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Forza Horizon 4

Developer: Playground Games Publisher: Microsoft Studios
02 October 2018
Forza Horizon 4 - cover art
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3.70 / 5.0
0.5
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717 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#690 All-time
#29 for 2018
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The best open world game of 2018, literally everything is a pleasure to do without any of the numerous events and collectibles feeling like a chore. As a driving simulation it's tight as hell with gorgeous environments you actively want to explore and see in different seasonal contexts and the game just has such a chill, ingratiating vibe that you never get that sense of being overwhelmed and intimidated by the ridiculous amount of content.

You can also paint anime ladies on your car and visit historical monuments while dabbing in a chicken outfit.
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she_esh 2018-09-29T15:29:35Z
2018-09-29T15:29:35Z
4.0
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Platform Played: Steamdeck


Forza Horizon; It looks like a sim, but its much more fun because it handles like Project Gotham Racing. Whereas the Xbox Classic used real cities to build its tracks but limited you to just driving on said tracks, Forza Horizon give you the full open world to play in. You’ve got Edinburgh, Bowness/Ambleside, and parts of Northumberland. Not to scale obviously but having been to every place in the game in real life, its always fun recognizing them and the sheer accuracy of the section they’ve built in the game. Driving past Lake Windemere, something I usually do at about 30mph in real life, is quite the experience at 220mph in a McLaren Senna. Its all stunningly recreated and is beautiful to boot.

Yeah, Forza Horizon 4 is an absolutely gorgeous game. Driving games are always graphical powerhouses, but Forza Horizon 4 takes it to a whole new level. Not only is the world beautiful, the cars are obviously detailed to an insane degree. But this is all expected. This game released in 2018 after all, its not as if we are seeing Gran Turismo for the first ever time in 1998. Forza Horizon 4 takes it further with full day and night cycles, something that for some reason modern games seem to struggle with (Probably due to lighting models being ‘baked in’ or something), it also has full seasons. These aren’t in real time, but it really does make a huge difference to the game. Seeing Bamburgh castle in Summer versus seeing it in a snow-covered Winter really is the developer showing off.

Gameplay wise, the game is simply vast in every way possible. The map is gigantic, 44 square miles with over 1000 miles of roads. Obviously, there are bigger maps out there; Test Drive Unlimited is 960 square miles for example, but the difference here is, apart from graphical fidelity, Forza Horizon 4 is dense. With a capital D. Dense. You have 4 main race types: Circuit racing ala Project Gotham Racing, point to point racing, then the more offroad based racing, also circuit or point to point based. In addition to all of this (And this is already more than most driving games give you) you have stunt challenges, speed trap challenges, speed zone, drift zone, spectacle racing against planes, hovercraft, and trains, Crazy Taxi missions… on and on. There is so fucking much to do. Buying houses with perks, finding abandoned cars in barns, huge stunt jumps… Its exhaustive and will take in excess of 130 hours to finish it all.

The driving model is amazing for all types of racing, whether you are in a Ferrari F40 or a VW Baja Bug, it always feels right. Its arcade-y, but more Project Gotham than Ridge Racer, going as far as to essentially lift the Kudos system from the former wholesale. It even pays tribute to older driving games by name, including PGR (With which it shares some landmarks in Edinburgh) in one of the many, many, many different race types. You can customise the driving model to suit, from basic stuff like switching off ABS and Traction Control, to making the steering more realistic and switching of the rewind time ability etc. The game is as hard as you want it to be. In short, it’s one of the finest driving games ever created.

But….

