one server, racing and exploring the world together. Speaking to IGN UK, creative director Ralph Fulton revealed that each server could hold 72 players.
“The reason we’re doing that is because we believe that real players, real drivers, actually will exhibit more interesting, more unpredictable, fun behaviours than we could ever program into even an AI system as sophisticated as Drivatar. They will just do fun, emergent, surprising things. And also because they’re real, they’re actually people you could have a relationship with; you could become friends with.”
As noted in the presentation, not only are all of these players synchronized in this one space, but the world itself is synchronized with them. That means all seasons, weather conditions, time of day and so on are the same for everyone within a server. Seasons are essentially week long and bring different events and challenges. Once the week is up, the next season will come into play.
“So you will play in spring, for example, for a week, and then we’ll countdown to the season transition and you’ll move into summer. If it rains, everyone sees it together. If there’s a rainbow, everyone sees it together. If there’s a sunset, everyone sees it together. I think that shared experience – particularly in the world we live in today with sharing and Instagram and twitter – it’s actually a very current idea. That I can go in and actually live in this world with lots of other people, and we can experience the same things; we can talk about the same things. We can gang up and play the same things, together.”
The good news is that despite some strong shared world additions, Forza Horizon 4 isn’t online-only. It’s very much possible to experience the game offline and solo.
“Always online is a problem for people. Sometimes you just don’t want to play with other people; sometimes people are just put off by the idea of having to cope with other people.”
“It comes with loads of other problems, such as your internet goes down, you can’t play. Our servers go down; you can’t play. So we solved that problem by saying that Forza Horizon 4 will not be an always-online game. As much as this is a shared-world game, and we believe it’s much better played with other people, you can totally just click a button and play the entire game in single player with Drivatars if that’s your wont.”
Forza Horizon 4 will be releasing on October 4th for Xbox One and Windows 10. Along with Xbox One X Enhanced features, HDR and 4K Ultra HD, it will also features a 60 FPS mode on the console.