Bring Me The Forza Horizon
I’ve always enjoyed the Forza Motorsports series from game one. Their exclusiveness with Xbox has been one of the reasons I keep moving onto their new consoles, that and my friends usually are kicking it on Xbox. (The Halo Series used to be a major influence to my console loyalty as well).
I owned every Forza Motorsports game up to Forza 4, enjoying every release along the way, then they jumped into another realm of driving game. Forza Horizon was born: Blurring the lines between simulation like their prior games and arcade racing. An open world Need For Speed style map you could drive around in weaving between traffic cars and other racers, I was in heaven. The premise is that there is a big automotive festival going on and they host races throughout the region you play in. (Cue a few years later in my life when I attended a real life Forza Horizon Style Festival called Gridlife.) I completed the first horizon and still kept playing past 100%-ing the game. Driving just for the joy of driving, modifying every car I’d ever want to own and even some I wouldn’t.
Horizon did it so well. So well in fact that I now didn’t care too much about the motorsports series they continue to release. Gaming nowadays is fairly expensive and building a real car is even more so, so I’ve been a bit picky-choosey with the games I purchase as of late. Eventually Forza Horizon 2 came out, taking place in a smushed down Europe. It doesn’t really matter where it takes place however because I mostly always gravitate towards the Japanese Import Cars. I’ll still grab a Lamborghini or two, I mean, when else am I going to get to drive a Countach in ‘Italy’?
Horizon 2’s achievements were a little ridiculous. I did the math, and at the point I was at in the game I’d have to spend 100 hours doing races to complete the one achievement. Being done the main story line, I was satisfied enough and just stuck to drifting around windy roads and editing my vinyl designs.
It was time for Forza Horizon 3 to be shown off across the internet, so I stuck to my routine and immediately googled the car list for the game. Sigh. Neither of my current cars made the list, but I did see some cars I used to own which I thought would be fun to drive about in the outback.
Horizon hits Australia this time in 3, and puts you in control of the festival. It’s an interesting take on the game this time around and you actually feel like there’s a progression happening. You only have one festival spot at the beginning and through winning races and gaining a type of street cred you build up your locations and open new ones. Horizon 1 had a good sense of progression as well but for some reason Horizon 2 was very flat and repetitive. I haven’t played Horizon 1 in quite awhile but I feel like it may still have the best sense of progression as I remember flying through that game not being able to put it down. (However I did have less hobbies then).
Horizon 3 still shines bright however. They are sticking with the automotive times and added in rocket bunny and liberty walk wide body kits (something Need For Speed got high praise about when it launched as well). They didn’t go all out like Need For Speed did with customizing your car down to window stickers and types of brake rotors but they did stick with what they do best with engine swaps, a decent amount of body kits, wheels, and the vinyl editor. This time around they added in an Auction house, and added back in the Community paint schemes/designs.
Because of this, I witness a friend of mine on the roads in Australia. I don’t even think he owns an Xbox but someone made his car’s Livery on Horizon 3 and uploaded it to the community. So someone downloaded it thinking it looked cool and then one of the in game ‘Drivatars’ had it equipped on their car. I lost it when I saw Riley’s NVAuto design on a Subaru drive by in the game, so cool.
Horizon 3 still has the ability to take my time and throw it out the window. I’ll spend an hour just fixing up a car and tweaking its Livery design in the vinyl editor. I’ve also got nowhere progression-wise in the game because of the sheer enjoyment of driving. I’ll find a nice section of winding corners and spend hours just drifting up and down them, trying to perfect my run. The large amount of cars available is almost perfect. I just wish that a game would have an FC RX7 I could modify.
Oh wait. They just added one in their latest car pack! I saw one drive by me on the road and yelled at my television. I rushed to the DLC section and for whatever reason the download wasn’t working when I tried it the first time. So after rebooting the game, my Xbox and my heart, I got my hands on the car. Then immediately painted it a similar burgundy colour to match my car.
I then discovered they had a widebody kit available for it and couldn’t resist. I haven’t landed on a colour yet but this is yet another awesome feature. I can paint my car whatever I want, drive it around and then once I really know I like that colour, decide on purchasing the paint in real life for my actual car. I will for sure get my money’s worth out of this game considering it has a massive amount of replay value for me. Not to mention since living in Ontario we get winter for almost half a year around here. My project car remains under snow and a tarp for that amount of time so now I can drive around my virtual one all winter. Thank you Forza Developers!
Have you been wasting time in Forza? What’s your favourite car at the moment? Chat it up in the comments below.