Archives by Day

Forza Horizon 3

Platform(s): PC, Xbox One
Genre: Racing
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Playground Games
Release Date: Sept. 27, 2016


XOne/PC Preview - 'Forza Horizon 3'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on June 22, 2016 @ 3:00 a.m. PDT

You're in charge of the Horizon Festival. Customize everything, hire and fire your friends, and explore Australia in over 350 of the world's greatest cars. Make your Horizon the ultimate celebration of cars, music, and freedom of the open road. How you get there is up to you.

Pre-order Forza Horizon 3

Few games on the market look as amazingly good as high-end racers. It's easy to gush for hours about how incredibly detailed the cars look or the small touches to the environment and graphics that lend it an immense sense of reality, but the intense depth customization options were perhaps the most impressive aspects of our Forza Horizon 3 demo at E3 2016.

Bigger is the name of the game in Forza Horizon 3. Set in Australia, the title is over twice the size of Forza Horizon 2, and it has a significantly more diverse ecosystem than the previous game. It doesn't matter if you're streaking over sand or busting through the bushes; you'll find more diversity and more to do than ever before. This also applies to the cars. There are 150 more cars in Horizon 3 than in its predecessor, including the Lamborghini Centenario, which was on display on the E3 showroom floor. There are also new cars like Baja buggies which offer a lot more flexibility to go with the new environments. These cars can also be customized in greater detail than ever, with new parts, new styles and (for the first time in the franchise) wide body kits.

Playground Games is careful to emphasize that in Forza Horizon 3, you're not a nobody working your way up the ranks but rather the boss of the bosses. Instead of putting you in the shoes of a gofer, they want you to feel like you're completely in control. You can "hire" friends to be low-level racers for you. By hiring your friends' Drivatars, you'll gain some help in missions, and a friend's progress toward game completion and achievements will even count toward your own score. Likewise, you can pull up to four friends into your game for cooperative gameplay and help getting past tough missions. Any friend who completes a mission in your game will also complete it in their own game, allowing for seamless cooperative play where everyone benefits. There's also the return of some fan-favorite systems, like the Action House and Storefront which allow you to sell custom-crafted cars or show off your collection of cool vehicles.

Perhaps the coolest feature in Forza Horizon 3 is the new Blueprint feature. Throughout the world of Forza, challenges are scattered in true open-world fashion. You can drive to one and undertake the challenge, or you can customize the challenge with the Blueprint feature, which uses the selected challenge as a starting point and allows you to tweak the challenge. At the touch of a button, you can adjust the viable cars, the routes and the weather. Even better, the adjusted version of the challenge counts as much as the original one for the purpose of game progression. You can pump up the difficulty to give yourself a real challenge, change it to use your favorite car, or even handicap the game to get past a tough race. Not only that, but you can share your Blueprinted challenge with other races. The same customization applies to the Bucket List feature, which returns from the previous game and allows you to set up your own challenges for friends to beat.

Forza Horizon 3 looks like a boatload of fun. It was perhaps the prettiest game we saw at E3 2016, but there's also a lot of depth beneath the surface. The wide variety of cars and environments will offer an insane amount of content, while the Blueprint feature provides almost unlimited variety to the gameplay. From what we saw, Forza Horizon 3 is absolutely dripping with potential, and fans of racing games should keep a close eye on it. Forza Horizon 3 will be coming exclusively to Xbox One and Windows 10 on Sept. 27, 2016.

More articles about Forza Horizon 3
blog comments powered by Disqus