Forza Horizon 4 Review
Forza Horizon is often touted as one of the best racing games around. Can Forza Horizon 4 keep the momentum going for the series, or does it crash and burn? Check out our review to find out.
Forza Horizon 4 Review
After a quick tutorial race, you pick your car, make your avatar, and are cut loose to do some races. It is a slower burn than Forza Horizon 3, and everything isn’t just unlocked right away. That’s okay though; you are instead put through a quick run-through of all the seasons. After that breakdown, your job is to get a gold wristband, which gives you access to all Forza events. These are the big races where you face trains, jets, or even a giant hovership. They are as over the top as they sound, often ending in a photo finish one way or another. Honestly, you can get through most of the story races in a day, but there is a ton of other stuff to find and do.
The seasons are the big new thing in Forza Horizon 4. You will race through summer, fall, winter, and spring. With the changing seasons comes changing weather and different road conditions. Winter is obvious, right? Snowy roads make it hard to handle fast cars. Coming from a guy that generally hates winter races, this game nails it. Spring and fall bring the rain though, and that can be just as bad. Summer has standard road conditions, so fast vehicles are best here. Certain events will be blocked off based on seasons. They don’t block a lot, but each season goes a few days in real time. The time frame means you might have to wait over a week to get to a particular event. I didn’t have an issue with this, but some players might.
The racing overall is some of the best in the genre, if not the best. It is an arcade racer, so sim drivers beware. Forza Horizon 4 does everything in its power to make driving easy and natural for the player. There are lines to follow that tell you when to brake and give you an optimal route. Cars don’t fishtail, unless you are driving like a madman. Even the handbrake works incredibly well and is easy to grasp. If things are too easy, you can spike the difficulty or turn off drive assist. There are also almost 1,000 cars; you will certainly find one that you like. New vehicles are easy to acquire as well, and you are encouraged to switch often.
Every vehicle in the game has its own level and skill tree to level up. You get points to level the cars up for doing nearly anything. Going fast, drifting, racing, breaking fences, ruining lawns, doing events and of course, stunt jumps. The skill trees vary for each car. Some get you more points for drifts or jumps and others improve your multiplier quicker, so you get points easier. Those points net you more levels for your car and help you gain influence to unlock more races. I cannot stress enough how accessible this game is. Literally, every annoying thing about a racing game is not present here.
Forza Horizon has been a big online game for some time, and Forza Horizon 4 takes it up another notch. First thing, other player cars are ghosts now. Ghost cars mean if you are doing a drift, you won’t bust into another player car. If you get disconnected, you are put back into single player with no loading and no loss of progress. There are group events every hour on the hour, and the whole server can take part. Grouping up with players is just a couple of buttons away. Racing together is as easy as the leader picking a race and you are both warped the event. We had a couple of server issues on day one, but that has since remedied. There is always something to do, and that is very important for an online game.
Even though it is a racing game, Forza Horizon 4 provides plenty to do outside of racing as well. There are now houses you can buy and own. Barn finds are back, and can net you some great vehicles. When you level up, you will get wheel spins which can net you cash, cars, new emotes or new clothes for your avatar. Signposts are all over the world, and crashing into them will get you more influence or reduce fast travel costs. There are also photo opportunities for influence, and the game is gorgeous making it worth the stop. I was just on the base Xbox One, so I can only imagine how good it’d look in 4K. I ran into no bugs, no crashes, and no other technical issues.
Forza Horizon 4 absolutely nails the driving experience with its tight handling and dynamic seasons, and is as close as you can get to a perfect racing game.