It has problems. Some of these, like the AI being a bit shit isn’t that bad. It just means that if you aren’t in first place by the halfway point of a race, you probably won’t be at the end. You have to drive like a madman to get into first place, but once you are there, you can essentially dictate the pace of the race so its easy to stay in first place. The online elements of the game are fun enough, but they feel a bit tacked on and lacking in thought. It’s got all the basic stuff you’d expect and then some to be honest, but the Forzathon challenges that start regularly are a bit bland and boring to be honest. None of this really matter though as the game is amazing in any case. The big problem though…

The BIG FUCKING PROBLEM is the DLC. Now, the game isn’t nickel and diming you with revolting micro transactions, but the DLC is so intrusive as to completely sour the game in my mind. Firstly, all of the DLC appears on the world map, purchased or not. Secondly, if you don’t buy the DLC, you cannot get 100% completion. Thirdly, the DLC costs more than the fucking game. All of this is something you can put up with, but the next thing is unforgivable:

THIS GAME ADVERTISES ITS DLC THROUGH OUT THE CAMPAIGN WITH UNSKIPPABLE ADVERTS THAT LAST MINUTES AT A TIME.

I’m sorry, but that is fucking disgusting. Unskippable adverts in a £60 game? Are you fucking kidding? I’ve read it’s a bug that they play more than once (Once is already too many times) but its strange that in 5 years, they’ve never fixed this incredibly convenient bug. Honestly its a disgrace leaves an incredibly sour taste in the mouth. It makes the game feel like FTP game, but its actually a full price game (Or was at the time of release). £75 worth of DLC, with in game unskippable advertisements. Its unforgivable, and despite my love for this game, I won’t be buying any further Forza Horizon games because of this. I know that is perhaps cutting my nose to spite my face, but there are plenty of great driving games out there that don’t do this. Are they as insanely huge and well made as this? Perhaps… Perhaps not. But I cannot reward this business practice. Fuck, I’d have probably bought the LEGO DLC because it looks fun and I love the base game, but after watching a 3-minute advert for it at least 5 times in a full price, they can go and fuck themselves.

A tour de force of a game, the best in class, full of real-world locations that I live near in real life and have been to hundreds of times. Absolutely stunning graphically, with some of the finest driving experiences ever crafted. The breadth and depth of the game is simply monumental, it really is one of the greatest driving games ever made, but I cannot forgive the in-game advertising for content that costs more than the fucking base game. This isn’t an FTP game, but it makes it feel like you’ve paid real money for one, and that is unforgivable. A 5-star game, reduced to a 0.5-star experience through sheer greed. I think 3 stars is fair given that.
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Gets a bad rep, but map is good. Simple and accounts for many playstyles, which is vital for a game model like this. That helps the seasons stand out too. I also found the more intrusive elements suspiciously charming, though fell through under scrutiny. A by-the-book driftclub circuit in Edinburgh practically writes itself, but never exactly rocked my world. On the other hand, slogging through their fascination with cars from better games was painful, but hearing the zoomer VA call out "very long easy right" while I'm driving the Lancia from Sega Rally was spot on! Constant tug of war experience.

That's why, far from the best Horizon entry, this is not even the best racing game of 2018, but those special moments kept happening when I bit down, which is why I played FH4 hundreds of hours more than those other games. It's proven to be the most reliable contemporary racer and reminds me why I consider driving a luxury. But mostly, any arcade racer succeeding in personality despite of all the DJs sucking ass is worthy of praise in my book.

Luckily England also made the Essential Mix!
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Whoa 2022-01-02T21:47:32Z
2022-01-02T21:47:32Z
3.0
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Missing something.
The game is begging for blue shells.

It's great, but no Mario Kart😉
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unproductivemale 2021-06-30T14:12:23Z
2021-06-30T14:12:23Z
3.5
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One step forward, one step back. The upgrades to the UI make progression more fun and dynamic than ever, and slowly making the map less restrictive gives the world a sense of life and freedom. But the map itself feels pretty uninspired, lacking real setpieces, and the game is simply more unstable than ever, with crashes and hitches due to its insistence on a persistent online setting. Still, many hours of fun were had.
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Lowlander2 2018-12-19T06:56:52Z
2018-12-19T06:56:52Z
3.5
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Lots of content, constant updates (as of writing), if you love cars or racing games you'd be crazy not to pick this up. This game isn't perfect by any means but it comes way closer than any of the competition.

