So just like clockwork, this year’s Forza title is chomping at the bit to be unleashed upon the world, and trust us, Forza Horizon 3 is shaping up to be something very special indeed.
Releasing on 27 September for normal folk and 23 September for those who indulge in the all singing and dancing Ultimate Edition, here are five reasons to be well and truly excited about it.
1. It looks absolutely phenomenal
From the second you find yourself behind the wheel of the stunning Lamborghini Centenario, one thing is perfectly clear: Forza Horizon 3 looks phenomenal. The cars are exquisitely detailed, the environments almost photo-realistic, and the best thing is that it runs so wonderfully smooth.
Driveclub still reigns supreme in the racing game visuals department of course, but considering its open-world structure, Forza Horizon 3 is one hell of a technical achievement by Playground Games.
2. Australia offers the most varied open-world environment yet
Stretches of luscious vegetation, dense woodland, dusty desolate expanses, affluent inner city streets, rural retreats and picturesque coasts; Australia simply has it all. Never before has an open world racer been privileged enough to sport such a wide range of varied locales on one map, and it makes Forza Horizon 3 simply a pleasure to lose yourself in.
Whilst jumping behind the wheel of a supercar before razzing it around the streets is the main draw of Forza Horizon for many, throwing a buggy across beaches and dusty dunes is perhaps the closest players will get to the seminal off-road experience provided by Motorstorm on the current generation of consoles.
3. The usual Forza handling and accompanying options
One of the greatest strengths of the Forza games is that the experience they provide is highly customisable. Forza Horizon 3 doesn’t buck the trend, making it suitable for all ages and skill levels.
The aggressiveness of the AI can be adjusted, you can tweak the handling to make it more arcadey or more sim-like, and there are a wealth of assists and features that enable you to fine tune just how laid back you want your racing endeavours to be. Inclusiveness is good, especially when your game is all about having fun.
4. Improved campaign structure with a wider range of events and activities
Whilst we need to experience the full game to truly decide whether the campaign becomes the arduous slog that Forza Horizon 2 eventually devolved into, the early signs are that Forza Horizon 3’s campaign structure is much improved.
This is your festival, so you get to make a lot of the important decisions, and there are more activities and impromptu challenges to take part in as you free-roam between races. I think it’s safe to say that you won’t be at a loss for things to do in Playground Games’ recreation of Australia.
5. You can play through the game in co-op
The online components of the Forza Horizon games have always been great selling points, but Forza Horizon 3 has taken its online functionality one step further to make it essential in our book: full online campaign co-op.
Finally you can play through the Forza Horizon festival with friends in tow and continue by yourself when needs be. Of course you can still engage in all the online shenanigans you could do in previous games, but with your buddies now able to join in on your campaign endeavours it’s surely going to be an even more riotous and destructive adventure.