Forza Horizon 4: Hands-on preview, news, release date and more

Forza Horizon 4 will be set across Great Britain, spanning across the Lake District, Edinburgh and more. A gorgeous gameplay reveal provided details of the game, and Trusted Reviews had a chance to play it at E3 2018 and sample the luscious racer for ourselves.

The big new gameplay development is the addition of seasons, which will see the world transition between Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter as you play. Check out our hands-on gameplay preview below alongside all the latest news, release date, trailers and more.

Forza Horizon 4 release date – when is it coming out?

The game is due to be released on October 2nd, 2018 for Xbox One and Xbox One X. Like most Microsoft exclusives nowadays, it will be included in Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Play Anywhere at launch.

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Forza Horizon 4 Gameplay Preview

The Forza Horizon series is the most fun racing franchise in gaming. Giving players the keys to the most exotic cars and driving them in a way that breaks every rule of the roads in gorgeous locations every other year, it’s a series that knows how to let players enjoy themselves. For the past couple of entries, it’s been a case of familiar excellence, the same racing in a new setting, but Forza Horizon 4 is bringing some genuine innovation to the formula and is after my own heart by bringing the racing home.

The big change this year for Forza Horizon is the introduction of ‘Forza Life’. Previous entries have focused on the idea of the Forza Festival as a fleeting experience where drivers from all over the world visit a location for a brief spell, absolutely wreck the place with tire skids and Ozone-eating petrol, then leave. Now, because of the introduction of a dynamic season, this had to change. Players now are able to buy houses, because it’d be a bit weird if you got to experience winter, spring, summer, and fall in a game that presented a festival that lasted just a few weeks.

The idea is that players ‘live’ in Forza’s Britain, and why wouldn’t you want to? Because Playground Games’ realisation of the Lake District and Edinburgh is absolutely jaw-dropping. The vibrant colours that change according to the weather – each season lasts one real-world week – but the world is always breathtaking.

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One big part of Playground’s presentation has been about being able to race in a connected world with other players, but those who prefer to drive alone with Drivatars will be pleased to know that still exists in this game. Not only that, but Playground has done the impossible and offered seamless transition between the two. For far too long it’s been the case where a loss in internet connection has gone hand-in-hand with a loss of progres and being booted to title screens. Now, if you’re playing Horizon 4 and get disconnected from the internet, real-world racers simply get swapped out for their Drivatars, an amazing step forward for these sort of experiences.

Also, if you are playing online, Playground has accounted for griefers and trolls. Therefore, players can only crash into each other if they join a co-op lobby with each other. So you won’t see players smashing into one another just to piss everyone off, unless they knew what they were getting in for. Rewind and Photo Mode will also work in this new online environment, which is superb game design.

The E3 demo shows the very start of the game, the opening race that introduces the festival and all four seasons. Jumping into a McLaren Senna, the race is utterly bonkers. The race to the festival takes me through the Lake District at first in summer, at impossible speeds on a forest-y open road and it’s as amazing as Forza Horizon has always been. Within five minutes I’ve driven four cars across snow, rain, sun and a gorgeous autumnal run before landing at the festival back in the Senna. And for what feels like the first time motorbikes were a part of a race, too. It was all superb, breathtaking and just the perfect balance between chaotic fun but also a need to keep an eye on controlling the car and managing the throttle.

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There is, however, one huge downside, and that’s the fact that the Horizon narrator is American. Call me old-fashioned, but a video game set in the land of tea and crumpets needs a narrator to match. I was desperately hoping for an angry Liam Gallagher to come over the radio and start yelling at me as I drop through the countryside and smashed the equivalent of a listed building. Hopefully, the soundtrack is full of angry Britpop to make up for this.

First Impressions

The finest racing game in the industry right now is tugging on my own personal heartstrings by coming to Britain, and presents the country in its most beautiful light and in the most chaotic fashion.

Forza Horizon 4 trailer — see the game in action

The game was revealed with an action packed trailer at Microsoft’s E3 2018 conference. You can watch the trailer in all its glory below.

Forza Horizon 4 features – how will the game work?

Along with the trailer we were also treated to a live multiplayer gameplay demonstration at Microsoft’s keynote. The demo showed off the game’s brand new 60fps mode, as multiple players explored the game’s open world which features dynamic weather for the first time.

Weather mode’s are split into four seasons, which will all affect how you have to approach the game. It looks absolutely stunning, from the whiteness of blanket snowfall to the rich hues of autumn.

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Multiplayer modes can be organised and joined from within the game with a quick press of the D-pad, which should make playing the game with friends a delightfully seamless experience.

We’re sure to hear much more about the game over the coming weeks and months as we move towards its October release date.

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