Edit May 2021: Dialing back my rating from a 4.5 to a 3.5. There's still loads of content and steady updates, which I severely appreciate, but the amount of FOMO is getting disappointing. There's a heavy emphasis on 'do the new championships each week so you don't miss out on these exclusive rare cars' which is a bit annoying if you're someone like me with a job and not a lot of time to dedicate to games each week. Besides that, FH4 has the most unsatisfying progression i've ever encountered in a racing game. No working, doing your best with races to get money so you can save up and get that sweet Lamborghini. Nah, in a couple of hours you'll have the rarest, most expensive cars thrown in your lap by a wheelspin and in a week you'll have a garage of 400 cars where you can only remember 20 of. It doesn't feel like you're collecting cars, owning them, building a bond with them, which is always my favorite part of an open-world racer like this,

However negative that sounds, you still have to give the game and the devs credit for supporting the game for years, adding exquisitely detailed cars each month for free among many other things like the Super 7 system and the Eliminator event.
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viccles 2018-11-12T09:17:31Z
2018-11-12T09:17:31Z
3.5
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arcade racer off-road
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Catalog

elige Forza Horizon 4 2023-11-28T04:30:41Z
2023-11-28T04:30:41Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
BigFish_Zach Forza Horizon 4 2023-11-23T05:51:01Z
2023-11-23T05:51:01Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jakemusic4 Forza Horizon 4 2023-11-19T00:31:21Z
2023-11-19T00:31:21Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Leiperose Forza Horizon 4 2023-11-17T16:09:26Z
2023-11-17T16:09:26Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
fun
used_jeans Forza Horizon 4 2023-11-17T03:16:41Z
2023-11-17T03:16:41Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MainManMoon Forza Horizon 4 2023-11-16T00:30:26Z
2023-11-16T00:30:26Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
nvkmsin Forza Horizon 4 2023-11-15T10:56:47Z
2023-11-15T10:56:47Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
al4th Forza Horizon 4 2023-11-11T20:45:49Z
2023-11-11T20:45:49Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LacroixBoix Forza Horizon 4 2023-11-09T04:53:57Z
2023-11-09T04:53:57Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Loksir Forza Horizon 4 2023-11-08T18:12:53Z
2023-11-08T18:12:53Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pedrolaa Forza Horizon 4 2023-11-07T13:14:53Z
2023-11-07T13:14:53Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
venomane Forza Horizon 4 2023-11-05T06:38:53Z
2023-11-05T06:38:53Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
1-6 players
Media
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Multiplayer modes
Cooperative
Multiplayer options
Online
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  • Previous comments (12) Loading...
  • Geralt9999 2021-12-28 22:39:15.442669+00
    I wish there was proper progression in this game
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  • Sngso 2022-01-04 05:17:37.593479+00
    Basically car open world. If you love various cars or love to appreciate large collections, and you are a type of person that can motivate yourself into games easily, it's your game so grab it. However make sure that you buy it in Microsoft Store, not in Steam. Steam version of this game is a bit bummer, lacking both haptic vibration (pad) and proper force feedback (wheel).
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  • alliterativeAlpinist 2022-01-17 12:10:56.191333+00
    Haven't played FH5 yet, but this definitely grabbed me more than FH3. The map is denser and prettier, and the progression is way more cohesive, with the festival unlocking nonsense from FH3 being replaced with houses and perks moving to being per car now. I'm not a fan of the weekly season rotation, but given that they'd have to rotate them somehow anyway it's an acceptable compromise.

    What also helps is that this game got way more post-launch support than was originally intended, with no mainline Forza game coming out between this and FH5. It's pretty cool that quite a few people still play this; I'm in no rush to move over to FH5 myself since FH4 is still pretty fresh to me.
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  • synden 2022-03-20 23:23:09.435497+00
    these games are so goddamn boring
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  • Splinteredsilhouette 2023-07-28 17:52:40.639825+00
    This has grown on me a lot since I reviewed. Driving around between races isn't as boring as it seems given the amount of things to actually do.

    The DLC advertising is a disgrace though.
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  • nvkmsin 2023-11-15 10:56:41.224134+00
    goes toe-to-toe with FH1 tbh
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