Forza Horizon 4 - Filmreview

Author: Luke Reilly
Date: 2020-03-03 01:47:46
Test translated from English by IGN France.

Forza Horizon 4 takes everything that made Forza Horizon 3 one of the best racing games in its category, and adds new ingredients to create a title that you will never want to let go of. The impressive quality of the visuals and sound, the wide variety of vehicles on offer and the long, fully customizable career mode, which made the saga of the saga, are on the menu. What is new here is the way that Forza Horizon 4 effortlessly manages to convince us to relaunch it, through regular rewards and its new season system, which constantly renews challenges.

Each week, the game season changes and comes with a new landscape, as well as challenges specific to each of them. Every day, the game also delivers even more new Forzathon challenges to complete. And every hour, a new online event is introduced, to be completed with 11 other pilots who share the same goal as you: victory!

To all this is added the well-known content of the Horizon franchise: dozens and dozens of races and activities spread across several disciplines. Traditional race, rally, drift, drag, creation of your own events ... In short, the total! With its countless cars, elements of customization and tasks to finalize, Forza Horizon 4 wants to prove to us that it has all the qualities to stay in the landscape for a good and long time.

Midland madness

All this is possible thanks to the new default nature of Forza Horizon 4 , which is that of a shared and connected open world racing game, in which the other vehicles encountered are controlled mainly by real players. It's always about competing against AI - unless you decide to race with or against friends - but you'll also be forced to share this open world with players who go about their business.

Forza Horizon 4 is in a way nothing more than a more intimate The Crew , with the difference that online gaming is not mandatory here. You can indeed play the game entirely in offline mode if you wish. And being forced to play in offline mode, for whatever reason, is not a problem either, since the transition from connected mode to offline mode is done seamlessly, in the background, which allows you to continue playing without being interrupted. This has happened to me sometimes, and my progress has never been lost.

Even as an anti-social person and allergic to multiplayer, I have found no reason to leave the online environment. Pause the game, rewind ... Everything works the same way, whether you are connected or not. Furthermore, whether in free exploration mode or during Forzathon events, vehicles driven by other players cannot be struck. Nothing can therefore interrupt your walks or your stunts, unless you decide to join a group of players, in which case the collision system will reactivate.

Regarding live Forzathon events, it is interesting to participate because completing them allows you to recover a special currency, different from that obtained during normal races. These Forzathon points can be exchanged in a dedicated shop, for rare vehicles and other personalization items such as emotes - including somewhat dated "memes" dating from the Vine era. This system recalls the redemption of Miles in GT Sport . Everything seems to be unlockable at random, simply by leveling up. But even if I'm not a fan of this slot machine pricing system, it's important to note that Forza Horizon 4 does not include any microtransactions. You don't have to spend real dollars to upgrade all your favorite vehicles!

You may be more receptive than me to the wide variety of emotes, clothes for your avatars and horns all more unusual than the others, to unlock. Personally, having dressed in the same jeans and hoodie for ten years, this whole cosmetic aspect has gone over my head a little. I must say that admit that the victory dances, escaped from GTA Online , are cute to watch.

Winter is coming

The introduction of Forza Horizon 4 , lasting 4 to 5 hours, offers a very complete overview of the four seasons. But once you have passed this prologue, the seasons will change only once a week (whether you are online or not). During my test, I mainly drove in the fall, and honestly, I think this is the season I prefer. This is accompanied by so many small details, the varied colors of the trees and their dead leaves, with puddles visible on the roadside and which refuse to evaporate because of the ambient freshness. Winter is an equally excellent season. If you've played the Forza Horizon 3 Blizzard Mountain expansion, you already know what to expect. The environments do not just become white: the landscape, as a whole, adopts a new identity.

Not living in the UK, hard for me to judge the great attention to detail by the developers of Playground Games, but overall, the Britain of Forza Horizon 4 is just breathtaking. From picturesque villages to quiet farms, through winding country roads and bounded by decrepit stone walls, chirping streams, dense forests, immense beaches, rocky mountains, castles and other structures hundreds of years old. 'years ... The variety is clearly there. Add to that hinds, rabbits, hens and agile sheep who roam freely in the fields, and you get a British decor that vibrates with life.

Everything is beautiful and I loved exploring this huge world. On Xbox One X, I opted for the default graphics option (4k, HDR, 30 fps) because I have so far enjoyed playing Forza Horizon at 30 frames per second. But there is also a performance mode (60 fps, 1080p, HDR). Dawn and dusk are the most impressive times of day for the light effects in Forza Horizon 4 . It is therefore logically during these times of the day that I enjoyed driving the most. The changes of scenery are not as striking as in the Australia of Forza Horizon 3 , with arid deserts and tropical forests, but a regular variation of altitude makes forget this small defect which is not one. The roads, with many differences in level, offer a much more interesting driving experience. The map is also made up of many more different types of road, be it wide highways, cramped alleys, or crossroads with a strange design, surely built several well thought out. This is probably the place where I most enjoyed driving.

English paradise

Forza Horizon 4 offers the most complete list of vehicles in the franchise, but also the most eclectic. It ranges from the Peel P50 mini car to the Mercedes Unimog all-terrain truck. A fun machine to drive, but so huge that the camera sometimes has trouble following it, especially when you pass under a structure. As a fan of big mechanics, I especially appreciated the emphasis on English racing cars, hidden in traditional barns. British car culture is generally well represented. The Mitsibushi brand is however no longer in the game, like Toyota / Lexus. The game still includes 450 cars, distributed among 100 manufacturers. So there is always something to vary the pleasures.

For those who like to personalize their vehicles, the modified cars and other unique accessories are once again gathered in a separate category. New suspensions made for drifting Forza Motosport 7 have also been added, as well as new tuning options or even “drag” tires. It is now even possible to change the track width of some cars, something I tested on older models.

Special events are also back and are among the best in the series. The one dedicated to Halo is particularly likely to make people happy. I personally loved the mission against the Delta bomber, a huge, fast and breathtaking machine, especially when it is flying low. The collectors' challenges have been replaced by the Horizon Story mode which uses the same construction but with a different context. One of the scenarios makes us play a stuntman, while another places us alongside a YouTuber who lists all of his favorite racing games. This latest story, which openly pays homage to Ridge Racer , Test Drive , or Smuggler's Run , offers a classy and unexpected nod to the friendly racing games that inspired the Forza Horizon saga.

I must say that I admit that I miss the Collector Challenges a little bit. I loved racing at the wheel of a random racing car (while completing the personalized challenges of my friends). Blueprint mode is back, however, and it now allows you to create your own races during the season or time of day of your choice. It's a simple way to taste the seasons, without having to wait for them to arrive - sometimes take several weeks. Note that it is possible to access the Blueprint mode directly from the Pause menu. Convenient to launch a personalized race on the fly.

The Groove Music service having been stopped by Microsoft, it is no longer possible, as in Forza Horizon 3 , to listen to the music hosted in its OneDrive storage space. The standalone app still works, but it's not the same experience. That said the only criticism I have of the audio part. The teams at Playground Games have once again outdone themselves, whether it's the croak of the crow at the first glow of a winter morning, or the roar of the anti-delay system of a Ford Escort Cosworth .