Everything you need to know about Forza Horizon 4.
Xbox One, PC
Release Date:October 2, 2018
Forza Horizon, the subseries of the Forza franchise that has arguably grown even bigger than Motorsport, is returning for its fourth instalment. Playground Games are taking the helm once again, and bringing about a vast number of changes and improvements, to build on the solid foundation they’ve laid down over the course of the last three games. With a change in setting, an addition of major new mechanics, and improvements to the game’s multiplayer aspects, Forza Horizon 4 promises to be an ambitious title.
Forza Horizon 3 launched in September of 2016, so presumably, Horizon 4 will have seen a development time of roughly two years by the time it launches. The game was announced at Microsoft’s E3 2018 press conference. Just like its predecessor, it will be coming out for the Xbox One and PC, and will feature Xbox Play Anywhere support, so you will be able to play the game on both platforms with a single digital purchase on any one of them. Forza Horizon 4 will also feature Xbox One X enhancements, chief among them being a frame-rate of 60 FPS.
Forza Horizon 4’s setting is, of course, changing. Where Forza Horizon 3 was set in the Australian Outback, its sequel is set in Great Britain, which is where Playrgound Games are based themselves (so expect a loving re-creation). The setting has been described as a “highly stylized” version of the game, so just like its predecessors, it will not be worrying about accuracy and authenticity much, as much as it will be focused on creating a fun sandbox playground that is based on and somewhat resembles real life locations. The map will mostly cover Scotland and the Lake District of North West England. The size of the game’s map will roughly be the same as that in Forza Horizon 3. While most of your time will obviously be spent zooming about in this open world, you can also put down your roots should you wish to do so. Players can purchase houses from a selection of 12 given properties within the game, and these range from everything to cozy, homey cottages, to larger, sprawling mansions. Hunstman Lodge and Edinburgh Castle, for instance, are two of the twelve properties in the game’s map that players can purchase.
What do you do with a house, though? These houses will have both cosmetic perks, as well as upgrades that will influence gameplay. Additionally, you can just park your vehicles outside your houses and click photos- that’s never not fun, right? Importantly, though, this feature will be exclusive to single player. Forza Horizon 4 will also include player customization- of course, this will be just cosmetic, since you’ll be customizing the driver, which can’t really affect your driving stats. There will be 14 preset characters to choose from, as well as 500 apparel options in total and 50 emotes. Clothing options, by the way, can be earned through gameplay, but can also be purchased directly, which, we’re assuming, is where microtransactions will come in.
As for the roster of vehicles in the game, Forza Horizon 4 will have a total of 450 cars, and while that’s not as much as the jaw-dropping over 700 vehicles of Forza Motorsport 7, it’s still quite a lot. These 450 cars will span across 100 licensed manufacturers. Each car will have its own skill tree and will be levelled up separately, while each skill tree will also have upto sixteen perks. Cars can also be bought from or sold to other players at the Auction House. The headline feature in Forza Horizon 4, though, is obviously that of seasons. Winter, Summer, Autumn, and Spring will be the four seasons included in the game, and these will bring about dynamic changes to how you drive, and even the world itself. Every season will last a week in real time, and these will be fixed across the game’s servers, meaning every player will experience the same seasons and seasonal changes. How does this affect the game itself, though?
Well, depending on what season it is, the map will change, and previously inaccessible areas might become accessible. For instance, while an island in the middle of a lake during summer may not be accessible for obvious reasons, during winter the lake will have frozen over, allowing players to then drive over to the island over the frozen surface. Similarly, while a river during Fall season might be hale and hearty, during the Summer it might dry up, opening up new areas and paths for players to access and driver through. As you might expect, changing seasons will also have an impact on how your vehicles drive and handle. Rain, snow, and ice will change your car’s handling, of course, but Playground Games are going even deeper, because other than seasonal effects and weather effects, temperature will also play into how you drive. For instance, how warm or cold the current temperature is will impact your driving- how much heat there is in the surfaces you’re driving on, how that gets transferred from the surfaces into your tires will all affect your driving.
The campaign will be split across these four seasons. Once again, you will be participating in the Horizon Festival, and progression in campaign will come through completion of races and events that are handed to you throughout the course of the game. The campaign can be played solo or co-operatively. There will also be side objectives, such as painting vehicles, taking photographs, and tuning up your cars, which will come via Horizon Life. Route creator will also be included in Forza Horizon 4, which is a feature that many fans of the series had been requesting. If you find a path or a route in the game’s world that may not be known to others, or that may have unpredictably cropped up due to changing seasons that even the developers may not have predicted, you can save it and share it with others. Meanwhile, Showcase events will be returning from previous iterations, and as before, these will allow you to participate in special events in unique vehicles, such as a giant hovercraft, for instance.
Multiplayer has also always been a major part of any Forza Horizon experience, and, of course, Forza Horizon 4 will have a meaty multiplayer experience. Gone are the Drivatars which we saw in Forza Horizon 3, and these sill be replaced by actual, real-world players playing online. To avoid griefing, players will not be able to crash into each other while driving in the open world, and will instead simply pass through each other- this, however, obviously won’t be the case during races and events. Each server of the game will have a maximum of 72 concurrent players. You can, of course, also play the game solo should you wish to do so. There will also be running world events held for competitive online play, and will start out with a massive pool of players, but keep knocking out the losers until it finally arrives at the victor.
There’s also Forzathon Life, which is will be rotated multiplayer modes changed every hour, and will be joined by up to 12 players. Groups of players will be given certain objectives that will have to be completed within a set time limit (an hour, of course). Upon completion of an objective, the team with the most points will proceed to the next stage, with their being three stages in total, and each state presumably handing out more points. At the end of the hour, the points gained will be distributed in the team evenly. These Forzathon points can then be spent in the Forzathon Shop to purchase gear and items- in this particular case, there will be no microtransactions. Daily challenges, focusing on achievements, and Weekly Challenges, focusing on mastering a particular vehicle, will also be included in the game.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.